If you don’t have a tread-depth gauge, you can use a penny to check tread wear. Hold the penny with Lincoln’s head facing you and upside down over the tire. Stick it into a groove in the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is less than a sixteenth of an inch and you need new ones. Repeat this process on grooves across the width of the tire.
Motorcycle tires have wear bars that become visible when you have just 1/32nd of an inch of tread left. If you see wear bars, get thee to the tire store!
Check air pressure in your cold tires using an accurate air pressure gauge. Cold tires means that it’s been at least three hours since you rode the motorcycle. Under-inflated tires can overheat, wear out early, and cause unstable cornering. Over-inflated tires will give you a hard ride and cause premature tire wear. You’ll find the right tire pressure in your owner’s manual and on the bike’s chain guard, swing arm, or frame.
When you check pressure and tread, you might as well look for cracked, bent, or broken spokes.
To prevent catastrophic failure, tires that fail your inspection should be repaired or the tires replaced before you ride.
Some people say to check tread depth and air pressure weekly, but others suggest testing every time you ride. Can’t hurt!
Stay safe out there!