A Guide to Rotating Your Motorcycle Tires

Just as with a standard, four tired car or other vehicle, you'll also need to rotate the motorcycle tires on your bike in order to ensure that they wear evenly. This not only helps you to maximize the distance that you can travel on these tires before you'll need to replace them, but it can also help you to ensure that you don't have any tire blowouts as you're driving. Because a blown tire on a motorcycle oftentimes leads to a dangerous or even fatal crash, rotating your tires regularly and properly should be of the utmost importance to every motorcycle owner.

Why Rotate the Tires?

Rotating the tires on your motorcycle ensure that they wear evenly. The rear tire tends to see wear and tear in certain areas more so than the front tire. If you leave either of these tires in place for too long, those areas continue to wear down, making the tires more prone to damage and blowouts. However, if you switch them, the front tire experiences wear and tear in a new area, and the rear tire as well.

When to Rotate Tires

It's a good idea to rotate your motorcycle tires every 5,000 to 7,000 miles. This depends somewhat upon the average life expectancy of the tire. Generally, you'll want to rotate them when they've reached somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of their full riding capacity. You can also rotate them again when they have reached about 2/3 of their total capacity, if you desire.

Because some people drive their motorcycles much more often and for greater distances than others, it's not usually a good idea to base your rotation plan on a time schedule. Rather, keep track of how many miles you've driven on the bike since you last rotated the tires, and gauge whether you need another rotation through those means instead.

How to Rotate Tires

If you want to make the rotation process easiest on yourself, have a mechanic do it for you. The process is quick and requires little time. Additionally, mechanics can make the job easier by mounting the motorcycle up on a lift, which most owners do not have. However, if you don't have a mechanic that you'd like to work with or if you prefer to rotate the tires yourself, you'll need to first secure the motorcycle in place on a lift. Carefully remove both tires at once.

This can be done by following instructions that are provided in your owner's manual, as each bike has a slightly different method for removing tires. Switch the positions of the 2 tires and reattach them, being sure that they are adequately tightened and full of air to the proper degree before you lower the bike and continue to ride.

If you have any other questions or concerns about rotating the tires on your motorcycle, speak with an auto body repair specialist, a motorcycle mechanic or another professional.