Limit_EN

Need for speed – All you need to know about speed limits

Limit_EN

Many of us already know this situation: Everything is ready for the perfect road trip – the bike is packed, the route checked the tank full and the excitement is building up. But when you arrive in the next country at the latest, you often have to ask yourself what maximum speed limit actually applies on the current section of the road or what fine you have to expect if you exceed it. The long-awaited adventure can quickly become a financial debacle, especially if you are traveling on a motorcycle and indulge in your thoughts when you see the new and often impressive surroundings. The annoying thing about it: Even if you own a navigation device that shows the permitted maximum speed, it does not mean that this value also applies. Although it is extremely rare for a country to change its own requirements, there are numerous additional bids that must be observed – bids that differ significantly from country to country. So always keep yourself informed about the current conditions and never blindly trust your navigation system. Everything you need to know for the perfect road trip in Europe can be found here.

Need for speed... Or not?

Admittedly, it is a great asset to discover the most beautiful streets and landscapes in the seat of a motorcycle. So that it stays that way and you are not unnecessarily prevented from doing so by a sudden encounter with the police, you should familiarize yourself sufficiently with the applicable regulations in advance.

Most countries regulate or divide the maximum permissible driving speed based on the section of the route (highway / expressway, country road and local area) on which you are. So far so good. Most European countries levy their own toll or highway fees and the models can vary widely.

In Italy, for example, the toll system or highway toll is mostly based on the distance actually traveled. There are also motorway sections for which a certain lump sum has to be paid. And that can often be expensive. Anyone who drives without a Telepass (automatic system for collecting entries and exits) must take a ticket when entering the motorway, keep it carefully and present it again when calculating the road toll, to pay the amount due by credit card, ViaCard or cash to settle. It is different with the Telepass toll box: the barrier at the toll station opens automatically, both when entering and exiting. This means that Telepass users drive through the toll station non-stop, often on specially reserved lanes that lead past the traffic jams in the other lanes. This is often much faster. While Italy does not offer a flat rate and the price is calculated, among other things, from an annual equipment rental (toll box) and the effective use, numerous European countries offer a lump sum over a certain period of time. You can often choose between daily, weekly or annual use. The amounts that are collected by the countries are calculated on the available road kilometers, sometimes very different. The following European countries levy a toll or motorway fee:

  • Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Slovenia
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • The Netherlands

Often you have to rely on the motorway or expressways if you want to get from A to B as quickly as possible – and not infrequently at the expense of driving pleasure. But now back to the streets that are also interesting for us motorcyclists.

Other countries, other rules?

In short: Yes.
A factor that significantly reduces a motorcycle rider’s driving experience is of course the weather. In addition, sudden rain, for example, is a constant companion and additional risk factor for an extensive and possibly cross-border tour. However, it is often overlooked that the permissible maximum speeds in the event of rain differ significantly from the regular limit in some countries. For example, the permitted limit on French and Italian motorways is significantly reduced – namely from 130 kph to 110 kph. Speed ​​limits are also often the case in underpasses and tunnels: Austria, for example, reduces this to 100 kph, a regulation that is not found in Italy with a few exceptions. Even in good weather, it has recently become law (since July 1, 2018) in France that the speed on country roads does not exceed 80 kph. The vehicle may only be moved at 90 kph on a two-lane country road with a fixed separation such as a guardrail. Who can possibly be aware of that?

Also to be noted is the fact that young drivers with less than 3 years of driving experience in France, Italy and Croatia sometimes have to adjust their speed considerably. In Italy, a maximum speed of 100 kph on motorways and 90 kph on expressways applies in the first three years after obtaining a license on motorways. Young drivers take note: In Croatia, young drivers up to the age of 24 are only allowed to drive 120 kph on motorways, 100 kph on expressways and 80 kph out of town. Not bad either.

Also note the applicable regulations if you are traveling with a sidecar or motorcycle trailer. In Germany, for example, the latter may only be moved on the motorway at 60 kph.

A summary of the permissible maximum speeds (as of 2019) on the different road sections in Europe can be found here:

Country

Motorway

Speedway

Extra urban

Belgium

120 kph

120 kph

90 kph

Denmark

130 kph

80 kph

80 kph

France

130 kph

110 kph

80 kph

Great Britain

112 kph

112 kph

96 kph

Italy

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Ireland

120 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Croatia

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Luxemburg

130 kph

90 kph

Netherlands

130 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Norway

100 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Austria

130 kph

100 kph

100 kph

Poland

140 kph

100 kph

90 kph

Portugal

120 kph

100 kph

100 kph

Sweden

See signage

See signage

See signage

Switzerland

120 kph

100 kph

80 kph

Slovakia

130 kph

90 kph

Slovenia

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Spain

120 kph

100 kph

90 kph

Czech Republic

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

Hungary

130 kph

110 kph

90 kph

 

What costs do I have to take into account in the travel expenses?

In addition to the classic travel costs such as those for fuel, meals and accommodation, as well as the tolls already paid for the use of the motorway, the toll payment decisions made for pass roads or the directional sections also need to be considered. In most cases, access has to be paid on site, but there is also the possibility to see it in advance in the form of a digital route, as is the case in Austria. The number plate of your bike is usually received at a designated terminal when passing through. Find out in advance about the applicable tariff provisions. When visiting or driving over a pass and a welcome change from the otherwise rather dreary kilometer eating on the highway – all the more under optimal conditions.

What are the consequences of speeding?

Even if it can often go fast on a motorcycle in particular: keep an eye on the choice of driving speed, because the penalties for exceeding the applicable speed limits can differ drastically in the various European countries and can sometimes lead to the confiscation of your own vehicle. You should always keep an eye on the speedometer needle, no matter which country you are traveling in.

You have to dig deep into your pocket, for example, in northern Europe, such as Norway or in car-loving Sweden if you exceed the top speed by 20 kph. Here fines are threatened from € 375 or € 250. Exceeding is also very expensive in Italy (from € 170), in Switzerland (from € 155) and in Great Britain (from € 115). In countries like Lithuania you can get away relatively cheaply from around € 12 and Latvia from € 20.

As already mentioned, there are differences on expressways, motorways and out of town, the speed limit in Europe is largely the same within cities and municipalities. As in Austria, a speed limit of 50 kph applies here in most countries in Europe and applies to all vehicle classes in Europe.

If you get caught too much at 20 or more than 50 kph, you can expect the following fines:

 

Country

Until 20 kph

Above 50 kph

Belgium

From 100 Euro

From 300 Euro

Bosnia and Herzegowina

From 50 Euro

From 200 Euro

Bulgaria

From 25 Euro

From 120 Euro

Denmark

From 135 Euro

From 300 Euro

Germany

Till 35 Euro

From 240 Euro

Estland

Till 120 Euro

Till 800 Euro

Finnland

200 Euro

From 14 daily rates

France

From 135 Euro

1.500 Euro

Greece

100 Euro

350 Euro

Great Britain

From 115 Euro

Till 2850 Euro

Ireland

From 80 Euro

From 80 Euro

Island

From 120 Euro

From 400 Euro

Italy

From 170 Euro

From 530 Euro

Croatia

From 65 Euro

From 400 Euro

Lettland

From 20 Euro

From 240 Euro

Lithuania

From 12 Euro

From 450 Euro

Luxemburg

From 50 Euro

From 145 Euro

Malta

From 70 Euro

From 70 Euro

Mazedonia

From 20 Euro

From 300 Euro

Montenegro

From 40 Euro

From 100 Euro

Netherlands

From 165 Euro

From 660 Euro

Norway

From 375 Euro

From 900 Euro

Austria

From 30 Euro

Till 2.180 Euro

Poland

From 25 Euro

From 120 Euro

Portugal

From 60 Euro

From 120 Euro

Romania

From 60 Euro

From 280 Euro

Sweden

From 250 Euro

From 420 Euro

Switzerland

From 155 Euro

From 60 daily rates

Serbia

From 25 Euro

From 50 Euro

Slovakia

From 35 Euro

From 350 Euro

Slovenia

From 80 Euro

From 500 Euro

Spain

From 100 Euro

From 600 Euro

Czech Republic

From 40 Euro

From 195 Euro

Turkey

From 50 Euro

From 100 Euro

Hungary

Till 95 Euro

From 195 Euro

Cyprus

From 35 Euro

From 85 Euro

What else do I have to carry with me?

Many are of the opinion as motorcyclists that it is enough to carry the same items as a bandage abroad as well as domestically, but that’s far from it. Here you can find out why you should keep a little more space in your luggage:

  • Bandages

Motorcyclists must have bandages on board in Albania, Montenegro, Austria, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Hungary. In Latvia only if the motorcycle has a sidecar.

  • Obigation to carry bandages

France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary.

  • Obligation to wear a vest

In Belgium, Bosnia / Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic and Hungary, you have to wear a safety vest when getting off your motorcycle in the event of a breakdown or accident . In Finland, the obligation to carry also applies to passengers, but there is no obligation to carry one.

  • Warning triangle

In Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine and Malta, a warning triangle is a mandatory basic equipment for all motorcyclists. In Hungary this only has to be on board a motorcycle with a sidecar.

  • Replacement lamps

Replacement lamps must be carried in France and Croatia if the motorcycle does not have xenon or LED lights.

  • Green insurance card

It is compulsory to take it with you in Albania, Bosnia / Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro (a validity for Montenegro must be listed on the card), Romania and Ukraine.

  • Duty to wear gloves

Hard to believe: Only in France do motorcyclists and co-drivers have to wear gloves with a CE standard and the corresponding CE mark, as is also known from helmets.

Helmet_EN

The motorcycle helmet – A little FAQ

Helmet_EN

The motorcycle helmet

A short FAQ

A helmet is the main safety equipment when it comes to protective gear for motorcycling. Not only will it protect your head and reduce injuries, but also improves your riding experience; it stops wind, keeps you dry and deflects bugs, dirt and other outer possible intruders. This item is your most important piece of equipment, so choose wisely.

Unfortunately, it is not very easy to quickly find the perfectly fitting helmet, because it’s more than choosing size and color. With a lot of different brand and systems, it’s very hard to see through – especially with an enormous selection that is available online. This is an important point since you definitely need to try your helmet first and seek for advice in a shop, NEVER rely on your friend’s opinion on what’s good or what’s in line with the trend. Choosing the right helmet is about YOU only.

What’s the right recipe to create a good helmet?

Firstly, it is important to know what a helmet actually consists of and how it’s built – basically, every helmet consists of four main components: the outer shell, the impact absorbing liner, the comfort padding and the retention system better known as the strap.

While the outer shell mostly uses fiber-reinforced composites or thermoplastics to disperse the impact energy, the impact liner absorbs the shock using a dense layered cushion. As the name already implies that you should feel comfortable with the comfort padding, whereas the retention system is responsible to keep the helmet on your head in a case of crash. A fiberglass shell is the go-to for strength and it’s lightweight too. Carbon fiber is also very lightweight and a popular choice for racers.

What to look for?

Another very important thing to look for is to ensure you’re buying a certified helmet that complies with the safety standards and regulations. In Europe, all motorcycle helmets should meet the minimum safety requirements for the European standard ECE22.05 which covers both the helmet and the visor. ECE stands for Economic community of Europe, 22 for the number of regulations for testing and 05 gives information about the year of amendment, which was in the year 2005. So make sure it’s 100% street legal.

Which model should I consider to buy?

The give you the most direct answer: One that fits you best. This advice is crucial, because even the safest helmet on the market won’t be able to protect you if it is too loose or too tight. From this reason you should always try it before you buy it.

How to take measure?

The key or most significant measure to take is the circumference of your head from the forehead, since this is the important measure that manufacturers base their sizing on. This basic measure gives you a first shot on how the helmet may suit your head, but there’s more than that since most helmets can be characterized as generally having a neutral, oval or round shaped (internal) profile. While the basic (outer) size of the helmet follows the already mentioned scheme sizes, the internal fit can be modified by changing cheek pads or crown liner of some helmets.

How do I know the helmet fits?

Well, besides being comfortable as a first step your cheeks should always remain in contact with the helmet as you turn your head from side to side. Secondly, these pads should push on your cheeks, but not so much that you bite down on them. Another very important fact is that the helmet should under no circumstance push too much on the front or the top of your head. This is often neglected, but may become very painful during a long trip and can even cause headaches.

Which helmet is best for me?

When trying a helmet which is factory new it should fit tightly to begin with, because the padding will compress over time making it fit just a little loser. However, it should never be too constrictive or give you a claustrophobic feeling. Comfort and safety are equally important which means that any protection that a helmet could offer is of no value if it is too uncomfortable to wear.

Which types are available?

Mainly there are three main types of helmet categories available on the market: full-face helmets, open-face helmets and flip-front helmets.
A full-face helmet always gives you the highest level of safety there is. Most models are usually equipped with a movable visor to protect your eyes which makes them the most popular type.
Open-face helmets are constructed in a similar way but don’t offer the face and chin protection. Since they’re easier to handle (especially with sunglasses) and are less claustrophobic, they’re more popular among scooter riders and cruisers.
Last but not least there’s flip-front helmets which represent a kind of mixed type and have become more and more popular over the time. They offer a high level of safety such as full-face models, but also are more comfortable in case you’re about to take a little snack.

Does a new helmet need a break-in time?

Yes, all new helmets need a little break-in time. Mostly this depends on how often you ride and how long. The average rule of thumb is around 2-3 weeks when used every day.

How often should I replace my helmet?

Your helmet should be replaced every five years on average. However, after any kind of crash you should replace your helmet immediately, no matter what since a slight deformation can already affect the helmet’s structural strength.

Which factors are also noteworthy to consider?

There are many questions you should ask yourself, such as “Is the helmet for touring or shorter rides?”, “Which weather situation will I be exposed?”, “Will I also ride at night?”, “Would a dark visor for sun protection be useful?”.
Sure, it’s not always easy to navigate through or answer these questions with a specific model in mind, but at least it gives you an idea on how to find your perfect fit. For example, your main priority may be a quiet and lightweight helmet in case you’re planning to do long trips or a Bluetooth connection for audio in case you’re riding in a group. Also choose a bright color since it’s easier to be recognized in heavy traffic.
Here are some bullet points on what to consider too:

  • Weight (1.5kg is about average)
  • Noise level
  • Replaceable inner material (fit and hygiene)
  • Vents for cooling
  • Visor specs (Anti-glare, UV protection, Easy removal)
SecondSkin_EN

Like a second skin – Finding the perfectly matching motorcycle gear

Like a second skin

Finding the perfectly matching motorcycle gear

When looking for a perfectly fitting protective motorcycle apparel you can chose from a lot of models using various materials ranging from more classic leather to synthetics that offer excellent protection, style, and function. In case you just started motorcycling, you might want to know what your options in terms of types of protective clothing.

Leather may look great with your rugged cruiser or flashy with your sports model, but a well-designed synthetic may suit your long touring motorcycle better over thousands of kilometers on the open road. Moreover, the apparel should fit comfortably without being too big and fluttery, and offer all the functions you need. Pockets, both internal and external, may or may not be what you need (or even want), so choose wisely on what level of function you need to ride.

When we’re talking about clothing suitable for (actually) riding a motorcycle, we’re mainly considering topics such as safety and protection. Sure, a jacket should fit like a glove and (ideally) look good too, but you should always remember the following: “Dress for the slide, not for the ride!

What to consider

Besides the topic of safety in mind, let’s also consider what a good piece of clothing should cover too. So, what to look for?

  • Ventilation options – Nothing worse than to stew in one’s own juice. When you’re on a long tour you may know what is meant here. Always look for potential ventilation options on the jacket (or pants) you’re about to buy. Most gear is designed to catch the wind and let it pass through while riding. This means that you can easily adjust the cooling effect on your own and on the fly.
  • Pockets & storage – Since storage options are widely limited when riding a motorcycle, you’ll be happy about extra storage. Look for gear with pockets that have a dedicated purpose. Many models offer special pockets for mobile phones (often close to the body for an easy recognition) or your purse. Sitting on a motorbike with your full trouser pockets might get uncomfortable quickly
  • Visibility – Most people who aim for a leather jacket (naturally) select a black model. Always keep in mind how your gear is performing in being visible. Sure, you won’t find a neon-colored leather jacket, but always keep in mind that it is useful to own at least one item that sticks out like a super bright helmet color.
  • Covering – If you have already experienced what it means to play catch with a bug while riding or (even worse) a bee, you know what’s meant here: Make sure you cover your collar, ankles or wrists sufficiently. This impression on your skin will keep you busy for quite some time for sure. Also, look for solid and good storm flaps over your gear’s zippers. They might look unsuspicious when wearing but may be quite permeable while riding.
  • Protectors & armor  – Most importantly, your gear should be able to protect you in a critical situation. In Europe it is required by law to use equipment that is marked with CE Marking standard. The US has unofficially adopted these standards, but it is not required for street use. For North America, the only time you need EC-rated apparel is on the race track. Most important for you is to look for the CE level (1 = lower protection, 2 = higher protection) when you consider buying a jacket, pants or a suit. While many models have already padded and reinforced areas (e.g. Shoulders, knees and waist) for basic protection, most apparels have dedicated pockets for removable protectors. Always check both the size of your pockets and protectors first since you don’t want to waste money for armor that does not fit into the designated pockets.

The jacket

Basically, you need to decide if you’re aiming for a two-piece setup consisting of separate pieces like a jacket and pants or if you’re feeling more comfortable wearing a suit. Suits come in one and two-piece sets that offer the same level of protection, ventilation, material selection as a combination of a jacket and pants. Essentially a suit may offer better waterproofing, whereas a two-piece setup gives you more flexibility and a better possibility to cool down if you’re taking a short break from riding. Both variants should fit comfortable without being bulky or limiting your mobility since it’s very important that you’re still able to move and remain agile when riding a motorcycle. Many models offer special stretch panels at the elbows, knees or around the waist to improve flexibility and are using either textile/denim, leather or hybrid materials.

The pants

As a consequence of owning a good jacket it is important to rely on a supplementary and good piece of pants. Mostly pants are an overlooked piece of gear because many people think it’s enough to wear thick jeans. But with protection in mind, actual motorcycle riding pants are designed to give you the best possible level of safety in case of an accident as well as other features such as a higher visibility (which of course is beneficial too) and important ventilation. Just like jackets, pants are complementary in the respect of material and different styles. While most textile models can be worn as a second layer over your regular pants or a set of shorts, they might also offer removable linings to add an extra layer of warmth or (if detachable) a cooler option for hot summer days. On your daily commute from or to the office, this might be your best fit.

Denim pants usually use interwoven fabric (such as Kevlar) into other materials to ensure a higher abrasive resistance. Additionally, you can also find padded sections and pockets for additional armor and protectors in many models.

With leather pants you mostly pick the sportier style that involves abrasive knee pucks for touching the ground. If you’re riding closer to the edge (or even go to a race track) you should definitely go for this option since you’ll get maximum protection in knees, hips and your behind.

Final tips

Finding your perfect set might take some time since it involves consideration for what you plan to ride in such as the weather, the riding duration and of course your type of motorcycle. Leather is excellent for protection, but it may become less and less comfortable throughout a long ride. Textiles offer excellent protection, visibility and ventilation, but aren’t the perfect pants for every occasion either. You will also need to consider if you prefer wearing clothes underneath (what are your plans?), as they above need to fit comfortably in your normal riding position. They shouldn’t be too tight or expose the tops of your boots, nor be too bulky that makes riding, shifting, or stopping painful. When you’re trying on some models at a shop don’t just take a few steps and make some stretches, ask if they have a motorcycle around (many shops have it) to sit and check how it feels when actually sitting on a motorbike.

Tires_EN

Motorcycle tires – A short FAQ

Motorcycle tires - A short FAQ

How do I choose the best motorcycle tire?

Most importantly you should choose a tire which “fits” your bike, which means you should check the dimensions as well as both speed and load index that are suggested by you motorbike manufacturer. Don’t aim for a type of tires if you riding behavior does not match. (e.g.: sticky sport tires if you never manage to heat them up properly) Choosing the right type gives you a higher level of safety, not only performance. Also consider durability, all-weather capability, road profile (i.e.: gravel road, bitumen, etc.) as well as the luggage you carry into account.

Should I choose a radial or a cross-ply tire?

A cross-ply (or bias) tire are designed in a simpler way with more sturdy sidewalls which makes them perfect for off-road riding, whereas the speed indices are lower. With radial tires we’re looking at a different chasing that sits 90° to the rolling direction and a belt which is approx. 0° to 25° off to it. While the belt sits under the tread, it adds more stability and makes the tire capable of higher speeds which is made possible due to lower centripetal forces. Once again: Consider the intended purpose when buying.

How do I run in new tires?

You may notice that new tires act a little slippery. The reason behind is, that during the last manufacturing process (most manufacturers do this) the new tire is run through a so-called curing process. When the tire is released from the very hot mold during manufacturing, a small amount of release agent is applied to ensure an easier removal from the mold. This thin layer which remains on the tire (and sometimes gives it a nice shiny gloss to it) is the reason why you should pay attention when riding your new tires the first time. Better safe than sorry!

Is there anything I can buy for an emergency repair?

Suffering from a punctured tire is always bad, mostly when you’re on a long tour. Fortunately, there are some tools available to keep you going. In case you’re using a tire with a tube on your bike you can get a fully equipped roadside repair kit. While for tubeless tires you can choose from plug, cord, and canned fix-a-flat options. Although it might appear practical, the success rate with the canned fix is quite bad. Besides, your mechanic will thank you later – because it makes a mess inside. Generally, never ride too long with a fixed tire unless you have to. Carrying a repair kit is a no-brainer!

Is it safe to repair a motorcycle tire after a puncture?

Yes, for a certain amount of (riding) time it is. Sometimes it’s the only option on a tour. In case you’re wondering if you can even repair a tire twice: There’s a recommendation from the British Standards on how to proceed. Until a speed rating of J (the equivalent of 100kph), you can repair twice, whereas above J until V (until 240kph) you should consider doing so only once. If you’re riding a superbike just be safe and don’t. (above V) Always keep in mind that only the central 50% of a tire’s width can be repaired, never the sidewall. A worn tire (less than 0.8mm) is also not safe to perform a repair on.

What tire pressures should I use on my motorcycle?

The best recommendation here is to orientate towards your bike’s owner’s manual. You should always keep within this ranges since the bike you’re riding was designed and tested with those values. A wrong pressure might even reduce the life of your tires. Is it too low, the contact patch (area between you and the road) can be even reduced because the tire deforms by lifting the middle section away from the road. Moreover, they also easily overheat. If you over-inflate, they’ll (again) wear unevenly, show worse handling and give you an uncomfortable ride. Check the recommendations also if you’re carrying higher loads. In case the manual is not available, check the manufacturers’ website.

What is the minimum tread depth on motorcycle tires?

In Europe, the legal minimum tread depth for a motorcycle tire is 1.6mm around the whole circumference. The different riding style compared to passenger cars leads to different wear of the profile, which has the effect that the pattern of the tread needs to be visible across three-quarters of the width too. It is always good to rely on a good “amount” of thread since it is responsible to push the water aside during a rainy day. It’s time to think about a change at around 2-3mm since a lower depth also affects your bike’s handling a lot. For checking it’s always good to have a tread-depth gauge to make sure you’re on the safe side.

Can I use unmounted tires that are a few years old?

Yes and no. It is key that the tire you want to purchase was stored properly. Which sometimes can be difficult. The reason (or mechanism) why tires can age is called outgassing. This basically happens all the time heat is absorbed or given by the compound. This effect of outgassing causes some of the chemicals that give the tire its pliability actually to turn into gasses and escape with the consequence of making the tire harder and less grippy. Make sure you store your bike (and your tires) indoors in a cool and stable climate. A worst-case scenario would be to store them in the bright sun or a hot warehouse. Always check the DOT code for the manufacturing age: A three-year-old tire that’s been properly stored can be in better shape than a one-year-old tire that hasn’t. A neat trick of making sure you get the good and fresh stuff is by choosing a dealer who turns over a big volume.

Can I run different tire sizes on my bike?

Since every tire is designed to meet a certain profile for certain handling characteristics (e.g.: specific tread patterns for certain terrains) you should always pick matched sets. At worst it can adversely affect your bike’s handling in unpredictable or even dangerous ways. We know, good tires are pricey and – especially when compared to passenger cars – you need a whole lot more of them, but it’s really not about trying to save money.

How do I maintain my tires for a long-life during off-season?

Since your tires are the only thing between you and the road you should treat them right, even more when you don’t actively use them during the off-season. Always make a visual inspection (under well-lit conditions) and look for punctures or nails. Tires really need to go through a lot, so make sure you even check for small pieces of glass that might be trapped. When your set is already a bit older, make sure to check for cracks. Also go for the full inspection, so let them roll and look around the whole wheel. As already mentioned, you should make sure to store your tires in a stable climate.