Buyer's Guide

Letís get you started on finding new tyres for your bike!

First of all, do you need new tyres?

Maybe youíve recently entered a second childhood or just been hit with a newfound desire to burn some rubber on the old SV650 thatís been sitting in the garage for the last 5 years. You changed the tyres on it before you put it away last time you rode (5 years ago), so they should be fine, right? Wrong! Rubber loses its elasticity over time and youíve likely lost a lot of traction. Best to consider tossing those treads.

So the shopping begins, and here are some tips to get you through the gates:

1. Tyres vary depending on what riding you do, what surface your on, etc. Primarily a street rider? Go for standard tyres. Racing tyres (while they sound cooler) wear out more quickly.

2. Want traction?Go for softer rubber, itís soft and grips the road, although on the downside it wears quickly and takes longer to warm.

3. Thinking mileage? Get firmer rubber, this way you can plan multiple road trips without worrying about how your buns will stand up.

4. Buy new, not used. Your tyres are the interface between your bike and the road Ė this is no place to pinch pennies, cheapskate.

In the world of tyres, Size Does Matter!!!

Be absolutely positive you are buying the right size tyres for your bike! Some models only fit a certain size, and unless you need a new swing in the backyard for your kids, the wrong size could leave you with a useless piece of rubber.

Bigger isnít always better...

Just because you can squeeze on a wider tyre doesnít mean it has a proper fit, a situation in which the tyre profile is forced to be altered from its natural position. Also, wider tyres almost always result in a less nimble bike Ė a fat tyre may look bad-ass, but it comes with penalties.

A Note on Hot Air

Once youíve got your new tyres, keep track of the air pressure. Most riders donít maintain their tyres - but donít be like most riders! Keep the p.s.i. at recommended levels and your tyres will last longer and provide the optimum performance. After all, replacing or purchasing tyres is an investment for all riders Ė you may as well get the most mileage for your money! Warren-who?

Putting some thought into your tyre warranty might save headaches in the future. Whether itís a manufacturerís warranty or a store-bought one, find out the details to decide if itís worth the extra cost for the additional peace of mind.