Have you ever noticed that when you’re cruising down the highway, you have to dodge the occasional blown-out tire? Blown-out tires occur on the road when the heat caused by friction between the tires and the road gets to be hot enough to shred the rubber. It’s bad enough to have to dodge blown-out tires on the highway, but it is another thing when it happens to you on four wheels (let alone only two wheels). With summer fast approaching and the roads getting hotter, you may be wondering how summer heat affects motorcycle tires. The last thing you need to happen when you are cruising down the I-15 this summer is for one of the tires on your bike to blow out.
When Will Your Tires Be Fine?
Before getting overly worried about how your tires will be affected by hot roads this summer, as long as your tires are sufficiently inflated, you should be ok! Tires usually will not have any issues unless they are low on air. The less air that is in a tire, the more friction and grip there will be with the road. So when the road is especially hot due to the summer heat, you want to avoid riding on deflated tires.
How Heat Affects Motorcycle Tires
As we mentioned before, one of the most common reasons that a tire would fail due to extreme heat would be because of an underinflated tire. The added stress of under-inflation would cause the tire to generate more heat from having a greater surface area than the ground. In fact, when a tire is fully inflated, it generates little to no heat, so there is little to worry about.
The good news is that tires are designed to endure a wide range of temperatures. Additionally, there are tires that are designed specifically for high-friction, high-heat instances, such as racing or high-performance tires.
How to Prevent Tire Blowouts
While there is no 100% way to prevent your tires from blowing out due to extreme temperatures on the roads, there are preventative steps that you can take in order to reduce the risk.
First, always refer to the instructions and details provided by the manufacturer of your motorcycle and tires. Manufacturers will always include safety instructions that inform you, the rider, of the properer PSI range for optimal riding. In addition to keeping your tires properly inflated, you will want to ensure that you are not pushing the tires’ limits (e.g., racing with cruising tires). Doing so will cause your tires to experience more heat and friction than designed.