Tire age safety

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Rubiconnn, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Rubiconnn

    Rubiconnn Adventurer

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    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?
    #1
  2. AustinJake

    AustinJake TE450-KLE-FXDWG

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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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  3. joexr

    joexr Banned

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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.:deal Don't be cheap.
    #3
  4. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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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.
    #4
  5. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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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.
    #5
  6. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    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.
    #6
  7. Z50R

    Z50R Not lost yet

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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 :deal
    #7
  8. Rubiconnn

    Rubiconnn Adventurer

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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.
    #8
  9. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    In that case, I have to correct my previous post:

    Oxygen and UV rays cannot make that rubber any harder. :1drink :1drink :1drink
    #9
  10. xr400r

    xr400r Long timer

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    if they hold air I would run them, inother words, run them, no problems that I can think of....
    #10
  11. Bib

    Bib Adventurer

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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.
    #11
  12. groundrules

    groundrules Long timer

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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?
    #12
  13. doxiedog

    doxiedog Been here awhile

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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!.
    #13
  14. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    I wouldn't recommend Shitko's to my exwife.:lol3
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  15. t6pilot

    t6pilot Been here awhile

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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
    #15
  16. Rubiconnn

    Rubiconnn Adventurer

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    The difference is is that he was probably using tubeless tires. My tires have new tubes in them, so they technically aren't structurally supporting any weight or holding any air, just supplying traction.
    #16
  17. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    One of my bikes has tires 45 years old. Used for puttering and such. Tubed. They seem to be just fine, so I ride on them.

    'Course this bike also has engine oil that is (thinking) 32 years old. Thinking I might want to change that some time before it gets too old.

    Ymmv, wneni.
    #17
  18. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    You've got to be kidding me. The tube is nothing more than a bladder to keep the air from escaping. The tire IS the structure that holds it all together. It supports the weight, the forces from acceleration, braking, and turning.
    If you want to run old tires, then run old tires. They may last for years, and they may leave you stranded. Ultimately, you are the arbitor of your own fate in this department.
    #18
  19. msells

    msells Been here awhile

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    #19
  20. duck

    duck Banned

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    That's some sig line material right there. Nice!:lol3
    #20