How to Read Motorcycle Tire CODES

Have you ever started to investigate the alphabet soup engraved on the sides of the tire ? Doesn’t look good, huh? Do you want to know what it means? We are going to show you each code with images, so that you become familiar with its format and can easily locate them. In addition, we are going to expand the information talking about other codes that may also interest you, such as the date of manufacture, (tires are not like fresh food, but they also expire), the different approvals, the composition of its structure, etc. .

If you do not know what each of the codes that are engraved on the side of the tire mean , you can find out each one of them by following the drawing numbering:

motorcycle tire code legend

Index of contents

#1 Load and speed indices

Normally these two characters follow those that appear at point M below.

  • 83 Represents the load index , which is no more than the maximum weight that a tire can support. That 83 does not indicate that 83 kg is supported. This tire in question would support 487 kg. The following table shows the different equivalences.

tire load codes

  • R (not present in the illustration) is the speed index , which indicates the maximum speed allowed that the tire can support during a period of ten minutes without being endangered. It can be a letter or a letter and a number. In this case, the R indicates that the tire is designed to not go over 170 km/h for more than ten minutes. The following table shows the different equivalences.
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tire speed codes

#2 Producing country

Country where the tire was manufactured.

#3 Trademark

Simply the brand of the tire model .

#4 DOT (department of transport) approval

In the US, a tire is required to meet applicable safety standards in order to be able to legally drive on its roads. The DOT mark on the tire reflects that these standards are met. Without this mark, a tire cannot roll in the USA.

#5 Week and year of production

Behind the DOT approval there will be four figures (only 3 appear in the illustration) indicating the week and year of manufacture of the tyre. It is not convenient to buy tires that are more than 4 years old. Thus, a 4905 indicates a tire manufactured in week 49 of 2005.

#6 ECE homologation

It is the mandatory approval to be able to roll the tires in Europe. It would be the equivalent of the American DOT.

The code will normally consist of an “E” accompanied by a number within a circle plus an alphanumeric code. The E and the number surrounded by a circle indicate that it is an ECE-approved tire, identifying the number to the country where the tire was manufactured. The following table lists the ECE codes with the country they correspond to.

Of the numerical code that appears below, the first two digits indicate the Series Regulation for which it was approved, thus, if a “02” appears at the head of the code, it indicates that the tire has been approved by the ECE 30 Series Regulation. , which regulates passenger tires, and if a “00” appears, it indicates that they have been approved by the ECE 54 Series Regulation, which deals with tires for commercial vehicles. These two Standard Regulations will be the most common. The numbers below indicate the type of ECE approval. It may happen that the number code is followed by an “s”, which indicates that the tire has been tested and has met the noise limits.

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#7 UTQG Certification

Uniform Tire Quality Grading system. It gives us a very good idea of ​​the quality of the tire. Three points are specified, namely:

  • Treadwear : It is the resistance to wear. If you put 180, this resistance will be 80% higher than the tire taken as reference. This value depends on the brand of the tire, so it is not possible to compare tires of different brands.
  • Traction : Traction capacity of the driving wheels, AA, A, B or C (from best to worst).
  • Temperature : Evaluation of the resistance of the tire to its exposure to high temperatures. Comparing said resistance with a reference one, this mark can be A, B or C (from best to worst).

#8 Type of structure

Indicates the type of construction of the tire carcass. In the case of R, it indicates that it is a radial casing tire. It can also be B (of opposite ribbons) or D (diagonal).

#9 Maximum load and pressure

Indicates maximum load and inflation pressure (in the US, Canada and Australia).

#10 Composition of the structure

Indicates the composition of the tread and carcass.

#11 Position of wear indicators

The TWI wear indicators are located on the sides of the tires and are used to locate the wear indicators, which are nothing more than protrusions at the bottom of the tread grooves, which, once flush with said tread band, rolling, indicate that the tire is worn and needs to be changed.

#12 Mud/Snow Approval

This value indicates whether the tires are approved for rolling on mud and/or snow. The presence of the M (mud) will indicate that they are approved for mud and the S (snow) that they are approved for snow. If the M+S mark appears, it will indicate that they are approved for snow and mud.

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#13 Use, dimensions, construction, speed and load rating and capacity

P 165/70 R 13

  • P (not shown in the illustration) indicates that it is a tire for passenger cars. It could also be LT (light truck), ST (special trailer) or T (temporary use, small wheels for emergencies).
  • 165 is the width of the inflated tire, the diametral distance, in millimeters.
  • 70 is the so-called “aspect ratio” between the profile height and the tire width, as a percentage. If this data is not present, it will be understood as 82%. If the number is greater than 200 it will represent the total diameter of the tire in mm.
  • R indicates the type of construction of the tire carcass, explained in point H. If this data is not included, the tire is considered to be a cross-belt tire.
  • 13 is the diameter of the rim for which the tire is specifically designed. It cannot be mounted on a larger or smaller one.

#14 Mounting with or without inner tube

If the word Tube Type appears, it indicates that the tire has an inner tube. If the word Tube Less appears, it indicates that the tire does not have an inner tube.

#15 Reinforced structure

Indicates whether the constructive structure of the tire is reinforced.

Nothing more, as always, I hope that the time invested in reading this entry has been beneficial. Thank you so much for the visit :).

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