For most of us living in a four season area the urge we have to ride gets stronger and stronger as we wait until that big break comes and a nice day springs up. If you have a heated area for your scooter or she had to sit in the cold, if she’s up on a jack with the wheels dangling off the ends or sitting next to your bed, there are many things that need to be addressed before you fire it up and do a burn out in the garage. Here’s one of the most important and most overlooked.
Check the air in your tires. Yeah, yeah they look fine, but checking the air in your tires is a multi-point necessity, even a 5 pound loss of air pressure will affect your ride. Low tires will build up heat, a major reason for a tire blowing out is low air, ask any truck driver about alligators (truck tire blown to pieces on the highway). A loaded down scooter with low air in the back tire will blow out just the same as a truck tire, even a new tire with low air will suffer this fate on a long ride. Why? The sidewalls are flexing more than they should causing friction and we all know friction is heat, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. All that tire flexing also has you and your pride and joy all over the road by changing your steering input. Your buddies are thinkin’ you been smoking something funny and in a group you could become downright dangerous.
Now add a low tire that has been your friend for a couple of seasons. That means the tread and livelihood of your old tire could also be a detriment to your safety. Unlike humans, a tire becomes harder as it ages and offers less traction, combine that with low pressure and a cold pavement with a little gravel in a turn and you might be picking some of that gravel off your butt. I recommend you use the manufactures suggested air pressure when you have a load or riding two up, but for everyday funtime 36 psi in the front and back works well with most tires.
ALR Road Captain, Post 1, Omaha, Neb.