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Thread: Old Tires Stored inside and Look Like New

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Sacramento
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    Old Tires Stored inside and Look Like New

    Back when I was younger, I road 15 year old tires on motorcycles that sat outside. The tires were sometimes as hard as a rock. Never thought about it. I even road 4,000 miles on a set to Sturgis in back. Worried about many things but tires was not one of them. 10 years ago, I started paying attention to the aging tires. One thing I have noticed is, that tubeless modern tires seem to crack more than old bias ply tubed tires. Is it wrong for me to assume that 10 year old tires on a vintage bike stored inside is fine? Inspection of the tires look as good as new.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2

    Re: Old Tires Stored inside and Look Like New

    Some thoughts..

    I had to find 2 tires for my 741 Indian when I resurrected it after 20+ year storage. I found 2 tires in the shed. The first was a rear TT100 (road race compound) I'd partially used in 2002. The front was a Metzeler Comp-K (road race compound) date code 1992. These were fitted with new tubes and are still showing legal tread today. Although I'm older and sillier than ever, I don't try heroics on corners. Most of the cruising speed is 40 - 50mph given that it's a rigid/girder.

    Often heard stories about riders who'd put tires away in the cool & dark to age them. The idea was to allow them to harden up and consequently last longer. This was probably a good sounding idea in depression or war years but of course you'd have to be able to afford the tire in the first instance.

    Personally I'd fit them with new tubes, check the rim tapes, balance them and begin mindful that it won't have the same level of grip it once had.

  3. #3

    Re: Old Tires Stored inside and Look Like New

    Tires "gas out" over time, many of the chemicals that modify the rubber are petroleum-based and volatile. When the tire no longer smells bad, it's on the way out. A hard tire is a kiddy swing.
    Rubber also decays from sunlight and ozone.
    If you really need to do this, put them in a heavy walled opaque plastic bag and pressurized it.

  4. #4

    Re: Old Tires Stored inside and Look Like New

    I don't have a problem buying new tires, but when I was vintage road racing, there was a guy who resurrected his old RD350 race bike and was pretty fast on 10 year old tires. You just have to know what you are dealing with.
    1982 FXR - started restoration
    1979 FXS 1200 (1340) nearly done
    96" Evo Softail self built chopper
    2012 103" Road King "per diem"
    2003 Honda CRF230 dirt bike
    plus 11 other bikes over the years.

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