What are Motorcycle Chicken Strips?
When you have a new bike or set of tires there are always small strips of rubber protruding from the sides of both tires. These are most noticeable along the outer edges of new tires. These small and natural rubber extrusions are known among bikers as “Chicken Strips”.
Whilst most of the rest of a new set of tires are easily worn on the roads by routine riding, it is common for these chicken strips to remain in place along the outer edges of new tires as depicted in the picture above.
Motorcycle chicken strips, despite their peculiar name, are a perfectly common sign of a new and fresh tire. The same can be said of regular bicycle tires.
The presence of these chicken strips is completely usual and expected. In fact, if the tire does not possess these strips when you first purchase it, questions may be raised in regard to whether the tire is actually in brand new condition or has been previously worn.
In this article we will discuss a topic which has attained cult-status for many riders around the world. This divisive issue is something which could earn you scorn or high-praise depending on the outcome and is viewed by many as a rite of passage in the biking community.
The issue we are referring to is that of ‘Chicken Strips’ on the tires of your motorcycle. Here we will offer a brief explanation of what they are, how to avoid or get rid of them from your motorcycle and above all, why they are such a talked about issue within biking circles.
What Causes Them?
There are a number of factors which can contribute to the appearance of remanence of chicken strips on your motorcycle tires after they have been well worn.
The first and most alluded to reason for their appearance is the riding style of the rider. This is a commonly used reason, although the significance of its role may be overstated.
It is often said that riders who do not lean in the corners whilst riding are more likely to have chicken strips on their tires. In theory, this is true, since by not leaning into the corners, the outer edges of the tires never touch the road surface.
This means that the original rubber including the strips will remain present. That said, there are a number of variables which can also determine the outcome.
Riding speed, suspension type and quality of road surface can all play a major role in the development of chicken strips. Actually, they are nothing to be concerned about and quite simply hold cosmetic value.
The fact that there are so many contributing factors make them almost an inevitability for most riders. Especially those with a fresh new set of tires or whom happen to be riding on a non-asphalt surface quite often.
Why are Motorcycle Chicken Strips so Divisive?
Among biking groups and communities, it is a commonly held belief that riders whose tires are distinguished by the presence of chicken strips are in essence afraid to ride their bike to its full limitations. The system of thought exists among many which correlates leaning into corners with the effective removal of chicken strips from new tires.
This commonly causes tension among bikers with the accusation being leveled that those whose tires possess chicken strips are not leaning enough into corners for the fear of falling off.
To a certain extent this may indeed be true in that the degree of biking skill required to lean deeply into corners and also the risk of having an accident whilst doing so are high. However, it is a mistake to believe that this is the only cause of chicken strips, as we have outlined above.
Not only is this not the sole cause of chicken strips on a motorcycle tire, it is not alone the solution. In most cases, leaning into every corner will not guarantee removal of chicken strips. This would require a calculated number of behaviors including variation of speeds and tinkering with the suspension of a bike. To many, this is a tiresome and needless effort in pursuit of an exaggerated badge of honor.
How to Avoid Getting Them
There are a number of ways in which you can attempt to avoid having chicken strips on your tires, however, as we mentioned above, it is far from a simple exercise.
You can try risking life and limb by leaning deeply into every corner. This however, is likely to end badly sooner or later and in truth, besides not being worth it is also no surefire guarantee of success.
Similarly, you can try altering your riding speeds and surfaces as well as your suspension settings. These can all have a positive impact in helping to reduce your chicken strips on your new tires. Again however, it is somewhat of a fool’s errand as it may not be wholly successful in every case depending on tire brand and manufacturing quality among other things.
The only guaranteed method of removing your chicken strip, and it is one which more and more people are availing of, is to sand them away. By manually sanding the chicken strips off your tires, you can be guaranteed they are fully gone. This ensures your own personal satisfaction as well as plaudits from your motorcycling comrades.
It is an extreme length to reach however and this could very easily result in permanent damage to your tires if you are not careful. Overall you should question very carefully if the ends justify the means in this case before proceeding.
It is clear to see that chicken strips on tires are just a fact of life for most motorcycle riders. While these may lead to some playful banter among the group, they are really a natural occurrence which you should try not to overthink. If you seriously want to remove them however, we hope that you can find a method within this article to help in your mission.
Don’t forget to check out the other articles on the site for useful riding advice as well as the best motorcycle accessories on the market which we have fully reviewed to assist you with attaining the most pleasurable riding experience possible.