Illinois Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycle accidents can have many causes, as discussed elsewhere within this site.

One cause of motorcycle accidents is that caused by types of mechanical or tire failure.  While these factors do not appear to be a prominent cause of Illinois motorcycle accidents, they nonetheless do occur.  One way to lessen and/or prevent the possibility of such failures is to perform (or have performed) a thorough, recurring check of the motorcycle for potential mechanical and/or other safety issues.

As discussed in the “Early-Season Motorcycle Riding Safety Issues” page, performing these checks are especially important after the motorcycle has (likely, especially in Illinois) not been ridden over the winter months:

Be sure that the motorcycle is in proper working order and has been properly maintained.  Since the motorcycle likely has not been ridden for a number of months, it is important to make sure that no maintenance issues have developed during (or due to) the inactivity.

One type of incident that can happen due to neglected maintenance is a tire blowout.

A tire blowout happens when there is a sudden loss of air pressure in a tire, due to the tire’s inability to hold air.  Many different adverse situations can arise due to a tire blowout, including instability.

While the underlying reasons for tire blowouts are numerous, a few of the common reasons for blowouts include:

  • Overloaded vehicles (weight of vehicle is higher than tires can safely handle)
  • Tire is badly worn or otherwise lacks structural integrity
  • Lack of air pressure (i.e. tire is underinflated)
  • Hitting a road hazard (e.g. pothole, nail, sharp object, other debris, etc.)
  • High heat

Often, it is not just one of the above factors, but many that coexist at the same time that lead to a blown tire.

The June 8, 2015 post (“Fatal Accident On Tri-State Tollway After Tire Blowout“) discusses a Chicago area fatal car accident that occurred due to a tire blowout.

A recent Illinois motorcycle accident is being attributed to the blowout of a rear motorcycle tire.  That accident is summarized in the June 28, 2015 post titled “Two Fatal Motorcycle Accidents In Peoria County.”

An excerpt:

In this accident, which happened at approximately 12:55 p.m., a nail in the rear motorcycle tire caused a blowout, and the couple was ejected from the motorcycle.

The couple on the motorcycle both later died from the injuries they sustained from this accident.

Many resources exist that discuss (and list) motorcycle maintenance issues.  One of these is from Allstate, and is titled “Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist.”

For further reference:

The August 26, 2013 Popular Mechanics article, titled “Why Blowouts Happen – and How to Avoid Them” discusses various aspects of tire blowouts, including why blowouts happen and how one can avoid them.

AAA, Tire Safety and Maintenance