I see this a lot on the rode and at biker meets with other bikers. People trying to stretch the budget by stretching the bike maintenance. The old saying; “you pay to play” is exceptionally true with respect to motorcycles.
A bike has two wheels, no bumpers and no airbags so there are very few spaces for error. Riding safe, gearing up and learning to handle at courses is always a great idea.
But to avoid maintenance is a really bad idea. My neighbor is one of those riders short on cash and trying to get one last ride every day before he has to spend money. Yesterday he went out and returned on a flat bed. Luckily he was able to keep his bike up and pulled over to the side of highway 417 at a speed of 120 Km/Hr while his tire had blown a hole.
His tires needed replacing at the beginning of the season. His brakes are questionable and I am certain that there other maintenance items far past due. I’ve seen him leave with his ten-year old daughter on the back.
I asked him what it was like and he explained that he heard a big bang and felt a back wheel wobble. He didn’t panic and just let off the gas and rolled to a stop on the side of the highway. He had a lucky day. It didn’t blow on a curve or passing a car in the left lane or any other conditions that could have being life threatening. So yes he was a lucky man. However I am not certain he sees it that way.
Have a look at the condition of his tires. There is one thing riding to the wear line, or even a bit beyond but this is really beyond the beyond. The tire split right in the middle. Perhaps a yearly bike inspection should be required? One would think that these types of things would be self-regulating, but here is an instant where it was not.
Steve Williams said:
It is puzzling how some riders seem to neglect the basics. Tires especially. I can only speculate on the reasons. And it’s not always money. Some, I suspect, just aren’t paying attention. Whenever I look at any scooter or motorcycle I almost always look at the tires. A habit I suppose.
Thanks for sharing his description of the blowout. It mirrors others I have heard. I store it away in case I should ever experience one. Used to think it would only happen with a tubeless tire that had worn through but some other Vespa riders have shared blowouts when a “good” tire just came apart. Usually after some long day of WOT riding.