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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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Old tires?

I, or the previous owner of my bike, have never changed the tires on it. I'd imagine they're years old. That being said, there is still a huge amount of tread on them and no dry rot. The bike handles fine. Am I in any imminent danger riding on old tires? I understand new tires are better, but I'm in a tight spot financially and only really riding it 10 or 20 miles at a time. Like I said, the tires have a whole lot of tread left on them and there's no dry rot.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:02 PM
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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

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:12 PM
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I would say, you should be "OK" to ride that little (10 to 20 miles at a time), but take it easy on those tires! no hot rodding around! and yes, replace them ASAP! teh sooner, the better! even if you have to do it (like I had to) 1 tire at a time.

if it goes vroom or boom, I LIKE IT!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-17-2011, 11:50 PM
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Here`s a link to more info on unsafe mc tires and how to read the manufacturing date code molded into the sidewall of every tire:


1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
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F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-18-2011, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks ... it's possible that the tires are the original tires that came with the bike when it was produced in 1986. And thanks OlHoss, that blog was informative. I'll check the dates on my tires when I get the bike back from the shop.
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