What should I check before buying a new tyre for a motorcycle?

By Camelia Maftei

The road is a dangerous place; vehicles thunder past each other at life-threatening speeds. The roadworthiness of every vehicle is paramount, for the safety of its driver as well as other road users. Years of experience tell us that technology continues to develop new solutions to meet the safety demands of modern motoring.

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Maintenance of your motorcycle tyres

Enclosed vehicles, from cars to container lorries, look safe and strong but they are extremely vulnerable. So where does that leave the motorcycle? Two wheels, an engine and a human being. Actually, by wheels we really mean tyres. In our experience, if you boil it down to these components you can see how important it is to maintain your motorbike’s tyres in optimum condition. Tyre manufacturers take their responsibilities very seriously, but as a rider you need to play your part.
 
Ideally, you should check the condition of your tyres once a week, looking for:
 

  • Tears in the rubber

  • Unusual or uneven wear

  • Sidewall punctures which make repair impossible, however small

  • Tread depth

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Tread depth

Of all the signs to look out for, tread depth is the one that carries legal as well as safety implications for you. The minimum required by law is a tread depth of 1 millimetre. However, below 2 millimetres you will notice that the tyres fail to hold their shape and will compromise the bike’s handling ability. On wet roads this will be particularly significant.
 
In our experience, you should change your tyres once the tread depth has reached 2.5 millimetres, i.e. before there is any significant loss of performance.

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What to consider when looking for new tyres

The tyres supplied with a new motorbike will have been carefully chosen by the bike manufacturer in consultation with the tyre manufacturer. Their size and pressure will be matched to the bike’s weight and style to provide the best driving and braking performance. Any replacement must replicate this, whether you are considering pricier brands such as Pirelli, or mid-range, for example Bridgestone or Falken. You need to check your bike’s specifications against any potential new tyre.
 
If you bought your bike second-hand you should determine whether the tyres it comes with are the right size and type. If not, you should change them as soon as you can. It may be helpful to use a motorcycle tyre size calculator to guide you in your initial search but ultimately, you’ll want professional advice.

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The local garage you can trust

There’s no reason not to research and even buy your tyres online, however you need to have them professionally fitted. At Protyre, our tyre professionals have the training and experience to advise on the choices available, and our qualified fitters will make sure your new tyres are properly and safely fitted.
 
Bear in mind too that you should buy tyres in matching pairs, even if one tyre has more life left than the other. Avoid part-worn tyres because they are a false saving: they may save you money in the short term, but they won’t last and may be unsafe. Also, shop around, you will often find identical tyres at different prices from different suppliers.
 
Protyre’s tyre professionals are waiting to help. Book your free tyre check online or get in touch for the best advice on maintaining the health of your tyres.

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About the author

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By Camelia Maftei
Camelia leads Protyre's customer service team and is skilled in customer communications.
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