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All you need to know about your tire

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Advice on tire pressure

Motorcycle manufacturers always go into the subject of air pressure in great detail in their vehicle manuals. It is possible to find instruction on air pressure for every driving situation. In addition it is usually possible to find a sticker on the vehicle with the necessary information written on it.

The manufacturers make a distinction between load (riding solo or with a pillion passenger, with or without luggage) and speed (on secondary roads or motorways). Naturally on such a short info page it is not possible to give the necessary tyre pressure details for every motorbike and because of this we refer you to the recommendations of the motorcycle manufacturers. From years of experience we are aware that motorcyclists sometimes ride on tyres for which the air pressure is not suited to the driving conditions. We do however advise you always to ride at the highest pressure level given from the motorcycle manufacturer. Some amount of comfort will be lost, but that loss will be outweighed by improved safety. In addition the rolling resistance will be lower which will help to save fuel. Incorrect inflation pressure reduces the service life and may have a negative influence on the riding characteristics of the motorcycle. Under-inflated tyres flex excessively, easily overheat and can suffer damage. Over-inflation can cause uneven wear. Improper inflation, either too high or too low, can adversely affect overall handling and ride quality. Tyre pressure will be measured when the tyres are cold. During riding the tyre becomes warm and the tyre pressure is therefore higher (up to 0,5 bar). This excess pressure should not be let off as it will automatically be balanced out as the tyre cools down again. Please note that the maximum load of the tyre depends on the inflation pressure. This means that you have to increase the inflation pressure up to the maximum pressure stated on the sidewall of the tyre to achieve the maximum load carrying capacity.

Aging of unused tires

What is referred to as aging in the case of tires, including Continental motorcycle tires, is in fact a chemical and physical process that occurs very slowly, provided the new an unused tires are stored correctly at all times.

Stored as recommended (e.g. in a cool, dry place not exposed to direct sunlight, chemicals, or other ozone effects), the tire will retain its balanced product profile for a long time.

Up to five years after its production date, a correctly stored, unused Continental tire can be sold and used unconditionally like a new tire. However, Continental advises against selling or using used tires with an unknown history.

The warranty period commences as or the motorcycle tires date of purchase and applies with no regard at all to the tires production date.

Continental recommends replacing all tires more than 10 years old - as per their stamped manufacturing date - with younger ones.

Further Continental publications on similar themes (available on request from Continental motorcycle tire customer service):

- Recommendations on storing tires

- The useful life of motorcycle tires

How to recognize the production date of Continental motorcycle tires:

The production date stamp of any tire can be found on the sidewall after the "DOT" logotype stamped there. (Note: the date stamp is only located on one side of the tire).

In the case of tires we produced after 1999, the last four figures indicate the production date, with the first two representing the production week (and thus ranging from "01" to "53") and the last two the production year (e.g.: a tire with the marking "DOT XXXXXX2715" was manufactured in the 27th week of 2015).

Balancing

Balancing and tyre service are best performed by your Continental motorcycle tyre dealer who has the equipment and know-how.

Ask your dealer to check the concentricity and balance of your tyre/wheel assembly after mounting. Do not use balancing liquids.

Bias belted tires

see Tire designs

Breaker tires

see Tire designs

Breaking-In (Running Tyres in)

New tires have a smooth surface after the production process, which gets abraded only through the moderate breaking-in of the tires. Sudden breaking and acceleration, and hard cornering should be avolved until the breaking-in process has been completed. Only after the surface of the tire is sufficiently abraded is the tire able to build up its maximum grip level. The tires size/information sticker should be removed before the first ride.

Every tire needs a certain operating temperature to ensure its optimal grip performance. To ensure this, tires should be warmed up by riding at a moderate speed at the start of each ride.

Conversion chart - motorcycle tire sizes

In this table you can find the approximate conversation of inch to metric and alpha sizes.

Please note that with any difference from original sizes the rolling circumference changes and the tyre clearance needs to be checked. Pay attention to the load index and adjust inflation pressure of the tyre. Follow the instructions of the vehicle manufacturer.

VorderradHinterrad
MetrischZollalphaMetrischZollalpha
80/90

2.50,

2.75

MH90110/90

4.00,

4.25

MP85
90/90

2.75,

3.00

MJ90120/90

4.50,

4.75

MR90
100/90

3.25,

3.50

MM90130/90

5.00,

5.10

MT90
110/90

3.75,

4.00

MN90140/90

5.50,

6.00

MU85/MU90
120/90

4.25,

4.50

MR90150/80

6.00,

6.25

MV85
130/90

5.00,

5.10

MT90

Crossply tire

see Tire designs

Directional arrows

Where a tyre has directional arrows moulded upon it, the tyre must be fitted so that the relevant front or rear arrow follows the direction of rotation. Road handling and tyre wear may worsen, or damage to the tyre can occur in extreme circumstances if these instructions are not followed.

Dynanometer testing

Never put a tire in use that has been subjected to on-the-motorcycle dynanometer engine testing. This severe use of the tire may result in tread compound degradation and subsequent failure.

Fitting tires

Only specially trained persons should fit tyres. Fitting tyres requires that you lubricate both sides of the tyre bead and rim, all the way around. Use a commercial tyre-bead lubricant or soapy water. Do not use a petroleum-based or siliconbased lubricant. Observe the directional arrow on the sidewall. Do not use sealing liquids.

Inflation pressure

see Advice on pressure

Load index (LI)

You can find the load index of a tyre on the sidewall. This index shows the maximum load of a tyre. The air pressure of a tyre is important for the maximum load as well. This means that you have to increase the inflation pressure up to the maximum pressure stated on the sidewall of the tyre to achieve the maximum load carrying capacity.

Never exceed the accessory restrictions and vehicle load capacity found in the motorcycle owner's manual or the maximum load moulded on the tyre sidewall.

For example:

130/90 -­ 16 M/C 67H TL/TT or

150/70 ZR 17 M/C 69W TL


Load

Index

kglbs

Load

Index

kglbs

Load

Index

kglbs

Load

Index

kglbs

19

77,5

170,940140308,761257566,7824751047,4
2080176,441145319,762265584,3834871073,8
2182,5181,942150330,863272599,8845001102,5
2285187,443155341,864280617,4855151135,6
2387,5192,944160352,865290639,5865301168,7
2490198,545165363,866300661,5875451201,7
2592,5204,046170374,967307676,9885601234,8
2695209,547175385,968315694,6895801278,9
2797,5215,048180396,969325716,6906001323,0
28100220,549185407,970335738,8916151356,1
29103227,150190419,071345760,7926301389,2
30106233,751195430,072335782,8936501433,3
31109240,352200441,073365804,8946701477,4
32112247,053206454,274375826,9956901521,5
33115253,654212467,575387853,3967101565,6
34118260,255218480,776400882,0977301609,7
35121266,856224493,977412908,5987501653,8
36125275,657230507,278425937,1997751708,9
37128282,258236520,479437963,61008001764,0
38132291,159243535,880450992,3

39136299,960250551,3814621018,7


Maintenance

Continental does not recommend repairing a damaged tyre by simply fitting a new inner-tube. Due to safety reasons CONTINENTAL recommends to always fit a new tyre instead of repairing it.

Mileage

A tyre which can achieve high mileage is an asset because a longer lifespan leads to lower costs. The mileage attanded by motorcycle tyres and in particular that by the rear wheels of performance bikes cannot be measured in the same way as that of car or truck tyres. Because the motorcycles themselves weigh comparatively less they are able to accelerate faster and during this acceleration the rear tyre slips. This slipping leads to wear on the tyres. A pillon passenger whose weight is mainly placed on the rear tyre helps to prolong the life of the tyre. The rear wheel is pressed onto the road with more force, thereby reducing the amount of slipping. The tyre therefore lasts longer.

Multi-track vehicles (motorcycle with sidecars, trikes)

Continental motorcycle tires are developed and tested only for use on single-track vehicles (motorcycles, mopeds, scooters). Approval from the vehicle manufacturer is required for use on multi-track vehicles (trikes, quads, combinations, or similar).

Racing tire pressure recommendation
ContiRaceAttackVorne (kalt)Vorne (warm)*Hinten (kalt)Hinten (warm)*

Slick Soft2,1 BAR2,25 BAR

1,5 BAR (180)

1,4 BAR (190)

1,8 BAR
Slick Medium2,1 BAR2,25 BAR

1,5 BAR (180)

1,4 BAR (190)

1.8 BAR

Slick Endurance--

1,5 BAR (180)

1,4 BAR (190)

1,8 BAR

Comp. Soft2,1 BAR2,25 BAR

1,6 BAR (160)

1,5 BAR (180)

1,4 BAR (190)

1,8 BAR
Comp. Medium2,1 BAR2,25 BAR

1,6 BAR (160)

1,5 BAR (180)

1,4 BAR (190)

1,8 BAR
Comp. Endurance--

1,6 BAR (160)

1,5 BAR (180)

1,4 BAR (190)

1,8 BAR
Rain 2,3 BAR-2,3 BAR-

* = Inflation Pressure with tire warmer (at least after 1 hour at 80°C)

Radial tires

see Tire design

Regrooving

It is prohibited to regrove motorcycle tyres.

Service Life of Motorcycle Tires

The tire industry has long acknowledged the role of the consumer in the regular care and maintenance of their tires. It is down to owners to decide when their tires need to be replaced and they need to base this decision on factors like usage conditions, maintenance intervals, storage conditions, visual inspections, and the dynamic behavior of the tire. Consumers should consult a tire specialist if they have any questions regarding the service life of their tires. The following information and recommendations have been compiled to help you determine the maximum possible service life for your tires.

Tires are developed and manufactured to offer both high mileage and maximum utility. It is also necessary to maintain them properly in order to prevent tire damage and improper use, which could make the tires unusable.

The possible service life of a tire specifically depends on the cumultative effect of storage, operating, and service demans that the tire is exposed to over its lifetime (loading, speed, inflation pressure, cutting damage, etc.). Because these usage conditions can vary greatly, it is not possible to predict the possible service life of any one tire based on its chronological age alone.

The consumer plays an important role in caring for and maintaining the tire

There are many reasons why a tire may need to be taken out of service, e.g. when the minimum tread depth is reached or it has been damaged or abused (puncutres, cuts, impacts, cracks, bulges, underinflation, overload, etc.). For this reason, tires must be regulary inspected at least once a month. These routine inspections become even more important the longer the tire is in use. If damage is detected or even suspected, Continental recommends that a tire specialist be consuited to determine whether the tire is fit for continued use. Routine inspections must also be carried out even if the vehicle is equipped with a tire pressure moitoring system (TPMS).

Consumers are strongly encouraged not only to inspect their rires visually, but also to note all changes in dynamic behavior, such as increased air loss, noise, or vibration. This could be a sign that the properties are no longer as intended ans that it should therefore be taken out if service immediatly to prevent it from failing completely. If motorcyclists expericence a heavy blow or impact to tje tire while in use, they shoukd ensure that the tire is examined immediatly by a tire specialist.

The way in which tires are prepared for storage, stored, and fitted to the vehicle are also important factors in the possible service life of the tire. Further information about this is available in other Continental publications on request and on the Internet.

Recommended service life of tires

Continental is unaware if any documents or data that are able to support a specific age at which a tire should be removed from service. Nevertheless, together with other tire and vehicle manufacturersm Continental recommends that all tires more than ten (10) years old be replaced with newer ones.

This also applies to tires that still appear to be usable from their external appearance and whose tread depth is still within the legally prescribed limits. Vehicle manufacturers may recommend a different chronological age at which a tire should be replaced based in their knowledge of the specific application; Continental advises that any such recommendations are complied with. Consumers should note that most tires need to be replaced before they reach the end of their recommended service life due to wear or other reasons. A recommended service life does not in any way relieve the consumer from their obligation to replace tires when necessary.

Determining the production date of tires with the date stamp

The production date of any tire can be found on the sidewall after the "DOT" logotype. In the case of tires produced after 1999, the last four figures indicate the production date, with the first two of these representing the production week (and so ranging from "01" to "53") and the last two the production year (e.g. a tire with the marking "DOT XXXXXX2713" was manufactured in the 27th week of 2013).

Speed index

In this table you can find the speed index and the conversation to mph. This index stands for the registered maximum speed. You can find the speed index on the sidewall of the tyre.

For example:

130/90 ­‐ 16 M/C 67H TL/TT or 150/70 ZR 17 M/C 69W TL


Speed SymbolSpeed (mph)Speed (km/h)
B3150
J62100
K68110
L75120
M81130
N87140
P93150
Q99160
R106170
S112180
T118190
U124200
H130210
V149240
Z> 150> 240
W168270
(W)> 168> 270


Recommendations for Storing Tires

The following recommendations are aimed at the end user. Stricter or even national legally binding regulations may apply to the commercial handling of new and waste tires (tire dealers and vehicle fleets) and these must be complied with. Tires are designed to withstand the usual environmental influences such as sunlight, moisture, and ozone. Nevertheless, stored tires should be protected against these and other potentially harmful influences. The longer the period in storage, the greater the possibility that adverse external influences may affect the tire. Once they have been removed from the vehicle, tires should be cleaned thoroughly and checked for damage. Stones and other foreign objects should be removed from tread grooves.

In general, the following applies:

  • Tires must be stored in a clean and dry environment that is as dark as possible and moderatly ventilated
  • Damp storage conditions should be avoided. Tires that are going to be repaired should be thorougly cleaned and dried beforehand.
  • Tires must be stored at temperatures of less than 35°C and preferably less than 25°C. Cirect contact with hot pipes and radiators must be avoided.
  • Very low temperatures (far below freezing point) can result in embritilement; tires stored at these temperatures should be carefully warmed before use.
  • Whitewall tires should be stored with their white sidewalls facing each other to prevent discoloration.
  • If tires are to be stored outside, they should be covered with opaque, waterproof sheeting and measures taken to ensure that there is no build-up of heat or steam. To this end, it is necessary to ensure adequate air circulation.
  • If tires are to be stored outside, they must not be placed directly on the ground (but rather on a wooden pallet, for example).
  • Store tires so that they cannot come into contact with mosture, mineral oils, fuels (gasoline, diesel), or lubricating greases. Also prevent contact with surfaces that could discolor the tires.
  • Do not store tires on piers, ship decks, or other exposed locations.
  • Do not store tires where they may be exposed to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, or artifical light with high levels of ultraviolet. Flament light bulbs are preferable to fluorescent tubes for indoor lighting. Never store tires near to battery chargers, ovens, or open fires.
  • Do not store tires on dark asphalt or other surfaces that absorb heat.
  • Never store tires near to highly reflective surfaces (e.g. sand or snow).
  • Never store tires near to electric motors or other devices that can emit ozone. The ozone content must not exceed 0.08 ppm.
  • Tires must not be used as a work bench or surface for tools. Tires can be damaged by tools like soldering irons and drills. Keep lit cigarettes away from stacks of tires.
  • Do not store any other objects on top of a tire, especially if this could cause discoloration.

Storage variants

Loose tires or tires fitted on rims (but not fitted to the vehicle)


With rim (inflated up to 1 bar)

Do not stand upright, but rather hang up or stack (restack every 4 weeks)

Without rim

Do not stack or hang up, but stand upright and rotate every 4 weeks (on shelf racks above the floor)

  • Store tires so that they keep their original shape.
  • Ties fitted on rims should be inflated up to a pressure of 1.0 bar.
  • You must ensure that the recommended tire pressure for driving is set before the tires are fitted on the vehicle.

Long-term storage when tires are fitted to the vehicle

  • If possible, the vehicle should be placed on blocks to take any load off the tires. In addition, the tires should be covered with sheeting to protect them from environmental influences.
  • If it is not possible to place the vehicle on blocks, it should be fully unloaded so that there is as little weight on the tires as possible. The ground on which it is standing shold be firm, dry, clean, and as level as possible.
  • If it is not possible to place the vehicle on blocks, the tires may be inflated to their maximum permissible pressure (see tire sidewall). You must ensure that the recommended tire pressure for driving is set before the vehicle is driven again.
  • If it is not possible to jack up the vehicle, it should be moved once a month to prevent ozone cracking and stop flat spots from forming. If the tire does exhibit a flat spot after it has been stationary for a long period, this can usually be reversed with a short drive.

What is important when putting a tire back into use?

  • Inspect the tires visually and make sure that they are clean and free from foreign objects.
  • Remove any water that may have collected in loose tires.
  • Also have the overall condition of the tire checked at a tire dealer, e.g. for cracks in the sidewall/tread or other signs of long-term storage.
The most important safety rules for motorcycle tires
  • Observe specified minimum of pressure. (See motorcycle owner's manual)
  • Check inflation pressure, and adjust if necessary.
  • Do not exceed maximum load capacity. (see motorcycle registration papers)
  • Avoid impact strain. (E.g. curbstones)
  • Check tyres regulary for signs of damage.
  • Never ride on tyres with less than 2mm tread depth. (More is better)
  • Only buy specified tyres. Handling characteristics can only be optimized through proper tyre fitment.
  • Use the right inner-tubes to match the tyres (if necessary). New tubes for new tyres.
  • Make sure valve caps are fitted. New valve for new tubeless tyre.
  • Only use specified rims in perfect condition. Specialty rims require special approval.
  • Only have tyres fitted by a skilled tyre fitter.
Tire designs - Bias belted tires

The bias belted tyre is the precursor of the radial tyre. Whilst the casing is still crossply in design, the tyre features a belt, usually made from Kevlar. The bias belted tyre can be recognised by the B (=bias belted) in the designation on the outside of the tyre.

Typical designation:

150/70 B: 17 M/C 69Q TL

Diagonal-Gürtelreifen (TKC 80)
Tire designs - Breaker tires

The breaker tyre originated from the crossply design, to provide a tread area which was effectively reinforced from the inside, giving the tyre a longer service life through reduced transverse slip and making it less prone to failure. Continental uses this design on its Milestone. Material used: usually rayon or nylon fabric. Normally the breaker and casing feature the same material.

Typical designation: 130/90 - 16 M/C 73H TL reinforced

Breaker-Reifen (Conti Milestone)
Tire designs - Crossply tire

On today's market the crossply tyre is the "classic" design. Its advantages are its simple structure and its sturdy sidewalls, which particuallary in off-road use offer many benefits (impact protection). Crossply tyres have a maximum design speed of 240 km/h (150 mph). Material used: usually rayon or nylon fabric.

Typical designation: 4.00 - 18 M/C 64H TL

Diagonalreifen (ContiGo!)
Tire designs - Radial tires

Radial tyres feature a casing angle of approx. 90° to the circumferential direction (direction of travel) and a belt angle of 0 - 25° approximately. The belt, located under the tread area, gives the tyre stability and permits far higher speeds, as the centrifugal force deformation is subsantially lower. Reduced material thickness in the sidewall section means the tyre heats up less and the high speed strenght is futher increased.

In terms of riding dynamics, modern motorcycles are geared to radial tyres. As an example: a 4.00 - 18 M/C 64H TT Conti TKH 24 tyre "grows" by approximately 2 cm on avergae at a speed of 210 km/h (131 mph), whereas a comparable radial tyre only expands by a few millimetres. The radial tyre can be recognised by the R in the designation on the sidewall of the tyre.

Typical designation:

190/50 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL

Radial-Nullgradreifen (ContiSportAttack)
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