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Best Motorcycle Tires - 6 Frequently Asked Questions

It's time to buy new motorcycle tires, and you have a lot of options. Online research is great, but when everyone out there claims they're the best, how do you choose? At Dallas Harley-Davidson®, we offer the same great pricing and personalized service when it comes to motorcycle tires as we do on everything else. Recently we even became a Dunlop Pro dealer so we could offer special promotions and road hazard coverage to our clients. Whatever questions you have about Harley® tires, we're here to help. We're also answering some of the ones we hear most frequently here.

How do I know what replacement tires I need for my Harley®?

You could pull out your owner's manual and look up the recommendations there. The manual probably includes a list of motorcycle tire manufacturers that make tires for your model, including the original tire sizes and types. That information is probably also available online, but make sure you get it from a reputable source. Someone's comment on Quora isn't a reputable source. 

If you're not sure what you did with your motorcycle manual or you don't feel like putting on your reading glasses to read the fine print, we've got you. Just come by our Dallas motorcycle dealership and our service experts will help you find what you need.

When do I need to buy new motorcycle tires?

Inspect your tires regularly for the following:

  • Examine your tread. Regulations say you need between 1/32" and 2/32" of tread depth, not just on the outside edges, but in the middle of your tire as well. When you stop by our Dallas Harley® dealership, we're happy to measure your tread and give you an estimate on how much life your tires have left. Your tires might have wear indicators that make things a little simpler. Replace your tires before you wear past this groove.
  • Look for tire defects like cracking or uneven wear.
  • Keep track of age. Replace your motorcycle tires at or before the five-year mark. 

Why don't bike tires last as long as car tires?

Motorcycle tires are made of a softer rubber than car tires, so they wear out faster. You want them that way, because you have two tires on the ground instead of four, and they're your only points of contact with the surfaces you ride across. Softer rubber has better grip, but by nature, it also deteriorates faster.

It's like comparing a high-performance vehicle to a family sedan. They're purchased by different types of driver, and intended for different purposes. You buy a high-performance vehicle for looks and performance, for a driving experience. You pay more for it most of the time, and you expect maintenance and parts to be more expensive. It's a luxury, but you know that going in.

Motorcycles are the same way. You buy a Harley® to enjoy incomparable freedom, and also because you love its looks, sound and performance. If you just wanted two-wheeled transportation, you'd have bought a moped.

Can I use wider tires on my Harley®?

It depends, and there are as many different answers as there are bikes. Stop by and ask one of our service techs or send us a message through our contact form.

How can I make my motorcycle tires last longer?

Preventative maintenance makes a difference. Check your tires at least once a week to make sure they have the correct inflation pressure (check your owner's manual again, or give us a call). Inspect them for signs of damage and uneven wear. 

Low tire pressure increases heat and accelerates wear. It also sucks for traction and good handling. Proper inflation makes your rubber last longer.

If you have a chain or belt drive, make sure you check your alignment regularly, otherwise your tires will work against each other and wear out sooner.

Sometimes you can't help having to make a quick stop, but the more you do, the faster you grind away tread. Instead, stop and start gradually.

When you clean your tires, just use soap and water. Store them out of sunlight and solvents.

Where can I get special promotions or better pricing on good motorcycle tires?

As a Dunlop Pro dealer, we have promotions not available through most regular Dallas motorcycle dealerships. This month when you buy two tires and any service, get up to $60 off. Find out more about buying from a Dunlop Pro dealer here.