How Much Do Motorcycle Tires Cost Rubbery Price Tag of 2021

How Much Do Motorcycle Tires Cost: Rubbery Price Tags of 2021

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Ahh, it’s that time of the year when we humanoids with two wheels instead of our legs, shop for rubbery circles that keep us rolling. 

Yes, we are cheap rascals that like to run them bald, whether we get the handling or not. But, we all need a new pair of tires. Eventually, right? 

Except for the scooter boys. 

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If you ask me, mounting Flintstone’s rocky tires would wear out quicker than the real scooter tires!

Jokes aside, shopping for a set of brand new tires in 2021 could be like bargaining in the Arabic flea market. The only good deal is the sellers scamming you out of your money with overpriced rubber!

Are motorcycle dealerships selling you motorcycle tires any different than that? 

Nooo!

I don’t trust them. They are like car salesmen of motorcycles. They’ll play blind & dumb about almost everything. Especially when I ask them about tire specifics. 

So, how to really find out how much do motorcycle tires cost? (**already sharpening my negotiation skills**)

Check out these tips:

  • Know your motorcycle! If you don’t know your bike, the ins and outs of it, then you don’t deserve to be called a RIDER (being hypocritical right now).
  • You can’t fit super-sport tires on a cruiser or ADV tires on a Yamaha R1. It’s like asking a really big guy to fit into a bikini. I’m serious!
  • It won’t fit even if you get the right bikini size. (**failing to erase that picture from my mind**)
  • Search the hell out of the internet for your tires. Literally!
  • Before I bought mine, I spent five days searching motorcycle tire websites, calling motorcycle dealerships, and asking other riders on the forums. I did EVERYTHING!
  • That’s how I formed a perspective on how much to spend for a pair of great tires!
  • Take a dekko at your budget!

Sure, you have the best motorcycle tires on the PLANET and they sell like cocaine-cola. But, in my mind, it was ridiculous to pay a staggering $450 for a pair of cruiser tires!

motorcycle cruiser tires

Just because it says Dunlop on them, it doesn’t mean they will be a great fit for me. 

That’s why I love getting a great deal with smaller brands, offering the same tire performance. Plus, my tires were at a discount and fit like a glove! 

(**BUY action button goes into self-destruct mode**)

Brands like Mitas, Metzeler, Yokohama, IRC are worth looking at. They are like overlooked forge masters that create equally great tools as pumped-up, show-off brands. 

  • Create a spreadsheet for every tire you’re thinking of buying. 
  • I can’t stress enough how much this step has spared my budget. Without it, you’ll be lost in this small, tempting market, like the guys from the LOST series. Or even more lost than them. 
  • The list should contain: 

    1. Tire type – cruiser, ADV, sport, etc.

    2. Price tag – how much of that sweet money are you gonna waste (**saying ‘sweet money’ with a greedy voice**)

    3. Pros & Cons – good or bad in the rain, great mileage, grip, etc.

    4. Source – where you found the tires, etc.

Crunch the numbers, have everything detailed out. Do your due diligence and become a smarter buyer and rider!

How much motorcycle tires cost = How much research you do + putting the price tag on your safety. 

Watch Out! These Are the Hidden Costs When Buying Motorcycle Tires!

motorcycle stuck on dirt

Did you really think simply buying two pieces of rubber is the end of your shopping journey?  

Well, count me in buddy, because I used to think the same. (**“Why do I have to learn everything the hard way?”**)

Here is the stuff I overlooked that had cost me a bathtub of money:

  • Shipping

    I bought my tires online and got a Free-shipping deal. But some online dealerships or shops won’t have that type of offering. 
  • Mounting cost

    Motorcycle tires are good for nothing unless you put them on your motorcycle. There are three options you could go around this problem:

    1. Full DIY

    Remove the wheels, chain and old tires yourself. It’s cheaper but you risk breaking fragile components like speedo probe. Plus, if your new tires are tubeless, hardship keeps on piling up.

    (**ATTENTION: This procedure can’t be done without an intense amount of cursing!**)


    2. Semi DIY

    Okay, how is this different from the one above?

    The difference is you’ll go cheaper by bringing only the wheels to the workshops. You’ll ESCAPE the labor charge of remounting your wheels onto the motorcycle.

    The mechanic would only remove the previous tires, mount on the new ones and rebalance the wheels.

    That’s it.

    It’s around 30% cheaper than the next method. (**Guess who is taking his lady for dinner, because of this?!**)

    3. Having the mechanic do all the work

    Schedule a visit, bring in the new tires and come back for your bike. No muss no fuss.

    But wait a sec, rider!

    If you choose this path, get ready for a headache of bills and other hidden fees. Not to mention, some dealerships will rip you off and scam you.

    You’ll wish you had bought that wrench set and removed the wheels yourself!

    (#CustomerRipOff)  
  • Rebalancing costs

    Wobbly wheels are Death’s other means of sending you early into the Afterlife. Have them dead straight, so you could live a bit longer to tell the story. 

    Yes, you can balance them yourself, but let’s leave this part to the professional. 
  • Disposal and environmental fees

    Disposal what? You’re joking, right?!

    I could dispose of them myself and save for a nice Rider’s Burrito. (**LOL, I just invented a Burrito!**)

    How?

    Dump it into the nearest ocean or the dumping ground. A pair of tires won’t matter in this overly-polluted world.

    EDIT: My editor has asked me to sincerely apologize. As riders, all of us should respect nature. 

    So, please don’t throw your crappy old tires where it’s not regulated or approved by the law!
  • The one thing that the motorcycle industry thrives upon more than actually selling motorcycles?

    Accessories! 

    New tire valves, rim strips, balancing beads (whatever that is) and inner tire tubes. 

    The mechanic will put all those “new” accessories with your tires. Like it or not, that creates a BIG Total Receipt. 

Why Are Motorcycle Tires So Damn Expensive?

rear motorcycle tire focus

Why should you pay for a pair of brand new moto tires? 

Why not put car tires, instead, and go dark-siding? 

What are you actually paying for when buying a new set of moto tires? 

I get it. All those questions scunnered me. Having a motorcycle SHOULD NOT be that expensive. 

Know this, though.

When I bought my tires, I paid for advanced engineering requirements for moto tires. 

Did you know somebody had to sit down and crunch those horsepowers per square inch? And don’t get me started with different stress forces with braking and cornering. (**Math overload!**)

I paid for superb R&D that went into the design of the tires. Designing a great contact patch and thread is equal to rocket science. It’s what saves your butt from Low & High-Siding.

I paid for the rigorous testing, each tire model has to go under. That way one tire can fit different models of the motorcycle.

I paid for the multiple-compound tire structure. Those “weak” car tires only have 2 compounds put into the mix. Mine has six! 

I paid for the ZERO failure rate. Car tires get flat or blow up — you roll to a stop and change your underwear. Motorcycle tires blow up or get flat — you DIE! Period!

Makes you feel superior and safer, doesn’t it? 

Hidden Factors Included Into the Cost of Motorcycle Tires

motorcycle tire on black background

Inventory AND market size!

Wait, how do these two affect my tire price? 

Manufacturers don’t produce as many moto tires as car tires. So, there are NO economies of scale in that equation. The motorcycle tire market is like a bed bug in the bed-sized car tire market. 

That has to do with the second factor.

Inventory. 

Because manufacturers don’t produce moto tires all year long, they run a short production run which needs to be stocked. Different tire types are “short” produced for a week or a month and put into the inventory. 

They then collect dust in that finite space, until some lucky rascal with a helmet, brings them into the street.

Makes you think — are you paying them to free up that space for them?

It should be the other way around, right?!

Motorcycle Tire Cost — Price Tag In a Nutshell

Tires in the price range between $90 and 180$ are what to look for. Don’t go NUCLEAR with your wallet for a set of sexy $450 tires. 

As tempting as it gets to put a pair of Michelin Commander IIIs, stay under your budget range. Of course, if you can afford them then go ALL IN!

Letting the moto workshop do the change is great. But be careful! Look for the price service tag between 35 & 65, maybe even $75 per tire! 

Everything above, they are overcharging you for the service and righteously scamming you.  

My experience? 

I was thrilled to pay the workshop a few bucks more to have it all done. It saved me an ungodly amount of time, effort and curse words.