Motorcycle Accident Allegedly Caused by New Tires

    This case involves a motorcycle accident. The plaintiff, a forty-three-year-old female, purchased a new motorcycle. She had been riding for over twenty years. Also, she had the dealership place new tires on the motorcycle. The new tires were installed, but had a layer of wax on them for protection, as is commonplace with new tires. When leaving the dealership, she drove for eleven and a half miles, and on a slight turn, the motorcycle slid out from under her, which caused the plaintiff to fall and sustain serious injuries to her arms and head. The plaintiff brought suit against the tire manufacturer, stating that the tires were defective. An expert in tire failure analysis was sought to opine on the issue.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Is this a normal occurrence in a motorcycle with new tires?

    Expert Witness Response E-006300

    There are two aspects of this case that need to be discussed: the status of the wheels and the status of the roadway. Regarding the wheels, most new tires have a layer of wax on them for preservation. Relevant literature suggests that any rider should spend seventy-five to one hundred miles “breaking in” tires. Still, reasonable caution should ensure that the rider is safe with the tires, and unless there are significantly elevated speeds, the motorcycle should not slide out with the force that it did in this case. For the roadway, an analysis of the angle of the turn, any slope, and the overall condition of the road all factor into how a rider should approach it. Still, tires, even when new, should not give out like they did in this case. I would like to examine the specifics of the tires and model of the bike because, based on the facts presented, it appears that something was abnormal with them.

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