Old tires

Roy

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
81
Reaction score
110
Points
33
Location
Colorado
How old is too old when it comes to tires? My xs1-b has tires that look brand new, but they are date stamped seventeen years old. There are no visible cracks ,but they seem hard.
 
How old is too old when it comes to tires? My xs1-b has tires that look brand new, but they are date stamped seventeen years old. There are no visible cracks ,but they seem hard.
Yes, they are hard; very hard. After 17 years they won't give you adequate traction in corners and will be prone to failure if you hit a sharp indentation in the road. Best to replace asap.


.
 
How old is too old when it comes to tires? My xs1-b has tires that look brand new, but they are date stamped seventeen years old. There are no visible cracks ,but they seem hard.
I'd like to add that many times although the tires seem supple, the belts can de-laminate and at speed.......just trust me, I've had it happen. I won't ride or drive on a tire, at speed, if it's over 7 years old.
 
Picked up my bike in February, been working on it since, took my first test ride this past weekend. First phase of restore complete. Phase two involves tire replacement among other things. My current tires have tread that is like new, but they are date stamped 1978. They look so nice it's a shame to get rid of them, they'd be a great set for a bike going to a museum!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_5362.JPG
    IMG_5362.JPG
    632.8 KB · Views: 52
Picked up my bike in February, been working on it since, took my first test ride this past weekend. First phase of restore complete. Phase two involves tire replacement among other things. My current tires have tread that is like new, but they are date stamped 1978. They look so nice it's a shame to get rid of them, they'd be a great set for a bike going to a museum!
Great idea.
 
It’s not so much the date they were made, more how they were stored. UV light really does a number on rubber.

If they are hard, replace. It’s cheap insurance.
Yep, UV light and heat are big tire killers. The tires on my SG are about 10yrs old now... but I know how they were stored. And... I'm not much of a knee dragger anymore. I feel safe on 'em. I've bought a new front and will prolly get a new rear this year... but meantime I'll run these old ones. If I didn't know their history, I wouldn't even think about taking a chance on 'em.

Tire age... let's open up the "Shop Manual."


 
The main problem I see with old tires is they can be very difficult to remove. I no longer fight with tires, instead I go straight for the Jigsaw!
Jig.jpg

A jigsaw blade with teeth will not cut tires easily, just bounchs you and the saw about. I take an old metal cutting jigsaw blade and grind the teeth off to give a knife edge. I then punchure the tire wall about an inch from the tread edge with a 10mm drill bit, insert the jigsaw blade and cut around the tyre. This is a very quick operation, about 1 minute, and requires no lubricant for the blade. The tyre bead with approximately 1 - 2 inches of tire wall comes off first followed by the other bead with the majority of the tire. Amazing how easily they both drop off the rim.
 
The main problem I see with old tires is they can be very difficult to remove. I no longer fight with tires, instead I go straight for the Jigsaw!
View attachment 246542

A jigsaw blade with teeth will not cut tires easily, just bounchs you and the saw about. I take an old metal cutting jigsaw blade and grind the teeth off to give a knife edge. I then punchure the tire wall about an inch from the tread edge with a 10mm drill bit, insert the jigsaw blade and cut around the tyre. This is a very quick operation, about 1 minute, and requires no lubricant for the blade. The tyre bead with approximately 1 - 2 inches of tire wall comes off first followed by the other bead with the majority of the tire. Amazing how easily they both drop off the rim.
Years ago on one of my cars, I had Bridgestone run flat tires that needed replacement. Two tire shops were not able to remove the tires from the rims because: the thick sidewall of the tires + low profile + offset of my wheels. In the process of trying, they damaged one of my custom wheels 🤬. There’s little mystery to how run flat tires work. The side walls are about 1/2 thick rubber, reinforced with steel, so if the air escapes, you ride on the rubber side walls. I did as @Paul Sutton suggests and used a jig saw to cut the cap / tread from the sidewalls. I was able to use a metal cutting blade. I then freed the sidewalls from the rims and a combination of a zip wheel on my angle grinder and big bolt cutters for the beads and the tires were defeated. Should have kept pictures.
 
I had a front wheel that had cracks in it . I was told at the yearly inspection about it but passed the test
No wear and hard No idea how old it was
But new tires are not so expensive in relation to other costs

I lost the front wheel once and been sliding a bit on the road white markings and steel manhole covers.
I Dont drive aggressively on the XS and do not lean in the wet .
But all in all its not worth it using old tires there can come the situation needing to brake in the wet avoiding a collision
and you smash up the bike and worse yourself
Im all for using parts long time and put in work to do so But not the tires.
Once entered a roundabout rather fast 60 - 70 Km / h with a flat -- on the rear half the air was out. Did not notice it going straight
But wobbled a bit in the roundabout
 
It’s not so much the date they were made, more how they were stored. UV light really does a number on rubber.

If they are hard, replace. It’s cheap insurance.
Ahh. That's really helpful. When we picked up "Rusty" end of February she had "brand new" tires on her -- except they were brand new when she was parked, at least 10 years ago. I need to find the codes and see how old they really are. Last inspection sticker's 1992. So the "new" tires are 10+ years old, but shed kept, no windows, and inflated to less than 10 PSI. They're super soft and squishy. May replace them anyway. Looks odd to me. Too round a profile -- like there's too little surface area touching the ground. Will post stats for suggestions once I get the info off em.
 
Edit: Oops! Just found the thread "Tire Recommendations? Daily Functionality, Vintage Look. 83 Heritage Special"

Cheng Shin tires (From another forum, "They contract manufacture tires for many brands. CST owns Maxxis and created it to be their premium brand."

Mfg in July of 06 if I'm reading this right? 19" front, 16" rear. Suggestions for replacements? No noticeable wear, feel pliable, stored at app 9 PSI, however. OLD. Insurance deductible worse option than cost of new tires.

IMG_20240407_111706873.jpg
IMG_20240407_111954204.jpg
IMG_20240407_111942195.jpg
IMG_20240407_112027672.jpg
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20240407_112013547.jpg
    IMG_20240407_112013547.jpg
    204.1 KB · Views: 11
  • IMG_20240407_112026371.jpg
    IMG_20240407_112026371.jpg
    156 KB · Views: 14
Last edited:
Edit: Oops! Just found the thread "Tire Recommendations? Daily Functionality, Vintage Look. 83 Heritage Special"

Cheng Shin tires (From another forum, "They contract manufacture tires for many brands. CST owns Maxxis and created it to be their premium brand."

Mfg in July of 06 if I'm reading this right? 19" front, 16" rear. Suggestions for replacements? No noticeable wear, feel pliable, stored at app 9 PSI, however. OLD. Insurance deductible worse option than cost of new tires.

View attachment 322781 View attachment 322776 View attachment 322780 View attachment 322779
You will get varied opinions here regarding your tires.
The profile looks just fine to me.
18 years is a LOT of years, however I would not be quick to toss them out if they seem pliable. There is a measurement device called a tire durometer which assesses hardness; maybe you could find someone who has one to borrow.
Look at the sidewalls; if there is any cracking, then they are toast IMHO.
If you are planning to take corners fast, then I would consider tossing them.


.
 
How old is too old when it comes to tires? My xs1-b has tires that look brand new, but they are date stamped seventeen years old. There are no visible cracks ,but they seem hard.
Any tire that old is toast. The chemical compounds will have deteriorated beyond their lifecycle for use. Change the sooner than later. I rode in old rubber half that age and ended up on my arse.
 
Depends on make and how stored.
I ran an ancient Continental Blitz tyre that arrived with a wheel I'd bought. It was nearly new, so after careful examination I used it.
No worries for about 8000 miles then it turned evil, so I binned it.
 
On my ‘95 Honda Shadow (that just returned to the road yesterday), the tires had less than 2,000 miles and showed no visible signs of age. When I jammed my fingernail into the tread, the rubber was quite soft. I felt bad removing them and throwing them out, but for the price of new ones it wasn’t worth the risk. I kept costs down by swapping and balancing them myself. If I had kept them and had one mishap, I’d never forgive myself.
 
Back
Top