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New Tyres - By Ren Withnell

"When you have a new tyre fitted onto your motorcycle, take it easy for the first 50 miles."

This advice is as old as the hills and the source of myth and legend in motorcycling.  But it is worth repeating.  Rubber is sticky stuff.  It needs to be to keep you and your bike sunny side up.  Unfortunately for the manufacturers of tyres sticky rubber sticks to their moulding machines that make your shiny new tyres.  To stop this the manufacturers have to use slippery stuff in the moulds so they can get the tyre out of the mould.  And this slippery stuff is all over your shiny new tyre.

So here is Mr Keen, at the tyre shop having a splendid new piece of rubber fitted to his Kawukihonaha GCYZXRRRRRRR.  He pays his £150 and sets off like a rocket.  At the first bend the new tyre slides gracefully from under the bike causing many thousands of pounds damage to the bike and hurting Mr Keen.  Mr Keen is not so keen on this new tyre.  

If he had ridden the motorcycle carefully and gently for the first 50 miles, the slippery compound on the tyre would have worn away leaving a super sticky piece of rubber in contact with the road.

One thing that is commonly overlooked when "scrubbing in" a new tyre is to be careful of the edges.  If a new tyre is ridden for 50 miles on a straight road then the centre will be clear, but the edges of the tyre still slippery.  And you cannot "carefully" go straight to the edge of the tyres.  Increase the angle the bike leans through corners gradually.  

Have Fun!

Reader's Comments

Keith said :-
Seen a few spills watching fools posing on there new tyres
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
Kel said :-
My local tyre places loves to retell the story of the guy on his classic brit bike. new tyres, bike just polished, set off and lobs it across the roundabout. he tried to put a claim in against the shop even thoh they had witnesses saying they had warned him.
1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
said :-

1/1/2000 12:00:00 AM UTC
said :-
As a biker of the 60s, I never heard of "scrubbing in", I can't remember even having new TYRES, because we couldn't afford such luxuries and of course MOTs hadn't been invented!
Nevertheless riding through northern towns in the dark and in the wet with oilsoaked wooden sets, and shiny tram rails with slippy cobbles each side were a real test of one's riding ability. You came off no matter how careful you were. And we survived!
Take care everyone, and remember the frightening truth; to most car drivers (particularly those on the phone, or heartening up their lipstick) motorbikes are invisible.
2/9/2019 4:48:46 PM UTC
said :-

2/9/2019 10:40:43 PM UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
While I've been riding about 30 years even when I were a pup there was the MOT, it's hard to imagine a time before that. I can however easily imagine just how lethal cobbles, wood and tram lines must be! Just catching the rail of Manchester's modern trams in the rain raises the heartbeat. Cheers.
3/9/2019 9:21:59 AM UTC

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