Tires

The basic requirements of all motorcycle and scooter tires are to support the vehicle, soften the shock of the road surface, transfer the driving force and braking force to the road surface and turning and cornering of the vehicle.

Genuine Yamaha replacement tires are carefully chosen by Yamaha engineers to not only meet these basic requirements, but to be a perfect match for each specific Yamaha model and to provide the maximum possible tire performance and durability for each model.

The Feature of Parts

  • Developing Tires to Suit Vehicle Characteristics
  • Tire Trends by Motorcycle Category
  • The Benefits of Having Your Tires Changed at a Yamaha Dealer

Maintenance

Daily Inspection

Tires wear differently according to the model, driving conditions and the type of driving. Inspection should be a part of the regular motorcycle program of all owners. Even new tires can develop problems such as puncturing by a sharp object. And when in not regular use, tire rubber can harden and the air pressure will decrease.

Air Pressure Inspection

The air pressure in tires needs to be checked and refilled on a regular basis since all tires will lose pressure over time.
Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the pressure before riding (which heats up the tire changing the air pressure) to get an accurate pressure measurement.
Refer to the owner's manual for the appropriate air pressure. After bringing the air pressure up to standard and before replacing the valve cap, check for air leakage from the valve core, the rim and the valve area.

Wear and Damage Inspection

Check for wear and or significant cracking in the contact patch and for cracking or other damage on the sidewalls of the tire.
As the tire tread wears the Wear Indicator bars will begin to show and the rain grooves cannot hold as much water as when the tire was new. At this point, the ability of the rain grooves to expel water from between the tire and road surface will be drastically reduced, increasing the possibility of hydroplaning.
If the sidewall of the tire hits a curb or sustains some other major shock, or a large bump or hole is ridden over, inspect the tires as soon as possible. If a nail, rock or other object is found lodged in the tread or sidewalls, take the motorcycle to your local Yamaha dealer for inspection and repairs.

Tire Changes

Tires should be replaced when the tread is worn down to the Wear Indicators, or if damage to the tread or sidewalls is found. Genuine Yamaha replacement tires are recommended to maintain the handling performance and reliability of the motorcycle or scooter.

Clean the wheel, especially the tire bead area when replacing tires. When replacing a tubeless tire, also replace the valve, and when replacing a tube tire, replace the tube and rim band.
Be careful to not apply the wrong type, or too much tire mounting lubricate to the beads during replacement as the tire may slip on the wheel under load.
Specialized tools are required for tire replacement, so we recommend seeing your local Yamaha dealer for tire replacement.

Table of Items to Regularly Inspect

Refer to the applicable service manual for the inspection and maintenance procedures.

General Periodic Maintenance
ITEM ROUTINE INITIAL ODOMETER READINGS ANNUAL CHECK
1000km
(600mi)
10000km
(6000mi)
20000km
(12000mi)
30000km
(18000mi)
40000km
(24000mi)
Tires Check tread depth and for damage.
Replace if necessary.
Check air pressure.
Correct if necessary.
*Since these items require special tools, data and technical skills, have a Yamaha dealer perform the service.

Problems and Counter-measures

Shimmies (shaking)

An unbalanced tire/wheel assembly, using tires that are worn beyond their service life or some type of wheel vibration due to worn parts such as wheel bearings, can cause a strong shaking in the handlebars.

If the tires have been recently replaced, have the wheel balance re-checked. If there is uneven tire wear, replace one or both tires. A damaged wheel or worn wheel bearings may also be the problem, in which case the wheel should be repaired or replaced.

Noise

Resonance between the motorcycle frame and the tire or road surface can cause vibration and noise. Perform regular checks on your tires to prevent problems such as incorrect air pressure, uneven wear and rubber hardening, which can all cause noise to occur.

Road noise: Noise caused when an uneven road surface causes resonant vibration in the motorcycle.
Harshness: Resonant noise between the tire and suspension when passing over a grade difference.
Rhythmic noise: Noise caused by harmonic vibration of the tire or the engine.

Hydroplaning

When there is sufficient water on the road surface, a motorcycle or scooter tires may hydroplane. This is a condition where there is a thin layer of water between the tire and the road surface - the tire is literally floating on this layer of water. This results in a drastic reduction of tire griping force to the road surface.

Hydroplaning occurs more often in cases where the contact patch of the tire is wide but the pressure is low, and occurs more often with the rear tire.

Although hydroplaning simulations are used in the development of tires, the phenomenon can still occur when wear results in a diminished ability of the tire to expel water.
Although the wear indicator of the tire appears when the rain grooves are nearly gone (about 0.8 mm, depending on the tire type and local regulations) for safety, we recommend at least 1.6 mm on the front tire and 2.0 mm on the rear tire for wet road driving.
When riding in the rain, a film of water can also be present on the disc brake rotors, which can reduce braking force as well.

Damage Requiring a Tire Replacement

  • Cracks in the groove bottom or sidewall
  • Inadequate air pressure, an excessive load or rubber fatigue can cause cracking in the bottom of the grooves or sidewalls. The sidewalls are also susceptible to external damage.
    Tires can continue to be used without any problem if the tire has cracks only in the surface and there is no damage to the interior of the tire. However, a failure to assess the situation correctly can lead to a serious accident: Have your Yamaha dealer check the tire to determine whether or not it can continue to be used.

  • Blowout
  • Tires can blow out during operation due to carcass cord fatigue caused by extremely low air pressure, external impact from curbs or obstacles on the road, or driving on a flat.

  • Separation
  • Separation refers to a situation where the tread rubber and breakers or carcass and breakers separate. Causes include abnormal heat due to inadequate air pressure or an excessive load, and a reduced adhesive force between layers due to water infiltration after external damage or a tire deformation.

Frequently Asked Questions

[ Questions About Performance ]

Q1: Does lowering the air pressure in a tire improve its grip force?

A1: Although lowering the air pressure increases the contact patch of a tire, the grip force does not increase.
The air pressure should always be maintained at the specified pressure.
Operating a motorcycle with low air pressure in the tires increases tire wear and increases the possibility of tire failure due to overheating. The sidewalls of a tire with low pressure flexes more during riding which increases the heat of the tire.
The correct tire air pressure will vary depending on the model of motorcycle, refer to the owner's manual or the sticker attached to the motorcycle frame or swingarm.
Also, note the tire pressure may be different on some models if operated with only the rider, or with the rider and a passenger.

Q2: Can you drive on a repaired flat tire?

A2: Yes, but only as an emergency measure to get the motorcycle to a shop where the tire can be replaced. You should reduce the vehicle load and speed if you must ride using a repaired tire.
It is not possible to restore the safety and performance of a tire once the tread or sidewall has been punctured or damaged by some road debris.
When the cord layer has been punctured or damaged, the strength of the tire is greatly reduced.

Q3: Is it safe to drive on a tire without much tread left in dry weather conditions?

A3: The tread provides grip, and without adequate tread, riding is dangerous even on dry roads. And due to the irregularities of road surfaces, tires do not wear evenly side to side or around the circumference. This uneven wear can negatively effect the cornering and handling performance. Care should be taken to insure that there is adequate tread on the tires. Refer to the operator's manual for the correct tread depth.

[ Questions About Maintenance ]

Q4: Do brand new tires need to be broken in?

A4: Yes. They should be driven at least 62 mi (100 km) to break them in. A protectant is applied to the surface of new tires and may cause slipping during regular operation.

Q5: Do the wheels have to be balanced when changing tires?

A5: Yes. Although the tire mounted on a wheel is perfectly round, the weight distribution is not uniform.
The lightest point of the tire is marked with a small paint dot on the tire's sidewall. This dot should be aligned with the valve stem when mounting the tire.
The tire/wheel assembly should then be balanced by the use of balancing weights to distribute the weight evenly.
An improperly balanced tire/wheel assembly will cause excessive vibration while riding, and can cause drag, which can result in a loss in power, poor fuel efficiency, noise and uneven wear to the tires. We recommend having your tires replaced at your local Yamaha dealer, where the wheels will be properly balanced.

Q6: Is it safe to use tire wax on tires?

A6: Do not use tire wax. Tires are made of rubber and, depending on the formulation of the tire wax, it may cause a deterioration in the rubber or cause cracks in the tire. When washing tires, use a water-based cleaner or YAMALUBE brand tire care products.