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When do I need to change motorcycle tires?

All motorcycle enthusiasts are aware that motorcycle tires do not have an infinite life span and, like motorcycle clothing and helmets, are very important for your safety. But how do you go about finding out when you need to change your motorcycle tires?

The following three main causes are triggers for an indispensable motorcycle tire change:

  • If the tread depth of the tires is too shallow.
  • When the motorcycle tires are too old.
  • When the tires start to contour (squeeze).

Motorcycle tires have to withstand very different stresses than car tires. For example, when you lean into a curve, the bike’s tires lean with you and must therefore also provide you with excellent traction. That’s why motorcycle tires are built round in two different ways, as they are also curved.

If you’re a motorcyclist who rides their motorcycle to commute to work, so for the most part on long straight stretches, then you’re most likely to see when you need to buy new motorcycle tires.

That’s because you’ll see less wear on the outer sides of the tires, so you can go by the tread depth of the center of the tire since that’s where the most wear occurs.

At what tread depth to change motorcycle tires?

If you ride with motorcycle tires that have too little tread depth, you quickly run the risk of losing contact with the track, as sufficient traction cannot be guaranteed. Especially when the roads are wet, greasy, or slippery, a fall or an accident will occur more quickly.

The grooves, which are stamped in different patterns in your biker tire, drain the water as best as possible to the outside, which gives you a first-class grip on the asphalt. The more depth the grooves lose in the tire, the less they can help you maintain traction over your bike. Now, if you’re a rider who also likes to ride twisty roads, you’re in for a real problem if you lean into a turn with motorcycle tires that are already very worn on the sides as well.

Buy new motorcycle tires yes or no?

If you’re not sure whether to order a new motorcycle tire, measure using a ruler or a professional tire wear gauge. Of course, you can also take a cotton swab or toothpick and then mark it with a water-insoluble pen at the point where your measuring tool emerges from the groove. Then hold it against a tape measure and read the groove depth.

For safety reasons, you should not ride your motorcycle until the new tires are properly fitted. In the event of an accident, you may also have problems with your motorcycle insurance if you are riding with tires that are no longer within the approved range. Please read on, because even if your motorcycle tires have sufficient tread depth, they can still pose a major safety risk.

How often to change motorcycle tires?

how often to change motorcycle tires

At what age change motorcycle tires?

This statement is based especially on the age of the tires. The tires, as you have probably already noticed, are made of a rubber compound. Thus, a young motorcycle tire has strong traction and literally sticks to the asphalt. However, this property fades with time and the tire becomes harder and more brittle. Therefore, it is also very important when buying a motorcycle to pay attention to the age of the tires.

Also, the used materials of motorcycle helmets, let after 5 years in your mode of operation, why they should be replaced after this time. If you want to buy a new motorcycle tire, pay particular attention to the date of manufacture, not that the tires have been stored for years in the warehouse and have already gone through the chemical degradation process.

The life expectancy of a motorcycle tire

The motorcycle tire has the same life expectancy as a motorcycle helmet. Thus, a tire reaches its expiration date at the latest at about 5 years after the date of manufacture. This basic rule applies to all types of motorcycle tires, so it doesn’t matter if you own a touring, cruiser, or sport motorcycle tire.

The following seven factors will affect the life of your tire:

  • your riding style;
  • the motorcycle tire pressure;
  • the load;
  • the weather;
  • the operating conditions;
  • the speed at which you drive;
  • the storage of the tires.

To determine the date of manufacture of your tire, look at the four numbers in the rectangular box on the tire. The first two numbers indicate the month, the last two the year.

This way you can easily calculate if you should buy a new tire for the motorcycle.

Motorcycle tires are your life insurance

The tires on your motorcycle, are the only thing that keeps your motorcycle from flying and are therefore the only points of contact with the road. So I don’t think I need to tell you how important good and up-to-date motorcycle tires are for your safety.

However, since there are other safety hazards when riding a motorcycle, it is equally important to wear safe motorcycle clothing, even for short distances. A suitable motorcycle helmet is also indispensable for survival in an emergency.

When to replace your tires - Video


How many miles can you break in a motorcycle tire?

Motorcycle tires should be broken in over a period of up to 500 miles with slow accelerations and turns.

How often should you replace motorcycle tires?

A motorcycle front tires can be viable for up to 3900 miles, and the rear tires for 1,900 miles, or three to five years.

How long can you ride on a plugged motorcycle tire?

As long as it takes to get to the shop for a new tire. Or to the workshop.

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

David Muench (Carnes Mechanical)

Hey, I’m David. I’ve worked in a cars store for 6 years. I write reviews and guides, helping people to choose the most suitable technicals and best product for them. I’m happy to finally share my knowledge of the industry here, on CarnesMechanical.

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