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I unwrapped my newly acquired motorcycle front tire (sold as new), and noticed some cracks/crazing along the rim on both sides. The tire looks brand new and perfect otherwise. Should any amount of cracking/crazing be tolerated even if it's close to (or inside) the rim?

Looking at the manufacture date on the tire next to the DOT code, I see "1015", which would suggest that the tire is already between 4 and 4.5 years old on arrival. Seems old, but not ancient. Could be another warning sign.

crazing on tire

Full-size image

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Personally, I wouldn't be okay with that. It's probably fine, but if I buy a new tire, I don't want one that already shows its age like that.

I know depending on conditions tires can start cracking like that somewhat quickly (especially when stored empty).

The concern I'd have is that also suggests the rest of the tire will have similarly weakened compound, so once mounted and inflated it could degrade very quickly. But you won't know until way past any return policy period.

  • I'd have the same concerns, especially where a motorcycle is in question. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 3 at 18:51
  • I contacted the online supplier, and was told that this particular model (Avon Gripster) had been discontinued for a bit already -- so their remaining stock were probably just as old and bad. I was recommended to buy a different model. Kind of an odd answer (and stock management practice), but they've issued a refund. It makes my decision easier. I'll err on the side of caution. The fact that they've acknowledged this as being an issue also agrees with your answer. – mvm_init_js Jul 3 at 19:59
  • @mvm_init_js does sound odd, but it's good that the refund is sorted. Definitely don't want questionable tires on a bike, and even more so for the front. I personally tend to ride canyons a lot (and hard) so I replace my tires as soon as I notice even slight performance loss. It's a pricy practice, but it keeps me totally confident in those situations where it counts. – kyle_engineer Jul 3 at 21:33

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