In this article, we will discuss the issues of premature wear on motorcycle tyres. Find out what signs you should be keeping an eye out for, as these can be a major cause for concern. We will also discuss how to prevent tyres from wearing out prematurely in the first place.

First of all, what affects the wear on your motorbike tyres? There are a number of factors, including:

  • Your driving speed. A reduction in speed from 75 mph to 62 mph can increase a tyre’s mileage by around 30%.
  • The type of road surface, as wear can occur approximately 30% faster when on gravel roads.
  • Whether or not the bike is overloaded. A bike that exceeds the tyre load index will, naturally, wear out the tyre.

How to recognize premature tread wear

Abnormal tread wear can be diagnosed when the height of the tread is found to be smaller in one particular area or when the tyre starts to display premature asymmetric wear.

Motorbike tyres – wear and damage

It is much more damaging to maintain the tyre pressure too low than too high.

What does it mean when only one part of the tyre is worn?

When wear is only found on one part of a tyre, it can indicate serious damage due to an unbalanced wheel. It can also possible indicate damage to the rim or the interior tyre elements.

These changes can influence the external shape of the tyre, which is why some areas wear faster than others, as these areas have more pressure applied to them.

What are the causes of premature tyre wear?

There are a number of factors that could cause premature tyre wear. Of course, if your product suffers from tyre deformation, this would be noticeable from the start. Premature wear is a result of something going wrong later on, rather than a factory fault.

Such causes could be:

  • An incorrect tyre pressure - both too high and too low
  • Mechanical damage

Why do tyres experience asymmetrical wear?

Tyres may also experience asymmetrical wear, when the level of damage is not symmetrically spread out, as you would expect. This could involve, for instance, one side wearing down faster than the other. In any case, there are a few possible causes, including:

  • Too little air pressure
  • The shock absorbers and suspension system not functioning equally
  • Uneven weight distribution, such as heavy panniers

All of these either shift weight to one side or apply uneven pressure to the tyre. This results in one side having more contact with the ground than the other, helping to create an imbalance in the lifespan of the tyre.

Can I repair a tyre myself?

In some cases, it is possible to repair a tyre yourself, such as when the damage is mostly external. For instance, if the tyre damage is caused by a thin object, such as a nail, causing a point puncture, then you could handle this yourself if you wanted to.

However, in the case of large holes or tears, there are no fixes that can restore the tyre to a suitable quality. The best option in these instances is to have the tyre replaced.


Of course, it is often much easier to use a visual example, Here we have a number of photographs showing typical signs of tyre wear, as well as some annotations showcasing how you can spot this damage.

A tyre with excessive wear in the central part of the tread

A tyre with excessive wear in the central part of the tread.

A front tyre with asymmetrical wear.

A front tyre with asymmetrical wear.

A rear tyre with asymmetrical wear.

A rear tyre with asymmetrical wear.

A tread with a tendency towards asymmetrical wear.

A tread with a tendency towards asymmetrical wear.

Hopefully, these examples should show you some of the more common situations many motorcycle riders find themselves in. If you see these signs, they are likely a sure sign of uneven wear and damage occurring to your tyres.