Replacing your motorcycle tires is inevitable. You must replace them once they reach their expiration dates or if you start noticing signs of wear. However, how much does replacing motorcycle tires cost in general?
The amount you spend depends on a lot of factors. Firstly, you need to consider the type of tire you need: will it be touring, ADV, sports, or motocross tires? Then, you need to factor in the installation fees, which may include tire balancing, mounting, recycling, etc. You’ll also want to consider retreaded motorcycle tires if you don’t want to purchase brand new ones.
Table of Contents
Replacing Motorcycle Tires: How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?
Motorcycle tires are constantly making contact with the road. This is why they’re more prone to wear and tear as compared to other parts of a motorcycle. You need to replace them once you think it’s necessary to ensure your safety on the road.
In general, motorcycle tires can last for up to five years after their manufacturing date. This information is embossed on the tire itself and is usually called its expiration dates. The front tire can last for 3,700 miles while the back tire can last for 1,800 miles.
Under the right conditions, the rear motorcycle tire wears out faster since it does all the moving when you accelerate. The rear wheel is called the power wheel where you apply all the force to move your bike forward.
You may argue that the front tire must wear out faster since you brake with the front brakes. However, think about how much more you accelerate as compared to brake. You obviously accelerate more, which is why rear tires receive more stress and therefore, wear out faster.
Types of Motorcycle Tires
There are different types of motorcycle tires for different models and driving needs. They can vary in thickness, shape, treading, and of course, price.
Touring or Cruiser Tires
Touring and cruiser tires are specifically made to support heavier motorcycles. They’re also designed to last for very long miles and wet and harsher terrains and weather conditions. You can often find them in models like Yamaha Bolt, Kawasaki Vulcan, and Harley Davidson Softail.
Their sidewalls are stiffer than ordinary tires to help them bear the weight of heavy bikes. They come with a deeper tread depth of 10/32 inches as well, so they can wear slower and withstand extreme environments.
Sports tires are designed for lighter sports bikes and high-performance street bikes. They’re usually for nimble motorcycles that perform complicated tricks, some of which are airborne.
These tires may be light but they have an excellent grip to give the right amount of friction. The treading also has a good grip for cornering purposes. Moreover, the pronounced centerline allows you to easily shift from side-to-side to perform more tricks.
Their stiffer carcasses help provide stability in high-speed situations and treading that can handle wet conditions. However, they don’t last as long as cruiser tires, which are made for extreme sports bound to wear them down.
ADV or Dual-Sport Tires
ADV tires are particularly made for off-road use. They feature distinct knobs to make them more capable of tackling dirt, rocks, mud, and sand.
These tires are very versatile so you can use them to ride on almost all types of roads. But, since they’re specifically designed for off-road trails, they’re only up to 30% effective on more normal roads. You can mostly find these in models like the KTM Super Adventure and Africa Twin.
Motocross or dirt bike tires are built to hardly grip the terrain and include low valleys and high treads. This combination gives them a strong grip and the ability to remove debris.
They have a tube-type construction where the inner tube creates an airtight seal with the wheel. This feature makes the tires more durable and resistant to punctures.
Replacing Motorcycle Tires: Other Factors to Consider
The type of motorcycle tire isn’t the only thing to consider during replacement. In general, installation fees can cost around $18 per tire.
This includes $12 for balancing, $4 for weighing and mounting, and $2 for the recycling fees. If you’re planning to replace both the front and rear tires, expect the total to be around $36.
Meanwhile, if you’re planning to buy new tires, we suggest letting the shop mount them on your bike. The total cost of installing the tires can vary from place to place. But, you can expect them to charge you anywhere from $0 to $100 for the whole deal. Just remember that this only applies if you buy your motorcycle tires from them.
Replacing Motorcycle Tires: Ride-In vs. Carry-In Service
The total cost of changing tires also depends on whether the wheels are still on the bike or not. You can choose from either a ride-in or carry-in service.
A ride-in service refers to when the wheels are still on the motorcycle. This often costs more and can range from $45 to $110 a tire. Meanwhile, a carry-in service is when the tires have already been removed. In this case, the cost will be significantly lower and can be anywhere from $20 to $50 per tire.
The cost of replacing a motorcycle tire varies, so it’s a good idea to ask around and get multiple quotes.
Replacing Motorcycle Tires: Does the Type Affect the Price?
No. The type of tire won’t significantly affect the cost of replacing your motorcycle tire. For example, the labor cost of changing motorcycle tires is between $25 and $40 on average. This applies to whether you have dirt bikes or touring bikes.
With that, replacing the front tire is normally cheaper than changing the rear tire. The labor cost of replacing the front tire is around $30 to $40. Replacing the rear tire, on the other hand, can be twice as much.
What About Retreaded Tires?
Buying new motorcycle tires each time you need a replacement is costly. Another option you can consider is retreaded tires or old and used tires that were repaired and restored to functionality. These are viable options and have passed inspection processes that prove that they’re safe enough to be used.
In retreading, a worn tire casing with good structural quality is removed. Next, it undergoes a process where it gets a renewed tread and sidewall rubber. The revamped tire then goes through a curing process where the new rubber is vulcanized to the original casing. The tire gets a new tread pattern during this process.
- Retreaded tires are safe and are used in different types of vehicles. From motorcycles, cars, and buses, you can use retreading in all of them.
- Retreading is environment-friendly. It saves landfill space, reduces carbon dioxide emission, and saves millions of gallons of oil needed to make new tires. Think of using retreaded tires as your contribution to saving the environment.
- Retreaded tires are cheaper than new tires. You can retread old tires up to two or three times as well, saving you up to 40%.
- Retreading uses the tire’s old casings and you can add new treads twice or thrice depending on its condition. This allows the tire to perform just like a new tire and add an extra mile to its life.
But, despite these advantages, many riders still have a negative impression of retreaded tires, including:
- While retreaded tires are less expensive than brand new tires, budget tires have now become better over the years. For one, they’re cheaper than retreaded tires and have better quality as well since they’re new tires. This is why riders may more likely choose budget tires over retreaded ones.
- Retreaded tires have a new layer of rubber in the casing without a change in the cords of infrastructure. This means that the quality of a retreaded tire is a lot down compared to new tires. So, there will ultimately be an issue with a retreaded tire no matter how well it might seem to work.
- It’s more difficult to find a retreaded tire model that is compatible with your bike’s model. You should always be in contact with different motorcycle repair stores to know which shop has a supply.
Replacing Motorcycle Tires: Do You Need to Change Both Tires at Once?
No. This is unnecessary and a waste of money!
Riders often replace one motorcycle tire at a time. If the front tire wears out first, just switch it with the rear and buy a new rear tire instead. Remember that the rear tire is the power wheel or the one you drive when you accelerate. So, when getting a new tire, make sure to install it on the rear.
Even with good motorcycle driving habits and proper maintenance, there’ll come a time when you need to replace your tires. The cost of replacing motorcycle tires depends on many factors, so make sure to shop around first to get the best deal.
Happy shopping and be safe on the road!