Can I use a rear motorcycle tire on the front?

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Tires on a motorcycle are a vital part of it’s function. It’s also a huge safety component for the rider since the tires separate the rider from the road. That’s why any alterations to motorcycle tires should be seriously considered before executing.

A common question motorcyclists have is whether or not it’s possible to use a rear motorcycle tire on the front. Whether it be because of looks, budget, or they’re just plain curious, it’s a questions that should be understood for the future reference of any motorcyclist.

Can I use the rear tire of my motorcycle on the front? If the tire doesn’t specify that it is only for rear use and is the same size as the manufacturer specifies, it can be used on the front. Rear motorcycle tires should not be used on front. “rear use only,” Even if the front is the right size, it will not be enough.

Motorcycle tires are something that shouldn’t be switched around or changed on a whim. This article can help explain in further depth about when it’s okay to use a rear tire on the front and when it becomes a safety hazard.

Rear Tires on the Front

There are two types of motorcycle tires: the rear and front. Each one serves a different purpose. Putting on the wrong size of tires could mean less control on the rider’s part.

Many tires will indicate which wheel should be mounted on the bicycle. The specifications of most tires will state something like “rear use only” Or “front use only” These indications should not be ignored. Never put a “rear use only” Tire on the front of your motorcycle.

There are some situations in which a rear tire can be mounted on the front of a motorcycle. Although there are tires that are more common than the rear tire, it doesn’t mean that they should be. With no specification indicated, it’s possible to use that tire on the front of the motorcycle as long as it is the same exact size the manufacturer states the front of the motorcycle needs.

For example, let’s say you have a Honda CB750 that has a 20″ rear rim and a 21″ front rim. That rear tire on the CB750 might fit on the front of a CB550 because it has a 20″ front rim, it’s the right specs and size, and the manufacturer didn’t state it was specifically for the rear tire. It could be cheaper and more economical for riders.

There are many sizes of tires available. Because rear tires are typically larger, you will usually choose to shop for tires either front or back. That’s why rear tires normally don’t fit on the front at all. But if you happen to have a motorcycle that calls for a fat front tire as well, it may be possible to use the rear tire on the front if the size is right and doesn’t specify it’s for rear use only.

Though it’s rare, there are a few motorcycles out there that call for the same size of tires for both the front and the rear. These tires can be interchangeable as long as they do not specify the side on which motorcycle the tire is to be placed.

Why You Should Be Abide by “Rear Use Only”

As I had mentioned before, tires are an extremely important part to a motorcycle not only because it provides a way for the motorcycle to pull forward, but it’s also a safety measure for the rider. It is dangerous to change the tires without consulting the manufacturer.

The functionality of the rear and front tires of a motorcycle are different (which we will discuss later). Though they have similarities in what they do for the motorcycle, the way they’re created and engineered separately makes it possible for a motorcycle rider to have the best control possible while riding.

Manufacturers don’t specify “rear use only” They are designed to frustrate motorcyclists. All riders should respect their specifications. These tires are designed by engineers who understand the mechanics of motorcycle tires. They don’t want to be held liable for possible injuries in which they know is a possibility if they don’t put that label on there.

If a tire does not say whether or not it’s specific for use in the front or the rear of a motorcycle, it’s likely done on purpose from the manufacturer. This is when it’s safe to put what’s normally designated as a rear tire in the front as long as it’s the correct size.

What is the Difference between Front and Rear Tires? Why it Matters

There is likely to be a noticeable difference between the front and rear tires of a motorcycle. When you’re thinking about using the rear tire for the front, it’s important you understand what the functionality of each tire serves so you have a better understanding of what you’re doing.

A motorcycle’s front tire is generally larger than its rear tire. They’re generally a little skinnier as well. The front tire’s main function is to take the initial impact of any bumps or holes in the road and also aides in the steering mechanism. The motorcycle’s stability was improved by the increased size.

A motorcycle’s rear tire is typically smaller than the front and usually wider. Since the engine is connected to the tire via the chain and sprockets, its main function is to provide traction. The wideness of the tire means there’s more surface area touching the road.

These two tires work together to create a safe and efficient way for a motorcycle rider. And this is why it’s dangerous to use a back tire on the front when it specifies it’s only for the back. The wide and smaller size won’t be able to take as good of an impact and may make steering a littler harder. You can read my other article to find out more about the differences in a rear and front motorcycle tire.

Can I use the spare tire from my rear as a front-end spare?

So let’s say you have an extra tire meant to be used on the rear of the motorcycle. But something happens to the front tire and you don’t have the money to replace it so you wonder if you can temporarily use this spare back tire on the front until you have the cash to get the right type of tire.

Also, can you use a rear tire that is still on the road as a spare to replace the front tire? It all depends on what spare you have. It can only be used on the front of the garment if it does not specifically state that it is for. “rear use only” It is exactly the size that the manufacturer specifies is required on the front.

Other specs should not be used on a bike as a spare. No matter what size you are, “so close” Or “almost the same size.” Nothing should be more than what your manufacturer recommends for your motorcycle tire wheels.

What harm could there be if you use the wrong size tire on your front for just a few days? You may be lucky enough to not cause any damage. Remember that it takes only a few seconds for an accident on the motorcycle to occur.

If you don’t have the cash to buy the right size of tire your motorcycle needs, simply don’t ride your motorcycle until the right tire can be installed.

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