February 17 2009.

TyreSafe is calling on the tyre trade to support BikeTyre Safety Month as MoT failure statistics show that the number of bike tyre defects is growing year on year

In the run-up to April's Bike Tyre Safety Month, TyreSafe is calling on tyre retailers to help raise awareness of the importance of tyres in bike safety, as many bikers take to the roads for their first ride of the spring. Despite the fundamental functions that tyres provide to bikers in terms of efficient handling, suspension and braking, statistics from VOSA reveal that in 2007-8, defective or illegal tyres was recorded as the fourth most common MoT failure defect. Worryingly, the number of MoT failures attributed to defective tyres has grown year on year for the past three years, increasing from 2.8 percent of motorcycles tested in 2005-6 to 4.8 percent in 2007-8. Meanwhile, motorcycle fatality rates remain high, with Department for Transport figures showing that in 2007, 588 motorcyclists died in road traffic accidents, accounting for 20 percent of all fatalities on the road.

"With only two patches each the size of a credit card in contact with the road, it is essential that bikers ride on correctly inflated tyres with sufficient tread depth in order to avoid causing serious accidents," comments Rob Beddis, TyreSafe chairman. "Any bikers carrying pillion or panier loads should also check the recommend tyre pressure level for the bike when fully loaded. The trade can play their part in helping to reduce the alarming number of motorcycle fatalities by joining our campaign to encourage bikers to consider the importance of tyre safety."

Bike Safety Month will aim to make motorcyclists more aware of the potential dangers of neglecting to maintain their tyres correctly. Motorcycle tyres that have been left standing over winter need to be checked to make sure they are inflated to the level recommended in the manufacturer's handbook. The condition of the tyres should also be checked to make sure there are no tears, cracks or bulges, and riders must ensure there is at least 1mm of tread depth across three quarters of the width of the tread pattern, with visible tread on the remaining quarter. Motorcyclists should also be careful to check that their wheels aligned correctly in order to avoid any uneven wear patterns.

Dealers interested in participating in Bike Tyre Safety Month can download free campaign materials from the TyreSafe website at or by calling Christine Joyce on 0845 301 6852. TyreSafe is hoping that the campaign will have a similar positive effect to Tyre Safety Month held last October, which resulted in nearly 100 requests for posters and leaflets, and has helped increase traffic to the TyreSafe website by 57% from 2007.