16 Inch Tires
Decades ago 16 inch tires were used for American made Harley Davidson and Indian motorcycles. They were used for the front and rear tires. 16 inch tires were also used on 3/4 ton pick-up trucks, boat trailers and utility trailers. In the 40's, 50's and 60's the standard tire size for passenger vehicles were most commonly the 14 and 15 inch tires and rims. When foreign cars began to be imported into the United States, it was not unusual for them to have 13 or 14 inch tires and rims. In today's custom application, it is it is typical find 17, 19 and even 22 inch wheels on passenger cars and trucks. Also, some foreign imports today, such as Subaru, will come from the factory with 17 inch tires and rims. 17 inch wheels used to be considered a custom sized tire, but now this size is a standard size for Subaru.
Back in the 1990s, there was a big controversy going on about 16 inch tires on pickup trucks and SUV's exploding and causing serious injuries and even death. It turned out the problem was that the 16 inch tires would sometimes be accidentally mounted on 16 1/2 inch rims. The 16 1/2 inch wheels began to be manufactured later. It was really hard to tell the difference between 16 inch rims and the half inch larger rims. There were many lawsuits at the time that were filed against manufactures by victims who were hurt in accidents while driving on 16 inch tires accidentally mounted onto 16 1/2 inch rims. As a result of all the lawsuits, not to mention the injuries that people suffered, the tire industry now reinforces their 16 inch tires to prevent explosions and blowouts in the event that the tires are accidentally mounted onto 16 1/2 inch rims. The 16 inch tires that are sold nowadays are much safer than they were back in the 70s and 80s and early 90s.
If you are currently looking for aftermarket custom wheels and tires to customize your car in may have already heard about plus sizing your tires. The larger 16 inch diameter wheels with a lower profile tire can be considered to be one of plus sized tires that many people these days are putting on their cars to customize the look. However, 16 inch tires are still normally sold for applications on pickup trucks, car or motorcycle trailers and utility trailers.
Even though a low profile 16 inch tire tires will help you keep your speedometer and odometer changes very minimal, they are not quite as commonly used to customize the vehicle as the ones that are 17 inch and higher are. By using 16 inch tires and higher that have a low profile you will gain a fast response to steering and better stability. The visual effect on your vehicle is with 16 inch tires can be quite stunning for some people. For other people 16 inch tires just don't make that big of an impression for them. The reason is that larger wheels that have less tire showing just makes a better visual impression and has better eye appeal as you look at the car. So it goes without saying that the bigger the wheel the bigger than impression and reaction you will get from people.
Most cars still come from the factory already with 15 inch wheels. So if you want to upgrade your 15 inch wheels with plus one tires and wheels that means you will need to go to 16 inch tires and rims or higher. If you wanted up great to a plus two tires and rims that means you would go out to 17 inches. Likewise plus 3 would be an upgrade 18-inch tires. Still today the most common size tires on motorcycles are 16 inch tires.