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The tires on a motorcycle are vital components; they are essentially what controls the motorcycle and is the main part that’s between you and the road you’re riding on.
If a motorcycle tire blows while you’re riding, it can be catastrophic if you don’t know how to handle such an unexpected occurrence. Even the most skilled riders can be affected.
What do you do when your motorcycle’s tire blows out? You should stop accelerating if a motorcycle tire blows. If the back tire blows, you can use the front brake to slow down. Keep your ride straight and avoid turning if possible.
A tire blowing while you are riding can be very dangerous and frightening. That is why it’s so important to know how to prevent a tire from blowing and know exactly what to do in the case it does blow.
What to do if a motorcycle tire blows
No motorcycle rider ever wants to assume that they’re going to encounter a blown tire and hopefully all of you out there never have to experience it. But it’s still safe to know exactly what to in case it does happen because a blown tire can be very dangerous.
Many people mistakenly believe that a blown bike tire is the same as a blown car tire. Both are very different. The car has four tires and has three wheels to stabilize it. A motorcycle has two wheels, so if one of them blows, the other one will stabilize it.
A motorcycle tire blowing on it means that one or both of its tires has suddenly become flat. You should not panic if you find yourselves in this situation. Panicking may lead to abrupt movements and swerves which can make your situation worse.
If your tire blows, you should stop using the throttle. If you’re going at higher speeds, don’t suddenly let off the throttle, rather ease off of it quickly. You risk slipping the tire off the rim if you keep using the throttle, which can make it difficult to control.
You can determine which tire has blown once you release the throttle. It’s usually pretty obvious, but if one of them suddenly becomes flat it could be harder to tell. Once you have identified the problem tire, apply the brake to the other tire. If your back tire blows out, then you should quickly adjust to the front brake. Do not suddenly apply the brake, as this can cause more problems. Blowing your tire can slow you down.
Also, it’s not a good idea to use the brake on the wheel with the blown tire. This again will risk what’s remaining of the tire to slip off the rim which causes complete rim to concrete contact; that is extremely hard to control.
Continue to ride straight. If the situation allows, don’t make any turns. Turn straight for an area that you can pull over safely.
Although either tire blowing is scary, a blown front is more difficult to manage than a back tire. This is because the front tire is what your vehicle uses to steer. The above steps can be used to safely pull over for either the front or back tire. But, keep in mind that the front tire is more fragile.
Why Motorcycle Tires Are Blown
There are several reasons why a motorcycle blows, so it’s a good idea to be aware of why to help keep you prepared and perhaps even prevent you from getting one in the first place.
People who put too much air into their tires are the main reason why a tire blows. This causes the tire to literally explode. This is similar to a balloon. It pops when too much air is blown into it. However, it may keep the air inside until pressure is applied. Cold and over inflated tires are especially prone to blowing because they’re less flexible.
Blown tires can also be caused by sharp objects or obstructions on the roads. As a rider, you can’t necessarily prevent sharp objects being left on the road, but you can be aware while riding and stop yourself from running them over. Sharp objects are known to cause a sudden flat, but they can also cause the tire to burst.
A bent tire can also lead to a flat tire. When a rim is bent, the tire doesn’t have the proper suction applied against the rim which causes more opportunity for air to escape. This is particularly true for tubeless tires. Click here for an article on bent rims and the best way to fix them.
How to prevent tires from blowing
It is important to take care of your tires so you don’t get into such dire situations. Before you take off, inspect your tires. Make sure there aren’t any nails or anything sharp sticking to them that could cause them to rupture.
Check for cracks on the motorcycle. Cracks on the sides of tires are more common and more likely to occur with older tires. A single crack should be repaired immediately. The tread should be inspected periodically. A balder tire will have less cushion and be more likely to fall apart.
Make sure you have the correct tire pressure Before every ride or at least every week check the PSI and make sure it’s in an acceptable range. By reading the side of the tire, you can determine the PSI that your tire should be at.
If the motorcycle has sat for long periods of time without any use (anything over three years), it’s a good idea to get new tires. Unused tires wear out much more quickly than they would if you used them because the rubber breaks down with no exercise in it’s elasticity.
Regularly riding your motorcycle means that your tires will last longer. They can still be damaged even if you take the greatest care of them. Tires that have been manufactured more than seven years ago should be discarded immediately.
Other damages a blown tire can cause
Most people believe that if you blow a tire, the bike will be safe. Most people simply replace their tires and call it a day.
There are likely to be other damage to your bike if your tire blows. You need to inspect the damage after it happens.
Even if you only had a flat tire, there are still potential damages. The rim is the most vulnerable area for injury. A flat or blown tire doesn’t provide the necessary cushion the rim needs between it and the road, so often times you’ll find big dents and bends in the rim. You could get another tire blowout by using a bent or dented rim. Many times, people need to buy new rims after a blowout.
There could be other damage if the tire burst. Tire explosions can cause the tire to burst against the frame and the chain. Make sure there aren’t any dents or bends in your frame and check the tension on your chain after any tire blows to ensure they’re still in working order.
Can a motorcycle fly hydroplane? Hydroplaning is a risk that a motorcycle can be exposed to as much as any other vehicle. These consequences can be more severe than for most other vehicles. At higher speeds and on wet roads, the motorcycle tires’ ability to repel water becomes less effective. See my article on motorcycle hydroplaning.
How long should you keep your motorcycle tires inflated? The best way to store motorcycle tires long term is to store them in a way that prevents them from getting flat spots if they’re still on the motorcycle. Keep your tires elevated. If they’re off the motorcycle, make sure they’re stacked in a way that won’t make any folds and that they’re out of harsh weather.