|08-08-2012, 07:48 AM||#1|
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Illinois, USA
What riders should know about motorcycle tires: Part 2
In yesterday's article about motorcycle tires, tire size was discussed. In today's installment, we will explore more things every rider should know about their tires, specifically what all those other markings on the tire mean.
Tires are manufactured in radial, bias-ply, tubed, and tubeless configurations. It's important to purchase the correct type for your motorcycle when replacing the tires. This information can be found on the sidewall along with the other tire specifics. A radial tire has an “R” near the tire size.
Differences between the front and back
Unlike most cars, most motorcycles will use a different size front and rear tire. Most commonly, the front tire will have a larger wheel diameter and a thinner thread width than the rear. Most tires are manufactured to be only used as either a front or rear tire due to differing weight capacities and forces working on the tires. These will usually be marked with either a “F” for front or a “R” for rear.
Tire rotation direction
Motorcycle tires are often designed to only turn in one direction. This allows the tread to disperse water effectively and prevent hydroplaning in wet conditions. These have an arrow on the sidewall showing the proper direction of rotation.
Tire speed rating and load limit
Motorcycle tires are also embossed with a speed rating and load limit. The load limit is expressed by a two-digit number and the speed rating has a letter code. Often the speed rating will be shown both in the area near the tire size and by the load/speed index. These letters may actually be different because as the weight limit of the tire reaches it's maximum, the speed rating will drop. This simply lets the rider know it's not safe to approach the maximum speed of the tire with the motorcycle loaded too heavily.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for more must-know tire information.
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