Like any vehicle, regular motorcycle tire replacement is a part of standard maintenance routines that can help keep your bike safe on the road. So you may be wondering, how long should your motorcycle tires last?
This guide will offer a detailed breakdown of the many factors that can affect your motorcycle tire’s longevity and also offer the average lifespan you can expect under certain conditions.
How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last In Miles?
How many miles you get out of your motorcycle tires will depend heavily on their type.
The standard cruiser and touring style tires are built for longevity, with some users reporting that they have gotten up to 12 thousand miles out of a set of tires. The average lifespan for a set of standard cruiser or touring style tires is around 10 thousand miles.
|Tire Style||Avg. Mileage||Best Used For|
|Cruiser and Touring||10,000– 12,000||Long rides, extended use|
|Dual-Sport and Off-Road||6,000 – 8,000||Off-roading, rough terrain|
|Sports and Performance||3,000 – 4,000||Racing, precision movement|
If you have a dual-sport style tire on your bike, then you can expect to get around 6 thousand to 8 thousand miles before needing to be replaced. Dual-sport-style tires are generally more susceptible to wear and tear.
Those using sports or performance-style tires on their bikes can expect to only get to around 4 thousand miles before needing to be replaced. This short lifespan is due mainly to the material that is used when creating these types of tires.
Keep in mind that other factors will affect the overall total mileage that you will get out of your tires. All averages here assume the bike was moderately driven and well-maintained. The table below breaks down these averages in detail:
Life Span By Vendor
The overall lifespan of your motorcycle tires can be affected by what vendor you choose to purchase them from. There is often some trade-off between price and longevity, so finding the sweet spot can help you get the best value out of your tires.
The table below has compiled mileage information on some of the most popular tire brands and models. Keep in mind that the recommended lifespan of these tires from the manufacturers is five years.
|Brand||Tire Model||Avg. Mileage||Best Used For|
|Bridgestone||BT – 023||6500||Casual/Street|
|Continental||Road Attack 2||3000||Casual/Street|
|Michelin||Pilot Road 2CT||6300||Track|
|Michelin||Pilot Road 5||5000||Touring|
How Long Does Motorcycle Tires Last in Years?
Most manufacturers, including all of the ones mentioned later in this guide, recommend replacing your tires every 5 years.
It is generally not advised to use your motorcycle with tires that are older than this, due to the natural degradation of the materials that the tire is made of.
This degradation is due to the oxidation process that happens over time causing the rubber to deteriorate from your tires. This can lead to extremely unsafe driving conditions.
You can determine the age of your tires by using the serial number printed on the sidewall.
The last four digits of your serial number represent the week and year of your tire’s manufacture date. You can use this information to determine the age of your tire and gauge how close you are to needing a replacement.
How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last In Storage?
Under the right storage conditions, motorcycle tires can last for up to 10 years. The average shelf life of a tire is 10 years. That is assuming that they are stored somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight and extreme heat.
Keep in mind that you should inspect the serial number on any tires you plan to take out of storage for the manufacturer date. It is not advised to drive with tires that have been stored for longer than ten years, no matter how well stored they may have been.
What Factors Influence How Long Motorcycle Tires Last?
There are a few defining factors that will ultimately influence how long your tire’s lifespan is. The most important factors to consider have been listed below:
The style of tire that you put on your motorcycle will be one of the key influences on the total lifespan you will achieve.
Certain tires geared toward casual or touring style riding will generally see much longer lifespans than sports and high-performance style tires.
Your tire pressure plays an important role in increasing the longevity of any style of tire that you choose to use on your motorcycle. If you do not maintain the proper tire pressure at all times, you run the risk of damaging your tires or at the least severely shortening their lifetimes.
Frequency of Use
Obviously how much you ride your bike will affect the overall lifespan of your tires. If you find that you are riding extremely frequently, then you could see the lifespan of your tires shorten to reflect this excessive use.
How Often Should You Change Your Motorcycle Tires?
It is recommended that you change your motorcycle tires at least every 5 years. The longer you go without a replacement past this mark, the better your chances of encountering potentially dangerous driving situations.
That being said, there are certain things you should look out for that could cause you to change your tires sooner. Issues like poor wheel alignment or carrying too much weight can negatively affect the longevity of your tires.
If your tire has become punctured, it is generally not recommended to try and patch it like you would a car. This is another situation where you might find that a replacement is necessary sooner than the standard benchmark.
The safest way to keep up with when to change your motorcycle tires is to keep track of the mileage since they have last been replaced. Mileage is a more significant factor than a time when it comes to tires.
You can use the table above to gauge your mileage against the average for tire styles similar to yours. If you see you are approaching the average threshold, you should consider replacement tires soon.
How Do You Know When Your Motorcycle Tires Need To Be Replaced?
It is a common misconception that motorcycle tires are designed to have lifespans similar to those of cars.
As previously stated, if you have been riding on a set of motorcycle tires for 5 years you should consider a replacement or an inspection to determine the integrity of your tires.
One of the most useful indicators that you need new tires is the tread. There are laws defining the minimum amount of tread that is allowed on a motorcycle tire. If your bike tires have wear indicators, you can use those to mark where your tread is relative to the allowed minimum.
If you find that your tires are low on tread, that is a good indicator that it is time to replace your tires. Failing to do so could result in dangerous driving conditions or problems with the law.
If you have visible defects in your tires, this could also be a strong indicator that it is time for your tires to be replaced. Dry rot, cracking, and punctures are all examples of these types of defects.
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Should I Change Motorcycle Tires Myself?
If you have the mechanical knowledge and the specialized tools needed to change the tires yourself, you could wind up saving a considerable amount of money on labor.
The average labor charge for a motorcycle tire replacement is $80. If you do not provide your tire at the mechanic, you can expect to pay a premium on any tire that they provide for you.
That being said, if you are a more casual rider or do not possess much mechanical knowledge, it is safer for you and your bike, to have the tires replaced by a professional certified mechanic.
The process of changing a motorcycle tire can be very difficult and time-consuming. The cost of making a mistake when changing the tires is too big to risk.
Why Do Motorcycle Tires Wear Out So Fast?
If you are new to the world of motorcycles, the relatively short lifespan of the tires might surprise you. Motorcycle tires tend to wear out much faster than standard car tires. This is due to the way that motorcycle tires are engineered.
The materials used to make motorcycle tires are softer and stickier than that of a car, leading to a faster accumulation of wear.
The design of the tires relative to the bike also plays a key factor in the short lifespan of motorcycle tires. A curved profile means a smaller contact patch when driving, which can affect the longevity of a tire.
How To Increase The Lifespan Of Your Motorcycle Tires
There are several ways that you can actively work to increase the lifespan of your motorcycle tires. The most common ways to do this are listed below:
Use The Proper Air Pressure
To ensure the longevity of your motorcycle tires, it is extremely important to maintain the proper air pressure at all times. Low tire pressure can cause damage to your tire and the frame of your bike while also drastically increasing the wear on the tires.
Maintain Proper Tire Alignment
Another way to increase the lifespan of your motorcycle tires is to pay close attention to the tire alignment of your bike. If your motorcycle is not properly aligned you could potentially experience dangerous driving conditions as well as additional wear and tear on your tires.
Maintain Proper Tire Balancing
By the same token, you should always ensure that your tires are balanced correctly. It is highly recommended that you have your tires balanced for at least every 600 miles. It is not advised to go longer than 1100 miles without having your tires properly balanced.
Drive Your Bike With Care
Avoid behaviors like hard, fast-breaking, or hard acceleration can help cut down on unnecessary wear and tear on your motorcycle tires. While these driving behaviors might be acceptable in an emergency, it is generally not recommended.
Store Your Motorcycle Out Of The Sun
The heat from the sun is one of the main causes of tire degradation. The rubber used to make the tires is constantly heated by the sun. Over time, extreme sunlight can cause your tires to degrade much faster.
How Much Do Motorcycle Tires Cost?
If it has been a while since you have had your motorcycle tires replaced, you might be wondering where you can find the best price on your new tires.
The table below compares some of the most popular brands of tires and their average prices. All prices rounded up to the nearest dollar.
This guide has broken down in detail the many factors that determine how long your motorcycle tire’s lifespan will be.
While the overall longevity of your tires will vary greatly depending on how you use and maintain your bike, this guide can provide the foundation for you to make an educated estimate.
It is vital to your safety on the road that you ensure that your tires are in good condition and functioning properly. The information provided in this guide can help you better determine the conditions that indicate when a replacement set of tires is in order.
You can also use the preventative measures listed above to properly maintain your bike tires and potentially increase their useable lifespan.
One last thing to keep in mind is that no matter how well you have stored your motorcycle tires, once they reach the ten-year threshold, they will be unsafe to drive. You should always store your motorcycle tires out of direct
I’m William Guzenski, ASE certified master automobile technician & automotive expert. I love to attend race events and car shows throughout the country. I also loves to travel 40-foot motorhome, exploring abandoned mines and ghost towns. I’m currently building another car for Bonneville Salt Flats and will be campaigning a drag car at several events.