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Thread: tire age reality vs manufacturer hype

  1. #1

    tire age reality vs manufacturer hype

    So the new tires arrived today as did the last of the tools to DIY on the R1100S. I will be replacing the Michelin road pilot 4 2ct as the front tire wear bars are close. The DOT manufacturing date on the old tires on the bike I bought a few years ago say they are 7 and 8 years old. The guy I bought it from had it garaged as do I. I just wonder if the manufacturer hype re 5 years is valid? Can tires last longer if out of solar degradation, or do the compounds really deteriorate even in a controlled warehoused environment? When I take the bike out and ride, I enjoy my twisty 2 lane roads at old guy speeds,(no knee drags). Messed up fire smoke here for the last few years so not a lot of miles done. Just wondering if the rubber goes bad regardless.

  2. #2
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Ozone and oxygen in the air cause the rubber to break down, sunlight doesn't help. I suppose if you stored them in argon or some other non-reactive gas that would stop the oxidation, but plasticizers would still outgas and they would continue to cure albeit extremely slowly. So they'd eventually crack and harden no matter what. Check out the tires on an airplane on static display, even the ones indoors are hard as rocks and you know they weren't made that way.
    2020 R1250 GSA Low

  3. #3
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    Over 10 might be questionable but it depends. In 1981 i bought a very low mileage stolen in the 1960's, stripped, and stored away Duo Glide Harley(yes a barn find). It had the original rear tire from 1964 still on it. It still looked good and i ran it until it wore out after i got the bike put back together. If the tire is showing cracks or dry rot though, it's time for it to go.

  4. #4
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    I'm in a somewhat similar boat. As life sometimes does, it threw me a curve ball and my bike sat parked for 5-6 years in the garage. I had the tires replaced right before the bike was parked. So now they are about 7ish years old. From what I read, tires can last 6-7 years if properly maintained in environmentally controlled storage.

    Here's a side story. I had a '96 BMW 328i convertible as a weekend car before I got back in to riding. I was putting very few miles on the car a year. After about 7-8 years, the tires still looked good (had no side wall cracking and plenty of tread). First incident. I got caught in a sudden rain storm (heavy down pour), when I made a typical left turn, I lost control and the rear fishtailed for a short bit. I was headed toward a light pole when I regained control. Scared the crap out me. A few weeks later, I was making a right turn on wet (not raining) roads. The road had a slight slope, but really not steep. When I gave the car gas, the rear tires spun. I the 7-8 years I had the car, I was never able spin the rear tires, and yes I tried (the car had an automatic, so I couldn't just pop the clutch). The tire compound had gotten old, hard, and had less grip even though the tires looked like they were in good shape. I replaced the tires ASAP, and did not ride on wet roads until then.

    Fast forward to today. My bikes tires looked new and had less than 100 miles on them when the bike came out of storage. The tires still look great. No side wall cracks, no discoloring that typically comes from oxidation, etc. Yes, I rode on these tires, but with one very important understanding. NO RIDING IN THE RAIN AND BE VERY CAREFUL ON WET ROADS. Your tires, while probably look good and would handle OK in warm weather conditions, but would probably not be OK to ride in the rain or on wet roads. If it were me, I'd put new tires on and have that peace of mind to not worry about wet road conditions. That's my two-cents. And, I have new tires on order for my bike.
    Last edited by 88bmwjeff; 10-27-2021 at 03:26 PM.
    Jeff in W.C.
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  5. #5
    Registered User
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    This something I have wonder myself. Tires with low mileage, no cracking and stored indoors how long do they last?

  6. #6

    Thanks

    Just spent my afternoon putting my winter tires and wheels on the car. Blizzaks. I still am getting some 60F's this week after the west coast storm. Gonna ride the 7 and 8 year old motorcycle tires this week before the replacement. Maybe replace just the front(most wear) then later the rear, Scary stories re crashing on slippery new tire rubber mold release and other stuff. Keerapp I rode my 75/6 from Cali to Canada and back and commuted years thereafter W/O worry about tires. Guess I won't worry now. thanks for replies

  7. #7
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    Received a tire from Dunlop. Date code 2013, call Dunlop rep said it's OK to use it's warranted. Go figure. I bet you it I told them I had it sitting around I would of got a different answer. My guess is the next year or so you will be seeing a lot of vehicles out the with not so good tires on them with the tire shortage going on.

  8. #8
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k1200lt00 View Post
    Received a tire from Dunlop. Date code 2013, call Dunlop rep said it's OK to use it's warranted. Go figure. I bet you it I told them I had it sitting around I would of got a different answer. My guess is the next year or so you will be seeing a lot of vehicles out the with not so good tires on them with the tire shortage going on.
    Document that conversation. If the tire fails you will have a record of their negligence.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  9. #9
    Left Coast Rider
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    Anyone rolling around on 5 year old (or older) rubber is.....

    1. Not riding enough, and
    2. Not placing enough value on the performance improvements of newer rubber

  10. #10
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    I still have a stack of Michelin Desert knobbies for my 525 that weren't used in the cancelled '08 Dakar. Yeah I still run them and they're pretty much ok but I haven't tried to see how they stick in the wet.
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  11. #11
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quiz Question: "What is the cheapest thing on a BMW motorcycle?"

    10 Points for the correct answer.

    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  12. #12
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Quiz Question: "What is the cheapest thing on a BMW motorcycle?"

    10 Points for the correct answer.

    The owner

  13. #13
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
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    This past June I put my last set of new tires on my K1200LT that I had on the shelf. They were 6 years old. I rode about 6000 miles going out west and back and over 2000 miles of rain the first week of July in the mountains in Colorado, New Mexico & Arizona. I run the Bridgestone BT020 on the rear and the Metzler ME880 on the front. The ME880 is no longer available. I normally get around 15,000 to 18,000 miles out of this combination of tires. I couldn't tell any difference with these tires or tires I have installed that were less than a year old. I have about 10,000 miles on them now and it looks like I'll get at least 15,000 miles on them before they get near the wear bars.
    Dave Selvig
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  14. #14
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I find it amazing when I check the dates on things. Especially important for online purchases.
    Always good to check on your purchases “freshness” be it tires, batteries or toner cartridges.
    OM
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  15. #15
    There are things to go cheap on. For instance, after putting on my crash bars, I thought I could use some foot pegs on them. $300 for the Ilium ones, that do look very nice, however J&P had a set for under $30, so I went with them.

    Tires, on the other hand, is not where I'm looking for cheap. For tires, I'm looking for good, better, or preferably best. Just one man's opinion. I never go cheap on tires.

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