By The Motorcycle Lawyer, Special for USDR
Motorcycle accident injury attorney Jason Waechter, known as The Motorcycle Lawyer by fellow bikers, wants to let all motorcyclists know that this week is National Tire Safety Week. “Your tires are so important; they can affect the comfort and sometimes the safety of your ride,” says Waechter. “I wanted to share some tips with motorcyclists to help them get the most out of their bikes, and potentially to decrease the risk of an accident or injury caused by a tire problem.”
Waechter’s list of tire tips is a compilation of his own experience as a motorcyclist, information he has gathered during his more than 20 years of representing injured bikers, tips he has received from clients and fellow bikers, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “What’s your PSI” list.
Tip #1: Read your owner’s manual. “I know generally, an owner’s manual isn’t exactly a ‘great read’,” says Waechter. “Still, your manual is going to give information about ideal tire pressure, and how to adjust pressure for load, weather conditions, or other factors.” Keeping tires properly inflated can increase the efficiency of the motorcycle, improve the longevity of the tire, and potentially decrease the risk of wobble or uneven wear.
Tip #2: Storage matters. “How and where a bike is stored, especially long-term like over the winter, can make a huge difference in the life of the tires,” says Waechter. “For example, tires do not fare well if left in direct sunlight, so make sure the motorcycle is stored in a cool, dry place without too much light.” In thewinter, put some sort of insulator between the tires and the cold ground to avoid damage. As much as possible, avoid exposing tires to oil or gasoline, and avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals which can dry tires out.
Tip #3: Check tire pressure often, while the tires are cold, using a reliable tire gauge. “It takes a minute to check tire pressure before a ride,” says Waechter. While some manufacturers recommend weekly pressure and tread checks, Waechter agrees with NHTSA’s recommendation to give the tires a once-over before every ride. “Generally, it’s worth it; it could save the motorcyclist a lot of grief,” he says.
Tip #4: Look at the tires before going out for a ride. “I recommend a quick circle check before riding,” says Waechter. “Look over the bike’s tires for cracks, punctures, flat spots, and uneven wear. While doing that,” he adds, “check your lights and brakes too.” Any irregularities should be addressed immediately; sometimes, it is better to replace a tire rather than trying to repair it.
Tip #5: Carry a repair kit and know how to use it. “It’s easy to put together a tire kit,” says Waechter. “Include tire plugs, a rasp, razor blades or box cutter, allen wrench, an air pump or CO2 canisters, and a set of instructions for on-the-fly tire repair. Add any other items that might be needed.” Motorcyclists who don’t feel comfortable buying tire repair kit materials individually can purchase a pre-assembled kit from most motorcycle retailers. “If a kit is available with everything a rider might need, why not?” says Waechter. “Some manufacturers make tire repair and First Aid kit combinations as well.”
While Waecther endorses good tire maintenance practices, he also believes they are only a small part of making motorcycling safer. “Ultimately, there’s only so much motorcyclists can really do to stay safe,” he says. “It’s up to motorists (vehicle drivers) to really watch for motorcyclists. Drivers need to do their part to help keep motorcyclists safer on our roads.”
For more information about motorcycle awareness and safety, visit Waechter’s website (below), or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer Jason Waechter has spent two decades cementing his reputation for results. Over the years, he has won millions for auto accident victims and contributed significantly to safety education and accident prevention. He has entrenched himself as one of the nation’s premier lawyers. Injured bikers know: The number to CALL if you FALL is 1-877-BIKER-LAW, or visit our website at http://www.themotorcyclelawyer.com