Old-school wheels were emblazoned with slick white letters, creating a look that’s uniquely retro. This style slowly gave way to blacked-out tire lettering, but now the white-lettered versions are making a comeback. Why is this happening, and how does it affect you when you’re shopping for the best motorcycle cruiser tires? You may be surprised to discover the reasons behind the white letter tire revival.
A Quick History of Tire Production
To understand how we got while letter tires in the first place, it’s important to know how they were produced. Whitewalls are a leftover from the early pneumatic tires that were all-white. When they later got a carbon black update to improve tread durability, the sidewalls remained white.
Tire products saw an opportunity in the white-on-black aesthetic to highlight their brand names. Hence the white-letter tire was born. This style reigned supreme until the advent of tubeless radial tires. By the mid-1990s, all-black wheels were the norm on most consumer motorcycles. That’s why you still see a lot of all-black tires when you shop for replacement tires for motorcycles.
How Custom Bikes Revived the Trend
Meanwhile, whitewalls had a dedicated following within the custom bike scene. Aiming to achieve classic touches to their machines’ appearances, whitewalls remained as a top choice. Naturally, white letters got a new life when customs shops started embossing the bold pale letters on the street bike tires of the creations they produced. Of course, you’ve got quite a few options as a rider to achieve this sharp look on your bike:
- New tires with factory original white letters
- Tire pens or oil-based paint markers
- Raised tire letters or decals
Achieving Retro Cool Is Simple
Customizing your bike requires the right tools. While the quickest way to get the white-letter look is to shop for the best motorcycle cruiser tires, your trusted powersports supplier also offers other great options to help make it happen.