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This is the beginning of my fourth season of riding and after only 4800km (2976 miles) my tires have small cracks on the sidewalls. I can't figure out how to post a pic or I would. I can send them to anyone who wants to look at them. These are the original IRC tires that came with the bike. What is the warranty on the IRC tires?
 

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I'm no expert, but I am told tires generally have a "shelf life" of only about two years. Yours are at least 3 years old now and are showing signs of age by way of cracks. There are only two contact points between you and the pavement. If one blows, you go down. IMHO, I think it's time for new tires. Now.

Ride safe
Tim
 

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Cracks = replacement time. Period.

Warranty on OEM IRC tires...how long did it take you to get off the dealer's lot? The warranty on those tires lasted half as long.
 

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try out some of this info

“When it comes to sport bikes, the subject of tires is a common topic of discussion, and few topics evoke as much passion or controversy. What is the best tire? How old of a tire should you run? When is a tire worn out? How many heat cycles will a tire last? Where is the best place to purchase replacements? What is the best tire pressure? Etc., etc., etc. The answer to every one of these questions is the same; it depends. Depends on your riding style, where, when, and how frequently you ride. However, there are some guiding basics that will help you make the best decision. One thing to remember is that tire technology is moving extremely fast. The greatest performance tire of all time from a few years ago can't even compare to today's sport-touring tires.
What is the best tire? First we need to realize that all tires are a compromise; primarily, a compromise between mileage, wear, slow-speed handling and high-speed handling. The answer to this question is also extremely suggestive and depends a lot on you. While the Dunlop or Michelins race-bred tire may be the most popular, that doesn't necessarily make it the best tire for you and your riding style. Different tires and tire brands have different characteristics. For example, Dunlop's tend to have stiff sidewalls and pointy profiles, while Metzelers lean towards very soft sidewalls and very round profiles. And this can change from one tire make to another and from tire models. Well, which is better? Again, that depends on you… So how old of a tire should you use? The answer for this is easy. It depends! If you need to get the most out of your tires, then the fresher the better. If you like a tire to last longer, then the age of the tire is less critical. But you should never buy or use a tire that is more than six to seven years old. But how do you know how old your tire is? Carbon dating? Serial number cross-reference with manufacturers? Actually, your tire has the date of manufacture, or the "born on" date. How nice! If you look closely you will find a three or four-digit number stamped into the sidewall of your tire. It will read something like 449 or 2101. What do these numbers mean? Well, a 449 means the tire was manufactured during the 44th week of 1999. 2101 means the tire was manufactured the 21st week of 2001. Years prior to 2000 have a one-digit number to reflect the year, and after 2000, a two-digit number is used. This is a simple and easy way to figure out the age of a tire.
But why is a fresher tire better? Well, first, rubber is organic and it decomposes. Second, after your tire is manufactured, it may sit on the top shelf of a scalding hot warehouse for four years, outgassing all the while. Then it goes to the local shop, where it sits in a south-facing window (outgassing every time the sun sets for another year before you finally buy it). So, you end up with a five-year-old tire that may already be worn out before you've ridden home. Then you'll complain every time the tire slides around underneath you. Not because it is a bad tire, but because it has gotten so old and outgassed so much it has become brittle. If your primary concern is a tire that lasts lots of miles, an older tire will do fine because it has gotten hard with age. But again, rubber is an organic material, and a tire that is seven years old is not as capable as the exact tire that is newer (http://www.canyonchasers.net/shop/generic/tires.php).”

A couple of other sites with more info for ya
http://www.rattlebars.com/valkfaq/tirewear/
http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/photos/tire-tyre-guide/Tire-TyreTech.htm
 

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Side walls are the weakest part of the tire. It is also the most likely place a blowout would occur. Mine have cracks too but mine is a 2007. I am going to go to the stealer to try to get new ones becuase thats BS. Mine only has 1500 miles on it.
 

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Some cracking is caused by ozone, especially if you park in the sun or near an electric motor or air compressor (which produce ozone).

In any event, it's time for replacement. You can't even get into an E.R. for the cost of two new tires and tubes, including service charges.

My two bits worth.

Ray Nielsen, in Minneapolis and went for a ride today.
 

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These are what are referred to as "weather cracks". Yes, they weaken the tire, the sidewall, and can suddenly split out at the weakest point. If you don't want to find a flat tire when you stop, or one blowing out on you at 70 mph.... it's best to replace it asap. Speed, stress, weight, curves... all can cause them to split out. They can be dangerous.
 

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Depends how deep the cracks are. Quote:

"The surface cracks that occasionally appear have been called many things; Weather Checking, Weather Cracking or Ozone Cracking. These small cracks typically develop in the sidewalls or at the base of the tread grooves. Depending on their severity, they may be cosmetic in nature if they don't extend past the rubber's outer surface.................."
 

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I have some new Metzler 880s. while putting some ride on in the other day I noticed some very very small cracks in the sidewalls. Nothing like red c50s photo but they were there. I checked my wifes Dunlops on her bike and there wernt any cracks at all.
 

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johbren said:
I have some new Metzler 880s. while putting some ride on in the other day I noticed some very very small cracks in the sidewalls.......
When I lived in Kenya some years ago a Firestone Tire plant opened up in the country so tires were locally manufactured for the first time instead of having to be imported from Europe.

The locally made Firestones tires developed a reputation for being susceptible to blowouts. The popular reasoning for this was that the tires were being used in too new a condition and had not been in storage and shipping for long enough for them to outgas and harden up. Previously, imported tires had been nicely cooked on the ship through Suez and then by overland transportation from Mombasa to Nairobi.

If you wanted to use Firestone tires then the popular advice was that you should wait for them to show the fine hairline surface cracks in the sidewalls showing that the rubber was properly aged..
 

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They never get better... only worse. It's all in the condition, and how many chances you want to take. Me, I don't want any question about the tires underneath me.
 

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It's called dry rot. Check your cars tires after about 3 years and you'll find the same thing! Is it safe? Well I'm sure there opinions out there both ways. Your dry rot is probably very close to the rim right? That is a very thin area on the tire.
BOTTOMLINE: If you feel that it isn't safe then do what your gut is telling you! Change the tires. Be carefull what you wash your tires with too, alot of chemicals such as ( Bleach White/Simple Green) can prematurely dry your tires out too.
I'd change them, $150.00 is worth any riders life.
 
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