How long your motorcycle tires last is no doubt an important question.
Not just that, but also how long they should be lasting is also worth looking into.
Tires are easily one of the highest unexpected costs when it comes to motorcycles, simply because they do not last as long as car tires, for example.
How many miles can you get on a Harley tire? Riders can expect to get between 5,000 and 28,000 miles on a Harley tire with normal riding. On average, riders can get 5,000 to 15,000 miles out of their rear-wheel Harley tires, and front-wheel Harley tires last between 9,000 to 25,000 miles.
Of course, these are good average numbers.
However, they cannot give us all details.
Below I go into more detail about how many miles riders should expect to get out of their Harley tires and how different factors will affect the actual miles.
How many miles can you get on most motorcycle tires?
Motorcycle tires, in general, wear out faster and do not last as long as the tires used on other motor vehicles, for example.
- Car tires generally are expected to last between 50,000 to 75,000 miles or about 5 to 10 years.
- 18-wheeler tires will usually last around 300,000 to 350,000 miles.
- Tractor tires can last upwards of 30 years. (They are usually measured in work hours and not miles.)
- Moped tires last, generally, between 2,000 to 6,000 miles or about 4 years. However, some moped tires can last as much as 15,000 miles.
Generally speaking, motorcycle tires will usually last about 2,500 to 17,000 miles or about 5 to 7 years.
The different types of tires also tend to perform a little differently. Sports tires and tires designed for more performance last on average about 2,500 to 9,000 miles
Touring and sport-touring tires can last on average about 10,000 to 17,000 miles.
Motorcycle tires wear out so fast because of their design, how they are engineered, and the compounds used. This also plays a role in why motorcycle tires can be so expensive sometimes. That being said, other factors can also play a role in how fast a motorcycle tire will wear out, like riding habits, overall quality of the tires, the road surface and condition, and the lack of any maintenance and care.
Now that you have a good idea of how long most motorcycle tires last, let’s take a look at how Harley tires fare in comparison.
How many miles do Harley Davidson motorcycle tires last?
On average, Harley tires last between 5,000 to 30,000 miles. Front tires can last between 9,000 to 28,000 miles, and rear tires can last between 5,000 to 17,000 miles in certain cases.
In terms of age, most manufacturers recommend replacing your Harley tires after 4 to 10 years, depending on the manufacturer.
The most commonly used tires for Harleys are Dunlop, Metzeler, Avon, Pirelli, and Michelin.
See article: Is changing your own motorcycle tires worth it?
OEM Dunlop Harley-Davidson motorcycle tires
OEM Dunlop motorcycle tires, which are used for the majority of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, are designed to last between 15,000 to 18,000 miles or up to 10 years from the date of manufacture.
However, many riders can get 15,000 to 28,000 miles on the front tire and about 10,000 to 20,000 on the rear tire.
Metzler motorcycle tires
Metzler motorcycle tires are another good option that many riders pick. They are intended for use up to 4 years from the date of manufacture. That being said, Harley riders usually report their rear Metzler tires lasting between 7,500 to 15,000 miles and their front Metzler tires lasting about 10,000 to 22,000 miles.
Avon motorcycle tires
According to Avon, riders should replace their motorcycle tires within 5 years from the manufacture date, and riders should not use Avon tires older than 7 years at all.
Avon tires generally have good mileage of about 10,000 to 20,000 miles, and many riders really seem to enjoy using Avon motorcycle tires.
Pirelli motorcycle tires
Pirelli hasn’t posted any official data. However, most owners report their tires to last between 5,000 to 18,000 miles with normal riding.
Michelin motorcycle tires
Michelin motorcycle tires should be replaced after 10 years from the date of manufacture. Michelin, in general, should last between 6,500 to 18,000 miles.
Car tires (Running Darkside)
Some Harley riders are also running Darkside, or in other words, using car tires. So it is worth looking into how car tires on a Harley will perform in terms of mileage.
There are many different car tires brands that Harley riders use, like Bridgestone, Yokohama, Dunlop, Goodyear, Pirelli, General, and more. All of these can perform and feel a little differently.
Some have noticeably better tread life, some will be better at twisties and have great traction, some handle better being flat, while others can be slightly asymmetrical or heavier.
Most car tires on a Harley can last between 12,000 to 35,000 miles. However, some Harley riders can get only 6,000 to 12,000 miles on their car tires depending on a number of different factors like riding style, tire quality, and road and weather conditions.
What determines how many miles can Harley tires last
How many miles riders will get out of their Harley tires depends on a number of different factors. These factors are, but not limited to:
Everyone’s riding style is different.
As a general rule of thumb, the more aggressive the riding style, the fewer miles the tires will last as they will wear out faster.
For example, burnouts, skids, or locking the wheels for one reason or another can all wear out the tires faster.
Both hard acceleration and engine braking, especially with high torque motorcycles, are going to cause more tire wear, as well.
It is not uncommon for riders who ride very aggressively to wear out and replace their tires at anywhere between 2,500 to 5,500 miles. Even car tires can be worn out at 6,000 to 10,000 miles.
Tire type and quality
Not all tires are created equal. Some are designed for performance and are softer, while others will be designed for durability and will be harder.
Softer and grippier tires will tend to wear out much faster compared to harder tires.
Type of riding
The road conditions have a big say in how many miles Harley tires will last.
For example, highway riding tends to wear out tires faster than city riding.
Twisties also can wear out your tires faster and unevenly.
The heavier the motorcycle and the more weight the tires carry, the faster they tend to wear out. Riding over the load limit with extra luggage, pulling a trailer, even having an extra passenger will noticeably lower the number of miles you can get out of the tires on your Harley.
For example, riding two-up can lower the mileage one gets from a potential 20,000 to 30,000 miles down to 12,000 to 18,000 miles on the rear and front tires, respectively.
Road and weather conditions
Riding on hot asphalt during the summer can be particularly unrelenting on tires and help them wear out faster.
Some roads and types of asphalt will simply be rougher on the tires, which will significantly speed up the natural wear and tear of the tire. It is no surprise that some road surfaces can be referred to as tire eaters.
Tire pressure is very important as it can affect how fast the tire wears out. This is why spending more on a good and precise gauge is highly recommended.
One of the mistakes some riders make is not using the correct, manufacturer-recommended tire pressure.
The thing is, some tires can take higher pressure than other tires. For example, Avon tires take different pressure than Dunlop tires. So riders should ensure they are not under-inflation or over-inflating their tires.