Although checking Softail tire pressure and tire/wheel inspection is very easy to do, it is by far the most commonly overlooked pre-ride inspection. Tire pressure should always be checked cold, and while tire manufacturers do label every tire with a maximum pressure specification, we suggest following the factory service manual recommendations for front and rear tire pressures. Most Harley Davidson service manual suggest running Softail tire pressure at 36 psi front and 40 psi in the rear.
M8 Softail Tread Wear
Failing to maintain correct Softail tire pressure will result in premature and uneven tire wear, which will prove to be more costly over time. A severely under filled tire can result in a bent rim, broken spokes, or much worse; a blow out.
Here is a list of times when motorcycle tires should be replaced:
Damage that can’t be repaired
Tire with a puncture larger than 0.25 inches
Tire more than 10 years old
Weather-checked (cracked around the circumference), often due to UV or fluorescent exposure
Tire that has been run with exceedingly low pressure (damage is typically seen as a circumferential ring that looks “rubbed in”)
Tire with cuts or slices
Tire with missing tread blocks
Tire that is worn (less than 2/32 of an inch of tread in any area)
Tire displaying tread wear indicators
Tire that has cross section significantly altered (flatter or more pointed due to uneven wear)
Tire that is feathered or cupped and is making noise or exhibiting a choppy ride; some front tire cupping is normal, but a worn tire may exhibit severe feathering.