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Not sure why I thought this, but somewhere along the line I was told, or read, that 3mm was the legal depth for tires. I've got Shinko 705's that have performed very well. They have an average of 3.5mm left on the rear. The front looks almost new, so I haven't even measured them.

I want to take one more trip before colder weather sets in here in Northern Michigan. It'll be around 2,000 miles. I've got a new set of tires that I was planning to put on next spring, so I could replace them now if needed.

I've done some reading, and apparently, I was dead wrong about the legal depth. I guess it's 1mm. Looks like I've got plenty of tread for one more trip. I've got 4,000 miles this summer on the 705's that were new this year (or maybe at the end of last fall. Can't remember -- getting old, don't you know) I'd like to take this trip now and maybe another one next spring before I change to new tires for a run up to Alaska again if the crazy governments finally open the borders.

Can anyone confirm the legal depth. If it's 1mm, I will, probably, just keep riding till it gets to, at least, 2mm.

Thanks, KorKoro
 

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Legal tread depth? Never knew there was such a thing. Thought it was just a matter of self preservation not to run bald tires. I'd put the new ones on, if for no other reason than you will be safer in the rain.
 

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When the 'wear bars' show is what I understand.
My state inspection guy will not pass my bike if the wear bars are showing.
 

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According to this, it's determined at both a state and a national level, but averages close to 2/32", or 1.6mm. At 3.5mm on your tires, you are more than twice the generalized legal minimum.

I'd like to meet the LEO that tickets a rider for not meeting min tread depth reqs

Hope this helps!
 

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Oddly, dry traction often increases as the tire wears. But wet traction decreases, of course. If I rode in the rain regularly, I don't think I'd wait to change the tires until they were down to the wear bars. The tires with less tread would likely do less well in off-road circumstances as well, and possibly be more prone to puncture.
 

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My firm personal policy is to change tires the second I have the least shred of doubt.

Change 'em.

Also, even though you're technically "legal" (according to regs written for car tires), wet traction is already compromised and you're at far greater risk for flats when the tread gets that thin. Reduced wet traction is double plus ungood for a trip in potentially cold and wet September in the northlands.

I've also found quite consistently that wear accelerates when tread gets that thin, so they'll be well beyond shagged and probably "illegal" by the end of the 2,000 mile trip.

Change 'em.
 

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My firm personal policy is to change tires the second I have the least shred of doubt.

Change 'em.

Also, even though you're technically "legal" (according to regs written for car tires), wet traction is already compromised and you're at far greater risk for flats when the tread gets that thin. Reduced wet traction is double plus ungood for a trip in potentially cold and wet September in the northlands.

I've also found quite consistently that wear accelerates when tread gets that thin, so they'll be well beyond shagged and probably "illegal" by the end of the 2,000 mile trip.

Change 'em.
And the bike handles so much better with a fresh round tire vs a squared off worn tire.
 

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I'd like to take this trip now and maybe another one next spring before I change to new tires for a run up to Alaska again if the crazy governments finally open the borders.
Thanks, KorKoro
The Canadian border for those going to Alaska is presently open as long as you take the most direct route and don't go sightseeing...and live in Alaska.

Most states consider two-thirty-seconds of an inch to be the minimum legal tread depth. Two other states, including California, consider one-thirty-second to be the minimum and six states have no standards at all. Of course, some states change the depth min depending on whether you are using snow or passenger tires.

This says 1/32 is min for Michigan motorcycles...
 

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Wisconsin has no statute covering motorcycle tires specifically that I could find. Tires in general are covered under
305.30 (2): "Every tire shall have at least 2/32 inch tread depth in every major tire groove measured at 2 points no less than 15 inches apart."
Which generally is when the tread is worn flush with the wear bars. There is an old cliché that says, "90% of tire problems occur in the last 10% of tread."
 

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I saved your post from a long time ago about Alaska.I wanted to read about your trip.I saw how you had to cancel at that time.I wish you good luck in getting there next year.
 

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I knew I was close to replacement time and after a fun romp around the mountains we were back a friends house and I mentioned I'd be ordering some tires soon. My friend pointed at the cord showing on the rear tire and suggested i order sooner than later. Wear seems to speed up when getting closer to the carcass of the tire. Dang!
 

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Plenty of tire left. This is the tire on my bike when I bought it and rode it 40 miles home. Not one of the brighter things I have done. Although this wasn't really normal wear, it was from rubbing on a homemade trailer hitch the PO had added.
277495
 

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I use the wear bar as indicator, but can confirm that I have been caught twice on trips where the rear tire wore more than I expected. Partly caused from being heavily loaded compared to just riding around town. NOTE: Some areas the motorcycle shops are closed on different days! Around home they usually close on Monday, BUT in Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia bike shops closed on Wednesday. Not good when cord showing.

Now if in doubt for a trip I will change it early if necessary.
 

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When I left for my 75 km ride to work that afternoon the tire was fine. I noticed when riding home at 0200 hrs the back felt a little loose sometimes (figured a bit of frost on the road).

277524
 

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When I left for my 75 km ride to work that afternoon the tire was fine. I noticed when riding home at 0200 hrs the back felt a little loose sometimes (figured a bit of frost on the road).

View attachment 277524
I thought those white stripes in the middle were the "wear bars".........??
 
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