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My personal limit is five years for car tires, three for motorcycle tires, no matter what they look like.

In every case, the difference between the old rubber and the fresh buns was quite noticeable while changing and when riding, even when the old stuff wasn't really worn.


It's your bike and your money, so do what you want.
 

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Almost every manufacturer of tires states tires over 6 years (my mistake) Firestone/ Bridgestone says 5 should not be put into service and that no tire over ten years old should ever be in service. All of which is backed up by NHTSA research and recommendation.

I also know from being a service manager that any tire found to be over 5 years old in stock at any Firestone is to be returned and destroyed.
"Should" it is suggestive and not definitive.
 

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I also debated on this tire age issue. My tires (Stock Battlewings) were going on 5 years old when I bought my '15 DL1000 with 5 miles off the showroom floor last Fall. They'll be 7 years old in April 2020. With 3,000 miles/6years on them, I was preparing for a 2,000-mile solo trip and thought about replacing them even though they were barely worn. But, I also considered they hadn't been ridden and had spent their first few years of life indoors.

I decided to just leave them on for the trip and for the rest of the year and keep eye on them. I am going to replace them early next Spring. I figure they'll have about 7,000 miles by then and it looks like they'll last. Rear's a little squared off due to riding in a continuous straight line across Kansas and Eastern Colorado but I've noticed no effect on handling. Tread's still plenty good on both and they pass "the fingernail test."

I'd never been in this situation before where I considered changing tires due to their age rather than wear/damage. I rode dualsports for years: tires were cheap and I changed my own so it wasn't uncommon for me to change tires every year (or twice a year) just to try something different to see if I liked it.

I doubt I'll encounter this tire age scenario again and must say even though I've got no complaints with the ones on the bike now, I am looking forward to some new tires. What I am not looking forward to is trying to decide what tires to get!

Although I didn't really follow my own advice, it would be "If in doubt, replace them."

OP, I don't know who it was who commented on your tires hardening up, but unless they're in a position to benefit from selling you a new set of tires, they probably had no other reason to point this out to you other than being concerned for your safety so they may very well be right.
 

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Tires get hard with age, its apparent once you shod on some new ones. My 97 Valkyrie had 13 year old tires when I got it, not a single crack was to be found on those tires, but man they were hard as rocks I tell ya. Your loss of grip/traction will be apparent with old hard tires vs newer tires with more pliable/softer rubber, plus the overall quality of ride is quite obvious as well.
 

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Not me

Perhaps in my youth, when money was tight and I healed quickly, my decision would have been different. But I'm no longer willing to risk my neck and perhaps life for a couple hundred bucks.

Even on the car. Had some 9-year-old tires on our CRV. Still plenty of tread left, but seeing cracks between the tread blocks and on the sidewalls. Had over 70,000 miles on them, so we'd gotten our money's worth. If the new ones last the same, probably outlast the car. So we spent the money sooner, but we'd have spent it eventually. The new ones ride quieter, have better traction in the wet and dry (and hopefully the snow, when it gets here) and presumably will be more resistant to road damage and puncture.

I was raised to be thrifty. So spending money when I don't absolutely have to goes against my nature. But I'm willing to overcome that nature in a good cause.

Everybody gets to make their own choices. Sure, an excellent rider can compensate for deficient traction through superior skill. Not many riders are going 10/10ths. You want to ride on old hard tires, no one is gonna stop you. But that is probably not what a smart, careful rider does. Kind of like the saying that there are no old, bold pilots.
 

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New tires could be cheaper than a insurance claim and lost income should the worst happen.
 

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"You feel lucky kid?" Inspector Harry Callaghan.

"If you have a $10 head, go ahead and buy a $10 helmet." Words to live by back in the day.

I say, if there's any doubt or question, riding with confidence in your equipment is essential. Motorcycling is already inherently dangerous. Don't make it more so.
 

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The reason tires 'harden' over time is because from the minute they are manufactured and cured in the molds, they slowly begin to lose the chemicals and oils that are so important to tire performance. The chemicals/oils are volatile compounds and will flash out of the tire.

Have you ever noticed a blueish sheen to a tire? That is the volatile chemicals/oils flashing to the surface. Increased tire age equals less of the compounds that make the tire work properly.
 

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:new_shitsmiley:

Interesting answers on here. If you're trying to keep up with your sport bike friends or really pushing them hard, you might want to replace them for optimal performance. If it were mine, I'd ride and use them up. Tires age, but 6 years indoors will not make that much of a difference that you need to trash them.

Cracks me up when I see the posts about not letting tires touch the ground while stored. Think about it. Can a 4 or 500 pound bike cause a flat spot on a rubber tire? :beatdeadhorse5:
 

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What is interesting that it was posted that some manufacturers mandate that if a new tire is not installed by 60 months it must be returned to be destroyed. Does this mean it is okay to sell tires that are 59 months old knowing full well the buyer will not wear them out in one month? If that is the case what is the average duration a tire is on a vehicle 36, 48, 60 months? Even if its on the lower side say 36 months would that not then tell us that tires are safe to use well beyond the 60 month mark?
 

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:new_shitsmiley:

Interesting answers on here. If you're trying to keep up with your sport bike friends or really pushing them hard, you might want to replace them for optimal performance. If it were mine, I'd ride and use them up. Tires age, but 6 years indoors will not make that much of a difference that you need to trash them.

Cracks me up when I see the posts about not letting tires touch the ground while stored. Think about it. Can a 4 or 500 pound bike cause a flat spot on a rubber tire? :beatdeadhorse5:
Flat spots even in cars are from the bias ply tires of days long gone.
 

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What is interesting that it was posted that some manufacturers mandate that if a new tire is not installed by 60 months it must be returned to be destroyed. Does this mean it is okay to sell tires that are 59 months old knowing full well the buyer will not wear them out in one month? If that is the case what is the average duration a tire is on a vehicle 36, 48, 60 months? Even if its on the lower side say 36 months would that not then tell us that tires are safe to use well beyond the 60 month mark?
It's like that expiration date on your can of beans. They have to pick a date, and it is likely a conservative one.
 

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Another angle on this endless debate... (I think the OP is long gone and decided to change the tires, FWIW.)

I'm firmly in the "replace them" camp. One reason for this is mental: if you are wasting one iota of your brain's bandwidth thinking about your tires or if you have the slightest doubt in the quality of the rubber beneath you, it WILL negatively affect your riding and your safety. Spend the money a little sooner so you can concentrate 100% on riding. If you're really frugal, learn to change your own tires; you'll save a ton of money and you'll do a FAR better job overall than any shop.


Secondly, statements along the lines of "I don't ride aggressively, so I don't need to worry about slippery hardened old tires" are complete nonsense. In a post-apocalyptic wasteland with no drivers, animals, children, trees, dirt, etc. then perhaps you might get the chance to choose your environment and how much traction you're using 100% of the time. Or maybe you only ride gently on a gently curved road within the confines of a private fenced estate in Kansas or something.

Out here in the real world, you do not get that choice. Even the mildest milquetoast rider WILL frequently encounter the need to maneuver and brake hard and MUST be ready and able to do so.

You see the same flawed reasoning when discussing suspension upgrades, brake upgrades, skills improvement, etc. "I don't hoon around like some of you animals, so Suzuki's entirely inadequate springing doesn't bother me".
 

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I bought a bike with PR3's fitted from 2012, can't be more than 1000 miles on them, they feel fine and I don't ride like Rossi so I'm going to run them out for this season, I have around 1500 miles put on them, I'll fit new rubber next Spring,I see the logic of the argument but for me these will do the job this year.
 

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I bought a bike with PR3's fitted from 2012, can't be more than 1000 miles on them, they feel fine and I don't ride like Rossi so I'm going to run them out for this season, I have around 1500 miles put on them, I'll fit new rubber next Spring,I see the logic of the argument but for me these will do the job this year.
Biggest risk is in the wet, and that's not an opinion......good luck and be safe.
 

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Flat spots even in cars are from the bias ply tires of days long gone.
I have seen just as many radial tires "flat spot" as the bias ply did. I was in the car business for years, and that is a continuing problem.
 

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Car tires and bike tires have a lot different mission. A car tire can slide a little....and the driver should be able to adjust for that. If a bike tire slides....it too often does it in a way that there is little chance for the rider to compensate. Old, hard tires will slide easier. Especially in less than optimum traction like damp or wet road. There IS a difference in how well really old tires grip.

I have tires that are over 20 years old on my Shelby. But they are in the garage about all the time.......and yes they are hard. But they do even better burnouts! Which I think I will tell the next Officer about...Officer, I need to heat these tires up ever so often as they are old and the burnouts renew the rubber!
 
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