How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

Your motorcycle tires connect you to the road. Hence their safety and upkeep are extremely important. Like everything else in life, tires come with a shelf life too. Factors such as excessive use and wear and tear reduce this shelf life.

Remember, your tires aren’t meant to last forever. A tire with significant wear and tear is at risk of skidding, especially when the road conditions are poor. Accidents can result, posing a safety hazard for you and those around you.

But don’t worry, we have a quick guide explaining how long your motorcycle tires will last. We also walk you through identifying the age of your tires and when to replace them.

How many miles do motorcycle tires last?

The number of miles that a motorcycle tire lasts depends on many factors that we will list below. If you are looking at a ballpark figure, the front tire can last a maximum of 3,700 miles while for the back tires, the mileage is about 1800 miles.

However, this is not a concrete figure and depends on several factors, such as maintenance and storage, wear and tear, the type of road traveled on, and the tire’s age.

Factors affecting the mileage of a motorcycle tire

Did you ever notice an oval stamp on the side of the tire with a code or a number on it? This code indicates the age of the tire. Let’s say the code is 1218. The number 12 represents the 12th week, while the number 18 represents the year 2018. This means your tire was manufactured during the 12th week of 2018.

Most manufacturers recommend changing the tire every five years. According to the scenario above, you will be able to use the tire until the 12th week of 2018. But experts are of the opinion that proper tire maintenance and storage can lengthen their lifespan by as much as ten years.

Wear and tear is another factor that affects the life of motorcycle tires. The tread on your tire is a pretty good indicator of how long it will last. Almost all tire manufacturers offer a “wear bar” to measure tire wear and tear. When the tread aligns with the wear bar, it means the tire has almost reached its end of life.

Have you ever noticed cracks appearing on the side of your tires? These can happen due to exposure to the sun and nature’s elements. Cracks are also an indication that the time is right to change the tires.

Maintenance and care also decide how long your tires will last you. You must have seen motorcycle enthusiasts take special care of their two-wheelers. They perform regular maintenance on them weekly and store them indoors whenever possible. This crucial step increases the mileage of your tires. 

It is important to store indoors since sun exposure damages tires and causes cracks. These cracks can significantly reduce the life of the tire.

Finally, the number of miles that your tire lasts will depend on the kind of roads you take. If you take the road less traveled, potholes and uneven roads can quickly wear out the tread on your tires and damage their surface as well.

So, if you are asking the question, “How many miles do motorcycle tires last”, the simple answer is “it depends” on the factors we have discussed above.

How often should you change your motorcycle tires?

Your motorcycle tires won’t last you forever. At some point, you must change them. So how often should you change the tires?

Most companies recommend changing your tires after five years from the date of manufacture to avoid any hassles with wear and tear. But this rule needn’t be followed across the board. Your use and maintenance determine the wear and tear of your tires. However, any tire older than 10 years must be replaced immediately.

You can extend the life of your tires beyond the recommended five years by taking a few precautions that will help you drive without any accidents and preserve their durability.

Get your tires examined every year with a professional mechanic. Check your tires for signs of wear and tear as they can indicate when the time is right for a tire change.

Your tire will tell you the right time to change your tires if you know the signs to look out for.

How to tell when you need to replace motorcycle tires?

To decide when you need to replace your motorcycle tires, consider the following factors:

Tread Depth

Most manufacturers add a wear bar to the tire to help you identify when you need to change the tire. When the tread matches the wear bar, you must go to a mechanic to get the tire changed.

Motorcyclists also use the penny trick to determine tire wear. Place a penny on the tread of the tire and check the head of Abraham Lincoln. If the head is not submerged in the tread, it is time to replace the tire.

Cracking

A motorcycle tire isn’t exactly resistant to the forces of nature. The sun can damage tires and cause cracks, especially on sidewalls. You must consider changing the tire if the cracking is too severe.

Loss of Pressure

Tires lose pressure over time and need to be inflated regularly. However, have you noticed that pressure loss is becoming more frequent? This happens when the bead is worn and is a good indicator that the motorcycle tire needs a change.

Excessive wearing

You can also check if the tires are excessively worn out by running your hands across the tire. In such conditions, you will also experience abnormal vibrations or pulsating when you are driving. Trust your instincts!! If you feel odd when driving your motorcycle, there is a good chance that your tire has passed its prime.

How to make motorcycle tires last longer?

Would you like your motorcycle tires to last longer? It isn’t rocket science, really! You will get the best mileage from your tires if you follow a few simple tricks and precautions. Here are a couple of dos and don’ts.

Maintain the right tire pressure

Make sure your tires are always inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Incorrect pressure can lead to uneven and excessive wear and tear on the tire and can be dangerous for the driver too.

Get Wheel Balancing checked

Get your motorcycle checked by a professional to ensure that all the tires are getting an equal distribution of weight throughout the wheel. By doing this, you will prolong the life of your tires.

Give new tires time to break-in

In the first 60-100 miles, new tires do not perform to their fullest potential. When you take your motorcycle out with new wheels, keep this in mind. Try to ride on good roads for the first 100 miles to give the tires time to break-in.

Keep your bike sheltered when not in use

The elements of nature, such as heat and sunlight, can affect the compounds of your tires and other parts of your bike. Maintain your motorcycle in a garage or a safe place where it stays protected from the weather.

When not in use, leave your motorcycle on the stands. This step reduces the contact of the tire with the ground and reduces the pressure on the rubber component of the tire.

Conclusion

How long do motorcycle tires last? There is no simple and straightforward answer to this question. Tire longevity is determined by a variety of factors, such as the age of the tire, the type of roads driven on, the weight of the driver, and more.

Tires can last much longer than the 5 years manufacturer recommends when properly maintained. Make sure you get regular motorcycle checks from a professional, protect it from extreme heat and cold conditions when not in use, and use it on roads that the tires can handle.

By following these simple steps, you can use your motorcycle tires for up to 10 years.

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