Scooter and Moped TiresA lot is determinated by the right tyre - safety, driving comfort, fuel savings. This doesn’t only depend on the right tyres, but also on regular maintenance. The tyres are characterised by several important elements. Tires are the only connection between the two-wheeler and the road and they carry the entire weight of the vehicle. Good grip and control over scooters or motorcycles are achieved, e.g. by high-quality steel belted tyres with a profile adapted to the respective needs. The wheels also absorb the shock of every obstacle on the way. They are therefore essential for driving comfort and safety in traffic. There is a large selection of tyres: models such as radial tyres, lamellar tyres or whitewall tyres are available. The intended use is particularly important when choosing a tyre - a cross rider needs cross tyres with a strong profil pattern , whereas a road rider or racing rider needs slicks or racing tyres.
Tyre structureLike a car tyre, a scooter or motorcycle tyre also consists of various components. The profile is on the street. On the tread is the profile, which can be cut in different variations depending on the needs. It also can be equipped with specially designed sipes, e. g. for winter tyres. The tread is the most stressed part of the tyre and is directly exposed to abrasion and weathering. The carcass is the frame of the tyre. It is made up of several layers of fabric, synthetic fibres or synthetic silk or steel strips embedded in hard rubber. Various belts and treads guarantee strength. There is a lot of pressure in the carcass, which causes it to be stretched. The inner wall is also coated with a special rubber mixture which prevents the trapped air from penetrating outwards through the pores with time. The side walls protect the carcass from external influences and destruction. The bead connects the tyre to the rim. It consists mainly of steel wires and carcass threads laid around them.
The right tyre sizeWhen it comes to tyres for scooters, mopeds or quad, one question causes the most confusion - how do I find the right tyre? Take a look at the original tyre or the vehicle papers. Because only what is listed in it may be driven. It is important that the combinations of front and rear tyres are observed. Some motorcycles require the exact manufacturer and model marking of the tire. Scooter riders can be happy, because mixed tires are generally allowed here in Germany. The size specifications on a tyre are standardised - constructed in the same way and determined by the following specifications:
- tire width
- ratio of cross-section to width in percent
- rim diameter
- load index
- speed index
Older tyre size labeling:
Example: 3. 50-10 - the number separated by a dot indicates the tire width in inches. A possibly existing letter stands for the permissible speed range - for tyres for 45km/h vehicles this information is usually not available. The last number stands for the tyre diameter from bead to bead. Current tyre size labeling:
Example: 120/70-12 51J (TL) - in this case the designation first reveals that the tyre is 120mm wide. The number 70 indicates the percentage ratio of tyre width to tyre cross-section. 12 indicates the rim diameter in inches. The 51 reveals the so-called load-bearing capacity index. J breaks down the permitted speed range - in this case up to max. 100 km/h. TL means that it is a tubeless tyre. Tyre clearance
If you have a tyre that is not specified in the documents or by the manufacturer of the vehicle a “tyre clearance” (clearance certificate) is required. This is always necessary if there are restrictions with regard to tyre selection.
When there is a tire binding, you have to apply for a release bevor changing to another tire manufacturer. This is issued by the motorcycle or tyre manufacturer.
In a traffic control you are all good, if you have your tire certificate with you. An additional entry in the vehicle documents or the presentation of the two-wheeler to an expert (TÜV, Dekra) is not necessary, unless the certificate requires it. Therefore, the information in the tyre certificate should always be payed attention.
If there is no fixed tyre binding, all ECE-tested tyre models may be driven with the prescribed dimension or specification.
When is a tyre change necessary?Every scooter or moped pilot is confronted with a tire change at some point. Usually at least 2 times a year, when summer and winter wheels are changed. With two-wheelers, however, it sometimes happens more frequently than with car tires that a tire change is necessary. Small cracks or sharp objects can quickly cause the tyre to burst or break. Changing weather conditions and varying degrees of wear and tear on the front and rear tyres also make it necessary to change tyres on two-wheelers. The rear tyre has a significantly higher consumption than the front tyre. The question when a scooter or motorcycle tyre should be changed can easily be answered by regular checks. It is best to check the general condition of the tyres as well as the tread depth once a week. The legal minimum profile depth in Germany is 1.6 mm. After this minimum tread depth has been reached, the tyres have to be changed - but preferably beforehand! Decreasing tread depth increases the risk of slipping and can thus become a life risk. In addition, ensure that there are no irregularities, that the sidewall of the tyre is not dented and that the tread has not run in - in short: the overall appearance of the tyre should be "healthy". The air pressure of the tyre should also be checked in a time interval of 14 days and replenished with air if necessary.
The right tyre pressureThere is a certain pressure in the tyre. The minimum tyre pressure is prescribed by the manufacturer. Details can be found in the service plan or manual of the vehicle. Optimum tyre pressure, however, is crucial for many factors. Both the safety and the service life of tyres depend on the correct pressure. In approx. 40% of all traffic accidents, too low tyre pressure is detected.
For example, if the tyre pressure is too low, this can have serious consequences:
- The tyre heats up and can wear out fast because the rubber becomes cracked and brittle.
- The tyre can be damaged on the inside, not visible from the outside
- The rolling resistance increases and with it the fuel consumption