The Two Wheel Rotation

Feb 01, 2022

Hey, you know what it's time for? It's time for a puzzler.

This is a puzzle that I've had for a long time and I've never used it.  

A motorcyclist goes into his friendly motorcycle repair shop. And he asked the fellow who works there to give him a tune up and to change the oil. The fellow looks at the bike and says okay, "I can manage to do that." And then the mechanic says, "Would you like me to rotate your tires?" And the motorcyclist bursts into laughter.

The question is, is the mechanic right or is he trying to pull a fast one on the guy?

Does it make sense to rotate your motorcycle tires? You can presume there was no sidecar involved!



Last week's puzzler was almost automotive except there were only two wheels instead of four.

Now this is the guy who took his motorcycle for a tuneup, and the mechanic says, "Hey, we want you to rotate your tires?"

Now we're asking you: was the question that ridiculous?

And interestingly,  if you did rotate them, would you just take the front one and put it in the back? Or would you turn it around? You could do it both ways, couldn't you?
Seeing that the rear one is the one that's propelled, you might think that that would wear out faster, seeing that the  front tires of a car wear out faster than the rear if it's front-wheel drive.

And, you know, just from steering.

So you might say, "Well, that would be a good reason." But that's not really the reason for a motorcycle.

And the reason is that the left-hand edge of the tire is going to wear out faster than the right-hand edge because of the way the motorcycle was driven on the road, on the crown of the road. The motorcycle tire never sits up on the crown, you're always riding on that part of the road which is going to cause the left-hand side of the tire to wear out.

So what you want to do is take the tires, and not rotate the front or the back but actually dismount the tire and turn and remount on the wheel and flip it around so that it wears more evenly.

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