When to Replace Your Motorcycle Tires & How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

working on motorcycle tire

Knowing when to replace your motorcycle tires will keep you safe and get you most out of each tire you’re using. Waiting too long can be dangerous as it would reduce traction, offer less braking resistance, and make it slippery in wet conditions.

The last thing you want to do is blow a tire when you’re riding at high speeds. Even with the best motorcycle safety gear, this could still be catastrophic to both you and your bike.

Just like other consumables on your motorcycle, the tires are a component that need to be regularly inspected and changed. Once you start noticing wear beyond what’s reasonable you’ll have to book a time in to your mechanic and switch them out.

Alternatively, you could change your own motorcycle tires if you have a motorcycle tire changing tool and a decent workspace. In this post, we’ll be looking at when to change your motorcycle tires and the different factors to look out for.

Let’s jump right into it!

How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last and When Should They Be Replaced?

harley davidson tires

There are a number of factors you need to understand when you’re looking at the lifespan of motorbike tires. It’s not as simple as replacing them as regularly as you would your motorcycle oil filter.

Here’s some helpful advice on what you should consider when you’re thinking of replacing the tires on your motorcycle:

Tread

One of the most important things to check is the tread that’s left on the tires. Depending on where you’re from, there could be state, provincial, or federal regulations that specify a particular tread depth for the tires.

This depth is typically between 1/32 and 2/32 of the remaining tire tread. In most cases, it’s the middle of the tire that will wear out the most quickly because it has the greatest contact with the road surface.

This is the best place to check the tread depth on your motorcycle tires. It will also help to refer to the manufacturer stage on that specific tire and look for recommended tread depth minimums.

Age

Another important factor is the age of the tire itself. This definitely needs to be considered when you’re looking at how long motorcycle tires last.

When it comes to the age of the tire, this information can be found on the sidewall. You’ll be able to see when the tire was manufactured and this will help you determine whether or not it needs to be replaced.

For those of you riding regularly, it’s a good idea to replace the tires every 3 to 5 years. It’s also a good idea to replace them when you’re buying a used motorcycle, since you don’t know how the previous owner treated them.

Defects

One more thing we should mention is that it’s a good idea to regularly check the motorcycle tire for any defects or damage. It’s possible that the sidewalls could be cracked or there could be glass/debris lodged in the tire itself.

Both of these issues need to be mediated right away. For a cracked sidewall, this is known as dry rot and happens as the tires age.

It’s also possible that the tire is worn out with a square profile. This can affect handling, results in uneven wear, and would be a good time to replace the tires.

Considering how affordable some of the best motorcycle tires are, it’s not worth taking the risk on riding without any grip or poor control. It’s also possible to do it on yourself if you’re confident with your motorcycle mechanic skills and you have the right tools for a tire change.

When To Replace the Tires

If you notice any of the issues just mentioned then it would be a good idea to replace the tires on your motorcycle. Considering they are one of the most important contact patches your bike has with the ground, replacing them before any problems would be the best idea.

One more thing to keep an eye out for are the tread wear indicators that can be found on every motorcycle tire. This is a band of raised rubber that runs inside the tire grooves.

Once the indicator bars are flush with the rest of the tire, it’s time to replace it. You wouldn’t want to keep riding too much past this point as you’re giving up a lot of grip and stability on the road.

How Many Years Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

While most manufacturers claim that their tires will last up to 6 years on average, you’ll probably have to replace them before then. Even if you’re not riding very often, tires on a motorcycle can get damaged from sitting too long on concrete floors or not being properly inflated while they’re sitting.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when you want to replace the tires. Either way, it’s a good idea to regularly inspect each tire individually and look for any signs of wear and tear, damaged, or aging.

Those of you living in flat areas without a lot of curved roads are likely to have tires that last longer. Riders in hilly areas with a lot of twists and turns will probably have to replace the tires more often.

How Many Miles Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

There isn’t a particular mileage that most tires will achieve. Each individual tire is going to have a unique lifespan depending on a wide range of different factors.

This would depend on your riding conditions, how aggressively you ride, the weight and type of your bike, and various other factors. However, there are some mileages that you can come to expect from any particular tire.

On average, front tires will last significantly longer than a rear tire. From some of the best motorcycle tires brands you can expect to get anywhere from 5,000 up to 12,000 miles from the front tires.

For rear tires you can expect to get slightly less mileage and will probably need to start looking at replacing them from 5,000 up to 10,000 miles. Don’t forget that this mileage depends on a number of different factors and it’s a good idea to regularly inspect the tires to check their condition.

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