Friday, August 21, 2015


I now own a BMW F800GS from an R1200GS which was fantastic but not smart. The F800GS has been superb, “the do it all motorcycle” giving me all I have always wanted for commuting, adventure, and most of all the super fun and breathtaking dirt rides.  

Let’s get down to the main deal

Understanding your motorcycle tires: Looking on what type of tires to buy, I needed to ask myself “what type of riding will I be doing MORE”. I do so much more of commuting which means PAVEMENT so I have to get a tire that is 80% pavement 20% dirt. Then how much load will I be putting on my motorcycle… Just my backpack and I … oh oh my girl should not read this may be a pillion but like riding light. What’s my maximum speed? Let’s say   210km, tire construction etc.
Looked in some site:

Combining information from the above, I present the below:

Tire Explained


The first number or second letter in a tire size represents the nominal width. Width is measured in a straight line from the furthest point on one sidewall, across the tread, to the furthest point on the opposite sidewall. If there is any question whether or not a larger than OEM tire will fit your bike, you're encouraged to call Tech Service. The different size numbering systems specify widths in different measurements.

Aspect Ratio

Aspect Ratios indicate a tires cross-sectional profile. The smaller the number, the lower the profile. It expresses the height to width ratio as a percent. A 90 aspect ratio means the tire's cross sectional height is 90% of it's width. The aspect ratio appears immediately after the width in the Metric, Alpha and Low Profile Inch numbering systems

Speed Rating

Speed Ratings are internationally recognized maximum speeds at which the tire may be used with maximum load when the maximum listed inflation pressure is used. Maximum loads and inflation pressures are found on the sidewalls of the tires. Speed ratings are coded by a letter, which appears directly after the width, aspect ratio, or as part of a three digit Load/Speed Index, found on the tire directly after the complete size designation.

Speed Ratings
Code                         Letter Max.                       MPH Max. KPH
J 62 100
K 68 110
L 75 120
M 81 130
N 87 140
P 93 150
Q 99 160
R 106 170
S 112 180
T 118 190
U 124 200
H 130 210
V220 137 220
V230 143 230
V or V240 149 240
V250 155 250
V260 161 260
W or V270 168 270
V280 174 280
V290 180 290
Y or V300 186 300
Z above 149 above 240 

Tire Construction

The Tire Construction, when included in the size numbering, is listed after the speed rating. The two options for tire construction are Belted (B) or Radial (R). A belted tire has fiberglass, Kevlar, or aramid fiber belts for added strength and load capacity, however not all belted tires will have the B designation. If a tire does not have the Radial (R) designation, it is a bias-ply tire.

Rim Diameter

Rim diameter is the diameter of the rim/wheel on which the tire will be mounted, in inches.

Load and pressure codes

Tire Load The next number or letter you may encounter, after the tire size, is the load index. This is the weight the tire is capable of handling when properly inflated. It's usually expressed in either a numerical code, or a letter code. Most manufacturers will also spell out on the sidewall what that maximum load is so there's no guessing—you'll find it usually listed with the tire's maximum air pressure.
It's good to note here that you should only fill a tire to the motorcycle manufacturer's recommended level. Besides under inflation, one of the biggest mistakes people make with their tires is to overfill them to the maximum level indicated on the sidewall. This leads to poor handling and premature wear. If in doubt, either consult your owner's manual, contact your local dealer, or go to the tire manufacturer's website. Most include the recommended pressure for each motorcycle, along with other tire options. And be sure to measure pressure when the tire is cold. Measuring hot will skew the numbers.

Additional Information

Some tires may have additional information in their size, for example WW, meaning it's a white wall tire. If the size is followed by TT, it means that it is a tube type tire, which requires an inner air tube. TL means it's a tubeless tire. Others may have M/C at the end of the size, which simply means it is a motorcycle tire.

Tire Size Numbering Systems
There are four different motorcycle tire size systems currently in use. The systems can have up to the five parts listed above. The different systems are:

    Standard Inch
    Low Profile Inch


Examples: 180/55ZR-17 · M130/80-18 · 130/80HB-18 · 130/80H-18
The Metric tire size system is the most common and also the most descriptive. Metric sized tires are used on just about every type of motorcycle, from the latest sport bikes, to cruisers, touring bikes and everything in between. An "M" sometimes precedes a metric size when there is no speed rating used. It simply means that it is a motorcycle tire. Another letter is sometimes used after the speed rating to indicate belted (B) or radial (R) tire construction.
In the first example above, 180 is the width in millimeters, 55 is the aspect ratio (cross-section height is 55% of the width), Z is the speed rating (149+ mph), R specifies it's a radial construction tire, and 17 is the wheel diameter in inches.



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