Slip, Grip and Ride Away: 10 Must-Follow Winter Bike and Scooter Tyre Tips

Slip, Grip and Ride Away: 10 Must-Follow Winter Bike and Scooter Tyre Tips

Featured Stories by Team Drivio | 11 Jan 2024

Frigid temperatures and slippery surfaces make winter two-wheeler riding extra challenging. Follow these vital tyre pressure and maintenance pointers to stay in control when the mercury drops.

  • Monitor and adjust inflation pressure regularly as cold temperatures cause natural psi drops.
  • Opt for soft compound tyres offering tenacious wet grip even on frosty, low traction tarmac.
  • Check tread depth to ensure sufficient grip - legally and for safety - replacing where worn out.

With winter's icy claws clutching the nation in a cold embrace, two-wheeler riders require extra vigilance to stay rubber-side down. That's because plummeting temperatures and slippery streets can spell disaster for ill-prepared bikes and scooters - especially their tyres.

Let's break down the top 10 tyre care tips to help you and your two-wheeler safely traverse the cold winter months. Stay pumped and get a grip!

1. Perform Regular Air Pressure Checks

Frigid air causes tyres to lose pressure naturally. Ensure inflation levels don't drop too low by checking psi at least weekly during winter. Top-up when needed to recommended levels for grip, handling and preventing flats.

2. Watch for Sudden Air Loss

If air rapidly leaks from an otherwise healthy tyre, watch for punctures from increased road debris, or cracked rubber from unexpected temperature drops. Closely monitor psi and get punctures repaired promptly.

3. Opt for Specialist Winter Rubber

Fitting soft compound winter tyres enhances cold grip significantly through adaptive rubber for 10°C and below. Search for certification markings signalling optimum wet/cold traction if buying new or replacement tyres.

4. Choose Wide Section Sizes

Wider tyre cross-sections improve floatation on soft, slippery surfaces. If your scooter or bike accommodates fatter rubber, fit it for extra stability and confidence when roads are wet or icy.

5. Examine Tread Depth

Inspect grooves across the tyre face, which must exceed minimum legal and safety limits. Replace any excessively worn tyres promptly as meagre tread equals feeble winter grip.

6. Look for Cracks

Scan sidewalls and tread surfaces for any cracking or signs of dry rotting and hardening from extreme cold. If found, replace such compromised rubber immediately before it fails completely.

7. Clean Out Debris

Embedded stones and debris reduce stability and should be removed from tread grooves. Check and clear them out regularly to maintain constant contact between rubber and road.

8. Consider Studs for Ice

bolt-on metal studs penetrate slippery ice layers to provide additional traction. Use them over front and rear tyres when frequent frosting or black ice is expected.

9. Adjust Suspension Settings

Stiffly sprung suspension can compromise winter grip. Set shocks and forks slightly softer to allow tyres more compliance over bumps and uneven slippery surfaces.

10. Carry a Tyre Inflator

Pack an aerosol sealer/inflator like Tyreheal to quickly plug small punctures and reinflate tyres while out riding. This lets you rapidly recover from most common winter tyre setbacks.

This winter, stay pumped and fully prepared to keep your bike or scooter's tyres in optimal shape. Follow these key tips to maintain safe control and grip even on the most frigid and slippery streets. Then you can keep riding all season long with confidence and peace of mind.