We all know how important our tires are, being the only thing between us and the road, understanding the basics of tires can help you notice and prevent problems from occurring or escalating. The first thing to consider is tire pressure. Your tire pressure is measured in "PSI levels" or "pounds per square inch" which is the amount of force exerted on an area of one square inch. Pick up a gauge and keep it in your bike when you ride.
Check your tire pressure BEFORE you ride, when your tires are cold because heat from riding changes the density and pressure of the air inside your tires. Read your owner's manual for the appropriate PSI and keep it in the recommended range. Correct tire pressure extends the life of your tire and ensures your riding on the correct part of your tire, for maximum safety. If you need to add air, you can at most gas stations, add air then check the pressure again.
Next thing to consider is tread wear and knowing when you get a new set of tires. It's common to check the depth of tire tread with a coin. Some people us a quarter, some a penny; inserted into the tread with the corresponding dead president's head pointing down. If the head of the president is completely exposed it's time for a tire change. If your motorcycle is being stored on a freezing floor during winter, place a thick piece of cardboard under the tires to keep them off the floor. Keep an eye on your tires, if you notice chunks coming out of the tire or obviously punctures or nails bring it in to a shop for someone to take a look at it.
A tire change can be an expensive venture, but there are a few things you can do to cut costs with a little elbow grease. Removing your own wheels for a tire change, depending on the shop can cut tire changes in half. Call around to the shops in your area to compare prices changing tires with the wheels on the bike versus off the bike. Some shops will also give deals on changes if you buy the tires from the shop. To remove your own wheels you need your stock tool kit and a set of motorcycle stands. Put your bike on the front and rear stands and remove the wheels. Every bike has different components that allow you to remove the wheels, so check your manual or Google your bike to get the specifics.
With a little know-how your tires can live a long and healthy life of keeping you safe on the road. Don't be a stranger to them and give them the attention they need.