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Old Tires

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At the end of last summer I purchased an 07 Interceptor.  At one point the original owner swapped out the stock tires with a set of Metzlers.  They look good but of course they are old, if I'm reading the markings on the tire correctly they were manufactured in January 2009 for the rear and April 2009 for the front.  I haven't noticed any visible signs of drying or cracking along the sidewalls but I know these things don't last forever.  I rode the bike for about a month and a half last year before winter storage.  It handled okay but not great, never thought I had great road feel from the bike.  Suggestions on riding or replacing?

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I'll have to admit the knee-jerk reaction is to say "Change those suckers before you crash and die".

And I think they are due to be replaced, after all they are 10 years old. Even if they have been well

cared for, that's quite a few years. They most likely won't self destruct on you, but it's pretty much

guaranteed that they aren't going to be gripping like they should. And my main worry is how they

will perform in the rain.

 

So I would replace them when possible, especially if you like to ride twisty roads and/or ride in the

rain. They simply won't perform as well as newer tires. JMO of course.

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I see a couple of massive (rolling) burnouts in your future.... :tongue:

  • Haha 2

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Personally, I would replace. The tires may look fine but the compounds tend to harden over time. Tire technology has greatly improved in the last 10 year's, so give it a try. For me.  Bridgestone S21's have been my go to tires. Dual compound front, triple rear. Solid,stable, great feedback, reasonable wear. They have a rebate going on now for $60 a pair. I get mine from Rocky Mountain as they submit the form for you. Comes out to around $176 a pair to your door. There are S22's available now, I may try them on my 4th Gen.

Plenty of other good choices from Pirelli. Dunlop, Michelin, etc. also, have a look around. 

 

.

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5-6 years is the currently accepted life span of a tire, but that is in a climate controlled environment.  Chuck 'em. 

 

 Lots of rebates going on right now!  Avon, Bridgestone, Continental, maybe more.  Usually $60 off a set.  Try Rocky Mountain, usually good prices. 

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Just to make sure I'm looking at the date code here is a photo of each tire.

 

01fronttiredate_zps2mmtunjt.jpg

 

02reartiredate_zpshjknunij.jpg

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January 2009, time to replace. The first 2 numbers you are looking at are weeks, not months. First week and 4th week.

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Being different, I've run old tires very hard with no issues.  Look for cracks first but if none, go for it.  Tires are incredibly strong things.  

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It wouldn't be their strength I'd be worried about but how hard the rubber had gotten over the years of sitting.

And if there's enough tire makeup left to soften the tire after some usage. Kind of like Play Dough. If it hasn't all

dried out you can knead it to being soft again. But past a certain point there's no coming back. 

 

IMO of course.

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If it were my bike, I would without a doubt replace the tires. As rubber ages it dries and stiffens, which reduces how well it adheres to the road surface.  Old tires on an otherwise highly competent vehicle were implicated in the car crash that killed Paul Walker:

 

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-xpm-2014-mar-26-la-me-ln-paul-walker-porsche-outdated-tires-crash-20140326-story.html

 

Most of the awesome things that a VFR does (cornering, accelerating,  braking) are mediated  by a couple dozen square inches of contact patch. The performance of the bike is limited by the performance of those contact patches.

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I agree with the replace crowd. I'd wager you will appreciate the handling improvment as soon as you finish scuffing the up. Few things are finer than new tires on a great road on a summer morning. And at under $200 it's a little brainer.

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I will most likely replace. The handling is okay/good right now but I wouldn’t say great. I’m looking at Dunlop Roadmaster 3’s at the moment. Around $350 installed with rebate. 

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A 10 year old tire can actually be in better condition than a 1 year old tire.  It all depends on how the tire has been stored and if oxidation has allowed oils to escape.  If the handling is good and no slipping then they are ok.  However as you put them through heat cycles they may get hard so pay attention.  If you do not put on a lot of miles and change tires often...just put on a new set and enjoy.

 

Wow...I couldn't afford to ride if it cost $350 for a set of tires to be installed.

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12 hours ago, gloryracing said:

Wow...I couldn't afford to ride if it cost $350 for a set of tires to be installed.

No, that's tires and install, not installation only.

 

And thanks for your input, thanks everybody.  I knew that old tires = bad but it's good to get the nuances.  I rode the bike today on the old Metzlers and the handling is okay but I didn't really press it as most of the riding was local and urban/suburban.

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I’ve been hemming and hawing about replacing because money is always a little tight in the Calculon household this time of year. After just coming back from bike inspection (required annually in the great state of MA) the service rep showed me areas where the tires are starting to dry and crack. Fortunately none of it was along the sidewalls so he passed the bike. Nonetheless I’m going to shake the couch cushions for loose change and swap out the tires immediately.

 

Now I get to choose which tires. I’ve been thinking about RoadSmart 3’s. 

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If you order before April 30 you can get a rebate on a number of manf's tires. Dunlops is $40 per set.

 

https://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/l/2019-Dunlop-Mar-Apr-Rebate-Info?il_source=tire-offer-landingpage&il_medium=main-2019-dunlop-mar-apr-street-promo

 

Roadsmart 3's from Rocky Mountain would be $298.11 delivered to your door, less rebate would be $258.11. If you have to have them installed by someone, then your $350 estimate seems about right.

 

Less than an hour ago I ordered a set of Bridgestone S-22's for my 4th Gen. from Rocky Mountain. Less the $60 per set rebate they come in at $170 delivered to my door. I do my own mounting and balancing as I go through a minimum of 3-4 tires a year, and by the third time I mounted a tire I had paid for my paddock changer and balancer.

 

FWIW in addition to having very good prices, Rocky Mountain handles sending in the rebate for you, which is one less thing to do and a nice gesture on their part.

 

Good luck with your new rubber.

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Done. Got new RoadSmart 3’s put on the bike and whoa mama, what a difference. The turn in responsiveness is really quick and the new tires have waaaaay better road feel. It’s like a different bike. Nice!

 

Thanks to all for input and advice. 

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