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Tag: how to read a motorcycle tire

how to read a motorcycle tire

How to Read Motorcycle Tires1. Tire Size First,you need to know how to determine if a tire is the correct size for your motorcycle. …2. Radial vs. Bias Ply The “B” or “R” in a standard metric or alphanumeric tire rating will tell you which of the two major tire types you’re looking at. …3. Tire Load Rating and Tire Speed Rating …4. Recommended PSI …

How to tell if motorcycle tires are good?

When To Replace Motorcycle Tiresa) Tread Depth. To ensure that you don’t guess the expected lifespan of your motorcycle tires,manufacturers often add wear bar running across the tire tread.b) Age. As a general rule,the lifespan of your motorcycle tires should not go over and beyond five years. …c) Cracking. …d) Punctures and Cuts. …e) Loss of Pressure. …f) Odd Feeling. …g) Inflation. …

How to tell if your motorcycle tires are worn.?

Wear indicators are available on nearly every tire meant for consumer use, including motorcycle tires. Sometimes a triangle or the letters TWI will be located on the sidewall. These are used to help you find where the wear indicator is located on the tire’s tread. Once the tire is worn down to the point of being on the same level as the wear …

How do you balance a tire on a motorcycle?

Part 2 of 2: Evening the Wheel’s WeightGently spin the tire and wait for it to stop. Give the wheel a spin so it turns 2 or 3 times. …Mark the lowest part of the wheel with tape. Peel off a small piece of masking tape. …Tape a wheel weight to the rim’s top end. …Rotate the wheel to spin it again. …Add and remove weights to balance the wheel. …More items…

How do you read the numbers on tires?

The index is not a hard number; it’s just a symbol of sorts. …To find out how much your entire car can carry without putting undue strain on your tires,multiply the number you found in the Load-Carrying Capacity Per Tire chart by …Never replace your tires with ones that have a lower load index than the original tires. …

What is an inch tire?

Inches: An older and less common tire rating system that’s used mostly for vintage motorcycle tires, dirt bike tires and sidecar tires.

What are the most important parts of a motorcycle?

Your motorcycle’s tires are among the most important parts of the bike. The size, tread and performance ratings of the tires on your bike will have a huge impact on how your bike handles. But to learn about what any given tire offers, you’ll first need to learn the art of how to read motorcycle tires.

What does load rating mean on a bike?

As you can probably guess, a load rating tells you how much weight a tire is rated to bear safely, and a speed rating tells you the top speed that the tire can safely accommodate . These ratings are extremely important for a safe ride, and you should always check that the tires you’re putting on your bike (or the tires that it comes with when buying it) meet or exceed the combined weight of the bike and rider and the speeds at which you’ll be riding it.

What is a metric tire?

Metric: The most common tire size rating system, used for everything from sport bikes to cruisers.

Can you inflate tires above PSI?

But never inflate tires above their manufacturer’s recommended PSI rating. A tire pressure check should always be part of your standard pre-ride motorcycle inspection.

What is neat about tires?

One neat element of tires is that they each have specific identification details etched into the sidewall that read when, where, and how the tire was made.

What is the aspect ratio of a tire?

The aspect ratio compares the height of the sidewall to the overall tire width. In other words, an aspect ratio of 55 simply means that the sidewall height is 55% of the total width (180mm).

What is a tire identification number?

The tire identification number tells you exactly who manufactured your tires and when/where they did so. Here is an example of a TIN: The TIN always begins with “DOT” and is followed by the manufacturer code and tire size. In this case, “4B” refers to a specific tire plant, while “08” is the manufacturer’s tire size.

What is R construction?

R: Radial construction – Body plies are laid parallel to one another and perpendicularly to the bead

What is the first number on a tire?

The first number in the tire code designates the section width, or the distance (in millimeters) from sidewall to sidewall. It includes three digits. Consider this example:

How fast can a tire go?

A tire with a speed rating of W can withstand a speed of up to 168 miles per hour. This information gives you a guideline for using your vehicle to haul large loads. If you exceed the load capacity or speed rating recommendations, you could risk damaging your vehicle beyond repair.

How much weight can a tire hold?

The tire size information is proceeded by its speed rating and load index classification: The number 73 refers to the tire’s load index classification, meaning that the tire can hold up to 805 pounds. The higher the load index, the more weight the tire can withstand.

How to read date code on motorcycle tires?

To read the date code on motorcycle tires, you must find the 4-digit part of the DOT code on the sidewall of a tire. The first pair of numbers means the week, and the second pair means the year. source: pitstoparabia.com.

What is the DOT code for tires?

So, if you are wanting to determine the age of a tire with the code 3507 , you should read its manufacture date as the 35 th week of 2007.

How long do motorcycle tires last?

Motorcycle tires usually last for 5 to 10 years, but the golden age, according to most manufacturers, ends at the 6 th year of a tire’s frequent usage. The aging process depends on the environment and usage conditions, type of rubber, purpose of the tire, etc.

Why do tire manufacturers put hazard information in their manuals?

After that, manufacturers started to put the hazard information in their manuals, encouraging people to check the date code.

Do you have to put a tire code on both sides?

For consumers’ convenience and attention, the code is now required to be put on both sides of a tire. This new rule touches on all other parts of the whole tire code, including the sizing of the tire, its load index, speed rate, etc.

Why do motorcycle tires have sidewall codes?

Reading your motorcycle tire sidewall codes initially came about to identify the tires’ maker. But through the years, government legislation demanded safety markings be posted to help buyers know they are getting a legally approved tire.

Why are motorcycle tires important?

Our motorcycle tires are incredibly important. Not only relevant to our safety but also to our motorcycle’s handling. By design, it’s easy to imagine they come with specific compounds, approved safety ratings or markings. These codes are noted on the motorcycle tire sidewall and help riders identify not just sizes, but purchase healthy, approved and correctly certified motorcycle tires.

What is ETRTO in tire?

In Europe, the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation ( ETRTO) and the Tire and Rim Association (TRA) are two organisations which influence national tire standards and aim to align national tire and rim standards in Europe. An example would be “E2” – the “E” indicates that the tire conforms to ETRTO standard R75 and the “2” means that the tire was approved for this regulation by the nation of France.

What is 55 on a tire?

55 on the rear tire is the measurement from inside the bead (which sits inside the wheel rim holding the tire within it) to the top of the tire is 55% of the tires width. In this example, 55% of 180 millimetres is 99 millimetres, or 3.9 inches. Same formula for 70 on the front.

What is load index?

Load index and speed rating. The load index is the weight the tire is capable of handling when properly inflated. Most tire manufacturers show on the sidewall what that maximum load is so there is no guessing.

Why is it important to buy the right tire for a motorcycle?

Buying and using the right tire for your specific motorcycle or scooter is very important to its load, speed and overall performance.

What to check when mounting new tires?

There have been cases (usually happening in haste) when the mechanic puts the tire on in the wrong direction. Additionally, check the inflation (PSI) as like under inflation, one of the biggest mistakes people make with their tires is to exceed maximum levels and manufacturer inflation specs leading to poor handling and premature wear.

Tire size

Each motorcycle model requires specific tire sizes that are indicated by the manufacturer in its technical data sheet. It is very important to try to stick to the recommendations for safety and to adhere to the regulations of the road.


You may have noticed that we are still missing a piece of information from the previous sizes (120/70 ZR 17). These letters indicate the type of internal construction of the tire, whether it is radial or diagonal. If it is radial, it is indicated with a letter R or ZR, while if it is diagonal, it is usually not indicated, i.e.

Load capacity and speed symbol

In this section we are going to look at the load capacity index and the speed category symbol, i.e. numbers and a letter after the tire size.

Other data

If we take a closer look at our tires we will see that there is even more information about them on their sidewall, although with somewhat smaller letters.

Treadwear indicator

The first thing you should check is the tire wear indicator (TWI), which is a triangle imprinted on the side of the tire. It points to a line of rubber that is built into the tire that runs across the tread. If you notice this line is level with the top of the tread grooves, you will need to replace the tire.

Other types of wear

Motorcycle Tire Wear can indicate a number of issues. For instance, if the center of the tire is more worn than the edges, the tires may be overinflated. Conversely, underinflated tires will have worn edges. When your tires are underinflated, make sure to keep an eye on the pressure when you refill them.

Where to find the tire code

So how can you tell when your motorcycle tires reach their sixth birthday? You don’t have to play guessing games to figure it out – the information is all right in front of you, on the sidewall of each tire. Look on the outer sidewall for the acronym “DOT,” which should be followed by a series of numbers.

Deciphering the numbers

You may need to grab a calculator to figure out the age of a tire. For example, a tire with the digits 2510 was made in the 25th week of 2010. Instead of grabbing a calendar and counting out the weeks to determine the month, you can simply divide the number of weeks by 4.3. In this case, the tire would have been made in June 2010.

How to find tire speed rating?

To find the maximum load and inflation pressure, you’ll need to check the sidewall of the tire. A speed rating also has a letter code, and that is immediately after the width and aspect ratio. It’s part of the three-digit load/speed index. This is on the tire, immediately after the complete size designation. A Z-rated tire has no maximum speed — this rating is for more than 149mph. Check out this table to see what letters correspond with what speed ratings:

How to measure width of bike tire?

Width is measured in a straight line from the furthest point on one sidewall, across the tread, to the furthest point on the opposite sidewall. If there is any question whether or not a larger than OEM tire will fit your bike, youre encouraged to call Tech Service.

What is bias ply tire?

“Belted” means fiberglass, Kevlar or aramid fiber belts, which has added strength and load capacity. But, if a tire does not have (R), then it is bias-ply, which means that it has multiple, overlapping rubber plies.

What are the factors that determine the size of a motorcycle tire?

There are five main aspects to determining the ideal motorcycle tire sizing: width, aspect ratio , speed rating , tire construction and rim diameter. Let’s take a look at each:

What is an inch tire?

These tires do not have an aspect ratio designation marking. The cross-section tire height is 100% of the width. An inch-sized tire is bias-ply construction and is not belted. However, these are being phased out and are not used on newer motorcycles.

What is metric tire?

Metric. Metric tires are most commonly used and can work for sport bikes, cruisers, touring bikes and others. If there is no speed rating, the “M” will precede the metric size. After the speed rating, there will be a “B” or “R” to indicate if it is belted or radial tire construction.

What is the alpha size on a motorcycle?

The Alpha size designation is most often used for touring motorcycle tires. Even if a tire doesn’t have a“B” designation after the speed rating, it could be belted.

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