Hi there, hope you enjoyed celebrating the holidays and had great time with your families and friends! The new year celebration is almost forgotten, and if you live in the northern hemisphere, like I do, it’s high time to start preparing your iron horse for the new riding season. And the first thing I plan doing is changing the tires.
Have you ever thought where all the old tires from the EU and US go to when they are replaced with new ones? Let me help you a bit with the answer: somewhere where they are considered still good enough to be used. What’s the point to recycle old tires and make a few cents from the recycling (or even pay for this) if you can sell your old tires to less wealthy countries and make a few bucks 🙂 That’s why the markets of used tires are flourishing in the eastern Europe and probably in the middle and far East and Africa. Ukraine is no exception – I guess 95% of all tires that are on sale here are actually used tires from western countries. I can name two reasons for this.
The first reason is pretty obvious – used tires are way cheaper than new ones. Just an example, a nice Dunlop tire for the rear wheel from some Harley Davidson (240/40 r18) will cost $200+ on eBay and it will result in about $300 including its delivery to Ukraine. I bought this very tire, but used one, for $20. The funny thing is that the tire is in such a great condition that I bought it despite it doesn’t fit my rear wheel 🙂 My current rear wheel is 240/50 r16…but now that I have such a cool and almost perfect r18 tire I will probably replace my rear wheel. Actually, I’ve been thinking of replacing the rear wheel for quite some time. First of all, I absolutely love low profile tires. I doubt it’s a good choice for Ukraine considering the condition of our roads, but who cares about the comfort and possible problems on the road as long as the look of your bike makes you smile no matter what – you got fired from a well-paid job or found you’ve been cheated on by the love of your life…so what, you’ve got a motorcycle with a killer look 😉 Anyway, let’s get back to the topic. The second reason I decided to change the rear wheel is that it’s much easier to get a 240/40 r18 tire than a 240/50 r16 one. It’s not super important, because I don’t usually do burnouts and thus don’t have to change tires often. In fact, my current tire has been with me for about 40 000 km and I feel it still can survive one or two seasons. So, yeah, frankly speaking, the killer look of low profile tires is the only reason I decided to make the change.
From what I’ve heard, European traffic laws are quite strict when it comes to tires. For example, if you pierce your new tire with a nail, it should be replaced even if it’s in perfect condition. Otherwise, if you repair the tire and then get into a road traffic accident, your insurance company will refuse to cover your damage because of using that tire, even if the accident has nothing to do with tires at all. That’s why it’s cheaper for Europeans to replace tires whenever they are damaged, even if the damage is tiny and doesn’t affect it’s characteristics. We don’t have such strict rules here in Ukraine, that’s why we have no problem using repaired tires.
Anyway, if you live in Ukraine, finding a new tire is a piece of cake – the market of used tires in HUGE and the prices are cheap. Yet, since most of my readers are not from Ukraine, let’s talk about how to find the right tires for a motorcycle when you live in western countries.
I assume that you not living in Ukraine doesn’t change the fact that you want to get good tires without putting a huge dent in your bank account. Therefore, paying for brand new tires from some fancy shop isn’t an option. But with the Internet at your services, you’ll be able to find good motorcycle tires cheap no matter where you live.
An easy way to get the things you need would be to go to the nearest used tire market or shop that sells them, same way one would do in Ukraine. However, if there aren’t any near you or the stuff they offer isn’t what you want, you should find an online motorcycle tire shop. But be aware that just any shop won’t do in this case. As you won’t be able to examine the item yourself to make sure it’s in top condition, you need to be 100% sure that the shop is trustworthy.
And hey, I’m already hearing your ‘but I can send the thing back and get a refund if it’s not good!’ But the reality as I’ve discovered isn’t as nice. In every case I’ve had to deal with getting a refund for a product I ordered online I got a huge headache and stress for my efforts. True, you can get your money back if the product doesn’t live up to expectations. However, in some cases you might not and the entire process is extremely stressful, especially with international purchases.
So, I implore you to heed my advice and only buy from a trusted online retailer with a good reputation and top-notch customer service. And don’t forget to mind the shipping cost.
It’s not only motorcycle tires that the same buying methods will work for. If you, like me, love your ATVs, the same issue of getting good tires for a reasonable price is definitely a concern for you. Of course, the best way to go is always to look for ATV tires for sale, especially ones with good discounts. This can help you offset the cost of shipping. Personally, I advise getting new ATV tires and generally doing your best to keep every part of the vehicle in top shape. As repairing it can cost you quite a pretty penny, investing in the best of the best to prevent expensive repairs is fully justified.
Speaking of ATVs (damn, I love those things, they are so much fun to ride ;), it’s a real pain in the butt to get spare parts and even used tires for them when living in Ukraine. You do can buy the needed part online, but the price including shipping will be quite high and you’ll have to wait quite some time for the needed part to be delivered to you. Buying the needed part from some local shop is not an option – for example, buying some Honda ATV OEM parts from a local reseller will triple the actual price, at the least. All you have to do is hope your vehicle won’t break down during the riding season. Otherwise, you’ll spend weeks of precious time waiting for the needed parts to arrive from overseas. That’s why it’s super important to spend some time in winter on your motorcycle or ATV maintenance to find and fix all possible issues that might occur when the riding season starts.
Hope you found some useful info in this article. I’ll do my best to fight back my laziness and get back to you with a new post asap 😉
Meanwhile, ride safe,