February 27 2008.

Defective tyres now account for the fourth biggest failure of motorcycle MOTs in the UK, after lights, brakes and suspension, according to the latest statistics from the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA), with the data also revealing that standards of bike maintenance are not getting any better.

The report showed that between 2006 and 2007, close to 5,000 bikes failed the annual MOT because of tyres which were not fit for purpose, compared to nearly 1,700 the year before, equating to a dramatic increase of 66%. Cars and light vans did not fair too much better during
the same period, recording a marked 54% rise, meaning that motorcyclists are not alone when it comes to not looking after their tyres correctly.

This presents a worrying picture says TyreSafe, and provides hard evidence of the extent to which tyres are neglected, and the thousands of riders who are putting their lives at risk every day on the nation's roads as a result of their condition. With a minimal contact patch
keeping the rider on the road, tyres which are not properly maintained can affect handling, cornering and the ability for the bike to achieve an optimum balance for the rider.

To emphasise the importance of the role which tyres play in the safety of motorcyclists, Bike Tyre Safety Month will be taking place throughout the month of March, a TyreSafe initiative designed to highlight the dangers of defective or badly worn tyres on motorcycles and scooters.

The four-week long campaign, the first of its kind, has received full backing from both tyre manufacturers and retailers, and further details of how to support the scheme may be found on the TyreSafe website at 

For further information on motorcycle tyre safety, visitors can download
the "Motorcycle Tyres and Your Safety" leaflet for free at