shifting-gears

SEASON 26 | EPISODE 11

Dave Hatch | Host 

david-hatch-whistle

 

Motorcycle Tire Maintenance for Touring

Shifting Gears Episode 11

Ken, this week you want to talk about tires: tire maintenance, tire pressure… when we’re in a long distance touring environment so why are tires and checking tire pressure so important when you’re out on the road.

Ken

Well, you only have two of them and unfortunately although they are a very expensive commodity they don’t last nearly as long as a car but we ask them to do an awful lot.  Perform, longevity.. so you can’t take them for granted.

Dave

Okay, so starting with the obvious, you’ve got a tire pressure gauge here. How often when you’re out touring, say you’re off for a two or three week ride… how often are you checking your tire pressures?

Ken

It’s only because of my own doing but I’m typically out there every morning before we’re going to ride out just to check to make sure nothing happened during the course of yesterday.

Dave

Right.

Ken

If there’s a leak developing I want to know about it before it exhibits the handling characteristics out there on the road.

Dave

Right.  Now let’s talk about that very quickly, if your tires are over-inflated you lose some of your handling right.

Ken

For sure.  It changes the profile of the motorcycle tire.  Most motorcycle tires are round and if you inflate them too much that round curvature has less contact patch.  Contact patch is something we say, it’s about the size of your hand.

Dave

Right.

Ken

So there’s not a lot to work with.  If you inflate it super hard it becomes a smaller contact patch, less then what you need to give you feedback on what you need for the road.

Dave

Under inflated – if they start going a it soft on you.

Ken

Very bad.  I mean it’s way over the weight limit of what the tire’s designed for if it hasn’t gotten the suggested pressures.  It can start to wobble, do damage to the rim, do damage to the ride.  It can be serious stuff.

Dave

And your expensive tires are going to wear out a lot faster.

Ken

Very very fast.  Heat and over weight on a tire are the biggest culprits.

Dave

Alright you know you’re checking them everyday when you’re out on the road. It looks like you take your own compressors to you can make things better fi they become under inflated.

Ken

For sure, depending on where you are, the next gas station, the next town, may be a half hour or so away yet.  If you go as far off the beaten path as I do.  I don’t even know where the next town is.

Dave

Right.

Ken

So anything I can do to keep myself going, it might just need a top-up. Somebody that has a bike that has put after market air suspension may ask if they need to have it boosted because they may have realized that they’ve over packed.

Dave

Right

Ken

So you can add on the go so even if it means stopping every fifteen minutes that’ll get you to that next town as opposed to a problem out in the middle of nowhere.

Dave

Okay so this one will plug right in to an accessory outlet.  Or in your case you’ve modified it to plug into your own wiring harness.

Ken

This is a very similar and standard plug design that you’ll see in a lot of automotive shops.  It happens to be the design for my battery charger for the bike so it works both ways.  And if not these also come with clips that have small alligator clips so you can clip them right on to the battery post.

Dave

Okay so you’re ready to pump up your tires pump up your suspension.

Ken

Pump it up.

Dave

And if you start to lose air, get a leak…

Ken

This is the most rudimentary package there is.  There are better ones on the market, just like anything else… the next size is about this size here and it is probably the best there is on the market and you should practice with them.  Some time when you’ve got the old tires put a hole in them and practice how to do it. They’re not that expensive to replace but make sure you’re comfortable doing it in your back yard as opposed to out on the road where it’ll run you madder.

Dave

Alright so we’ve got a tire repair kit and now we’re set for the open road. Great stuff.

RIDE GUIDE TO GASPÉ, QUEBEC

Gaspe is one place, as a motorcyclist you want to see, it’s a motorcycle mecca, it’s all about the ride. There’s a lot of history here as well but this one is all about the ride. You’re on the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, you’re on the coast of Baie des Chaleur. You can go in and out of the Gaspe peninsula on these various roads and you’re going to get changing scenery continuously so it’s a real cool place to go as a Motorcyclist.

TECH, GEAR & INNOVATION WITH HARLEY-DAVIDSON

Over the twelve part article Dave Hatch talks to Harley-Davidson about how to shop and fit a bike, get the right gear, suit up for the season and pick the right accessories for your ride. These riding tips will keep you safe and prepared but more than anything get the most out of your ride.

THE ART OF TOURING

Season 26’s “Winging It” was all about the art of touring and celebration of Honda’s iconic touring machine the Gold Wing’s 40th anniversiry. Ken Edick a veteran touring biker and owner of a Honda Gold Wing shares his best tips on touring. The tips include everything from the proper riding gear to take along on a long tour, the equipment, the additional tools and things to take along just to make sure that you keep moving and enjoying your experience.

Test Your Motorcycle Riding Skills

Recently we’ve been working on improving the riding skills of Anthony Mann by putting him through a series of motorcycle riding skills exercises designed by Matt Fletcher at Yamaha Motor Canada. Matt had hoped this friendly little challenge would show us all how we can become better riders when we practice our sport.  All you need is some open pavement like an empty parking lot and a couple of make shift cones or pylons.

PROUD SUPPORTER OF

The mission of the TELUS Ride For Dad is to raise funds to save men’s lives by supporting prostate cancer research and raising public awareness of the disease. Our goal is for men to continue to be there for their families and friends for years to come. The parade of vehicles grabs the attention of the masses and the media on ride day, the research helps find hope for the future and the awareness has the potential of saving men’s lives today.

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