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Tag: how to read motorcycle tire size

how to read motorcycle tire size

How do you read motorcycle tire sizes?THE FIRST NUMBER – WIDTH. The 130 indicates the width of the tire in millimeters.THE SECOND NUMBER – ASPECT RATIO. The second number,the 90,represents how tall a motorcycle tire is in relationship to its width.THE THIRD NUMBER – RIM SIZE. The last number,17,refers to the tire’s rim diameter expressed in inches.

How much does a motorcycle tire weigh?

How much do motorcycle tires weigh compared to other types of tires?On average,passenger car tires weigh between 20 and 22 pounds.Light truck and SUV tires weigh between 35 and 48 pounds.Semi-truck tires weigh between 105 and 115 pounds.RV and motorhome tires weigh about 71 pounds.ATV tires weigh between 19 and 45 pounds.Lawnmower tires weigh about 5 to 7 pounds,on average.Golf cart tires weigh about 10 pounds.More items…

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 to measure motorcycle tires?

Motorcycle Tire Sizes ExplainedWidth. The first number or second letter in a tire size represents the nominal width. …Aspect Ratio. You use the aspect ratio to indicate a tire’s cross-sectional profile. …Speed Rating. A speed rating provides the maximum speed at which a tire can be used based on maximum load and inflation pressure.Tire Construction. …Rim Diameter. …

How to read motorcycle tire specs?

Steps Download ArticleRead the manufacturer and the tire name. These are printed in large letters toward the outside of the tire.Look at the service description. The service description,although it doesn’t appear on every tire,is usually right after the manufacturer name.Find the width and aspect ratio. …Know the internal construction of the tire. …Know the rim diameter. …More items…

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.

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.

Motorcycle Tire Sizes Rim Width Chart

British motorcycle rims (Triumph, BSA, Norton etc.) are marked with a letter and number designation. This is helpful to know what tires you can mount on your rim based on the manufacturer’s specs.

Common Motorcycle Tire Sizes Chart

The following chart shows some common tire sizes, including their width and the diameter. Very handy when choosing which tire will fit your bike, or which motorcycle rear fender to buy to fit the tire you want to run on your new build!

Todd Muller

Todd Muller is known for his experience and knowledge of motorcycle mechanics. His specialties include Triumph and Harley-Davidsons, and he has helped thousands of people around the world with everything from how to wire their custom bike to rebuilding an engine.

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 many inches does a 150mm tire need to be on a rim?

Squeezing a 150mm tire (lets go back to that tire chart) … 150 = 6 inches onto a rim that was meant to accept a 130mm wide tire = 5.0 inches will pinch in the sidewall out and will cause an extreme arc in the side tread of the tire. This tire will now "fall very fast" into corners and will have much less of a contact patch, or rubber on the road in the corner. Not good!

What are bias ply tires made of?

Bias Ply tires were the original and they are best suited for heavy duty loads, and that is why we see them on most heavy cruiser and touring motorcycle applications. Bias Ply tires are made of layers of cords laid down from bead to bead running across the tire in alternating layers made up of materials such as Nylon, Rayon or Polyester. This makes for a very stiff sidewall, which will bear much weight, but the tires get hot, and are less nimble than their newer Radial brothers and sisters.

What is radial tire?

Radial Tires, which came to the motorcycle world in very limited applications in the 1980’s, run their layers across the tire radially and are typically made of steel. These alternating layers of steel belts are stacked in the tread area of the tire only. Steel belts dissipate heat quicker than bias cords and the sidewalls of radial tires are thinner and more flexible allowing the tire to be more nimble and provide more rider feedback than a Bias Ply tire.

Why do tires have balance dots?

Balance dots appear on most street oriented tires. Balance dots are placed by the tire manufacture to indicate the lightest part of the tire. As a rule of thumb, when mounting the tire, it is best to line this dot up with the valve stem. This should require "less weight" to be added in order to get the tire / wheel combo balanced. All street or track bound tires should be balanced to ensure the best stability at speed, to promote even tire wear and to maximize mileage.

What kind of tires does Chaparral have?

Chaparral Motorsports has all kinds of motorcycle tires ! We have hard compound, soft compound, intermediate compounds. Wide White Wall, Narrow White Wall, super sticky tires and high mileage tires, 100% street tires, 100% dirt tires and everything in between 80/20, 70/30, and even 50/50. But none of that matters if you don’t know what motorcycle tire fits your bike . Fitment isn’t just about size, there are several other factors to consider, so lets dive in. But first if you’re the type of person that would rather watch the move than read the book check out this video on our YouTube channe l which covers everything below.

Why is it important to choose a tire?

Just because a tire is the right size and is cheap… does not mean that it will be able to "carry the load" you will throw at it or be able to "sustain the speeds you travel.".

What is the MU of a tire?

The first set of letters is the width. MU = 140 millimeters. Reference a Street Tire Size Conversion Chart for all of the Letter Designation Breakdowns.

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