If you’ve ever been curious or wondered how long motorcycle tires should last, you’re one of those who recognize that the tires are essential and indispensable components of the motorcycle. It also shows that the need to care for tires like every other parts of the motorcycle is important.
Motorcycle tires will last up to five years in most cases. From all the motorcycles I’ve had over the years, the tires have all lasted five years. Some motorcycle tires can last more years, but you need to replace the tires and it’s most definitely a recommendation to maximize safety and other things to consider.
Perhaps, you’ve not come across a satisfactory answer. The truth is that answering such question isn’t as simple as you may think it seems. There are a lot of things that go into calculating or at least estimating the life expectancy of a tire.
The good news is that by the time you’re through reading this post, you’ll have 100% of your worry allayed. Being a veteran in biking, I have a lot of information to help you have a comprehensive knowledge of how long motorcycle tires should last.
Motorcycle Tire Lifespan: What To Consider
As I’ve hinted earlier, there’s no simple answer to how long a motorcycle tire should last. However, there are three factors you need to watch out to tell how long your tires last and whether they need replacement.
These factors are the tire’s age, the depth of track of the tire, and defects of the tire. Let’s take each of them one after the other.
1. Inspect Depth of Tire Tread
The depth of the track or tread of your motorcycle tire means a lot to the effectiveness and entire life span of the tire.
The tire often makes contact with the road and suffers the greatest brunt of the traction you need each time you step on the brake pedal. As this happens to the tires, the tread begins to wear off, hampering the competence of the grip it provides.
While you can retread a worn-off tire, bear in mind that federal and local laws stipulate how deep the tread of your motorcycle tire should be. Legally, the depth of the tread of your motorcycle tires should not be less than 1/32 or 2/32.
Regardless of the type of road you ride your bike on, the tread will not wear evenly. If you even ride on smooth and even roads, you may see a significant section of a tire wears off while some other part is still intact with great depth.
Typically, experience has shown that the center tread of your motorcycle tire often wears down much quicker than the section at the exterior. This becomes even worse when there’s too much air pressure (over-inflated tire) inside the tires.
2. Inspect Tire for Defects
You have checked that the tire has a good tread and still has several years and mileage o cover; there is yet third sign you need to look out for. This is the defect on the tire. Another way to know your motorcycle tires need to be replaced is to inspect the tires for errors.
One such defect is dry rot. Dry rot refers to the kind of cracks that come along the sidewall of your motorcycle tires. It doesn’t matter is the tires have enough tread. Cracks often occur on tires that are subject to extremely high temperatures. Once there’s cracking by the side, it is a clear sign of significant defect. This signals that the tire needs to be replaced. Do not wait for long before you change a tire that’s showing cracking sign.
Another kind of defect you will notice on your tire is wear and square profile. The side profile of your motorcycle tires needs to regularly inspected.
If you’re a type on the road or you engage too frequently in the long-distance trip, you should expect that the sidewall of your wheels will experience an odd square profile.
The effect of odd-looking square wheels is the little contact patch you feel when you lean on the bike as you corner, attempt to turn or bend.
There’s another defect you need to look out for, and that is the over-inflated or under-inflated tire. Earlier, I’ve said that over-inflated wheels affect the middle of your tire tread. However, if your tires are under-inflated, there’s a chance that you have a square profile. Get the accurate pressure gauge to know how much pressure air should be in your tire.
Lack of air, flat, or punctured tire is also a significant defect. Once you notice that your tire is punctured, you’ll need to find a replacement. You’ll need to know how to ride your motorcycle when you’re on tubed or tubeless wheels.
3. Consider Age of the Tire
Age is another significant factor to consider when wondering if your motorcycle tires have outlived their time or not. Mere glancing at the tire or looking at the manufacturer’s data won’t tell or help as to whether the tire has no efficacy in it anymore.
Depending on the brand, make, and motorcycle type, each tire comes with estimated maximum mileage it can cover; this figure is the manufacturer’s recommendations and is often printed on the sidewall of the tire.
Besides, there’s also the date of manufacture and expected date a tire will lose its efficiency on your bike. Typically, tires have a drawn-out ledge life. In essence, tires wear down due to using and can expire as they age. While some manufacturers advise that you replace their model of motorcycle tire after five years, others recommend some different age.
The other side of the whole age factor is the standard mileage of the tire of a bike type. Usually, rear tires of motorcycles, because they absorb more road pressure, don’t cover much distance than a typical front tire will do. An average sportbike will have its front tire replaced after hitting 3700 miles while its rear tire can go every 1800.
Generally speaking, in terms of age, a motorcycle tire should be replaced every five years. This replacement cycle depends mostly on several factors beyond the age thing.
Here’s the science behind the longevity of your motorcycle tire: the more the rubber around the tire increasingly oxidizes, the more the performance of the tire drops gradually. The more heat the rubber is exposed to, the more the moisture on it leeches out.
The second thing is that your motorcycle tire ages much faster if it’s stored on a concrete. Concrete naturally sucks out the tire’s moisture, and so increases the rate at which the tire oxidizes. It’s safer to keep your bike in a relatively hydrated and fresh place.
Again, whether your motorcycle tires will serve you longer and see its lifespan through depends on how fairly you treat your tires in terms of regular maintenance and frequent inspection. A tire that’s not over-inflated, wrongly installed, or used on terribly bumpy roads will guarantee more life than those used under unfavorable conditions.
Signs It’s Time to Change/Replace
There are signs to tell you to need to invest in a new set of tires. Sometimes, these signs are visible; others may not be visible. You need to pay close attention.
These are signs that tell you it’s time to change the wheels on your motorcycles:
Is the tire vibrating?
Odd vibrations occur to tires more often when you’re turning or corning. When you notice these your tire vibrate oddly and experience slippage, it’s about time you change them with a new set of tires.
Are your tires punctured?
There’s no point thinking twice whether to replace your motorcycle tires when you notice a puncture. While a punctured tubeless tire may allow you to move some of the motorcycles for distance, a tubed tire won’t. Your tires need instant replacement once it’s punctured.
Is the tire holding pressure air?
Once you notice your tires no longer hold pressure air or pump up, it’s time to change them.
Is the tread worn down?
If you notice the tread pattern on your tires are worn off, or the sidewall is showing some odd square profiles, you’ll need to change the tires.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How often should a motorcycle tire be changed?
Typically, the general recommendation from most tire manufacturers is five years. Meanwhile, some tires may not use up to that period. But for tires that are up to 10 years, it doesn’t matter if they still look great, you need to replace them.
Q: Should I replace both motorcycle tires at once?
Not necessarily. You don’t have to replace your tires all at the same time. If one of the pair of tires at the front or rear is still good, you can change only the bad one. But don’t mix brands to avoid poor handling of your motorcycle.
The next time someone asks you, ‘how long do motorcycle tires last?’ I cocksure you have more than enough information to dish out. You don’t have to wait until the entire tread on your tire wears off before you replace the tires. Proper maintenance and inspection are essential to make your tire last longer and see through the recommended lifespan.