Keeping an eye on the tire’s tread wear is an important part of riding your Harley-Davidson motorcycle safely.
Although Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles are designed to conquer endless miles of highway, their tires will eventually wear out. Tire wear can occur in different forms, ranging from the uniform loss of tread to uneven wear and dry rot. These problems create an unsafe condition that could potentially lead to injury if left unchecked. Keeping an eye on the condition of your tires is fairly simple and only requires a tire guage, allowing you to safely extend your riding time.
1. Check your tire pressure. An improperly inflated tire will wear out your tire prematurely and even cause instability. Front tire pressures should be between 36 to 38 PSI (pounds per square inch), while rear tires should be pressurized to 44 to 46 PSI.
2. Inspect the surface tread of the tire. Locate the tread wear indicator (TWI) mark on the sidewall of the tire. These marks indicate the location of a small bump in the tire tread to show the remaining service life of the tire. If the tire tread is flush with the TWI bump, it is time to replace the tire. Most Harley-Davidson motorcycles will have a greater amount of tread wear along the center of the tire. Look for abnormal tread wear and flat spots along the entire tread. Exposed metal cords, the thin layer of wire-like metal beneath the rubber, are sure signs of excessive tire wear.
3. Inspect the sidewall of the tire. Look specifically for punctures or cracking, a sign of dry rot. If the sidewall is damaged in any way, replace the tire immediately.