Tire Load Ratings


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Dubdenny
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:13 pm
Location: Yardley, PA
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Tire Load Ratings

Post by Dubdenny »



Whenever I review a tire discussion, either here or on FB groups, invariably the discussion comes around to load ratings. I believe there may be a misconception about load ratings that I’d like to address.
For example, in this string from 2021, viewtopic.php?f=4&t=63825&p=370899&hilit=Tires#p370899 the question was asked, “… is a 68H high enough weight(sic) rating to use on that bike?”, referring to an ‘81 GL1100.

First, some data:
1) My Honda Service Manual calls for a 110/90-19 62H Front tire and a 130/90-17 68H Rear tire
2) The OEM manual lists my 1981 GL1100i at 673 lbs dry and 723 lbs wet (aka curb weight)
3) A 62H tire has a load rating of 584 lbs
4) A 68 H tire has a load rating of 694 lbs
5) The Mfg. Sticker on the steering neck specifies a GVWR of 1,125 lbs, and a GAWR of 445 lbs FR and 695 lbs RR.

So the load rating of the replacement rear tire (68H) being discussed was in fact identical to the load rating (68H) of the OEM tire. Now, wether or not the person who asked the question knew this, the fact that he asked the question leads me to believe that some folks believe that the load rating for a motorcycle tire must be high enough to handle the total wet weight (plus occupants and luggage) of the entire motorcycle. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that this idea is flawed, in that the total load is distributed across both tires. Otherwise, the stock load ratings of 62H-F and 68H-R tires would be insufficient to carry a riderless curb weight motorcycle.


Bill in Yardley, PA
William K. Denton
Lazarus CycleWorks
“We Breathe New Life into Old Bikes”
wkdenton@verizon.net
267-980-7788 office/cell
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biguns
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2022 3:39 pm
Location: Ardmore Oklahoma
Motorcycle: 1980 Interstate

Re: Tire Load Ratings

Post by biguns »

would be nice to have a couple scales and find out exactly what king of weight it actually has distributed, I did the same thinking when I was tire shopping.
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Rambozo
Posts: 3700
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: Tire Load Ratings

Post by Rambozo »

The front rear weight balance is very dependent on who and what is on the bike and where. If you look at the specs Honda provides for the GW, many are way overloaded. Hell, there are some riders that even solo max out the GVWR. :roll: So riders are always looking for that little extra margin of safety in their tires.
Dubdenny
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:13 pm
Location: Yardley, PA
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Tire Load Ratings

Post by Dubdenny »

I believe that going with a higher load rated tire is a false sense of security. Regardless of what tires are deployed, the GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) remains the same, and exceeding it can cause considerable harm to the vehicle, and by extension, to the rider(s).

Check out this article for more information on perhaps the most commonly ignored safety related vehicle specification (article excerpt shown below): https://wheelzine.com/gawr-gvwr-what-do ... tings-mean
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Vehicle manufacturers calculate and provide the GAWR to help ensure that the vehicle’s axles are not loaded beyond capacity. If this limit is exceeded, it can have adverse effects on the vehicle’s performance, and sometimes even lead to dire consequences. The following is a small indicative list of the effects of exceeding a vehicle’s GAWR limit.

1) Too much weight can affect the braking and performance of the vehicle.

2) The handling and maneuverability of the vehicle gets affected.

3) Uneven distribution of weight upon a vehicle can cause it to become unbalanced.

4) Excessive loading of the rear axle can cause it bend or even break due to the strain.

5) Components such as the suspension system could also break, causing one to lose control of the vehicle.

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As motorcyclists, we often euphemistically use the term YMMV as a polite substitute for "you may disagree with me", but in this case, disregarding or ignoring GAWR by overloading our heavyweight touring bikes is potentially dangerous whether or not you agree. Stay safe, my cyber-friends!!
Bill in Yardley, PA
William K. Denton
Lazarus CycleWorks
“We Breathe New Life into Old Bikes”
wkdenton@verizon.net
267-980-7788 office/cell
Rmyers104
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2022 11:54 am
Location: Ellwood city, PA USA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: Tire Load Ratings

Post by Rmyers104 »

biguns wrote: Sat Jul 09, 2022 5:48 pm would be nice to have a couple scales and find out exactly what king of weight it actually has distributed, I did the same thinking when I was tire shopping.

Kind of an old post, but I wanted to have some input....

You definitely can get a couple of scales under the tires to get an actual weight rating of the bike. Typical bathroom scales (or at least the cheap ones I'm willing to destroy in the garage) only go up to 300 pounds though. If the tire is going to support more weight than that (like on a GW), you have to get 2 bathroom scales next to each other with a 2x4 or something to distribute the weight to each scale. But you also have to have the bike level front and rear to get an honest measurement since the fluids in the bike will run downhill (away from the scales).


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