The global demand for motorcycles has increased by 4.4% per annum due to the growing availability of affordable models in the market. In owning a motorcycle, you have to be aware of the maintenance and how to keep the motorcycle in top condition by monitoring its parts. Aside from oil changes, keeping your tires in good condition is crucial. Lets talk about how long do motorcycle tires last?
How often should you change your motorcycle tires?
Motorcycle Tires are known for their flexibility and durability, layered with different complex products which are necessary to perform at the highest level. The variety of use that these Tires provide like adventure touring to off-roading. These constant use will cause the tire to slowly weary away especially if you’re off-roading. Consequently, the tread will become less effective over time.
By using the penny test, you will be able to know the general condition of your tires. Checking the condition of your tires is important because you will be driving on a road whether there are dangers lying ahead. All tires have their stamp of the manufactured date. If you don’t know what a stamp is, it is the four-digit number in the sidewall of the tires.
The most common age of tires when they are replaced is if they are five years old. This is a general guideline and doesn’t really apply to all. You can look at the age of the tires using the stamp so be mindful. Using tires that are beyond 5 years is not recommended because the rubber continuously wears away and can only offer low levels of grip.
There are also several factors to look out for that may speed up the decomposition of the rubber. Heat can be a huge factor for your tires to wear out. Heat cycles will increase the rate of oxidation. If a tire has gone through many heat cycles, it will lose its adequate level of grip which renders it unusable. Do not try traveling with a “baked-out” tire or you may be caught in an accident.
Why do Motorcycle Tires wear out so fast?
A lot of beginner riders definitely do not know that Motorcycle Tires wear out significantly faster than other vehicles. It is a common scenario to see riders change their front tire after a few months, then their rear tire, and their front tire again. Motorcycle Tires are engineered differently. They are made with rubbers that are softer for them to have a better grip. These rubber compounds wear faster than car tires.
Why is it needed for a softer rubber? This is for lighter weight and to have a high coefficient of friction in a road. Motorcycles lean pretty far over in sharp curves because Motorcycles are just for speeding up on a road. The rounded design means that Motorcycles will have a much smaller contact patch compared to a car. Putting a softer rubber for the car tires will ensure more grip, transaction and will be much safer.
Car tires are not designed to lean on sharp curves which is why their treads are pretty flat and are designed to be much harder thus it wears slower. The weather and the temperature can be strong factors as heat cycles can affect the condition of your tires.
For this part, it is recommended to use tire warmers to reduce the number of heat cycles and to keep the tires warm. The road surfaces are also a great factor. Riding on smooth pavement will make your tires last longer than on coarse roads.
It is also important to know what Motorcycle tires do not wear out evenly as the Rear tire will always wear faster than the Front tires. This is because more weight is transferred to the rear tire and it is the one that drives the motorcycle as the Front tire is the one for taking turns and leaning on sharp curves.
The factors of acceleration, deacceleration, braking forces are also covered by the Rear tire. Due to this, the Rear tire deals with friction more significantly than the Front tire.
The types of Motorcycles will also dictate the difference in how fast their tires wear out. Powerful motorcycles will easily wear out their tires while the lighter and less powerful won’t. The weight of a Motorcycle greatly affects how fast the tires wear out. A heavier motorcycle is more likely to wear its tires away rather than a light motorcycle with touring tires.
Riding habits should also be considered on how fast can a Tire wear out. Riders who always go hard on swerving at high speed, the tires are guaranteed to not last long. Smooth and quiet riders will enjoy their tires longer. So make sure to buy tires that will suit your riding style.
How do you know when your Motorcycle Tires need to be replaced?
Motorcycle tires are estimated to last about 2,500 to 17,000 miles or about 5 to 7 years. Tracking the mileage will help you understand whether a tire should be replaced. But you can also tell if your tires wear out by their shape. If you notice that it lost their round shapes and are looking more angular, this can be a sign.
So if this happens, try re-inflating your tires because it is possible that the pressure of the tire is low and that is what causes it to be misshapen. Check for the tread wear indicator in the sidewall of your tire, if it is flush then this is the indication that you should change your tire.
Also, try the penny test. Take a penny and place it inside of your tire, if you can see the head, then it’s time to change it because the tread might be worn out. Check for signs of cracking from your tires and replace them should there be as they can cause dangerous blowouts during the ride. Lastly, monitor if your tires are damaged and quickly replace them if they are as they can lead to accidents.
Should I replace both motorcycle tires at the same time?
No, you don’t need to change both the tires at the same time and you’ll most likely won’t because of the fact that Rear Tires wear faster than Front Tires. As stated above, the Front tire and the Rear Tire have different functions, and the Rear tire is the one subjected to the factors that drive the Motorcycle like acceleration and braking force.
Can I use two different brand tires on my motorcycle?
Mixing two different brands of tires for your Motorcycle is not illegal. However, it is not recommended as it may affect the performance of the Motorcycle. Why? Manufacturers develop tires in pairs, not individually because the testing of the transaction and handling qualities are done by pairs.
There are certain instances that you have more wear on one and less wear on the other which can cause unpredictability and danger.
The problem with mixing the brands is you will do it by yourself because Manufacturers won’t recommend this, not because it is a sales tactic but this is how tires work. Each tire provides different traction depending on the terrain so it is much better to stick with a pair of tires from the same brand.
What causes uneven wear on Motorcycle Front tires?
Properly working tires are crucial to prevent danger while traveling and for a safe operation. So determining what causes uneven wear on a Motorcycle will help you properly maintain its performance. Uneven wear can be caused by the misalignment of the tires. If you are driving daily on rough roads or terrain, it may throw the Front Tire’s alignment out which will result in uneven wear.
It can also be caused by improper inflation of the tires so make sure to check that it is properly inflated. When a tire is inflated, it will show wear significantly. Lastly, the most common reason is if the tire is improperly balanced. The signs that it is not balanced can be determined by either strong vibrations or patch wear which shows worn spots being larger than the other.
Are wider tires better on a motorcycle?
The width of the tire corresponds to the width of the Motorcycle. If you have a big and heavy one, you’ll need bigger tires for grip. Wider tires have many advantages that make them popular and suits different riding style. Just keep in mind that Tire width influences how a Motorcycle can lean at an angle and how it will take longer for it to speed up. Wider tires are not good for handling although it helps the rider maintain more balance at higher speeds. Narrower and lighter tires are better for performance and handling but they have less cornering performance.
So it is better to go for wider tires? It is better to check your owner’s manual or look for the frame or swing arm. Picking the size of your tires should be based on what type of activities you’ll be doing and what capabilities that you need. Do proper research to ensure that the tires you’ll be choosing will keep you safe while you go out there and ride.
Proper care and maintenance of your tires is important and should be strictly followed because it is the one that keeps your Motorcycle on the ground. Be sure to regularly check and inquire for more helpful tips about your Motorcycle Tires.