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When you’re trying to get the perfect look of your motorcycle, it’s normal to think of applying some tire shine to the tires. However, is using tire dressing on motorcycles safe? Today, I’ll give you an answer to this question, and also dive deep into this topic, and explain everything.
- You should never use tire shine products on any motorcycle.
- Tire dressings make tires slippery, causing you to lose traction in corners, leading to accidents and potential injuries.
I see too many people recommending some tire shine products for motorcycles. When you tell them that it’s dangerous, they say that they’re safe drivers who don’t go fast. In my opinion, that’s not a good enough justification.
To Shine or Not To Shine Motorcycle Tires?
You should not shine motorcycle tires. It’s one of the worst things you can do on your bike and should be avoided in 99% of the situations.
Tire dressings are chemical formulas made for restoring black rubber on car tires. Mostly, dressings are made of solvent-based and silicone-based materials, together with oils. Those materials penetrate through the rubber, restoring it to the like-a-new look.
As you can imagine, with the oils inside, those products are incredibly slick, and when they come in contact with tires, they become slippery.
It’s fantastic to use tire dressings on cars. They give the tires an excellent brand-new look and protect them from UV rays and other harmful factors. Car tires are always straight on the road, and they don’t tilt a lot, which keeps the exact grip all the time. The dressed area of the car tire can never touch the road.
However, when it comes to motorcycles, the story is different. When riding through corners, your bike tilts. When tilting, the grip area of the tire on the road is much smaller, and if it is slippery, you will very easily slip and fall off the motorcycle.
That can lead to unwanted traffic accidents and, even worse, injuries to you and other traffic participants.
Appearance vs. Safety – No Doubt Here
I think that there’s no doubt in comparing appearance and safety. Anyone objective would always go for safety. Unless you’re a fool (no offense) who wants to push a bike to the limits, and it’s a matter of time before you’ll have an accident.
Motorcycles are always the most vulnerable group in traffic. You should be aware of that whenever you sit on your bike.
You should always know what’s safe and what’s not. When it comes to tire dressings, it’s just not safe to apply them to any motorcycle. Don’t rely on safe and slow driving.
The only advice I can give to you is: if you want your tires to look nice, shiny, and new, wash them thoroughly more often, and don’t ride your bike on old tires.
You probably know that motorcycle tires should be replaced more often than car tires, and you should always keep that in mind. I was driving cars with 10-year-old tires (and they looked brand new). It’s not something I’m proud of, but I would never do something similar on a bike.
When It’s Okay To Use Tire Dressing On Motorcycle Tires?
Even though I generally don’t recommend using any tire dressings on motorcycle tires, there might be situations when you could use them.
You can consider using tire dressings in these two situations:
- Bike Show: If you’re going to a bike show and want to present your motorcycle in the best way, you may want to dress your tires. However, you should only dress the tires if you won’t drive the bike on the road.
- Winter Storage: If you’re going to store your bike through the winter period, you could dress the tires to protect them from the cold and to keep their brand-new look and properties.
IMPORTANT: if you decide to apply tire dressing in the situations above, before riding your bike again, make sure to wash the wheels and tires thoroughly and remove all of the dressing, so the tires aren’t slippery anymore.
Also, if you decide to use tire dressings in those two situations, make sure you still never use the product on the tire’s tread area.
How To Wash Motorcycle Wheels and Tires
As I already told you, to keep your tires looking nice and black, you should regularly detail your motorcycle and thoroughly clean the wheels and tires.
The process is pretty much the same as washing car wheels and tires, but the difference is that you shouldn’t apply tire dressing (As said above).
Steps for washing motorcycle wheels and tires:
- Fill a bucket with water and car shampoo (non-wax soap)
- Spray the tires with a high-quality wheel cleaner (make sure it’s safe to use on motorcycles)
- Pour the brush into the bucket and start brushing the tires
- When you’re finished brushing, rinse the tires thoroughly
- Dry tires and wheels
That’s the correct way of maintaining your motorcycle tires – without using any tire dressing and protection.
I hope that you’re now aware of the dangers of applying dressings to motorcycle tires. You need to know how the motorcycle operates, and everything’s completely clear.
Yes, I know that your motorcycle won’t always look fancy because of “dirty” and old-looking tires, but that’s the only safe way. Maintain them by regular washings, and that’s all. Just remember not to use any dressings at all, even if you see some recommendations.
Until they make some product specific for motorcycle tires and do all the research, I’d wait. Please don’t rely on some forum comments from people who are unaware of those dangers. I wish you safe rides and many, many happy miles with your bike.