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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother just bought a used 1998 EX500D. The bike has a pair of pretty good-looking tires on it which have tons of tread left - I'd say greater than 90%. The wear bars aren't even close to the surface of either the front or the back. I believe that the front is an Avon and the rear is a Dunlop (don't quote me on that, cause I didn't write it down).

The question I have is - how old can tires get and still be considered serviceable? The front has a date code of 0504 (February 2004) and the rear has 3705 (September 2005). The bike was in storage for about 3 1/2 years prior to my brother purchasing it, and it was on the centerstand for the entire time. Pressure in the tires was around 10 PSI when he got it. He's brought them up to spec (32F, 36R) and I do not see anything which looks to me like dry-rot cracking.

Should the age of the tires be an issue? Should anything be done to them prior to riding?

Thanks!
 

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My understanding is any tire 5 years old should be replaced. If in doubt, spend the money for peace of mind rather than worry when riding out in the boonies.

Ozone and sunlight attack any rubber items on motorcycles like brake lines,tires,and carb intake ducting(boots).The oils that make rubber flexible evaporate/degrade are some of the reasons why they need replacing.
 

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ZX9R E1
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+1 on that info.
I picked up my zzr last year and tyres still looked new but from the DOT markings on the tyres they were 8 years old, old tyres discarded and new fitted.
 

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My brother just bought a used 1998 EX500D. The bike has a pair of pretty good-looking tires on it which have tons of tread left - I'd say greater than 90%. The wear bars aren't even close to the surface of either the front or the back. I believe that the front is an Avon and the rear is a Dunlop (don't quote me on that, cause I didn't write it down).

The question I have is - how old can tires get and still be considered serviceable? The front has a date code of 0504 (February 2004) and the rear has 3705 (September 2005). The bike was in storage for about 3 1/2 years prior to my brother purchasing it, and it was on the centerstand for the entire time. Pressure in the tires was around 10 PSI when he got it. He's brought them up to spec (32F, 36R) and I do not see anything which looks to me like dry-rot cracking.

Should the age of the tires be an issue? Should anything be done to them prior to riding?

Thanks!
I know a rider 'Of a Certain Age' in Bewdley in the UK with a variety of old Brit bikes including a BSA M20 (WW2 500 SV single) fitted with NOS block pattern front tyre that he bought in the early 1950s. This had been stored in it's original brown-paper wrapping and kept in the rafters of his old wooden shed !. As he says, he's not a man to waste money !.
 

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if bike is going to be used for transportation, & not playing I would use them. if however your planning to play & see excessive speeds, then I would recomend replacing them.

I know of so many bikes running tires 15 to 20 years old, I am taking classes on restoration & teacher is installing used 60 year old tires on the restored bike when we finish & he will be riding it up to 300 mile trips. the bike is a 1942 Harley Knucklehead.

when I used to work at an independent Harley shop, some people would replace their old tires because of wanting to change the tread design, sidewall style, or because of old tire, & always was was a good laugh to see who would get the take of tires. but that was just a bunch of cheap bikers that wouldnt go on long trips, other than to the beach, but really rodes their bikes everyday, & gladly accepted any cheap, / free, tires. never saw any old take off blow, but seen them patched from nails, etc...

would I run them? yes, but I wouldnt go across country with them. but for riding within a few hours drive, & at speeds of traffic flow, & not over 80mph or so, I would use them.

if your even thinking of going past 100mph????? replace them!!!!!! but for leisure riding dont worry...

are you planning to lay bike down hard in curves????? if so you want the best you can afford! if your not planning to lay low, & just ride normal dont worry...

Thats my .02 cents worth......

I have a 61 panhead, the tires on it are at least 15 to 20 years old, as I have owned it at least 11 years, & I knew of bike many years before & it has the same tires on it. & if I wanted to put tags on it I would ride it across country in a heart beat but I would replace the tubes. the last big trip it did was a 1,400 mile weekend trip about 13 years ago on those tires & the guy was worried a tube might blow then, but they are still on it & holding air but bike isnt tagged & has only been ridden maybe 100 miles in last 11 years & is stored inside.

I have a 1942 flathead chopper, I built from ground up, & I put brand new tires on it, & never rode it. they have been on it for around 20 years, & still hold air, but I would replace the tubes before I went on a trip, the bike is sitting, & has never had oil put in, nor acid in battery, nor oil in transmission, its all waiting to go, but I never got it running, but it was completed in late 1980's

on bikes I rode, tires never lasted me more than 2 years..... :) & I only used 1 free used tire & didnt have any problems, all the rest of the tires I bought new, & only 1 time did I take a free tire when was money was tight.

Later,
Randy
 

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Tyres

Hello, here is a link that has plenty of useful information on tires hope it helps with your decision to keep them or not. Tires may look in great condition but that is no indication of the condition of the rubber down to the chemical level. My advice will be to match your front and rear and buy new ones from a reputable source. .: Motorcycle Tire Tips | Canyon Chasers Motorcycle Sport Touring :.
 

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if bike is going to be used for transportation, & not playing I would use them. if however your planning to play & see excessive speeds, then I would recomend replacing them.
I feel the same way about tires even though it's recommended to replace them. At one point my bike was stored for several years. When I got it on the road again, it's tires were around 10 years old. There were no visual signs of dry rot/cracking and I rode those tires until they needed replacing due to tread wear. It was all local riding and never exceeded 200 miles per day. If you plan on excessive speed or hitting the twisties aggressively, then I'd say change them now but for local cruising and mild cornering I'd run them. But that's me.

I've also had trailers of some sort for most of my life and never worn a set of trailer tires out due to tread wear. It's always been because of dry rot or destroyed from having a flat at highway speeds with a heavy load on and couldn't get stopped in time to save the tire. I've put some major stress on some of those old tires with some pretty hefty loads and not had any problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the feedback. My brother actually pulled the tires/rims off of the bike and brought them to a local shop who I've had really good experiences with. The owner looked them over and told him that they would be good for at least two seasons of use, despite their age.

To be honest, if this were my bike, I'd probably replace them since I know that the tread compound takes a beating from all of the elements listed above. But the bike's rider is not the adventurous type and probably won't even have the bike out on the highway, or much above 40 MPH, so there probably isn't too much risk.
 

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The original Bridgestone tires on my 1985 Kawasaki ZN700 have 1300 miles on them and they look like new. It was stored in a barn in Wisconsin and I think the cold weather helped preserve them. They look like new and I hate to replace them but I forced myself to buy some new Metzler Lasertecs and now have to install them.
 

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I know this is an old thread but I just bought a 1982 motorcycle with original tires and was looking for advice. My instinct is to change the tires but surprisingly there are no signs of age on them. No cracking at all. The bike has been stored in a barn since the eighties. I too have seen examples of classic bikes equipped with very old tires. The admonition above to use new inner tubes helps square that discrepancy to me. It seems to me that most classic bikes had wire spoke wheels with inner tubes. New inner tubes would minimize the risk of a blow out even if the tire fails. On a bike with tubeless tires, however, a failure of the sidewall could be disastrous. The bike I bought has 32 year old tubeless tires so they will be replaced right away.
 
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