TiresAh, the smell of new tires. If you’re like me, there isn’t anything better than knowing you have two new tires on your bike. I know it’s painful to the wallet to put them on, but it’s a necessary evil when you ride motorcycles. And when you really ride, putting a lot of miles on your bike it can be quite painful a couple of times a year.

Every year before I hit the road for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, I have new tires put on. I really struggle with it when I see I still have a few miles left on the old ones and it seems a shame to take them off before they’re worn out. But for safety’s sake it’s not worth it to me. There’s an old saying “there is too much riding on your tires.” So true. If there is one bright spot in this it would be that if I need tires it must mean I’m riding my motorcycle. More tires equal more miles on the odometer, and that’s why I own a bike – to ride it.

We are quick to accessorize our motorcycles because we can see, and feel the difference it makes to our comfort, functionality, and looks, but tires are a necessity just like regular service is. I’ve parked next to other bikes and as I walk away I’ll look over my shoulder and check their tires. It amazes me when I see tires worn to the cords knowing the rider just parked it on the street. Is it a financial thing? Lack of maintenance? Or is it a new rider that doesn’t understand motorcycle tires don’t get the same mileage as their car? Either way, I hope they get home okay.

So as hard as it is to bite the bullet, my new tires are on. I average two to three new back tires and one or two new front tires a year, so I bite this bullet often. But I wear my worn-out tires like a medallion for all the miles and memories I’ve made while riding. For those of you who are in the same boat as me, my helmet is off to you. For those of you who only replace a rear tire every other year or so, my helmet is off to you as well. We all ride. The miles ridden isn’t important as long as you are out there sharing the same passion we all have. Just be safe and take a look under that fender every so often.

See you at the rally!