RideFast Magazine June 2019


SA's best motorcycle magazine


Re-tread’s & Second Hand Tyres

in the Motorcycle Tyre Industry:

We bet that 90 percent of us

have been in the situation where

you simply cannot afford to

buy a new tyre. I remember

wandering next door to The Bike

Hospital to find a semi decent

used tyre for my CB5504k (OK

that bike was already old then!)

years ago.

It’s not ideal - but when times are

tough you make a plan.

The guys from Bike Tyre

Warehouse sent us this feature

on what to look out for...

Used and retreaded motorcycle tyres:

The proliferation of second hand motorcycle

tyres is growing driven by economic factors &

rider ignorance to the dangers of using them.

The rider needs to ask him or herself

what the tyre went through when used by

the previous owner because it is not always

just about the life and wear of the tyre; not

many riders will get rid of a tyre at 50% of

its life just because he can more often than

not the tyre has experienced some sort of

critical damage that is not always apparent

to the unskilled eye.

So - has the tyre with 2mm-3mm tread

suffered impact damage? Or while buying

the second hand tyre for example you ask if

it has had a puncture you get shown a tyre

that has no evidence of a puncture repair

- but a faulty valve could have caused the

tyre to deflate and the previous owner could

have ridden the tyre while flat.

So he naturally got rid of it after having

it inspected by a tyre professional as the

carcass is fatigued and it is not safe to be

used any longer.

You buy it for R500 what a deal, then on

your Sunday run you run tight in a corner

and the tyre collapses and delaminates

which normally causes extensive damage

to the tail end of your bike and in some

cases takes the bike down with you on it...

The sale of scrubs (used race tyres) by

track riders after a race or track day is a

common practice in the race market. This

is all very well if the tyre is going back onto

the track but when these tyres end up on

road bikes used for daily commutes etc. it’s

very dangerous - and sadly so many bike

owners are ignorant to the fact thinking

because it is a track tyre it has great grip.

Sadly this is a big misconception.

Slicks are not designed for road use.

They require heat which they get with the

use of tyre warmers to bring them to the

required temperature for optimum grip. This

is not possible when you are going to work,

stop starting and filtering through traffic.

Ask anyone who tries to sell you a slick for

your road bike.

“Retreaded motorcycle tyres” you say

with a quick frown. “Why?”

Because you have been racing for 10 years,

you have ridden all the brands because as

an experienced rider you know you need

to try any & all tyres specific to your race

discipline because it’s what you do; because

you want to find what works for you.

You need a tyre to give you traction

& stability at high speed; straight line

precision; braking stability; cornering

stability; lateral support and durability. Tyre

versatility for multiple terrains is critical now

as a single race can cover several terrains,

and you might need different levels of

durability (tyre life).

Yes, every brand works at this - during

development to rigorous testing in-house

as well as giving tyre products to globally

recognized industry test centres like

Tass International. And they do obtain an

estimated tyre life for each product - but it’s

never a definite.


Because there are so many variables -

essentially how long is a piece of string?

Trust me, the most asked question in 20

years in the tyre trade – “How many kilo’s or

hours will I get on this tyre” proves without

a doubt that the life of a tyre is one of the

most important considerations made by a

customer when buying a tyre.

Racers are no different - they ask the

same question as the everyday riders why

because specially developed race tyres are

expensive when you use a set per race or

in the more extreme events 2 to 5 tyres - it

adds up very quickly.

A good example is the 140/80-18

extreme tyre which led to a war among

the manufacturers with a literally overnight

boom creating a high demand for this

extreme tyre type The brands rushed

to get product into the market; specially

designed carcasses and compound

offerings hard; medium; soft & the super


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