There always tends to be a lot of discussion when it comes to motorcycle tires. Generally speaking, motorcycle tires are not cheap, and they also tend to wear out faster, so people have to change them more often.
This is where people start to talk about changing costs, time, and what is the most economical route to go.
So how long does it take to change motorcycle tires?
It takes between 15 minutes to 3 hours to change the tires on a motorcycle. Changing tires on cruisers, and tourers, especially if fully dressed, can take 2 to 3 hours. And changing tires on street bikes, dirtbikes, and smaller motorcycles usually takes 20 to 2 hours.
On average, replacing the front tire of motorcycles is easier and takes less time. Changing the front tire usually takes between 15 to 60 minutes. Changing the rear tire is more complicated and takes between 1 to 2 hours.
Below I go into more detail about the time needed for changing motorcycle tires.
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Changing tires on your own
Changing the tires on your own can take between 20 minutes to 3 hours.
Changing your motorcycle tires on your own for the first time usually takes several hours and can even take several days. There is a lot to learn and you must have some special tools at hand. First skill is to be able to read what are the tire specification, you can read Decypher the secret code: How to Read Motorcycle Tire Size like a pro to know more on the subject.
However, over time as people get more experienced, they tend to drastically cut down on the time they need to change their motorcycle tires.
Changing tires on your own usually involves an investment in some tools. However, in the long run, most riders can save on money. If you want to explore more and if you ride an adventure motorcycle, it can be an essential skill to learn. If you want to know more on repair of motorcycle tire you can read Can You Patch Motorcycle Tire? Comprehensive Repair Guide or Can Motorcycle Tire Be Plugged? – Be the Hero and save the ride.
Changing tires in a shop
Changing motorcycle tires at a shop takes about 15 to 2.5 hours on average. How much time the mechanic will need will depend on their experience, equipment, the type of motorcycle, and whether it is a carry-in or ride-in service.
However, since these are businesses that have to make a living, we have to keep in mind that they often charge by the book and not by the actual time it takes them to change your tires.
The time needed and prices will also vary depending on a few other factors. For a more in-depth take, check my article on: How much does it cost to change motorcycle tires. There I go over the average prices of motorcycle tire installation, mounting, and all you need to know.
Why does changing the tires on some motorcycles take longer?
Changing tires on dirtbikes, sportbikes, and smaller motorcycles, in general, takes less time and is easier because you will have an easier time getting the wheels off.
Changing tires on cruisers, sportbikes, tourers, and cruisers is usually harder, takes more time, and can be an arduous process, especially if the motorcycle is fully dressed. There is simply mote stuff in the way, like bags, exhausts, tow bars. And replacing the tire can be a long process involving many different steps.
Signs That It’s Time to Change Your Tires
Knowing when to replace your motorcycle tires is crucial for ensuring a safe and comfortable riding experience. Below are some key indicators that it’s time to invest in new tires:
- Tread depth: A tire’s tread depth is essential for maintaining grip on the road, especially in wet conditions. Most countries have a legal minimum tread depth for motorcycle tires, usually around 1/32″ (0.8 mm) to 2/32″ (1.6 mm). Check your local regulations and use a tread depth gauge or the “penny test” to determine if your tire’s tread has reached the minimum limit.
- Uneven wear: If your tires exhibit uneven wear patterns, such as “cupping” or “scalloping,” it’s time to replace them. Uneven wear can be caused by various factors, including incorrect tire pressure, misaligned wheels, or suspension issues. In addition to replacing your tires, address the underlying cause to prevent uneven wear on your new set.
- Age of the tires: Even if your tires have sufficient tread depth, they can become unsafe over time due to the natural deterioration of the rubber compounds. Most tire manufacturers recommend replacing motorcycle tires every five years, regardless of wear. Check the tire’s manufacture date (usually found on the tire sidewall) to determine its age.
- Visible damage: Inspect your tires regularly for visible signs of damage, such as cuts, punctures, cracks, or bulges. If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to replace your tire, as the structural integrity may be compromised, posing a safety risk.
- Loss of traction or handling issues: If you experience a noticeable decrease in traction, particularly in wet conditions, or if your motorcycle’s handling feels “off,” it may be an indication that your tires are no longer performing optimally. In these cases, it’s wise to replace your tires to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can make informed decisions about when to replace your motorcycle tires, ensuring optimal safety and performance on the roa
Tips for prolonging tire life
To get the most out of your motorcycle tires and delay the need for replacement, it’s essential to practice proper tire care and maintenance. Here are some tips to help you extend the life of your motorcycle tires:
- Maintain proper tire pressure: Regularly check and adjust your tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Overinflated or underinflated tires can cause uneven wear, reduce traction, and compromise your motorcycle’s handling. Invest in a quality tire pressure gauge and make it a habit to check tire pressure before each ride.
- Avoid overloading the motorcycle: Overloading your bike can put excessive stress on your tires, leading to premature wear and even tire failure. Ensure you don’t exceed the load capacity specified by your motorcycle’s manufacturer.
- Practice smooth acceleration and braking: Sudden acceleration and hard braking can cause excessive tire wear. Aim for a smooth, controlled riding style to minimize tire stress and prolong their life.
- Regular wheel alignment and balancing: Misaligned or unbalanced wheels can cause uneven tire wear and negatively affect handling. Check your motorcycle’s wheel alignment and balance periodically, and make necessary adjustments as needed.
- Inspect and maintain your suspension: A properly functioning suspension system helps distribute weight evenly across your tires, promoting even wear. Regularly inspect your motorcycle’s suspension components and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.
- Rotate your tires: If your motorcycle’s tire sizes allow it, consider rotating the tires periodically to promote even wear. Consult your owner’s manual or a professional mechanic to determine if this practice is suitable for your specific motorcycle model.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to harsh elements: Ultraviolet (UV) rays, extreme heat, and cold can deteriorate tire compounds over time. Whenever possible, store your motorcycle in a covered area or use a protective cover to shield the tires from harsh weather conditions.
By following these tips, you can help extend the life of your motorcycle tires and reduce the frequency of tire changes, ultimately saving you time and money in the long run.
In conclusion, understanding the process of changing motorcycle tires, as well as recognizing when it’s time to replace them, is essential for every rider. Tire maintenance plays a significant role in ensuring a safe and enjoyable riding experience. By following the tips provided in this article to prolong tire life and stay vigilant for signs of wear or damage, you can make informed decisions about when to change your tires.
Whether you choose to change your tires at home or rely on professional service, it’s crucial to be aware of the time and cost involved in the process. While DIY tire changes can save money in the long run, they also require an investment in tools and time to learn the skill. On the other hand, professional tire-changing services offer convenience and expertise but may come at a higher cost.
Regardless of the method you choose, prioritizing tire maintenance and replacement will help keep you safe on the road and ensure that your motorcycle performs at its best. So, keep an eye on your tires, and don’t hesitate to invest in new ones when the time comes. Safe riding!
Meet Simon, the 46-year-old aficionado behind YourMotoBro. With a lifelong passion ignited by motocross dreams and a Canadian Tire bicycle, Simon’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. From coaching underwater hockey to mastering muddy terrains, he’s an authority in thrill and adventure. Certified as an Off-Road Vehicle Excursion Guide and trained in Wilderness First Aid, Simon’s love for bikes is as diverse as his collection—from a robust BMW GSA R1200 to the memories of a Harley Davidson Night Train. By day a respected telephony consultant, by night a motorcycle maestro, Simon’s tales are a blend of expertise, resilience, and undying passion. ?️✨