Check the tire pressures with a gauge that is known to be accurate. It is worthwhile purchasing a pocket gauge for this purpose because the gauges on garage forecourt airlines are notoriously inaccurate. The pressures, which should be checked with the tires cold, are given in the Specifications Sections of Chapter 9 - Wheels & Brakes and of this section. Note that they are recommended by BMW only for the tires fitted as standard to their machines and should be checked by reference to the tire pressure warning label on the machine in case different types of tire were fitted at the factory.
If the machine is fitted subsequently with another make and/or type of tire, the owner must check with the tire manufacturer to find out if different pressures are necessary. In most cases the BMW importer will be able to help with advice on recommended tires and pressures. Finally, ensure at all times that the pressures are suited to the load the machine is carrying and the speed at which it will be traveling.
At the same time as the tire pressures are checked, examine the tires themselves. Check them for damage, especially splitting of the sidewalls. Remove any small stones or other road debris caught between the treads. When checking the tires for damage, they should be examined for treed depth in view of both the legal and safety aspects.
It is vital to keep the tread depth within the UK legal limits of 1mm of depth over three-quarters of the treed breadth around the entire circumference with no bald patches. Many riders, however, consider nearer 2 mm to be the limit for secure road holding, traction, and braking, especially in adverse weather conditions, and it should be noted that BMW recommend minimum tread depths of 2.0 mm (0.08 in) for speeds below 80 mph (130 km/h), or 3 mm (0.12 in) for speeds above 80 mph (130 km/h), measured at the center of the tread.
If new tires are to be fitted, they must be of the correct size and speed or load rating, as listed in the Specifications Section of Chapter 9 - Wheels & Brakes. However great care must be taken when choosing new tires. First check with the importer or a good local BMW dealer what types of currently-available tire are approved for use on your particular model; do not forget to check the recommended tire pressures, if different. Do not use any other tire than those that are approved; if a particular make and/or type is not approved the factory, which conducts exhaustive tests, will have a very good reason for this. Once you have made your choice from the available selection, always fit front and rear tires from the same manufacturer; never mix different tire brands. Finally note the new pressures (if different) at all loads and speeds and keep this with the machine.
Next Section: 2. Check the oil level
Use only an accurate gauge to check tire pressures
Tread depths are measured at center of tread