Motorcycle Tire Speed Rating

Speed Ratings

Speed ratings indicate at what level of sustained speed a tire has been tested and certified safe, by the manufacturer. Speed ratings are issued by the tire manufacturers and they do not recommend that any of their products be used to exceed legal speed limits.

Tires rated for 150 miles per hour are just as capable of driving at 65mph. Obviously, they are rated for higher speeds for passing, an occasional night at the 1/4 mile track and the Autobahn.  

Always consult your owner's manual or other reference materials for recommended tire ratings for you machine.  Never mix speed ratings.  If you have an H tire on the front, you need an H tire on the rear.

Older bikes, manufactured before the use of speed ratings became widespread, will not have a rating listed in their manuals or literature.  Tire sizes listed with 2.00, 2.25 or 2.50 as the first number (section width in inches) are rated for no more than 75 MPH.  

Not all manufacturers produce tires in all speed ratings.  If you are looking for Pirelli tire with a speed rating of  N, just give up.  They do not make tires with an N rating.  The chart below lists all motorcycle tire speed ratings from all manufacturers.

Motorcycle Tire Speed Ratings
Speed Rating Maximum Test Speed
Letter MPH Km/H
J 62 100
K 68 110
L 74 120
M 81 130
N 87 140
P 94 150
Q 100 160
R 106 170
S 112 180
T 118 190
U 124 200
H 130 210
V or VB 149 240
Z or ZR 149+ 240+
W 168 270
Y 186 300

Scooter Tires

The majority of scooter and moped tires are rated for 62 MPH (100 Km/H).

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Dirt Bike Tires

Dirt bike tires do not necessarily have speed ratings. More often they have a terrain rating.

Only tires considered All Terrain, On / Off Road, Dual Sport or Enduro style will have a speed rating because they are designed to be ridden both on paved roads and well as trails. Speed ratings on these types of tires are usually S or lower.

Dirt Bike Tire Terrain Ratings
  • All Terrain
  • Dual Sport or On/Off Road
  • Hard Terrain
  • Intermediate Terrain
  • Intermediate to Hard Terrain
  • Mud
  • Sand
  • Soft Terrain
  • Soft to Intermediate Terrain
  • Sport and Touring

You will see some manufacturers or retailers that abbreviate the terrain rating. For example HT means Hard Terrain, S-I/T means Soft to Intermediate Terrain.

ATV Tires: Sizes & Charts

Leave Tire Speed Rating for Tire Size Conversion Charts

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