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Riding a motorcycle is always fun and can make any commuting trip more exciting. However, maintaining a bike can sometimes be quite a task.
While having some equipment is mandatory for smooth riding as well as your safety, other accessories are meant to give that extra level of convenience.
Great motorcycle rim tape is usually not a must, but it’s a standard piece of equipment everyone uses to give them some peace of mind. It can help with the longevity of your wheel.
Still, there are different types that are meant for all kinds of motorcycles. Continue reading to discover more about the topic and how to choose a product that fits you the best.
3 Highest Rated Motorcycle Rim Tape Reviews
CustomTAYLOR33 – High Intensity
These are curved stripes that are designed for the rims of your wheels. It’s a high-quality product that’s meant to last you a long time.
The best thing about CustomTAYLOR33 is that it’s highly reflective. This helps with visibility, making you stand out on the road during nighttime.
The reflective material is durable and resistant. Plus, the stripes have a strong adhesive in the back that helps them stick to your rims regardless of the weather conditions you ride in.
Another thing worth noting is that these have a UV-resistant coating for some added durability. This means they won’t fade or show signs of damage due to sun exposure.
This tape doesn’t require an applicator, nor would you have to remove your wheels to install it. It comes in a pack of four complete circles that are easy to apply.
IRC – Puncture-proof
This is a 16’’ rim tape that’s among the most durable and resistant options on the market. It’s designed to protect your tube from coming in contact with spoke nipples and other stuff that can cause damage.
It’s a highly durable tape that’s easy to apply regardless of the type of bike you have. However, make sure that the rim size matches the size of the tape.
It’s designed to help guard the rim against punctures and other forms of damage. Plus, it’s easy to work with once you clean the area with rubbing alcohol.
One thing to keep in mind is that this one doesn’t come with an adhesive back. In other words, you’d have to glue it using whatever adhesive you have at hand that’s strong enough to hold.
Motion Pro – Self-Adhesive
This rim tape is self-adhesive, which allows the easy and quick application. It comes in different sizes ranging from 18 to 20 inches, so it’s suitable for various bikes.
It’s made of an ultra-tough material that’s resistant and durable enough to handle rough, off-road riding. Plus, it does an amazing job of protecting your tubes in other riding conditions as well.
As we said, it’s self-adhesive, so it’s ideal if you don’t have as much experience with installing these things. Plus, it allows a clean installation process as well.
It has a pre-cut hole for a valve tube and is designed to protect regardless of the bike you have. On top of that, the sticky backing will help the tape to stay on at all times without peeling due to rain or sun.
What to Consider in Buying a Motorcycle Wheel Tape
Weight plays a huge role in how your rim tape will perform. In most cases, thicker pieces are also heavier than those that are thin.
One thing to keep in mind is that none of these is too heavy. It’s a matter of minor differences that could make installation easier, depending on the type of motorcycle you have.
Most racers like having a lightweight tape. However, these might require frequent replacement because they’re thin and not as protective.
Make sure that the one you go for is lightweight but also durable so that it can withstand rough use.
Most products on the market are durable enough to handle simple commuting. However, you should always check this before choosing any particular product.
In most cases, durability depends on a few factors such as the quality of material and whether or not it was properly installed.
For this reason, make sure to go for stripes that fit your motorcycle and don’t require any modifications. These are typically easy to install as well.
A quality-made, durable tape can last as long as the wheels itself, but you should replace it if you notice any issues.
Size is another one of the things you’ll have to think about in advance. It should fit the size of your rim, or it might not perform as well as you expect.
Figure out the size of your rim by measuring it or asking your mechanic. It’s an important step, so make sure not to overlook it.
A tape that’s not the right size will definitely be tricky to install. You may even notice it slipping when you try to replace a tube or even mount your tire.
Plus, only a product that matches your bike can protect it. Otherwise, it can cause flats and further damage.
The type of tape you go for is equally as important as the size. Although most products on the market are quite universal, you might still come across some that are more specially-made for particular motorcycles.
Only the right type can perform well without causing flats or other damage. Anything else might be too tricky to install without some type of modification.
Keep in mind that the type of tape you go for depends on the size of your wheels but also your riding style.
Ease of Installation
You should always think about whether or not the tape of your choice is easy to install. The last thing you want is to spend hours trying to apply it.
Luckily, most are rather simple to install, especially those that already come with an adhesive backing. Those that aren’t self-adhesive can be equally as simple to apply, but you’d need additional glue for that.
Keep in mind that some require you to remove the wheel first. This is a slightly more complicated process, even more so if you don’t know how to remove it yourself.
Rim tape is affordable, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever come across an expensive product. Some are more expensive than others as it’s the case with most biking equipment, but they’re all relatively the same.
You should always have a budget in mind before you start looking for the type that fits you the best. Having a pre-set budget will allow you to focus on products that fit within that price range so that you don’t waste your time on what would be too expensive for you.
Still, don’t let the price come before other, more important buying factors such as durability and ease of use.
What Is It?
Rim tape is a piece of rubber that goes along your rim, protecting the inner tube from spoke holes. It’s a handy invention that doesn’t seem like anything special but can actually make all the difference in the longevity of your wheel.
It can be made of different materials, although it’s usually rubber or another similar material. Some are thinner than others, allowing you to choose based on your wheel size, riding style, and other preferences.
It’s a relatively affordable product that can last a long time if it’s quality-made and properly installed.
Rim Tape vs. Duct Tape
Rim tape is specifically made for your rims, so it’s designed to provide better performance. It has a pre-cut hole for a valve tube and is usually pretty simple to install.
Also, it’s better for sealing the rim channel so that no water can accumulate and cause rust and corrosion. It helps to keep the area clean, and it can even last a long time before you need a replacement.
However, duct tape is a quick fix since most people have some in their homes. It’s pretty durable, depending on the type you have lying around.
Plus, duct tape can even be tougher than a rim strip and is often cheaper to buy.
The biggest drawback of rim tape is that it tends to slide. However, this isn’t really an issue with all products, which is why you should make sure it comes with a strong adhesive.
Rim stripes can break and tear easily, especially if you for a product that’s not as quality-made.
On the other hand, duct tape has a few more disadvantages. It needs frequent replacement, and it will almost always leave a sticky residue on your rims. This can be tricky to clean at times.
Plus, duct tape has no moisture control, so you might see some rust and corrosion forming.
How to Install
The first thing you should do is gather some materials. You’ll need rim tape, some clean paper towel, rubbing alcohol, and a blow dryer.
Keep in mind that the best time to do this is when the temperature is around 60 to 70 degrees. Avoid doing it when it’s too cold.
Use water and detergent to clean your wheel of any access dirt before going over it with rubbing alcohol.
Remove the strip from the package and apply it to the wheel. You want to have the wheel on a stand so that you can rotate it with ease. Use a blow dryer to help the glue to stick better to the wheel.
How to Remove Your Rim Tape
You won’t need many tools to remove the rim tape from your wheel. The most important thing you should have is a heat gun or a blow dryer.
Use heat to loosen the glue a bit so that you can remove the strip easily. Make sure not to place the heat too close to the wheel.
Start peeling the strip slowly and easily until it’s all off. If you still feel some resistance, you should go back with heat, applying it to the tape.
Once it’s all off, you can use alcohol to remove any glue residue.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are reflective rim tapes illegal?
Rim tape isn’t illegal, but you should be careful with the color you’re going for. Some states forbid the use of blue and red stripes because someone could mistake you for an emergency vehicle.
You can reflect any other color you like, although you might want to check with a more experienced fellow rider or your state officials.
What is the best color for motorcycle rim tapes?
They come in different colors, allowing you to choose based on your needs and preferences. Although some colors look better than others, it’s up to you to choose the one you like.
Red, white, and pink are possibly the most popular options.
Rim tape can help with visibility and also add a bit of style and authenticity to your bike. However, choosing one can be a bit challenging if you don’t have the right information.
We reviewed the best that the market has to offer right now. However, it’s up to you to choose what fits your motorcycle the best.
Consider the information we shared in our buyer’s guide as it can help you find the right type, size, and color.
You can pair it with the rest of your equipment so that it matches the overall style while helping to protect your tires and make you more visible at night.