Choosing the Right Motorcycle Tire
A motorcycle, scooter, moped, and other motor vehicles are some of the most dangerous types of vehicles. It is the engine tires that play one of the most important roles in providing controllability and stability. The quality of grip and braking characteristics in extreme situations will depend on the right choice of tires.
Based on the operational characteristics of motorcycles, all motorcycle tires differ from each other in different parameters, but the design solutions and manufacturing technologies used in them are almost identical to automotive tires.
The first thing to pay attention to when choosing tires is the type of motorcycle.
For example, if you ride a sport bike on racetracks or on smooth roads with long straight lines, then your choice should be sports touring tires.
If you are riding an offroader – enduro, cross-country, and others – choose a robust ATV tire. Your motorcycle will become more comfortable for everyday use in winter conditions by installing studded tires (winter) made of special rubber compounds with metal inserts that improve braking performance even at low temperatures without significantly increasing rolling resistance.
When choosing radial OTR tires consider its most important parameters:
Size designation “110/80 R17” tells us about the tire width is 110 mm, width 80% of this diameter tires section height and the last character (R17) indicates the diameter of the tire in inches, in our case this tire is designed for mounting on rims with a diameter of 17 inches.
- The first letter (Z) is the speed index or load index. The letter “Z” indicates that the tire can handle speeds in excess of 240 km/h.
- The second letter (R) gives information about the type of tire. “R” stands for radial and “D” for diagonal tires.
- The third group of numbers shows the diameter of the wheel in inches.
- Finally, the letters M/C tell us that the tire is designed for use on motorcycles.
The main characteristics of the radial bias truck tires are high strength (due to double steel belts) and excellent wear resistance, which is achieved with a relatively small thickness of rubber cover.
Choosing motorcycle tires for your bike it’s better to use only original equipment or manufacturer’s replacement units that ensure its compliance with all requirements related to safety, performance, and service life. You can choose one-piece wheels or split rim versions in order to install tubeless type tire on your motorcycle if necessary.
Classification of Motor Tyres
All motorcycle tires are divided into two basic types:
Diagonal tires have diagonal belts, while radial has a concentric belt.
Various Types of Motorcycle Tires: Tubeless and Tube Type
Motorcycle tire tubed type is designed for use with inner tube to ensure air tightness between the tire and rim. The most common types are road bike tyres that provide good grip in wet conditions due to grooves which allow water removal from contact surface.
Types of motorcycle tires
Types of motorcycle tyre used on our machines can be divided into several categories based on its purpose:
- Racing (dry and slick)
- Off-road (MotoCross) or street / touring (soft)
- Street/touring motorcycle is usually preferred by riders who need high mileage during driving comfort, less wear resistance but good handling in all weathers
This type is best suited for riders who need high mileage during driving comfort, less wear resistance but good handling in all weathers.
- Sport Touring – High performance;
- Premium Touring – Increased load capacity;
- Cruiser Tires – Comfortable ride with low noise level;
- Vintage Motorcycle Tires – Retro look with improved cornering stability compared to classic models.
Racing or dry tires provide maximum traction in most competition conditions like asphalt or dirt surface tracks due to reduced rolling resistance.
Proper selection of motorcycle tires
The right choice of motorcycle tires solves several problems at once:
- Reduces the load on the suspension of the equipment, saving money on spare parts.
- It provides the tightest possible contact patch with any type of surface, which means better traction and braking characteristics.
- Increases the riding safety, ensuring good grip of tires on wet roads.
Tips on how to prolong the life of a tire
In order to ensure that the tire lasts as long as possible, you must inflate the tube to the pressure specified by the tire manufacturer.
You can do this with a compressor at the tire shop or a pump with a pressure gauge.
It is also important to strictly adhere to the recommendations on air pressure. If you inflate tire but do not exceed recommended values, it will provide excellent performance characteristics throughout its service life.
Further increase in durability can be achieved by replacing the rubber of worn tires with new ones and leaving them for a night or two at 90 degrees Celsius before putting into operation. This procedure makes old tires more elastic, which increases the adhesion properties of motorcycle tires during braking maneuvers even further increasing safety when driving under adverse weather conditions (rain, snow).
The most popular road tires for motorcycles
The road type of tires will suit those who like to travel long distances and often ride on paved roads.
Only when buying, you should take into account that the environment has a very serious impact on the rubber, which is subjected to a really tough test. The abrasion process when rubbing against the road surface is much faster, which is not very positive for the environment. The fact is that the abrasion of rubber on asphalt is much faster, it leaves traces of chemicals on the pavement, which disrupts the environment.
We should not forget that during the motion rubber is compressed and uncompressed many times, and this also contributes to the rapid wear. Therefore, if you often operate your motorcycle, then get good road tires and use them properly. To choose the right tires for your motorcycle, you need to have at least a general idea of what specific functions they perform.
When driving on a rough surface, the suspension is exposed to serious enough loads, a part of which is undertaken exactly by rubber. It should provide a good traction with the road and the necessary level of load capacity. We should separately mention such an important component as the tread pattern, which directly affects the cross-country ability, fuel consumption and acoustic comfort.
The Most Popular Motorcycle Tire Brands
- Dunlop American Elite
- Dunlop Roadsmart
- Dunlop Mutant
- Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra
- Metzeler M9 RR
- Michelin Pilot Road 4
- Michelin Power 5
- Michelin Commander II
- Continental ContiMotion
- Continental ContiSport Attack
- Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa SP
- Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T32
The undisputed leader in the production of tires for high-speed vehicles is still Dunlop, the official supplier of tires for the vast majority of Japanese and American sports motorcycles.
If you have a high-speed motorcycle, we recommend choosing products from the Sportmax series. In this regard, very good and highway “bagels” and the hits of recent years – “Velcro”, the more so that they have already managed to prove themselves perfectly on several amateur races. For road racers, you can use Dunlop Arrowmax tires, which are a bit old-fashioned, but well-proven tread pattern, which many call universal.
Michelin is very expensive this year, and that’s why experts recommend using them only for professional sports bikes. If you want to save money, you can choose Taiwanese Kings Tire, presented in a variety of all sizes and all models.
The tread patterns are almost identical to the Dunlop ones, and the prices are much more democratic. The hardest thing to look for is good tires for enduro motorcycles, because they are used both on regular roads and off-road, which means that the requirements can be very specific and often contradictory.
Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra
Michelin Power 5
Here you need a product with a low-speed index and yet with a “grippy” tread. This is also on the market but costs a lot of money. It is worth paying attention to products under the brands Dunlop, Metzeler, Pirelli, Michelin. In the new series, it is possible to choose excellent tires for asphalt Enduro with not a pronounced tread and a noticeably higher speed index. On such rubber, you can accelerate up to 210 kilometers per hour on asphalt and feel a very confident grip on the road.