Rim Tape on Motorcycle Wheels [Uses & How to Install]

do road bike wheels need rim tape

How often have you found yourself paying for the cost of repairs or replacements after purchasing a new motorcycle? With this in mind, I’m sure you’d like to know if it’s a good idea to use rim tape on your motorcycle wheels.

When it comes to wheel rims and rim tape, some people believe that it’s a necessary thing to do. Other people think it’s totally unnecessary. However, I’m not debating which group is right or wrong. Instead, I will explain why rim tape is essential for repairing and maintaining your motorcycle.

What Is Rim Tape?

rim tape on motorcycle wheels

Rim tape protects the inner tube from holes by wrapping around the rim. It’s a simple invention that can make a big difference in the longevity of your wheel.

It’s usually made of rubber or a similar material. These come in various thicknesses to suit your wheel size, riding style, and other preferences. It’s a cheap product that can last a long time if properly installed.

Isn’t Duct Tape Better?

Duct tape is an excellent product for a variety of different situations. It can be used in several different ways. It can, for example, be used to seal a tire puncture, repair a hole in a piece of clothing, or even repair a hole in your wall.

On the other hand, rim tape protects your rims from road grime, debris, and water. It’s also used to improve the aesthetics of your wheels. There are different types of rim tape that are available in the market. Some are made of rubber and are suitable for summer riding, while others are made of plastic and are ideal for winter riding.

How Do You Install Rim Tape?

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You will need the following:

  • Rim tape
  • Clean paper towels
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Blow dryer

Here are the instructions:

  1. Wash your wheel using water and detergent. Before using it, make sure it is free of dust, dirt, and other debris.
  2. Once you are done, dry the wheels with a clean paper towel. 
  3. To ensure that it’s free from oil or chemicals, give it a good IPA (isopropyl alcohol) wipedown. 
  4. Make sure the wheel is on a stand to rotate it easily. 
  5. Remove the strip from the package. Slowly and carefully apply it to the wheel. 
  6. For better adhesion, use a blow dryer. 
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How to Remove Rim Tapes

This is one of those tricks that everyone has told you since you were little. To peel a piece of adhesive tape, start by pulling it away from the backing paper. Apply heat with a hairdryer or iron when you feel some resistance. Be careful not to burn yourself! Once it’s all off, use rubbing alcohol to remove any residue.

Are Rim Tapes Legal? 

It’s not illegal to use rim tape, but you need to be careful with your color. Blue and red stripes are unlawful in some states because they could be mistaken for an emergency vehicle. If you want to reflect any other color, you can, although you might want to check with a more experienced fellow rider or state officials.

What to Look for When Buying a Rim Tape

rim tape for your motorcycle

Weight

A rim tape’s performance is heavily influenced by its weight. For example, if you are installing rim tape on a motorcycle with a single-sided frame, it’s best to go with a thinner piece of rim tape. But if you have a double-sided frame, you might want to go with a heavier piece of rim tape. In either case, it’s always best to go with the right size for your bike.

Most people like to have a lightweight tape. But they don’t like having to replace it every few months. So, what should you look for in a good rim tape? Well, it should be light but durable. It must be long-lasting and resistant to temperature changes as well.

Durability

Durability is another important consideration when choosing a motorcycle rim tape kit. Durability is generally determined by the quality of the material and how it was installed. If you’re looking for a simple, durable kit, then look for the one with a good quality vinyl that’s easy to install.

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Size

Size is a basic consideration when finding suitable rim tape. If you’re installing rim tape, you need to be aware of the size of the rim that you’re going to use. If you don’t know the rim’s height, check it out before you begin. If it’s too big, it could create problems.

Type

Like the size, the type of tape you buy is also necessary. Most of the products you will find in the market are universally fit. However, you will find certain brands only made for specific bikes. 

Getting the correct type of tape that fits is the only way to ensure that it performs well and doesn’t cause any problems. Just remember: the kind of tape you buy depends on the size of the wheel and your style of riding. 

Easy Install

Check for reviews and find out what previous customers say about the tape. Specifically, are they easy to install? Was it packed well? Were there any issues encountered during the installation? Are there any issues with the adhesive backing?

Also, remember that some tapes require you to remove the wheel first, which is a slightly complicated process, especially if you’re not familiar with it. 

Highly Recommended Rim Tapes for Your Motorcycle

reflective motorcycle rim tape

1. CustomTAYLOR33

This rim tape is made from vinyl material and is available in several different sizes. When it comes to visibility, CustomTAYLOR33 is perfect for the wheels of your bike.

Reflective strips have adhesive on the back that helps them stick to your rims no matter the weather. Additional protection is provided by a UV-resistant coating. Consequently, they won’t deteriorate due to exposure to sunlight.

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The product is easy to install. You don’t have to take anything off your vehicle, you don’t have to mess with the wheel wells, and you don’t have to worry about applying a protective coating to your paint. You peel off the backing and place it on the surface you want to paint.

2. The Puncture-Proof IRC by Kenda

This is one of the most trusted names in the industry. This tape is designed explicitly for high-stress situations such as downhill riding. It comes with an application tool, and the tape is puncture-proof, so you don’t have to worry about the tube coming off. Learning to ride a bike is the best option.

3. The Self-Adhesive Motion Pro Rim Tape

This is designed with a patented locking mechanism that allows you to easily attach your wheel to the rim. It’s easy to apply and remove. It’s also made from a rigid material that’s resistant and durable enough to handle rough, off-road riding.

I was skeptical when I first saw this product. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was whether or not it would actually work. However, after using it for a while, I noticed that the sticky backing didn’t peel off. It’s also easy to remove the tape when you’re done.

Final Words

Rim tapes are a great addition to your bike. Accordingly, they’re a significant investment, especially if you’re looking to improve your visibility. It’s crucial to find the right tape for your needs, so take the time to research your options.

I hope you’ve found a tape that works for you on this occasion, and you’re ready to protect your rims.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found it interesting. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.