Abstract In order to address various noise generation mechanisms and noise propagation phenomena of a tyre, it is necessary to study the tyre dynamic behaviour in terms of modal parameters. This paper enumerates a novel method of finding the modal parameters of a rolling tyre using an Explicit Finite Element Analysis and Operational Modal Analysis (OMA). ABAQUS Explicit, a commercial Finite Element (FE) software code has been used to simulate the experiment, a tyre rolling over a semi-circular straight and inclined cleat. The acceleration responses obtained from these simulations are used as input to the OMA. LMS test lab has been used for carrying out the Operational Modal Analysis. The modal results are compared with the published results of Kindt  and validated. Also, the modal results obtained from OMA are compared with FE modal results of stationary unloaded tyre, stationary loaded tyre and Steady State Transport rolling tyre. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.