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What does the marking on motorcycle tires mean?

– Why read them, these motorcycle tires, I took them, put them down and drove off. What’s so hard about that? – someone will think.

Well, don’t tell me, friends. You can go to any tire service and listen to three dozen funny stories, how the wheels were put in the wrong direction, how they confused the rear and front tires and similar bikes from experienced people. I think that in motorcycle shops, too, no, no, yes, there are amateurs who, according to the principle “I want evil rubber”, bought a tire that did not physically fit the motorcycle. Yes, there are entire custom projects when the design of the swingarm or the front fork is changed (less often much), so that instead of a simple standard wheel, put a wide cylinder and scare the traffic police with a fiery train and black smoke, leaving a clearing from the wheel during braking, but these are special cases.

Ordinary mortals who do not pursue total changes in the wheelbase of their motorcycle sometimes have a second stupor when they are asked in the store what kind of rubber to show. Thoughtful simply take pictures of the side of the rubber, which contains all the most necessary information. If you forgot to take a photo / record, the catalogs that have been created just for this will come to the rescue. With the overwhelming number of suppliers, you can always find a whole fan of options for your motorcycle, based on the data of the factory of the manufacturer of your motorcycle.

The first and most important characteristic is size.

X / Y / Z where X is the width of the tire; U- designation of the height of the tire from the bead to the upper point of the tread; and Z is the diameter of the disc. You can find these tips both in the motorcycle manual and on the rubber itself. By and large, this and understanding what kind of protector you need is already enough to choose a model in terms of price-quality ratio.

But since in addition to the model, brand and size on the rubber there is still a dark darkness of different designations, let’s look at them as well.

In the previous article (“Motor rubber – what does it consist of?”) We noted that there are designations for tube (“Tube Type” or TT “) and tubeless (” Tubeless “or TL) tires.

That there are three types of construction according to the pacing methods, but they are usually paid attention to by pilots who want to know as much as possible about what will stand on their motorcycle.

Tire softness indicators

– Oh, well, combined types have been used for a long time, are they really still divided into soft and hard?

You will be surprised, but yes. Even with all the success of the solution with a combination of hard and soft layers, and usually these are hard to medium and soft at the edges, motor rubber is still divided into softness levels. This affects grip and wear. It is logical that soft tires wear out faster, but they also have better grip than hard ones. Accordingly, we again return to the goals of our motorcycle, to its class, where different levels of softness are combined with a tread pattern.

By softness, they are distinguished:

  • Very soft with index K0 super soft
  • Soft with indexes K1, RS1 soft
  • Medium K2, RS2 medium
  • Hard RS3 hard

Under the indicators, for example, “max load” is the maximum weight that this tire can withstand. Usually this characteristic is needed only if you are a big fan of loading a motorcycle until the pallet rattles against the asphalt, in other cases it does not carry a vital function, since any manufacturer always takes into account the conditions of the maximum weight and this is not your headache. When buying a motorcycle tire with the required basic characteristics, you can be sure that the manufacturer has calculated the load capacity of the tire based on the model of the motorcycle and its possible conditions of use.

Tire direction and rear / front difference

These are very important designations, the front and rear tires differ from each other. Yes, there is a rubber that is interchangeable and does not require a rigid attachment to the front or rear axle, such will not have an index after the size.

On other tires, immediately after the dimension, an indication follows:

  • The words “Front Wheel Front” or “Wheel Only” refer to the front wheel, sometimes it is just an abbreviation to one letter – F
  • “Rear Wheel” – denotes a rear wheel, or again an abbreviation to the first letter – R

“Front use only” or “Rotation” with an arrow indicating the direction of movement of the tire, so as not to make a mistake during installation. The shooter may not be only with symmetrical tread patterns, when the manufacturer does not have special instructions for installation.

For a snack, the last row of numbers that may come in handy is the date of manufacture. There is a completely working version that the storage period, friends, not of use, but of storage of tires without any consequences, fluctuates within a radius of 6 years, of course, for fans of retro technology 6 years is nonsense, because it happens to find original tires to restore an exhibit in stock and with a much longer period of limitation of rubber. But we are talking about the case when, as part of storage, you still plan to use this tire. But the service life in combat mode depends on the nature of the ride and the intensity of your trips. But if you look at the numbers, you will see that the last 4 represent the year and week since the beginning of the year.

Other designations such as maximum speeds, serial number, full breaker composition or board composition are not very important for ordinary pilots. This information, with a special desire, can also be read on the side of the rubber.

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