How To Choose The Best Motorcycle Tyres For You
As a rider, your tyres are infinitely important, and choosing the best motorcycle tyres for your bike, and your riding style is a priority before you hit the road. The safest and most effective tyres align with the manufacturer’s recommendations, and it is vital that you are vigilant about replacing old tires to avoid dangerous situations.
The investment in a good set of tires increases the safety and enjoyment of your ride. So to help, our experts have pulled together the best tyre options on the market right now.
First things first, you need to understand which tyre type is right for you!
Different Types of Motorcycle Tyres
When it is time to replace the tyres on your motorcycle, you want to ensure you make the right choice. There are five main categories for the various types available today, and these include:
These are the leading motorcycle tyres for riding at high speeds on paved roads, split between radial construction with a ZR speed rating
Offering the broadest range of uses, they are also tailored for high speeds but are not the best to match with sports riding. Great for a range of road surfaces, they offer riding comfort and suitability for various weather conditions.
Cruiser and chopper tyres
Created for a long continuous running time, these tyres have a good grip on turns and are suited to a heavy bike. Designed as reinforced tyres, they have a high load index and are capable of stable and safe driving.
Dual Sport tyres
Designed for all-terrain driving, these tyres have very strong construction and are suited to driving on loose surfaces, tight corners, and turns taken at high speed.
A sports tyre is more demanding than the above options and are not recommended for use on public roads. This is because they have been designed for a competitive, high-speed environment and may restrict the scope of use (e.g. slick tyres, which are used for dry weather conditions).
Check Your Tyres
Riding on worn-out tyres is dangerous. A recent Toyo survey found that 29% of the 1,157 respondents ride on unsafe tyres, and 48% are leaving their replacements for too long. Tyres should last around five years but can wear out much faster than that based on your riding style, speed, load, pressures, and suspension.
Here are four things to look out for the next time you conduct a tyre inspection that will let you know its time to replace your tyres:
All motorcycle tyres have a Tyre Wear Indicator (TWI) on the sidewall. When your tread hits the TWI mark, it’s time to buy a new set.
Unusual wear patterns
An unusual wear pattern often indicates mechanical issues or an incorrect bike setup, including high or low tyre pressure or tyre cupping that may indicate loose suspension parts, unbalanced tyres, or worn shock absorbers.
Insufficient tread depth
Tyres with worn-out treads offer no grip or traction, heightening the risk of losing control of your motorcycle.
Punctures or sidewall bubbles
Punctured tyres, cuts or sidewall bubbles are signs of physical damage on tyres, meaning you need to replace the tyre as soon as possible.
Remember, the kind of riding you want to do will often designate the right tyre for your motorcycle. The next step is ensuring you also have the correct size.
Sports tyres are often more demanding than the above options and are not recommended for use on public roads. This is because they have been designed for a competitive, high-speed environment and may restrict the scope of use (e.g. slick tyres, which are used for dry weather conditions).
Choosing The Size of Your Tyres
Motorcycle tyre sizing is Alphanumeric, Standard Inch, and Metric (the most common). The sidewall of the tyres lists the measurements in raised lettering, and you should pay attention to the info on the factory set, sticking close to this when purchasing replacements.
The primary information to consider for sizing is:
- Tyre width
- Aspect ratio
- Rim diameter
- Speed rating
We recommend speaking with one of our experts to understand which options are best suited to your bike and riding style before making a purchase.
A Few Of Our Favourites
We’ve put together a list of a few of our favourite motorcycle tyres here at Tyreman M/C! We highly recommend checking them out.
Michelin Power 5
The Michelin Power 5 features sipes that will effectively channel away rain even as the tyre wears. Michelin’s patented sidewall technology and dual-compound rubber set it apart from the competition, offering tried and proven for wet or dry grip.
The dual-compound material ensures a longer life span for your rear tyre and race-proven performance for the sportbike rider.
The Shinko 705 is the premium dual-sport option offering affordable access to performance and longevity. This tyre is great for urban riding while also holding its own in the great outdoors. Essentially, this tyre strikes a perfect balance across every ride option.
Shinko opted for a compound and tread pattern with a 70/30 road/off-road balance to ensure consistent overall performance on both. You’ll also experience above-average tread life, all for a great price.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso III
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso III is recommended for dry weather road riding. They are W-rated for over 300 kmph and feature large contact patches across their surface. Made from high-performance silica compounds, they offer significant grip no matter the temperature and feature a bi-compound design for a safe mid-lean angle.
In the realm of sports-orientated tyres, you can’t go past the grip and tread life of the Diablo Rosso III. While their traction in wet conditions isn’t amazing, it will improve over time once you have broken the tyres in.
Michelin Road 6 Tires
If you want something for your daily commute that can also handle the more adventurous rides as well,the Michelin Road 5 has you covered. It also features deep, water-evacuating sipes to cover you when it rains via Michelin’s XST Evo siping design. This trapezoidal design ensures excellent wet-weather grip, even as the tyres begin to wear.
The 2CT compound is present on the front tyre using rubber at the centre for improved longevity. The edges have smooth, soft, uninterrupted rubber suited to aggressive riding on a dry road and Michelin’s patented ACT casing technology prevents any tucking in when the tyre is on its edge. This creates more confidence for the rider at high lean angles.
Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 are like slicks on the road. While they have been designed to be ridden on a track, the minimal siping and 4-per cent tread void means a lot of tyre contact with the road’s surface. The trade-off here is that the angular ‘flash’ tread pattern is not as capable of dispersing as much water as some of the other options on this list.
These tubeless tires are W-rated for speeds of over 300 kmph, inspiring lots of confidence on track corners. Pirelli has improved on the previous generation of these tyres with more grip at all lean angles due to wider angles at the shoulders and larger steel cords. While these are at the more expensive end of the Pirelli range, you can’t go past them for a dry grip. Just be wary in the wet.
Michelin Commander III Touring
For the heavy-duty cruiser, the Michelin Commander III Touring tyre is the obvious choice. These tyres were tested on a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide and made it through over 40,000 km of road. The Cruiser version of this tyre is better suited to lighter motorcycles and offers siping that extends to the sidewall (not present on the Touring version). The reason why the siping is left off the Touring model is to improve stability for heavy bikes.
The latest model of the Commander III Touring has a more rounded profile, which also improves stability when cornering. In addition, the silica compound is also upgraded to provide better traction in wet conditions while lowering the chance of uneven wear.
At Tyreman M/C we stock the leading motorcycle tyre brands, including all of the models mentioned in the list above. Our range of premium, high-quality tyres and tubes are available at affordable prices, and we’ll happily offer our expert advice, professional tyre fitting and balancing to make sure your motorcycle is set up correctly. Stay safe on the road and get the most out of your motorcycle with Tyreman M/C today.