What is the average lifespan of motorbike tyres?

By Julia Freeman

Estimating the actual, rather than potential, lifespan of a tyre is always tricky. It not only depends on variables like road conditions, weather exposure and riding style, but also on how well the tyres are maintained. Studies suggest that bike riders are worse than car drivers when it comes to maintaining the correct inflation pressures and as a result, they degrade much faster than necessary.

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Many riders are also reluctant to buy new tyres while the old ones still seem in great shape, but age is an important factor in the performance and safety of a tyre. Even if you ride very few miles and there is still plenty of tread, there comes a day when those tyres should be replaced whether they look good or not. Perished rubber can lead to a range of problems including impaired braking, poor handling, poor fuel economy or dangerous cracking.

Aging tyres

Tyre age starts becoming a concern around the five-year mark. At that point, we recommend getting a professional opinion whether or not they show substantial wear. After that, have them checked annually or six monthly by a qualified mechanic. Our tyre professionals here at Protyre have years of experience assessing tyres and diagnosing any problems. Tyre checks are free.

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Once a tyre has been in use for ten years it usually needs to be changed. Replacing old tyres is important for your own safety and other road users too.

Brand of your tyres

The brand of tyre is the other factor that enormously affects their likely mileage. While some tyres are built specifically for durability and mileage, others sacrifice those things for higher speed, better cornering or sharper braking. Many premium tyres from trusted manufacturers like Pirelli, Michelin or Bridgestone last longer than budget tyres, but those designed for racing often don’t – they deliver performance instead.

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Average lifespan

With all of these factors in mind, the lifespan of most motorbike tyres lies between 2,000 and 20,000 miles. Sports tyres are sometimes less and touring tyres more. Figures from Motorcycle News suggest that in practice most rear tyres last 2-4 thousand miles and front tyres 3-5 thousand miles, but you can do much better with good tyre care.
If mileage is a concern (you aren’t rich and ride for necessity more than fun) our qualified fitters recommend choosing a tried and tested brand like the Bridgestone Battlax range. Cheaper tyres might seem sensible at the time, but shorter mileage can equate to false economy.

Check your tyres

Whether you want durability or performance you can’t just fit tyres and forget about them. Tyres should be routinely checked once or twice per month. Check the pressure and look for any signs of damage, bulging or uneven wear. The legal tread minimum for motorbikes over 50cc is 1mm but their performance and safety start to deteriorate when they reach 2.5mm.

The local garage you can trust

If your tyres are getting old or starting to show wear and tear our tyre professionals here at Protyre are waiting to help. You can book a vehicle check online via our website or give us a call. We have a nationwide network of garages and our friendly qualified fitters will have you back on the road safely in no time!

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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