Home / 7 Signs You Need to Replace Your Motorcycle Tires

When was the last time you checked the condition of your motorcycle tires? Your bike’s tires are crucial for smooth riding, so they must not fail.

Worn tires are among the major causes of motorcycle accidents globally. Good motorcycle tires have several benefits, so it’s good to know the available options before buying new motorcycle tires. New tires provide a great grip on wet surfaces, helping prevent possible accidents; they also reduce impacts on rough roads to enhance the overall riding experience.

Can you tell the signs of failing tires? Keep reading to learn when to replace motorcycle tires on your Harley.

Cupping, also called scalping, is the first sign that you need to replace your motorcycle tires

1. Your Tires Are Cupped or Scalped

Cupping, also called scalping, is the first sign that you need to replace your motorcycle tires. It’s a problem that mainly occurs with front tires, but it can affect rear tires as well.

Loose or worn-out suspensions are major causes of this problem, so there are likely to be suspension issues when there is cupping of your bike’s tires. The imbalance of your bike’s tires can also cause this problem since an imbalance forces some parts of the tires to not touch the road, which causes scalping.

The quality of your motorcycle tires may also cause cupping. If your bike’s tires are made of poor-quality materials, scalping will happen. If your motorcycle is vibrating and shaking, impact your tires for this problem.

The cupping of your bike’s tires will affect its contact with the surface, and the motorcycle will not provide a consistent grip on the surface. This problem can also make the bike slide on wet surfaces and cause injuries.

Replace cupped tires with new high-quality bike tires after noticing any of these problems.

2. Your Tire is Not Fitting Properly

Good motorcycle tires should properly fit the rims. If they do not fit, you need to replace them immediately.

motorcycle tires come in varying sizes for different-sized wheel rims. Unfitting tires will prevent you from smoothly riding your bike, and they can also cause serious accidents, especially when you ride very fast.

There will be stubborn tightness when your bike’s rim is larger than the tires, which can make it hard for you to remove the tires for replacement. On the other hand, tires that are larger than the rims tend to be loose.

The first thing you should check to buy a fitting motorcycle tire is the size. Ensure that the size of the tire matches the size of your bike’s rim, and always check the alphanumeric code on the tire to know its accurate size.

Worn-out motorcycle tires make the bike more susceptible to accidents

3. Your Tires Are Worn Out

This is another sign that you should not continue using your motorcycle tires.

Worn-out motorcycle tires make the bike more susceptible to accidents. With this problem, they can burst at any time. Don’t wait until you get involved in a motorcycle accident to change worn-out tires. You should always check the wear mark indicated on the sidewall of the tire.

Several things can make the tires wear out fast, and improper pressure is one of them. Loose or worn-out suspension parts may also cause the problem.

Good motorcycle maintenance is necessary for preventing the tires from wearing out fast. If your tires are severely worn-out, quickly buy new ones.

4. Your Tires Have Uneven Tread Wear

Excessive and uneven tread wear is another sign that you need to buy new tires.

At times, uneven tread wear may not be severe, which may hinder you from noticing the problem. Check the tread depth on the tire wear indicator to notice this problem quickly. Uneven wear makes the wear indicator flush with other parts of the tires.

Uneven tread wear will also affect the shape of your bike tires. Often, this form of wear starts from the center of the tire.

Suspension issues, imbalanced tire pressure, and poor alignment can all cause this tire problem.

Once you see this sign, purchase a high-quality set of tires for your motorcycle.

5. You Have Punctures/Cuts on Your Tires

No matter how small the punctures and cuts are, replace your bike tires.

Small punctures and cuts will expand the more you ride the motorcycle. This will expose you to fatal motorcycle accidents. Although tire repair may help, it may not be a reliable solution. For long-term function, consider changing the damaged tire.

Sharp objects like nails are common causes of tire punctures and cuts. Always inspect your motorcycle tires to prevent these damages. Excessive pressure also causes bursting, making the tires develop punctures.

Punctures and cuts cause uneven contact patchiness, affecting your riding experience.

Aged tires are a sign of when to replace motorcycle tires

6. Your Tires Are Aged

New motorbike tires are more functional than old tires. The older your motorcycle tire gets, the higher the chances of it getting damaged.

Old tires are likely to develop punctures and cuts and wear out more quickly than new tires. However, your old tires do not need to have these defects to get changed—you should replace an old tire whether it is damaged or not.

Good motorcycle tires should serve you for at least five years. To know the age of your bike tire, check the written date of manufacture.

There are many motorcycle tire life factors you should be aware of. Knowing these factors will also help you take proper care of the tires.

7. Your Tires Don’t Fit Your Riding Style

Your comfort should always come first.

Different types of motorcycle tires have different features. Tire treads, sizes, and other features can easily affect your bike riding style.

Again, tire defects can also affect your riding style and experience. This mainly happens when the tire doesn’t provide adequate grip.

If you love racing, your bike should have racing street tires. So, if your current motorbike tires can’t suit your individual needs, you riding style, or your average weather conditions, replace them.

Check the available types of motorcycle tires to find the one that suits your style.

Find a large inventory of motorcycles at Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands

Let Us Replace Your Tires at Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands

Damaged motorcycle tires will affect your riding experience and expose you to accidents, so you should always check them for various defects like punctures and cuppings. Once you note these signs, you should invest in new motorcycle tires that will serve your needs.

The Service Department at Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands offers full-service maintenance for your Harley, including tire replacements. Our dealership even offers Extended Service Plan options to help you keep the cost of maintaining your Harley low. 

Whether you’re a seasoned rider looking to cut down on DIY maintenance or a new rider who’s not sure when to replace their motorcycle tires, Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands is here to help. Visit us or schedule a service online today!


Harley Davidson of The Woodlands blog author
Harley Davidson of The Woodlands

Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands has been serving Southeast Texas for more than 20 years. We provide the Greater Houston area with new and pre-owned motorcycles, riding apparel, parts, maintenance service, and more at our state-of-the-art dealership. Whether you’re a new rider or a seasoned Harley vet, our friendly team of Harley-Davidson experts is ready to help you find the perfect bike today. Stop by and visit the Harley-Davidson of The Woodlands Showroom off of I-45 North in The Woodlands, TX.