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Sidewall labelling for motorcycle tyres

Have you already looked at your tyres and asked yourself what the figures and letters on the sidewalls stand for? We'll tell you.


180/55 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL
180:Tyre width [mm]
55:Section ratio [%]
ZR:Identifier for tyre style
17:Rim diameter [inch]
M/C:Tyres exclusively for motorcycles
73:Tyre load identifier
W:Speed symbol
TL:Tubeless tyres

Tyre size

In the course of the development different kinds of identifiers for tyre sizes have emerged.

Conventional labelling
2.75 - 17, 3.50 - 18, 4.00 H 18
4.00 - 18 64 H, 3.25 - 19 54 V
Millimetre low section label
e.g.: 110/90 - 18, 130/80 - 18, 110/90 - 19

Tyre style

The term "tyre style" distinguishes the tyres according to their carcass design:

Tyres in diagonal design

Tyres in the diagonal design, formerly referred to as the conventional tyre style, are identified with a hyphen in the size identifier, e.g.: 3.50 - 19, 23/4 - 17, 3.25 - 21

Tyres in diagonal belt design

Tyres in the diagonal belt design, also called radial belt tyres or bias belted tyres, are labelled with the identifying letter B in their size label, e. g.: 140/80 VB 17, 150/80 VB 16 V250

Tyres in radial belt design

Tyres in the diagonal belt design, also called radial belt tyres or radial tyres, are labelled with the identifying letter R in their size label, e. g.: 140/80 R 17 69 H, 160/60 ZR 18

Tyre load identifier

The maximum tyre load (in lbs) and the maximum tyre pressure (in psi) for cold tyres are stated on all road tyres. Details about the conversion from the tyre load identifier to real kg values are available on the web site conversion table in the section "Driving safety". Some tyres have got the additional information "reinf." in the factory identifier, which is equal with the detail "6 PR" or "Load Range C"; it shows that the tyre is of a reinforced design with a higher tyre load capacity. This higher tyre load capacity is already taken into consideration in the tyre load identifier. Please contact the customer service of the tyre manufacturer regarding the possibility of a higher tyre load capacity than the one stated for lower speeds.

Speed symbol

The maximum permissible speed for a tyre is stated with the speed symbol (details of the conversion from the speed symbol to real km/h values are available on the web site conversion table in the section "Driving safety"). For tyres of more than 210 km/h the maximum permissible speeds are stated in the technical tables. The term "speed category" distinguishes the motorcycle tyres according to their permissible maximum speeds.

Additional identifiers

The labels on the sidewalls must be stated on the basis of legal regulations in different countries. Tyre identifiers in English, e.g. load (tyre load capacity) in lbs, inflation pressure (tyre pressure) in psi, only apply to countries, where the legal regulations apply according to the DOT standard. For the complete description and explanation of the identifiers, please refer to the section "Further identifiers".

Further identifiers

Kennzeichnungen am Reifen

MetzelerBrand name
Roadtec Z6Product description
Steel RadialDescription of radial tyre concept
180Tyre nominal width in mm
55Section ratio: this percentage states the ratio of the tyre section height to the tyre nominal width. Not applicable if the section width is stated in inches.
ZRIdentifier for tyre design ("-": diagonal, "B": diagonal belt, "R": radial)
17Rim diameter in inches
M/CAbbreviation for motorcycle. Helps to distinguish motorcycle tyres and rims from tyres and rims for other vehicles.
73Tyre load identifier, it states the maximum load as permissible. For values in kg refer to the conversion table.
WSpeed symbol, states the maximum permissible speed. For values in km/h / mph refer to conversion table.
TLTubeless, without tubes. The tyre may be mounted without tubes. For information about the use of tubes in tubeless tyres refer to the section "Driving safety".
Made in Germanyescribes the country of origin of the tyre. Running direction arrow = The arrow identifies the prescribed running direction of the tyre, depending on the mounting position (front or rear). If in exceptional cases a rear tyre is used as a front tyre the tyre must be mounted against the running direction arrow. The mounting of front tyres as rear tyres is not permissible.
Driving wheelstates that the running direction is referring to the driving wheel (rear wheel).
E3Identifier for the country, in which the tyre has been homologated.
75R-xyzTyre identifier according to ECE R 75.
Max. load ...Detail of maximum permissible load, which the tyre may bear with the prescribed pressure in a cold state.
DOTAbbreviation for Department Of Transportation = US Ministry of Transport. Proof that the tyre meets the regulations in the USA and Canada.
3403the first two digits describe the production week (34.), the final two describe the production year (2003) of the tyre.
Treaddescribes the number of the carcass and belt layers and the relevant material.
TWIAbbreviation for Tread Wear Indicator. Describes the profile wear indicator in the main furrows, which become visible from the profile depth of roughly 1.6 mm.

Prices include VAT and delivery within mainland UK (excl. Scottish Highlands).

© 1999-2017 by Delticom / 28.04.2017 07:18

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