Dot number tire dating

Life's too short to only own one motorcycle, right? If you own a bike that only does a couple of thousand miles a year, should you wait until the tires are worn out before you replace them? New tires may take up to six weeks to 'cure' properly for their desired properties to fully develop. Tire rubber is a complex compound blended with additives and modifiers to give the tire a desired mix of properties like grip, flexibility, compliance, comfort, stability and so on.For example, a tire with the digits 2510 was made in the 25th week of 2010.Instead of grabbing a calendar and counting out the weeks to determine the month, you can simply divide the number of weeks by 4.3.When you purchase tires from a dealer, you can expect that they will be between 18 months and 5 years old, so make a note of it to remind yourself when you’ll definitely need to replace them.

So how can you tell when your tires are due for replacement?

From 2000 on, the code is four digits long (though some manufacturers didn't start stamping four numbers until late in that year); and so, for another example, my Sprint ST's back tire is a '4704,' created in week 47 of 2004. I have a pile of older rubber awaiting disposal in the back of the Big Shed with year codes that could indicate manufacture in either the Disco or Glam Rock era, but I can't tell. The Sprint ST's front skin reads ' DOT ENYO VLK 1704.' We're interested in the first two letters after DOT and the date code. However, I've also met a motorcycle rental fleet owner who asked me if I thought he could run his bikes' tires at a lower than recommended pressure on the assumption this would reduce wear (and hence his costs).

The remaining characters identify the size and type of tire using codes specific to the manufacturer. He assumed that a lower pressure would increase the size of the contact patch and therefore counter the tendency of the tires to 'square off.' He was right about the first part: under inflating will increase contact patch on the basis that, within limits, the contact patch area in square inches is the load on the tire in pounds divided by the tire pressure in pounds per square inch.

When it comes to motorcycle safety, the tires you use are an integral part of keeping your bike on the road.

Everything from the type of tire and the tread can affect its ability to stay on the road, and its age plays a role as well.

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All chemical reactions proceed faster at higher temperatures; and sunlight, especially the ultraviolet component, also promotes deterioration.

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