Tire Speed Ratings PDF Print E-mail

Tires are tested to government standards and rated according to how fast you can continuously travel on them and still be safe. The ratings are letter codes marked on the tire's sidewall. Each letter represents a maximum sustained speed. If you've ever wondered why the speed ratings were odd miles per hour values, you can see in the chart below by looking at the km/h values.

Speed Ratings

Code max. mph max. km/h
A1 3 5
A2 6 10
A3 9 15
A4 12 20
A5 16 25
A6 19 30
A7 22 35
A8 25 40
B 31 50
C 37 60
D 40 65
E 43 70
F 50 80
G 56 90
J 62 100
K 68 110
 L75
120
M
81
130
N
87
140
P
94
150
Q
100
160
R
106
170
S
112
180
T
118
190
U
124
200
H
130
210
V
149
240
Z
over 149
over 240
W
168
270
(W)
over 168over 270
Y
186
300
(Y)
over 186
over 300
 

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Quotes

Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain-at least in a poor country like Russia-and his vanity begins to swell out like his tyres. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect. --Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. The History of the Russian Revolution, vol. 2, ch. 7 (1933).

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