How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

Everything that has a beginning has an end. Everything that has been made has an expiry date and motorcycle tires are no different. If you are wondering, “How long do motorcycle tires last?” then read on as you will find the answer in the following lines.

how long do motorcycle tires last
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Video: How long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here:

Firstly, do not let the salesman fool you with the statement that the tire he is about to sell to you can be used forever. That statement should be met with ridicule. Why? Even tires that are stored without being used still expire and spoil, how much more one that is in use.

Some designs of tires may have more shelf life than others. Some have more quality than others and can last. But that does not mean such can work forever. Your tires can only work for so long.

The front motorcycle tire lasts for 3900 miles and the rear tire lasts for 1900 miles. The difference between the two is due to the fact that the rear tire does more work than the front tire.

Secondly, before one can know how long tires can last, it is vital we learn the factors that may affect the longevity of the tires. These factors are many, but we will discuss a few.

Factors That Affect The Longevity Of A Tire

Here are factors that affect the longevity of a tire

1. Age of the tire

2. Tread of the motorcycle tire

3. Defects on the tire

Age Of The Tire

When you are buying a tire, it is best that you check the age of the tire. This would play a role in determining how long the motorcycle tire would last.

A motorcycle tire is viable and fit for use only for a period of five years from the production date. After five years, the tire is deemed expired and should not be used anymore.

Owing to this fact, it is important you know how to check for the durability of the bike as stated by the manufacturer.

Basically, it is assumed the tires in front of bikes like the sports bike could be viable for up to three thousand nine hundred miles.

On the flip side, the tires behind would stay viable for about one thousand nine hundred miles. After the tires have covered these distances, it is advisable you make a change.

This is keeping in mind that the way you treat the tire matters. When it is inactive service and when it is parked helps shorten or lengthen the distance.

Conversely, there is no set rule that has been set to help you increase the lifespan of the bike. Everyone adopts what they think works for them.

Determining Tire Age

Since we have established that the bike tire lives for 5 years max, how do you know the age of tire?

There is no need for guesses as the age of the tire can be found on it.

To determine the age of the tire look at the tire sidewall to see an acronym, DOT. There is a number series that is just behind the DOT. The last four digits of that series tells the month and year the tire was manufactured.

Those four digits tell the week the motorbike tire was made and then the last two tell the year it was produced. So, let us assume the number you found was 4418. What this entails is that the tire was produced in the 44th week of 2018.

Now that you know this, divide 44 by four so we can get the exact month the tire was made.

44/4=11.

This simply entails that the tire was manufactured in November 2018.

Hence, the expiry date of the tire is November 2018 + 5 years which is November 2023.

If you are buying the tire in 2020, just know that you have three more years to use the tire. That also means you have to get another tire by November 2023.

When you are getting the tire, check the sidewalls to see how good they are. Also, check the size of the rim.

For your wise spending, we recommend that you do not get a motorcycle tire that is already two years old. One year is fine, manageable, but two years is a bit much. Remember buying a two-year-old tire means you are getting just three years instead of five.

Also, if the tire reaches year five, please do well to change it. Even if it still looks robust, which we really doubt it would be, change it.

Tread Of The Motorcycle Tire

After checking for the age of the tire, the next thing you need to check is the tread of the motorcycle tire. The laws of the Federal and State government mandates that the depth of tires must be between 1/32 & 2/32.

Also, note that the center of the tire gets a lot of contact with the road more than any other part of the bike tire.

Hence, it is expected that the middle would be worn out first before the other parts.

Defects On The Tire

The next thing you should check when getting a tire is to check for dents and defects on the tire. You need to pay attention to sidewalls. The tread may be in order, but sidewalls may have cracks.

This crack on sidewalls is known to be dry rot. This is a sign that the tire is not worth the cash you are about to spend.

This side rot is dangerous and very noticeable when you want to make a turn. You would feel the tires having an uneven grip on the ground.

So, just like we mentioned earlier, tires, like any other thing man-made, expires and of course has a date for expiration. Experts on bike tire matters say tires should be used between three to five years.  After these years, it is recommended you change the tire.

It is not compulsory to follow this recommendation, but it is advisable. This is because worn-out tires can affect the way your motorcycle performs generally.

Additionally, riding with tired tires is dangerous. Anything could happen and your life could be at stake.

The tire of the bike is made with rubber, a substance that can wane. The strength of rubber with time will reduce.

In science, we say oxidation. The compounds in the rubber would begin to oxidize as you use them. This oxidation would cause the tire to harden and then become brittle. And brittleness would lead to loss of flexibility of the tire.

One thing about the oxidation process is that whether you’re using the bike tire or not, it would still happen. This is the reason why the tires would always come with age limits.

Video: How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

This video explains how to know you need a change of tire

Other Reasons For Changing Tires

Other reasons why you should change your tire immediately.

1.Tire loses pressure easily

2.Tire vibrates during rides

3. There are too many punctures and cuts on the tire

4. The tread of the tire is worn-out

5.There are cracks on the tire

There are other reasons why one should change their tires. Even if the five years limit has not been reached. This is why we said initially that many factors would contribute to how long your tires would last. Below are some reasons to change your bike, five-year-old or not.

Pressure Loss

As a bike owner and rider, it is expected you check the pressure of your tire periodically. If you notice that the tire has begun to lose pressure easily, then it is time to change your tire. This is a sign that tire bead has become tired.

Odd Sensations

The very best method of knowing if the tire needs to go into retirement for job well-done, or not, is to feel it with your hands. You can run your fingers around the tire and feel for irregularities or anything which does not feel normal.

You can check if, during rides, the tire vibrates or pulsates when making turns.

Cuts And Puncture

You have to check the tire regularly to see if cuts and punctures have damaged the tire a lot.

Depth Of Tread

To also help out with knowing when to change your tire, some manufacturers add wear bars. These wear bars run through the tread. If the wear bar is now in alignment with tread, it is time to change the tire.

Another trick that is widely used is the penny trick. Get a penny with Lincoln Abraham’s head. Place it into the tread, see how far in it is. If the head of Lincoln enters totally, or at least most of it, keep using the tire. If it didn’t enter, you just have to change the tire.

Cracking

Every part of your motorcycle is exposed to sunlight. Even something as natural as sunlight has an adverse effect on the parts of the bike. The tires are not an exemption. If the tires have been out for a long time, they will start cracking.

You will see these cracks along the tire’s sidewalls.

Change! Change!!

How to Make Tires Last

Changing tires every four years may be strenuous to the pocket, no doubts. But it is actually the very best thing for you. While we are not shifting on this position of getting a new tire every five years, we have tips that would help make your tires last.

Here are the tips:

1. Never mount your bike without checking the condition of the tire.

2. Always check tire pressure.

3. Mind the terrain you ride on.

4. Pack the bike in your garage.

5. Test run every tire you purchase before taking it home.

Firstly, make sure that you do not mount the motorcycle without checking how your tires are. You have to make sure the tires are in prime condition before you set off with the bike. Check for cuts, cracks, tread wear, then maybe if some strange stuff is hooked on it.

Secondly, you need to make sure the pressure of the tires is good. Inflate your tires in periods. Under-inflating the bike would make the bike wear out quickly. This is because the rubber would be hot and may blow out.

When you are riding with a tire that has too much pressure, it can easily be punctured by sharp objects lying around the road.

The type of terrain on which you ride the bike would also affect how long the ire would last. Weigh in your options very well. Do not drive through just any terrain, if you want to preserve tire longevity.

You could also pack the bike inside your garage instead of leaving it outside. Since the sunlight causes tires to crack, it is best if the bikes stay out of the sun. Especially when it is not in use.

Lastly, if you get a new bike tire, be careful how you use it. Slowly ride it for a hundred miles and see the performance. This would also help a good break-in. Do not turn or corner speedily, do not brake easily, and do not suddenly accelerate.

How To Preserve Tires Not In Use

The way in which you stored the tire can decrease the lifespan of the tire.  So, we have listed a few things that you should do to ensure the tire in the garage is safe.

1.Clean motorcycle tire with car shampoo.

2.Store tire in a cool, dry place.

3.Store tire at room temperature.

4.Store tire above the ground using motorcycle stand.

Firstly, clean the tire very well with appropriate products. It is recommended you use a car shampoo. They are specially made to be nice on rubbers and maintain them. Use a brush and wash the tire. Ensure you remove anything that should not be a part of the tire before storage.

Buy shampoo for motorbikes on Amazon

Secondly, the best place to store the tire is in a cool, dry place; a place where water cannot reach.

Thirdly, the tire should be stored at room temperature. Heat is the enemy of rubber. Excessive heat would cause the structure of the molecules that make up the rubber to change permanently. Keep your tires away from furnace and heating pipes.

Lastly, it is always advisable that the bike tire is off the ground. It should be suspended. This is so you can store the bike tire without wrecking damage to it. If you leave the tire on the ground, a phenomenon known as carcass deformation would occur.

How do you hang the tire in the air? We have a solution for you.

Motorcycle stands!

Motorcycle stands would help you hang the tire, so it does not touch the ground. All you need to do is mount the motorcycle on it. The cost of the stand is not something that will rip you off. It is between fifty and two hundred and fifty dollars.

The price is dependent on the quality, size, brand, and capacity.

Summarily, check the date of manufacture of your bike. Have in mind you have five years from the date of manufacture. Treat the tire well and you will have something that would stand the test of time.

You can also check out these posts:

How long to charge motorcycle battery

How long do motorcycle batteries last?

How to test motorcycle battery

How often to change motorcycle oil

How many miles does a motorcycle last?

How dangerous is riding a motorcycle?

How long Do Motorcycle Tires Last — Related Frequently Asked Questions

Do Motorcycles Go Bad With Age?

Motorcycle tires will wear out with age. This wearing out is due to a phenomenon known as oxidation. Oxidation is an irreversible chemical process.

It takes place when oxygen molecules and the molecules that make up the rubber combine. When this process goes on and on, the tire loses its elastic nature and becomes hard and brittle. If you do not store your motorcycle in the proper way, this process will be sped up and your motorcycle tire will wear out.

Is It Bad To Mix Tire Brands On A Motorcycle?

There is nothing bad about mixing tire brands on a motorbike. Tires that are manufactured by the same manufacturer are not actually the same. The most important thing is for both tires to be the same type.

If you are mixing Michelin and Pirelli, just make sure the front and rear tires are both the same kind of tire. They should both be either radial or cross-ply. Mixing across types is dangerous but mixing brands is absolutely fine so far you do not do anything detrimental to the tire itself.

Are 10-year Old Tires Still Good?

10-year-old tires are not good. Once the tire is five years old, it should not be used. It does not matter how good and how strong such a tire is looking. You have to change it for your own safety.

Many people have lost their lives because they were using old tires. Even if the tires had been in a store the whole time, it is no longer safe for you to use them. Rubber loses its elasticity with time, whether they look like it or not. Hence, old tires are not safe for use. 

Should I Replace Both Motorcycle Tires At The Same Time?

You should not replace both motorcycle tires at the same time. The wear and tear of motorcycle tires do not exactly occur at the same rate. Due to the way the motorcycle is made to work, the tires behind tend to wear off faster than tires in front.

Again, sometimes, the two tires do not have the same manufacturing date. One maybe two years old and the other already five. All you have to change is the one that is five years old.

Why Do Motorcycle Tires Wear Out Faster Than Car Tires?

Motorcycle tires wear out faster than car tires because of the tire print. Weight is more evenly distributed to car tires than motorcycle tires. Motorcycle tires are small and are just two. Car tires are huge and are four in number.

When a car is turning, the car body does not bend. But when a motorcycle does, it bends, placing more stress on the tire. Again, motorcycle tires are speed rated “H”. This is not the case for car tires that have ratings that are lower.

How Much Does It Cost To Change A Motorcycle Tire?

It will cost you fifty to a hundred and sixty dollars to change the motorcycle tire. This is dependent on the store or state or country. It also depends on the type of tire, motorcycle, and manufacturer.

Sometimes shops that sell tires also do the changing of tires for you either at a really discounted price or at no costs at all. Retread tires would normally cost less than new tires. Do not worry about their safety, they are very secure.