The average small volume scooter tyre will loose approximately 2-5psi every month and therefore require inflation to their recommended pressure during this time. We recommend every second tank of fuel is a good rule of thumb or alternatively once a month. The pressure to run in them is generally 30psi front and 30-35psi rear depending on the load your scooter carries - like riding two up or hauling a big load of groceries etc.
If your tyre pressure is too low it causes the tyre to bulge out and flex at the road surface contact point. If the speed is elevated this happens approximately 1-2 times per second (every full rotation). Two things will then happen; the tyre temperature dramatically increases and the chords that make up the case construction weaken and can separate - causing a blow out or at the very least poor road holding and tyre wear. Or if you are tubeless (and that is just about all late model scooters) you also risk rolling the tyre bead off the rim causing loss of pressure very much like a blow out. Having experienced this in person it is not a lot of fun and can cause loss of control.
Front tyres do not “wear out” as frequently as rear tyres as the weight distribution on a scooter is biased towards the rear. Front tyres should be replaced around every two years due to deterioration of the rubber and casing materials. Rubber will perish and harden during this time causing fractures under use.
Tyres also have a cycling life. This is the amount of times the construction materials (primarily the rubber) can be heated and cooled. For example; a race slick used by the professional racers only have a cycle life of 5-10 times and are usually replaced every race, as opposed to a long range touring tyre which may have 500 - 1500 cycles - bearing in mind they should see 6,000 - 10,000kms on average. The obvious difference between the two is their intended application; the race tyre is very soft designed to give maximum grip even at extreme lean angles at the expense of rapid wear, while the touring tyre is much harder - giving longer miles and better wear but you will not get the traction the race tyre can give. In other words don’t go out and try to get your knees and elbows on the deck through corners on the road/tour type tyres.
I have a theory on budget tyres which runs along the old “you get what you pay for!” Recognised quality brand tyres may cost an extra $10-$50 at fitting but generally return better performance in both roadholding and long term wear. Join it with the fact they can be repaired should you suffer a puncture (which they tend to be more resistant to as well) the cheaper tyres do not stack as well over the life of the tyre.
The average stock we keep for scooter tyres - mostly Pirelli and Maxxis