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Took my first ride yesterday…our first 70 F day since October.

I bought this bike last year with one new front tire and a rear tire that has great tread (probably 70% remaining) but lots of cracks in the sidewalls. I rode it the rest of the season, and now I am wondering if I should replace it. I hate to waste a tire with good tread. Is there something I can do to avoid replacing the tire? Perhaps a can of Fix-A-Flat to coat the inside?
 

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If you're only riding local and you keep an eye on them and gauge them everyday, you may safely get some more mileage out of the tires.

I replace my tires when they start showing signs of sidewall fatigue. Especially the front tire.

On my 950, I was getting approx 14k miles on the rear tire. At 27k my front tire still had a lot of usable tread, but the sidewalls were cracking (this was a little over 2 years of use) and I replaced it. It's just not worth taking the risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you're only riding local and you keep an eye on them and gauge them everyday, you may safely get some more mileage out of the tires.

I replace my tires when they start showing signs of sidewall fatigue. Especially the front tire.

On my 950, I was getting approx 14k miles on the rear tire. At 27k my front tire still had a lot of usable tread, but the sidewalls were cracking (this was a little over 2 years of use) and I replaced it. It's just not worth taking the risk.
Yeah, I am sure you are right. I am just trying to be cheap and not wasteful. I plan on some longer trips this year, so I better replace it.

950…almost bought one of those…wanted the slightly better fuel mileage and fuel injection…however, I could not find one for less than $6000 used. I had an accident in 2012 and am easing my way back in, so if I did not want to continue, I was not interested in such an investment. I only paid $3200 for my '04 1100. Love the belt drive and bigger bags. Perhaps a 1300 Tourer in a few years…or a Gold Wing??
 

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The 950 is a great bike, but for me, it wasn't "the bike".

I stopped riding back in the 80's because I just didn't have the money to buy a cycle after I got married. In 2012, I needed some cheap dependable transportation and living in Florida made the transition back to a motorcycle make sense.

I rode the 950 for just over 2 years and put 30k on it. One day last November I took it in for a belt adjustment and saw a leftover 2013 Stratoliner on sale for just under $13k. Traded the 950 in that morning.

The Strat is "the bike"--at least it is for me.

A lot of guys have been saying good things about the 1300. I would have probably past over the 950 for one of them had they not been water cooled. I've had no experience with them and being my first bike in over 25 years, didn't want to experiment at that time. Air cooled are a time tested design and have given me good service for years.
 

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I have a friend with a Harley Bagger and his rear tire was in similar shape. Not wanting to spend the money he threw caution to the wind
and on the way home from work one day the rear tire went down on him mid corner. He said he could not feel anything wrong until the rear started to wiggle a little bit, Less than 2 minutes later it was on the rim
Right as he entered the curve. The bike went wide (little control)
Almost high sided, Ran over the curb and was barely able to stop just
before the speed sign. Damaged the rear rim, he was shook up.

All toll it cost him a New tire and used rim. $225 for the tire and $75 for the rim. So a $300 dollar lesson that almost got him but good.

He said he never will run tires like that again. I don't blame him.
When I bought my 650 both tires were good brand name , near new and that fact alone was one of the reasons I purchased it.

Learn to read the tire date codes, These can tell a lot more of the story rather than looks or tread.
 

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What He said AMEN !
 

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All fix-a-flat is going to do is coat the inside of your tube unless you've got a solid rim and are running tubeless.
Either way, it's not going to help the strength of the sidewall.
If the sidewall comes apart, the tube will blow.

Most PA inspection stations will not pass a bike with cracked sidewalls.

I agree that all riders should know how to read the tire date codes.
It's a 5 minute deal and the information is all over the internet.
Some of these tires lay around for years in the wharehouse before being sold.
Even with 33K on the bike, you might be surprised and find that you're riding on an 11 year old tire.

Why take the chance?
 

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We here in the know weigh the difference between safety and longevity when it comes to tires.

NEVER compromise Safety over longevity for any reason.

A blown tire at highway speeds with a passenger on board can
be horrific . Is it really worth the cost? NO.

Even if motorcycle tires Were $500 each it would still be a no brainer.

jake :D
 

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an old mechanic who taught me much about bikes once said, "a bad tire with good tread is still a bad tire, dont be cheap and dont make me tell you again."
 

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Yeah, I am sure you are right. I am just trying to be cheap and not wasteful. I plan on some longer trips this year, so I better replace it.

950…almost bought one of those…wanted the slightly better fuel mileage and fuel injection…however, I could not find one for less than $6000 used. I had an accident in 2012 and am easing my way back in, so if I did not want to continue, I was not interested in such an investment. I only paid $3200 for my '04 1100. Love the belt drive and bigger bags. Perhaps a 1300 Tourer in a few years…or a Gold Wing??
I too recently "re-entered", bought an '04 1100 for similar reasons, and paid roughly the same as you... So obviously: good choice!

Having said that - not worth the risk. Replace 'em.
 

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I like that the oldest (added) part on my bike is the Rear tail light and even though it's for a 47 to 54 Harley it still is only one year old.

Tires are probably the most reasons riders have accidents.

Not including those situations caused by drivers that do not see motorcyclist....

It is common for people to look at tires and then Say "They look fine to me they should last a few more thousand miles".

The true age in years has nothing to do with how much tread remains....:D
 

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+1 on replacing the tire. Cracks in the sidewall mean that the tire has dry rot and will not grip the road as it should. It can be very dangerous to continue to ride on it (don't ask me how I know- just trust me, I know).
 
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