Your Product Has Been Added to Cart
View Cart

How Old Can Motorcycle Tires Be and Still Be Safe?

How Old Can Motorcycle Tires Be and Still Be Safe?

Posted by West End Motorsports on Jun 17, 2019

How long are motorcycle tires good for and still be safe? This is a question that most motorcycle owners ask themselves. The sad truth is, most of them don’t know that motorcycle tires aren’t designed to last as long as car tires. While most motorcycle tires are designed to last up to five years, many factors determine how long your tires will last.

For instance, road hazards, improper inflation pressure, improper use of tires, overloading, tire chain damage, tire spinning, negligence, misuse, tire alteration, and improper or insufficient maintenance may cause tire damage. Having your tires inspected regularly by a professional is highly recommended. For tires with five years of use, an annual inspection is a must. So, how long are motorcycle tires good for? At almost ten years of use, even with a tread that looks great, the tires should be replaced.

If you’re wondering if there’s a motorcycle tire expiration date, here’s a simple guide to determine if it’s time for new tires.

Check Your Tire Tread

a close up on the back tire of a motorbike

Federal and state regulations have a 1/32" to 2/32" tread depth requirement for all motorcycle owners. Usually, the middle of your motorcycle tires have the most contact with the road, so it will wear much faster. To know your tread depth, check your wear indicators cast into the rubber tread grooves of the tires or as provided by the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Check for one of the tire grooves, normally located off the center of your motorcycle tires, and pick one with a raised segment of rubber. This raised rubber is the manufacturer’s lowest point of tire tread you can have to ensure safety when riding your motorcycle. An old trick to answering the “how long are motorcycle tires good for” question involves inserting a penny in the tread and checking how far Abraham Lincoln’s head is submerged.

If not, then you can still use your motorcycle tires for some time before you consider buying replacements. Although you may be tempted to judge the usability and safety of your tires by the tread, there are other factors to consider, and it’s highly discouraged by industry key players, including biking experts, motorbike mechanics, and even manufacturers.

Look for Tire Defects

Regular inspection and maintenance of your motorcycle is crucial for its optimal performance and safety. As a motorcycle owner, it's vital to be aware of the condition of your tires and tubes if any, as they directly affect the vehicle's handling and stability. Tires in poor condition can compromise your ride and even lead to accidents. If you’re wondering how long motorcycle tires are good for, start off by checking for defects on the tires.

  • Watch out for telltale signs of wear or damage, such as cracking along the tire sidewalls, also known as dry rot. This can be an indication that the rubber of your tires is old, brittle, and in need of replacement.
  • Another warning sign is a worn-out and square tire profile. This typically happens when the tires have worn down unevenly due to consistent straight-line riding. A square profile can result in a smaller contact patch when leaning the bike for turns, leading to lower ride comfort and reduced traction.
  • To answer the “how long are motorcycle tires good for” question, you should also check if either of the left or right sides of the tires appear wavy or are badly worn. This is a assign of unevenly worn tires, perhaps due to overloading or underinflation. This can lead to dangerous riding conditions and should be addressed promptly by replacing the tires. Also make sure that every tire has the correct valve stem or cap

If you're unsure about the lifespan of your motorcycle tires, a good rule of thumb is to start by examining them for any signs of damage or uneven wear. Any irregularities can indicate it's time to consider new tire replacements. Regular inspections not only ensure a safer ride but also help detect potential tire problems before they become serious safety hazards. With these tips in mind, you should be able to get some answers to the “how long are motorcycle tires good for” question.

Consider the Age of Your Tires

When you think of how long motorcycle tires can last, age is a major factor. The most important thing is to learn how to check your tires to see the level of durability that’s recommended by the manufacturer. All motorcycle tires come with a motorcycle tire expiration date code imprinted into the sidewall. This code is a 4-digit number. For example, 1322 stands for the 13th week of 2022. For sports bikes, front tires have a maximum range of 3700 miles, with back wheels at 1800 miles.

The general rule of the thumb when it comes to understanding: how long motorcycle tires are good for is to know your motorcycle tire age and to change your tires once they're five years old from the date of manufacture. However, with good maintenance and regular checks at a professional motorcycle shop, they can last a bit longer. Look out for cuts, punctures, and loss of pressure too soon, as it could be a sign of a worn-out bead.

Shop Motorcycle Tires

Shop motorcycle tires

Keep in mind that advances in technology are making motorcycle tires even greater, and there may be a whole new level of performance in new tires that you have never experienced with the older tires you have on your motorcycle. So, how long are motorcycle tires good for and still be safe? At least five years is an ideal answer but with good tire maintenance and regular inspections. Keep in mind the motorcycle tire expiration date and consider the usability too. Great tires not only offer a more planted feel on the road but also improve your riding confidence.

If you’re looking to buy new motorcycle tires for your V-twin cruiser motorcycle, you’re in the right place at West End Motorsports. We also sell a wide range of V-twin cruiser custom parts and accessories that you can install yourself. Visit our online store or contact us to learn more.