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Old 07-07-2013, 02:35 PM   #1
Rubiconnn OP
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Tire age safety

So I know that using tubeless tires that are very old is a serious safety risk, but how about a tire with a tube? My front tire on my 1997 Ural went flat. I bought it with low miles, so it still has the original tire from 1997, but it has like 95% tread life left. However, since the tube went out and I will be replacing it, is it still safe to use the old tire?
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
AustinJake
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Can you crease/fold tightly the sidewall at several places around the tires and check for cracking?
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:06 PM   #3
joexr
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You obviously don't want cracks. You also have to be aware that the tire is much harder than new. Less traction. Don't be cheap.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:07 PM   #4
HapHazard
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Tires should be replaced after 5 years of age - 7 on the outside, due to hardening and lack of grip. By the time you get cracking, you're well past borrowed time.
Replacing it with the cheapest new tire you can find is better and safer than any 16 year old tire. It's really no more work, either.
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
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I'll differ here, a tire used for a big liter performance sport bike has a much different lifestyle than something driven around town at 35 mph.

If you drive like a maniac (the Ural being such a fire breather) then I'd say to break down and get some newer tires. But if you don't drive in the rain, drive at breakneck speed in rush hour traffic, or plan on doing an Iron Butt where you leave in the evening and drive all night along some deserted highways, then there's no issues with riding your tires until they wear out.

Just be aware they are less than optimum and drive appropriately.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:39 PM   #6
lnewqban
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubiconnn View Post
........ I bought it with low miles, so it still has the original tire from 1997.........
Are you sure the side has a stamp with the number XX97?

XX is the week number of that year.

If so, replace that poor thing, unless you want a skidding tire when applying front brake on wet pavement (zero brake power + zero steering).

Oxygen and UV rays make rubber harder and harder with time.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:36 AM   #7
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The beauty of 20 year old tires with 95% tread life is that they are so hard they will not wear so you will always have 95% tread life!

Seriously, replace them.

My first bike came with old tires and being younger, dumber, and a cheap bastard I decided I would replace them after they wore out.

They don't wear out... But I learned to handle a bike well because they do wash out. I took the MSF basic rider course and could relate well to the portion when they tell you how to recover from the front wheel locking up. I also ended up on the ground when trying to stop for a car driving at me on the wrong side of the road. After finally replacing the tires, the ability to stop improved immensely.

Don't be a cheap bastard
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:44 PM   #8
Rubiconnn OP
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To tell you the truth, I think the must be much older than that. They are written in Cyrillic and don't have a date stamp on them, just "MADE IS USSR".
Also, I rarely travel faster than 45MPH.

Rubiconnn screwed with this post 07-08-2013 at 12:50 PM
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Old 07-08-2013, 02:08 PM   #9
lnewqban
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubiconnn View Post
To tell you the truth, I think the must be much older than that. They are written in Cyrillic and don't have a date stamp on them, just "MADE IS USSR".
In that case, I have to correct my previous post:

Oxygen and UV rays cannot make that rubber any harder.
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #10
xr400r
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if they hold air I would run them, inother words, run them, no problems that I can think of....
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:52 PM   #11
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Tires are many compounds mixed together (not just rubber) and cured/cooked (vulcanized) to the final product. The thing is that the curing process never stops, it continues, and that will age a tire sitting still in the best possible environment. A lot like concrete that continues to cure long after we are living in the building. All manufacturers put a time limit on "new" tires, usually 5 years. I know there are many anecdotal stories that say otherwise but 5 years is what the guys that make the product say is a usable shelf life. That is why there are huge discounts on 4 year old tires form the tire companies warehouses to dealers.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:46 AM   #12
groundrules
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I had some old metzlers that I was being cheap about replacing. They looked okay. But damn, the first time I needed to make a panic stop, the old, hard front washed out like I was on ice. Lesson learned. 100 dollar tire or $3000 repair bill?
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:00 PM   #13
doxiedog
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The first things i replace on a "new" bike are,
New tires and headlight bulb,
Put some shinko cruser tires on there!.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:28 PM   #14
joexr
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I wouldn't recommend Shitko's to my exwife.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:11 AM   #15
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Old tires,
Bought a toy hauler trailer new, to use in my hanger till build out was done. Took a little longer than expected like 4 years longer. Trailer was on jacks no weight on wheels. Short story, sold trailer, guy who bought it blew out three tires taking it home. Tires had rotted sitting in a dry hanger after five years
Be careful with old tires
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