The markings on the wall of your tyre may look like a secret code, but they tell you just about everything you need to know about the tyre, from the kind of vehicle the tyre was made for to the maximum speed it's designed for.
For easy reference, check this step-by-step guide from Beaurepaires which explains the meaning of each mark.
We will be using this tyre as an example:
- The section width of your tyres is measured in millimetres – in this case, 195mm.
- The aspect ratio/profile is the height of the sidewall, and is described as a percentage of the section width. In this example, the aspect ratio is 55% of this tyre’s width of 195mm.
- R refers to the radial ply construction of the tyre.
- The number immediately following R is the rim diameter of the wheel, measured in inches. This tyre’s rim diameter is 16 inches.
- The maximum load capacity of the tyre is measured in kilograms and the maximum speed capacity of the tyre is measured in kilometres per hour. In this example, the maximum load is 87 and the maximum speed is V, which is the speed symbol for 240 km/h.