How to Tell the Age of Motorcycle Tires

by Tim Plaehn
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The U.S. Department of Transportation--DOT--dictates what information must be provided on the sidewall of any tire sold for road use in the United States. With a little detective work and an understanding of the DOT coding system, you can determine the age of any motorcycle tire.

Step 1

Locate the full DOT number on the sidewall of the tire. The number starts with "DOT" and is followed by 10 to 12 letters and numbers. The full DOT number is only on the outside of the tire. The inside will have a shortened version with just a few letters or numbers.

Step 2

Note the last four digits of the DOT number. They will all be numerals, such as 2708 or 0510.

Step 3

These numbers let you decode the date of manufacture of the tire. The first two numbers indicate the week; the last two the year. For example, 0510 indicates the tire was produced in the fifth week of 2010.

Subtract the tire manufacture date from the current date to determine the tire's age. To get the month of manufacture, divide the weeks by 4.3. If it is October 2010 and the tire was manufactured in the twenty-fifth week of 2008, the tire's production month was June, making the tire two years and four months old.

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