The manufacture or tire 'birthday' is printed on the side of the tire. In general, if your tires are 5 year old or older it is time to replace them, REGARDLESS OF TIRE TREAD OR CONDITION (for cruisers). The reason has to do with the VOC or volatile organic compounds used to make tires 'sticky'. These VOCs basically, evaporate or degrade enough after 5 years to warrant replacement. Lots of veteran riders will disagree and have miles of riding on old tires without incident, so you have to determine the risks for yourself. If it helps, most racing tracks will not allow a tire on the track that is more than 2 years old. PERIOD, NO EXCEPTIONS. You decide what your level of risk is.
I replaced my 5+ year old OEM tires with plenty of tread left with Metzeler ME800 after they start to slip under normal circumstances. The results were like night and day. The new Metzelers made my VN750 handle like a sport bike, compared to the aging OEM Bridgestones. However, I will replace the Metzelers long before they wear out, since I don't ride enough miles to wear them out within 5 years.
Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
Last edited by cglennon; 04-17-2011 at 11:06 PM.