How to Buy Used Motorcycle Tyres

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How to Buy Used Motorcycle Tyres

Buying used motorcycle tyres is an excellent way to save money, but it is important to make sure you find quality products that are safe and functional. The process is similar to purchasing new tyres, as bikers still need to find the proper tyre size and type for the bike and the style of riding they prefer.


Selecting the Proper Size of Tyre

The first step to purchasing a used motorcycle tyre is to check the tyre size and type. Like car tyres, the tyre specifications are embossed on the tyre sidewall. The sizing information is listed as a long stream of numbers and letters with different meanings. However, the most important numbers to pay attention to when buying a tyre are the section width, aspect ratio, and rim diametre. The section width is the maximum external width of the tyre, and it comes first in the long string of numbers on a sidewall. The aspect ratio follows immediately after, often separated by a forward slash. The rim diametre follows next. For instance, a used tyre listing may show the tyre size as "120/70-17".


Type of Tyre

Motorcyclists have a wide range of options to select from when looking at types of tyres. Each fills a specific need, such as touring or racing. Those who use their bikes for very specific purpose may want to look for the type of tyre to fit.


Tyre Type



Used for racing or high speeds, excellent grip for tight corners, needs to reach a high temperature for optimal use
Subtypes include sport touring, sport street


Used on the race track, have a unique triangular profile for larger contact area during leans
Not for street use


Useful for off-roading or muddy tracks
Have deep, knobby treads for excellent grip on rock and gravel
Not stable on street


Useful for all-weather riding, durable, long-lasting
Provide better grip in cool temperatures


Touring and some types of sport tyres are best for street riding. Racers may prefer to use sport or track tyres. Motocross riders may prefer the off-road tyre for maximum grip during a run.


Checking Used Tyre Wear

Always check the condition of a used tyre before purchase. Good tyres still have plenty of tread on them and no damage to the tyre or sidewall. For motorcycles over 50 cubic centimetres (cc) in size, the minimum tread depth is one millimetre (mm) across three-fourths of the width, and visible tread on the remaining quarter of the tyre tread pattern. For motorcycles up to 50 cc in size, all of the groove of the original tread pattern must be visible.

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