- Tire Installation (see also Tire Mounting)
Motorcycle street tires have balance dots in the bead or sidewall area to indicate the lightest point of the tire.
Sstreet tires should be installed with these balance dots at the valve. Street tires also have arrows on the
sidewall, which indicate the correct direction of rotation.
Positioning of balance marks and inclusion of directional arrows are not universal among motorcycle tire
8 - Tire Pressures (see also Tire Mounting)
Follow pressure recommendations shown on the Motorcycle Tire Application Guide. Contact Cycle Analysis of
Cleveland Ohio if year and model are not shown on the current guide and the owner’s manual does not list pressure
settings for tires.
Keep in mind that hard cornering, passengers, heavy loads and sustained high speeds will require higher pressures
(up to that indicated on the sidewall).
CHECKING TIRE PRESSURE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIRE MAINTENANCE FUNCTION YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMER CAN PERFORM.
For high-speed, fully loaded or dual-riding touring-motorcycle applications, inflate tires to maximum recommended by
vehicle manufacturer for Dunlop fitment. Never exceed maximum load indicated on tire sidewall or vehicle capacity
load found in owner’s manual, whichever is lower.
Underinflated tires can result in imprecise cornering, higher running temperatures, irregular tread wear, fatigue
cracking, overstressing and eventual failure of the tire carcass, or loss of control, which could cause accident,
injury or death.
Overinflating tires does not increase load-carrying capacity, but will result in a hard ride and accelerated tire
wear in the center of the contact patch.
Advise your customers to check cold tire pressure frequently with a good-quality gauge that holds a reading, and
always before extended trips.
Loss of pressure may occur due to worn-out or badly seated valve cores. Check valve cores, and if necessary, tighten
for correct seating, or remove and replace them. A metal or hard-plastic valve cap with an inner gasket should be
used and installed finger-tight to protect the valve core from dust and moisture and to help maintain a positive air
Loss of pressure may also be caused by tube damage, as well as cracked rubber tube or tubeless valve stem bases.
Inspect rim bands, tubes and valves. Replace if damage or cracking is noted.
Repeated loss of inflation pressure may result from undetected tire damage. Visually inspect tires for punctures,
cuts, abrasions, cracks, bulges, blisters or knots. It will be necessary to dismount the tire to complete an
inspection for internal damage and any need for repair. See the Tire Repair section. Only certain punctures in the
tread area may be repaired, and only if no other damage is present.
The appearance of stress cracks in the tread grooves is one indicator of overload and/or underinflation. If you find
evidence of tread-groove cracking, you should remove and replace the tire immediately. This damage is permanent and
Tires with non-repairable damage must not be used again (see Tire Repair). Damage caused by impacts, penetrations or
continued underinflated/overloaded use is progressive and can result in sudden and complete tire failure and
accident, injury or death.
Your customers should always seek expert inspection of the dismounted tire following curb, chuckhole or other
impacts, evidence of penetration beyond the tire surface, bulges or low pressure. They should not continue riding on
Advise your customers to inspect their tires frequently for damage and to always heed warning signs such as
vibration, handling instability, rubbing or tire noise that occurs during operation of the motorcycle.
9 - Minimum Tread Depth
Always remove tires from service before they reach the tread-wear indicator bars (1/32 of an inch tread pattern
depth remaining). Worn/unworn tire combinations and worn tires used in wet conditions can result in deteriorated
10 - Speed ratings
S, H, V and Z ratings where applied are indicative of high-performance capability based on Dunlop indoor wheel
testing and are not valid for damaged, altered, repaired, excessively worn, underinflated or overloaded tires.
Dunlop does not recommend the use of any of its products in excess of legal speed limits. Consult the owner’s manual
for recommended speed rating.
11 - Dynamometer Testing
Never subject a tire on the motorcycle to dynamometer engine testing. This severe use of the tire may result in
tread compound degradation and subsequent failure.
12 - Run-in Period
Replacements for worn, differently patterned or constructed tires will not react the same. When new tires are
fitted, they should not be subjected to maximum power, abrupt lean-over or hard cornering until a reasonable run-in
distance of approximately 100 miles has been covered. This will permit the rider to become accustomed to the feel of
the new tires or tire combination, find the edge and achieve optimum road grip for a range of speeds, acceleration
and handling uses. Advise your customer to check and adjust inflation pressure to recommended levels after tires
cool for at least three (3) hours following run-in. Remember, new tires will have a very different contact patch and
lean-over edge. New tires, mixing a new tire with a worn tire and mixing different pattern combinations may
adversely affect ride and handling and will require careful ride evaluation.
13 - Tire Repair
Some punctures in motorcycle tires may be repaired.
Cycle Analysis of Cleveland Ohio recommends only permanent plug-patch repairs of small (maximum 1/4-inch diameter)
tread-area punctures from within the dismounted tire by a qualified tire repair shop or motorcycle dealer. Never
perform an exterior repair and never use an inner tube as a substitute for a proper repair. Speed should not exceed
50 mph for the first 24 hours after repair, and the repaired tire should never be used over 75 mph. Advise your
customer to check inflation pressure after tire cools for at least three (3) hours following run-in, or sooner if
air loss is suspected. See the Dunlop Service Advisory for additional motorcycle tubeless-tire repair information.
Follow the same repair procedures for tires on rims requiring tube replacement. The repairer is solely responsible
for the repair and any instructions to the repaired-tire user.
Advise your customers that no form of temporary repair should be attempted because secondary damage caused by a
penetrating object may not be detected and tire or tube deflation may occur at a later date.
Cycle Analysis of Cleveland Ohio does not recommend the use of liquid sealants. These are a form of temporary
repair, and they may adversely affect ply material and mask secondary damage caused by a penetrating object. Advise
your customers that reliance upon sealants can result in sudden tire failure and accident.
14 - Retreading and Other Modifications
Never use a motorcycle tire that has been retreaded (recapped). Such tires are remanufactured products for which
Dunlop’s new tire testing and certifications are voided. Motorcycle tires are not designed for retreadability (recappability),
nor will Dunlop be responsible for any retread process or performance.
Never use a motorcycle tire that has been modified by the removal or addition of any material by tread grooving,
siping, grinding or contouring, nor with any inlays or raised features (e.g., lettering) of any kind. Such tires are
remanufactured products for which Dunlop’s new tire testing and certifications are voided.
15 - Motorcycle Maintenance
Dunlop strongly recommends regular inspection of the motorcycle generally, and of wheels in particular, because tire
mileage and performance are adversely affected by a poorly maintained vehicle. Advise your customers to bring their
motorcycles to the motorcycle dealer for regular maintenance checks, inclusive of tire inspections.
Advise your customers to maintain suspension settings in strict compliance with vehicle owner’s manual. Improperly
maintained components and incorrect or unbalanced front fork pressures will affect stability. Low suspension
pressure will generate excessive tire stresses.
16 - Wheel Balance
It is essential that tire/wheel assemblies be balanced before use and rebalanced each time the tire is removed or
replaced. Unbalanced tire/wheel assemblies can vibrate at certain speeds, and tire wear will be greatly accelerated.
All Dunlop street tires should be installed with the balance dot at the valve. Wheels may be balanced with spoke
nipple weights, lead wire or self-adhesive rim weights. Consult the motorcycle manufacturer for approved wheel
Dunlop does not recommend the use of dry or liquid balancers/sealers and will not warrant tires into which these
materials have been injected. Tire and wheel assembly balance must be checked with a balance stand or computer wheel
17 - Wheel Alignment
Be sure to align the wheels each time the rear wheel is removed or the chain or belt is adjusted. Each revolution of
an incorrectly aligned wheel can scuff off tread rubber, reduce tire mileage and impair steering and cornering.
18 - Spokes
Replace immediately any broken spokes and tighten any loose ones. Broken spokes transfer additional tension to
adjoining spokes, creating the potential for further spoke failures. After tightening or replacing spokes, be sure
that the wheel rims run true.
Inspect the rim, rim band and tube, and replace any of these components if they are damaged before refitting the
Both broken and loose spokes may cause wheel wobble, thus accelerating tire wear, and could cause instability.
19 - Wheel Inspection
Bent wheel rims and bent or cracked cast wheels should be replaced immediately.
Bent rims may cause wheel wobble, bead unseating and, in the case of tubeless tires, gradual air loss. Sudden wheel
failure may result from the use of cracked cast wheels. Advise your customers of these conditions and their
Note: Not all cast wheels, whether aluminum or magnesium, are suitable for tubeless-tire fitment.
Mount tires as tubeless only when the wheel manufacturer recommends it. Some spokeless rims require tubes. With a
tube inserted, a tubeless tire may be fitted to a tube-type wheel.
Exception: Dunlop does not recommend fitment of non-radial tubes in radial tires. Ensure that tube markings match
radial tire markings before fitting to rims requiring tubes.
20 - Sidewall Treatment
Use a mild soap solution to clean sidewalls, white striping or lettering, and rinse off with plain water. Never
apply any other material, cleaners or dressings to enhance sidewall appearance. These may degrade the rubber and
remove inherent ozone cracking/weather checking resistance.
21 - Tire Storage Precautions
Tires can be damaged as a result of poor storage conditions and such damage can affect tire performance and
functioning and may eventually lead to tire failure.
Stored tires should be protected against environmental effects such as sunlight, ozone and other potentially
Do store tires where the area is clean, dry, well ventilated and the ambient temperatures are temperate.
Do not store tires where the area is dirty or wet, or exposed to petroleum-based products or solvents.
Do not store tires where they are exposed to direct sunlight, extreme hot/cold temperatures or ozone-generating
sources such as electric motors, battery chargers, generators or welding equipment.
• Oil and Gasoline
Prolonged contact with oil or gasoline causes contamination of the rubber compound, making the tire unsuitable for
use. Wipe off any oil or gasoline immediately with a clean rag.
Do not use any tire that has been exposed to oil, gasoline, corrosives or non-rubber-compatible liquids.
22 - Tire Mounting
Danger: Only specially trained persons should mount tires. Improper mounting can cause tire explosion and serious
Follow these mounting precautions:
● Wear approved eye protection.
● Clean and lubricate beads and rim.
● Centralize rim band and tube to
prevent pinching if tube-type rim.
● Note directional arrows on sidewall
● Lock assembly on mounting machine
or place in safety cage before inflating to seat beads.
● Set air hose relief valve at 40 psi.
● Use extension gauge and hose with
clip-on air chuck. Stand back with no part of your body within the perimeter of the assembled tire and rim.
● Inflate with core in valve stem.
● Never inflate above 40 psi to seat
● Spin wheel to check bead seating
*If the beads do not seat by 40 psi, deflate and repeat above procedures. Never use a volatile substance or rubber
donut to aid bead seating. If the tire is a tube-type, deflate and reinflate after seating to prevent tube wrinkles.
D402 PT bead-lock tires may be mounted only on matching Harley-Davidson FXRP, FLHTP or FLHP rims. Consult the
owner’s manual and refer to the vehicle service manual for special tire-mounting instructions.
23 - Never Mount Passenger-Car Tires on Motorcycle Rims
Never mount passenger-car tires on motorcycle rims.
24 - Dual-Sport and On-/Off-Road Tires
Safety note: The minimum pressure for dual-sport highway use is 22 psi front and 22 psi rear. Pressures for
dual-sport use must be increased to pressures specified by the motorcycle manufacturer for highway use.
25 - Safety Tips for the Off-road Motorcyclist
1.) Air pressure: Always maintain the recommended tire pressure for the type of terrain on which the motorcycle is being
ridden; check the owner’s manual. Underinflated tires may cause wheel damage when ridden on rocky, rough terrain and
allow the motorcycle to squirm or wander on smooth, hard terrain. Overinflation may damage the tires and cause an
unnecessarily harsh ride. To accurately measure tire pressure, use a standard tire-pressure gauge.
2.) Condition: Check for cuts and gouges that may cause air leakage. Also check the tires for missing knobs and excessively
Wheels: To avoid loss of control or injury, make sure axle nuts are tight and secured. Grasp each tire at the front
and rear and try to rock it on its axle to detect worn-out bearings or loose nuts. There should be no free play or
slip as you rock the wheel. Inspect wheels for broken or loose spokes and for cracks on the hub or rim.
26 - Register your tires
When you purchase new motorcycle tires, be sure to register them. Registration information can be found on the
Dunlop web site at DunlopMotorcycleTires.com, or utilize the registration card you obtained from your dealer.
27 - Additional Safety Information and Training
For additional safety information, read your vehicle owner’s manual and any safety decals, and call the Motorcycle
Safety Foundation (949) 727-3227, or the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (949) 727-3727. Or write the above
at 2 Jenner St., Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92618-3806.
Dunlop Supports Rider Education. For a motorcycle rider course near you, call 1-800-446-922
28 - Choosing The Right Tire
Determine the overall track conditions including the starting line
● If the ground is dry and hard to
the point where it does not break up when you kick it, you should consider a tire with a hard pack tread pattern
like Dunlop’s Geomax MX52.
● If the conditions vary from
hard-packed to loose loam, you’ll likely will want an intermediate terrain tire like Dunlop’s MX3S front & MX52 rear
or a combination of hard track front & intermediate rear (MX52F & MX3S).
● If the ground has a cushion to it,
rutted with soft berms, you probably need a soft terrain tire that will penetrate through the loose soil. Dunlop’s
MX3S is an excellent choice.
● If the conditions are strictly soft
deep sand or mud, you might consider a specialty tire like the New MX11.
● Let the dominant condition dictate
your choice after considering the start section.
Don’t be afraid to mix off-road tire patterns front and rear to feel more comfortable.
- Wide Size Benefits
● Dunlop innovation developed to
harness and transmit power to the ground.
● Provides a larger footprint for
enhanced traction and improved bump absorption.
● Fits on standard-sized rims.
30 - Pre-Ride Inspection
Check air pressure prior to every ride
● Make sure the valve stem has not
spun; if it has, deflate tire and re-set
● If riding in a rocky area or track,
make sure to look between the knobs for cracks or cuts to the tire carcass
● Check spokes at this time
31 - Proper Inflation Pressure
Proper inflation is key to the life and performance of your tires. Refer to this chart for correct amounts.
● Hard Conditions: Front / Rear:
12.5-13.5 ~ 14 psi
● Intermediate Conditions: Front /
Rear: 12.5-13.5 ~ 14 psi
● Soft Conditions: Front / Rear:
12.5-13.5 ~ 14 psi
● Minis -13 ~ 14 psi
- Changing Your Tires
Follow these steps in removing and installing your new tires.
1.) Lay the rear wheel sprocket side down and the front wheel brake side up
2.) Remove the valve core and loosen the rim locks
3.) Stand the wheel up and use the flat side of a tire iron to push the rim locks down, breaking them loose from the tire
4.) Lay the wheel down again and stand on the tire sidewalls with your feet pushing to break the beads loose from the rim.
5. Sometimes a little soapy water at the tire/rim junction helps loosen the beads
5.) With the brake side of the wheel up, use the spooned end of your tire irons and insert them (2) between the bead and
rim. I suggest inserting them on one side of the valve stem or other. Lever one at a time, working your way around
the tire in small increments
6.) After the firs side is removed, push the valve stem into the rim and pull the tube all the way out
7.) If your wheel has rim locks, remove them before beginning removal of the second bead
8.) Remove the second bead by inserting a tire iron under the bead of the brake side of the wheel, then lever the tire bead
over the rim and push it off
9.) Clean the bead area of the rim. Check the rim locks, rubber rim strip or tape covering the spoke nipples for damage
1.) Install one rim lock, lube one bead of the tire. Push down on the top of the tire and insert one side of the wheel and
the rim lock into the bottom part of the tire. Begin levering the first bead on.
2.) Insert the second rim lock if your wheel uses two. Before installing the tube, inflate to make sure there wan no damage
done during removal. Check the nut at stem area for tightness and look for cracks in the stem. Leave just enough air
in the tube for installing, so the tube holds its shape.
3.) Apply baby powder to the outside of the tube and inside the tire. This prevents the tube from chafing in use.
4.) Install the tube in the tire carefully. Starting at the valve stem holes, evenly place the tube inside. Be sure the tube
is not bunched up in any area or aught under the rim locks.
5.) Lube the bead with a mild soap and water solution and push a small section if it under the rim near the stem area.
Insert one tire iron and start levering the tire bead on, taking very small bites with each iron. Stick the iron in
just far enough past the rim edge being careful not to catch the tube.
6.) With each bite, check that the bead of both sides of the tire is as far down in the well of the rim as possible.
7.) After the final bead area is installed, be sure the rim locks and valve stem move freely.
8.) Inflate the tire and seat both beads. Should the beads not seat properly, do not overinflate. Re-lube the bead areas
with soapy solution and re-inflate until seated properly.
9.) After the tire is fully inflated, let the air out again then re-inflate. This allows the tube to settle inside the tire.
10.) Tighten the rim locks and adjust the tire pressure.
33 - MX Tire Size Markings
● When motorcycle tire standards for
width, diameter and load capacity were introduced a few years ago, they didn’t include motocross tires. As a result,
motocross tires varied in dimensions from one manufacturer to another. Most tire manufacturers marked their
motocross tires with a size designation that related to tread width.
● In current tire standards, the
designation for width is actually the section width, measured at the sidewall, not at the tread. This has always
applied to street tires. A 4.50-18 street tire, for example, would have a section width of 4.50 inch, and would fit
on an 18 inch rim.
● When metric tires were introduced,
the aspect ratio was included in the size marking. A 130/80-18 street tire had a section width of 130mm, and an
aspect ratio of 80 percent. This means that the height of the tire is 80 percent of 130mm. As before, the tire fits
on an 18-inch rim.
● For motocross tires, Dunlop changed
to the industry tire standards in the same manner as street tires. However, because of the prior variations in
actual dimensions, some adjustments in vehicle application have been necessary. An off-road machine that previously
fitted a 4.50-18 or 130/80-18 under the non-standards markings, now fits a 110/100-18 under the new standards. These
tire sizes share the same actual dimensions. A 130/80-18 is 110 mm wide in section width and, furthermore, the
section height is also 110 mm or 100-percent aspect ratio. Hence, a 130/80-18 under the new standards markings is
designated a 110/100-18.
● With the introduction of 19 inch
motocross sizes, it was necessary to reduce the aspect ratio in order to maintain the same outside diameter. To
compensate for the additional inch in rim diameter (18 inch to 19 inch) fitted to a 250cc machine for example, the
size would change from a 110/100-18 to a 110/90-19. The resulting low profile 19 inch tires with shorter sidewalls
have provided improved stability performance, while retaining the same outside tire diameter.
● Building on the success of the 19
inch rear tire, Dunlop in the mid 1990’s became the first tire manufacturer to develop wider, lower profile
motocross rear tires. The technology in the 110/80-19 & 120/80-19 creates a larger footprint for enhance traction
and bump absorption. In the late 1990’s, Dunlop introduced a wider 90/100-21 front tire to compliment the rears. In
each case, these wider, low-profile tires fit on existing standard-size rim widths, eliminating the need to replace
34 - Tires For Desert, Enduro, Hare Scrambles
Here are some things you should know before buying your next set of desert tires.
● Tires for use in desert, enduro and
hare scrambles have three things in common: size application, a tread pattern that performs over a wide range of
terrains, and a durable tread compound that will stand up to severe service and distance.
● Most desert events in the U.S. and
Mexico are run under dry conditions. The courses contain rock (large and small) with some tight, twisty trails, but
most are hard-to-sandy open trails and roads, and evenly paved section that can be taken at high speeds.
● Desert events require a special
type of tire:
● The tread compound must resist knob
tearing from rocks and provide minimal wear over long periods of time. And, since desert speeds are far greater than
those in motocross or enduro events, they must also be able to resist heat buildup.
The casing construction must resist punctures and optimize stability over
a range of speeds.
● The tread pattern must resist wear,
provide maximum grip, and clean well under a wide variety of conditions.
● Desert inflation pressures vary,
but generally 14 psi is the minimum and 18 psi is the maximum.
35 - Choosing the right size
Refer to this chart when selecting your next tire size.
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CYCLE ANALYSIS LLC.
Ph. (216) 362-9060