Expert Advice

How many times have you had a question about something but didn’t know where to turn? Sure, you can “google it” but you might end up on an online forum where it’s pretty much the “wild west” where anything goes, and you might be getting advice from some armchair amateur who really knows nothing abut the subject at hand.

What if you could go straight to the source and get your questions answered by real experts? If your questions involve motorcycle tires, then your search is over. Continental’s web site has a very informative FAQ section where you can get expert answers to common motorcycle tire questions. Topics range from tire age and proper storage techniques to air pressure. And if that wasn’t enough you can also visit our YouTube channel for video answers to common questions along with videos featuring Continental motorcycle tires.

In the meantime, here’s some quick answers to common questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What air pressure should I run in my Continental motorcycle tires?

A: Your motorcycle owner’s manual will tell you the air pressure the manufacturer recommends and that would also be our recommendation. Most modern motorcycles will have a sticker on the frame which also indicates the recommended air pressure. Maintaining proper air pressure is the most important thing you can do to ensure a safe ride and get the best mileage from your tires

Q: I’ve heard you should always use the tire pressure molded into the sidewall?

A: The air pressure indicated on the sidewall is where your tire achieves it’s maximum load rating at. So, for heavily loaded riding situations like carrying a passenger, heavy luggage or similar you should use the air pressure indicated on the sidewall.

Q: I think my front tire was made “backwards”- the tread design is going the wrong way!

A: This is a very common question and “no” your tire wasn’t made “backwards.” Front and rear tires do very different jobs and the direction of the tread design reflects those different jobs. The front tire clears water from the pavement for the rear tire and handles most of the forces under braking. The rear tire handles all the acceleration forces, so its tread design reflects those different directional forces

Q: I don’t see a “red dot” on the sidewall of my tire- how do I know where to put the valve stem when mounting?

A: A red balancing dot (or circle) is commonly used to indicate the lightest part of the tire and should be lined up with the valve stem (typically the heaviest part of the wheel). If no red dot is present, then it is not necessary to align the tire on the wheel.

Q: When should I replace my tires?

A: Motorcycle tires have a wear indicator in the tread grooves so you can easily see when the tread is worn down. You can find these indicators by finding the “TWI” letters on the sidewall and following across the tread surface until you find the indicators in the tread grooves. If the indicators are even with the tread surface, then the tire should be replaced. Be sure to carefully inspect your tires for wear or any signs of damage before riding- especially if you are heading out for a long trip. If in doubt, consult with your motorcycle dealer.

Q: How do I know if my tires are too old and should be replaced?

A: You can tell the age of the tire by looking for the DOT date stamp on the sidewall like the one shown here. The date code should be 4 numbers, the first 2 are the week the tire was made, and the last 2 numbers are the year. A tire dated 2521 would indicate that tire was made in the 25th week of 2021. Continental states that any tire less than 5 years from the date of manufacture is a new tire and can be sold and used as such. Once tires reach 10 years or older in service you should consider replacement. Again, consult with your motorcycle dealer if in doubt.

[You can see all these marks in the following gallery]

These are quick answers to common motorcycle tire questions. More detail and more frequently asked questions can be found here.