Bikers can want to change the dimensions of motorcycle tires. Some want to put wider rear tires, others narrower tires. However, this practice is to be avoided according to motorcycle manufacturers. 

Indeed, at the construction, the bike is thought in the smallest details, everything is regulated carefully; the size of the fork, rims, brake calipers, tires … If you change the dimensions of one of the elements of your bike, it’s all that is unbalanced. The performance of the motorcycle is then improved, and depending on the change, it may compromise your safety. This is why the dimensions of the tires are homologated by the motorcycle manufacturers, in order not to risk this type of disappointment.

Note: we are not talking here about the speed and load ratings of the tires, which may be larger than the original ones, but not smaller.

What are the technical risks?

For those who want to fit wider tires on their bike, the reasons are often to get more stability and comfort, even longevity; this thanks to the contact area, which is more extensive. Truly, having a tire wider than the original dimension can create a loss of grip, especially on wet ground. Also, the tire can wear out more quickly.

On their sports roadsters, some bikers would rather reduce the width of the motorcycle tire, for example, from 190 to 180. The reason, according to them, is to gain agility. Not only the rim is not necessarily planned to accept this width, but besides, the tire may “crash” on the rim; the effect of getting a narrower tire is then missed. Worse, the shoulder of the reduced tire can hurt the biker cornering.

Some bikers also want to change the height of the tires, for example with 180 / 60R17 instead of 180 / 55R17. It should be understood that by doing this, you change the total diameter of the wheel and that not only that may not pass technically, but you also disrupt the original settings of your motorcycle. And then, in this specific example, you will pay your tires more expensive! In general, this is a decisive argument for most of you …

These tips are for bikers who make Cafe Racer motorcycles and want to change the size of their motorcycle look. Indeed, motorcycles that lend themselves to this kind of preparation have dimensions of tires for road motorcycles, whereas “lookés” tires are often trail tires, which are not manufactured in these dimensions, even if some tire manufacturers tend to meet this demand more and more.

Visit to find the right motorcycle tires.

Risks at the level of the law

Quite simply, if you ride with tires that are not homologated by the motorcycle manufacturer, you may not be covered by your insurance. In the event of an accident, the insurance expert will be able to detect the tire size change and refuse your compensation. Find the points to respect to be in agreement with the highway code on this recapitulation “legislation” of Michelin.

Actually, there is no interest in changing tire sizes. Within the same dimension, you can find very different tires, with different performances, different looks according to your expectations. Take advantage of these compromises so as to guarantee your safety.

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