Bridgestone’s very own ‘bike guru’ is offering a series of simple safety checks for riders to bear in mind as they take to the roads in growing numbers over the summer holidays, after declaring: “The majority of bikers don’t check their tyres.”
Senior motorcycle product manager Gary Hartshorne, who has more than 25 years’ industry experience, claims that only a ‘small percentage’ of bikers check their tyres and is calling on more to carry out some straightforward checks, not least with the warmer weather finally taking hold.
With a spike in motorcycle usage expected over the summer months, Gary was keen to issue some straightforward tips in an attempt to aid safety and wellbeing behind the throttle.
“Despite there only being two contact areas between a bike and the road, you would be amazed at how few riders actually have a look at their tyres before setting out,” he said.
“I would suggest, from years of experience, that the majority of bikers don’t check their tyres which I find really alarming. It can be literally a matter of life or death.”
Statistics from the Think! road safety organisation state that motorcyclists are roughly 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants, per mile ridden.
It also states that motorcyclist KSIs have fallen since 2008 when 493 motorcyclists were killed and 5,556 were seriously injured on Britain’s roads.
Gary said: “Cleaning you bike thoroughly will give you the opportunity to spot any small issues and get them replaced or repaired before you leave.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of bikers checking their tyres. Give them a spin and look for any foreign objects protruding out. If you find something, go to your local Bridgestone Bikers Club Dealer and get it checked out and replaced if needs be.
“Also check for cracks around the tyre, especially if the bike has had a long winter storage.”
Gary also offered the following tyre advice:
· Check the tread depths. Will your tyres complete your journey? Don’t get caught out will bald rubber. Shallow tread depths disperse less water.
· Check your pressures with an accurate gauge. Ignore garage forecourt gauges as you don’t know how accurate they are. Invest in your own and set to the manufacturers recommendations
· Are you riding with a pillion and / or luggage? If so, chances are your tyre pressures may need to be increased. Again, check with the manufacturers’ recommendations.
· Too high or too little pressure will increase tyre wear. A simple job that will save you money in the long term.
· Leave space for some essential emergency tools as you never know what might happen and when you’re likely to need them.
· If you don’t have a shaft drive on your bike, check the chain and sprockets and adjust where necessary. If your chain has a tight spot, it may be worth investing in a new chain and sprocket kit.
Road safety charity TyreSafe echoed Gary’s sentiments and have devised a PACT safety campaign, where riders are encouraged to check air pressure, condition and tread depth.
Bridgestone’s business development director Stuart Jackson, who is also chairman of TyreSafe, added: “Your tyres are the only part of your motorcycle, scooter or moped in contact with the road so it is essential that they are properly maintained and in a legal and roadworthy state. Failure to comply with the minimal legal standards can result in fines and penalty points, or even worse, your life.”
For more information about Bridgestone’s bike products and its nearest Bikers Club dealers, visit
h”p://www.bridgestone.co.uk/moto/ and for more information about TyreSafe’s motorcycle PACT campaign visit h”p://www.tyresafe.org/campaigns/motorcycle-pact/