Inflate, Inspect,Integrate .. all about tyres

INFLATE, INSPECT, INTEGRATE… this is all about tyres

Read this story and then see the discussion at the end…

New tyres linked to Coventry biker death crash on Baginton road

A motorcyclist died after losing control of his bike just half an hour after it was fitted with brand new tyres, an inquest has heard.

Jason Bayliss, aged 38, of Morfa Gardens, Coundon, Coventry, suffered fatal injuries when he collided with a fence post in Stoneleigh Road, Baginton, shortly before 7pm on Thursday, January 31.

Passers-by called the ambulance service and started CPR after finding Mr Bayliss lying at the side of the road with his helmet still on and his legs in the carriageway.

But he had suffered serious injuries including a broken spine, internal bleeding and broken ribs and he was declared dead at the scene by paramedics.

Mystery still surrounds what happened in the moments before the crash, but during the inquest at Leamington Justice Centre, Jason’s partner Emma Sheen told how he had bought new Michelin tyres for his Suzuki in Coventry at about 6.30pm that day.

Experts explained how the tyres could have been a factor in the collision, because it took between 25 to 50 miles before they were worn enough or “scrubbed in” to make them safe.

Mr Bayliss had ridden for only five miles before the smash.

Investigations showed no faults with the vehicle and no drugs or alcohol were found in his system.

PC Grant Dumbleton, a forensic collisions investigator with Warwickshire Police, said road and weather conditions were fair on the evening in question, and it was clear both tyres were new, before saying: “Jason Bayliss lost control. The new tyres fitted to the Suzuki were likely to be a contributing factor.”

A vehicle examiner also explained that until the tyres were scrubbed in “it feels like you’re on marbles” and that Jason’s motorcycle was a “pretty foolproof bike”.

“I told him before he got the tyres that new tyres can be dangerous, he wouldn’t have been stupid.

“I would say to all motorcyclists get your tyres scrubbed in. They can be done where they’re fitted before you ride them at an extra cost.”

 InBalance Motorbike Training discussion:

Inflation, Inspection ,  Integration;  these are the requirements for safer motorcycling.

In respect to the need to ‘scrub’ tyres in, and there are varying attitudes on this topic, it is probably best to do what your tyre retailer advices and mine tells me to take it easy for about 100 kilometres until the tyres would be considered scrubbed in.  There is nothing to be lost by following that advice.

It is timely to reconsider the interaction between a tyre and the road.  In my InBalance Motorbike Training Q-Ride course  I often ask learner riders about the tyre interaction with the road.  The consistent theme is that they consider the interaction to be 2-Dimensional, that is, the tyre runs along the surface of the road.  When it is explained that is actually a 3-Dimensional relationship where the degree of 3 –Dimensional interaction is influenced by the temperature and the type of tyre compound, ranging from long lasting touring to shorter lasting sport tyres, the learner really starts to trust the motorbike not to fall over when leaning.

The photographs display close up views of a random/usual road around where I live and conduct Q-Ride courses in theBrisbane Logan and Gold Coast areas.  You can see how the tyre could provide traction by distorting and filling in all of the ‘hills and valleys’ of the bitumen surface with rubber.  This is exactly what occurs and helps learners to understand that even though you have a relatively small contact patch, the contact patch is working in a 3-dimensional interaction, keying into the surface (not unlike velcro) where the grip provided far exceeds the area of contact providing you with considerable traction.  The traction that the tyres can providehopwever is vitally dependant on  their correct inflation and their condition.  It is wel known that a 10% variance in inflation pressure either side of the manufacturer’s recommended pressure will have adverse affects on the handling performance of the motorcycle.  So get a reliable tyre pressure gauge to ensure that you are riding the safest way with correct tyre pressures.  You must also ensure that your tyres are in good condition, that is no cracks, splits or old age perishing.  An Inspection of the tread wear indicators show that they are within acceptable limits. So your Inflation is correct, Inspection of your tyres shows that they are in good condition, then now you need to Integrate.

When learning to ride you must trust your tyres, knowing that they can provide much more traction than you initially believe posssible, allowing you to achieve lean angles or braking forces far beyond anything you have experienced before.

In the excellent book by Bernt Spiegel he explains why a lean angle of 20 degrees is easily achieved and why it takes confidence to lean more, all to do with our ‘survival hard wiring’.  So to learn to trust your tyres you have to be able to feel them.  A great analogy is to consider your motorbike  to be a tool.  When you use a tool for a period of time you integrate with it so that you can ‘feel’ the working tip/end at the working surface and not in your hand where you grip the tool.

Try this:  hold onto a stick/ pen/screwdriver (tool), close your eyes and pass the tip of the tool over a surface with varying features, a door/window frame, wall etc.  Determine if you ‘feel’ the surface where you hand holds onto the tool or do you ‘feel ‘ the tip touching the surface.  Try this with both hands.  When you ‘feel’ the tip of the tool at the surface interface you are integrated with the tool, your mind has incorporated the tool into your physical self.  As soon as you let go of the tool the integration ceases and it is then just a tool.  Your motorbike is also a tool to get you somewhere by riding and not walking.  When you ride on it you can be a passenger, which is where most learners begin, after a while you then become a component and therefore integrated with the’ tool’ , this is when your hands can’ feel’ the tyre contact patches on the road and not in the handlebars.  Really quite good work by Bernt Spiegel .

For safe motorcycle riding Remember: INFLATE, INSPECT, INTEGRATE.

 Brad Hall,

Director: InBalance Motorbike Training PTY LTD