Hello Peeps, September smashed in a second – at least for me it has been the fastest month of the year. The riding community is back in full force with sales of new bikes, accessories and, in our case, rubber on the increase with record sales since March being reported across most segments of our industry. This is great for the traders and the public as the competition between the traders ensures the most competitive prices in stores country wide.
As promised in the September issue, I would focus on tyre basics moving onto the more advanced aspects of tyre technology. Let’s start at the very beginning with the definition of a motorcycle tyre: A pneumatic motorcycle tyre is a flexible component of the wheel assembly made of rubber and reinforcing materials. Inflated with compressed air or nitrogen, it enables the wheel to carry the load and to transmit longitudinal and transversal forces to the rim and thus to the motorcycle.
The tyre performs 6 main functions that need to be assured in all circumstances of weather, temperature and road conditions long term, as well as being as puncture resistant a possible. So, if we want to put them into a numbered order, then supporting the load of the motorcycle, the rider, the pillion and luggage would be No 1. No 2 would be vehicle suspension like a spring, with shock absorbing qualities and the ability to damp unnecessary motions. Moving on to No 3 would be road holding and braking, the tyre transmits braking forces to the road surface through the footprint’s ability to match to road surface irregularities and to provide a high level of friction.
Moving on to No 4 would be lean & steer i.e. change and maintain trajectory through the footprint to provide stability and steering response.
No 5 one most understand: traction. It ensures the transmission of engine torque to the ground, lastly handling which enables lean and trajectory transitions.
No 1 – Support the Load of the motorcycle, the rider, the pillion and luggage is achieved by containing compressed air in a sealed volume, higher air pressure supports higher loads (within the prescribed inflation limits) bearing in mind the higher the air volume the higher the bearable load.
No 2 – Vehicle Suspension: like a spring, with a shock absorbing quality with the ability to reduce unnecessary motion.
No 3 – Road Holding & Braking: the tyre transmits braking forces to the road surface through the footprint’s ability to match to road surface irregularities and to provide a high level of friction.
No 4 – Lean and Steer: change and maintain trajectory through the footprint to provide stability and steering response.
No 5 -Traction: ensures the transmission of the engine power to the ground
No 6 – Handling: enables quick changes of lean angles and trajectory.
So that’s a brief wrap on the 6 main functions of a motorcycle tyre. Obviously each one of these points is a story on its own which we can look at in the future as promised but for now it’s just the basics.
I am off the computer and back to work as we are busy setting up the work shop in our Cape Town store which opens on the 1st October, but I am sure Sean and the chaps here at Ride Fast / Dirt & Trail magazine will be giving a heads up on all that in the November issues.
Take care out there, roll on the sunshine and open roads.
Bruce de Kock, Bike Tyre Warehouse
For more information on motorcycle tyre markings get in touch with your nearest branch.
MIDRAND & HEAD OFFICE