|1. Heidenau K60 Scout Rear 150 70-17||2. Dunlop D404 Cruiser Rear Tire – 170 80-15||3. Michelin Road 5 Rear Tire|
When it comes to buying the best tire for your ride, there are a lot of options available online. Riding a bike or a motorcycle is quite fun and thrilling but being single-track vehicles, they are always regarded as a little more “dangerous” as compared to four-wheeled vehicles. If logically considered, motorcycles can actually be risky to ride and a little more prone to crashes if there are faults in the running components. Motorcycle tires are one of the major running components of a motorcycle.
It is therefore very important that you buy the most suitable tires for your bike. This guide will not only list one of the best motorcycle tires but will help you differentiate between many types of tires available in the market as well as online so that you invest your money in the best product.
Why Are Motorcycle Tires Important?
Motorcycle tires are the exterior parts of the wheels, fixed to the rims, and allow the motorcycle to turn by counter-steering. They are more than mere rubber hoops which help to save your wheels from grinding against any surface. They provide traction, resist wear and tear, plus absorb surface bumps. They aid in providing a cushion of air between the machine/engine and the road surface, therefore help in tackling surface irregularities. There are crucial to the motorcycle’s suspension response and affect braking system, safety, noise, comfort, and fuel economy.
Factors To Look For Before Buying The Best Motorcycle Tire
If until now you were someone about to just go ahead and buy any motorcycle tire you like, without even knowing what type of tire to look for and for what purpose, then I hope this guide has been filling you with resourceful information so far. Wait! Because there is more to come, as in this section we’ll be dealing with some of the major factors to keep in mind before buying one of the best motorcycle tires.
There are many things that we as consumers and customers tend to neglect, but getting down to the nitty-gritty of finding the best price on motorcycle tires can get you great deals. The points mentioned ahead will deal with the importance of reading a tire: when to use a tubeless tire, how to select the correct size for your vehicle before you buy a replacement tire, how to check tread designs on tires, and many more.
Here are some quick but crucial tips before you buy a replacement tire for your motorcycle. Choosing the correct size for your motorcycle.
No matter if you are a motorcyclist or a car driver; many people tend to get confused by the small but significant markings spotted on a tire’s sidewall. No matter how different a car and a bike are, the alphanumeric coding on both is standardized coding (obviously excluding a few details).
Before buying a new replacement tire, you must be able to read and crack that tire code as it will aid you in comprehending important details of a tire, including the size, aspect ratio or profile, speed rating, construction material information, load index, etc. You need to match this information on the replacement tire with the information on the original motorcycle tires so that you buy the best motorcycle tire.
For example, if your sidewall marking says- 195/45 15R 87V, then you shall read it as:-
195- Section width
It is actually the tire width, mentioned in mm. To be precise, it is the measurement of the sidewalls of a tire that begins from the surface where it joins with the rim to the section where the tread begins.
45- Aspect ratio
It is the height of the sidewall which is mentioned as a percentage of the tread width. So the aspect ratio of 45 highlights that the section height of the tire is 45% of the section width of the tire.
It is the Radial construction of the tire. You may also find the letter ‘B’ carved on several tires; it represents the cross-ply construction type. However, radial tires are the more popular ones.
It is the interior diameter of the tire. It highlights the diameter of the rim or rim height and is measured in inches.
It is referred to the maximum weight limit that a tire can lift. It is often indicated by a 2 or 3 digit number. For example – if the load index on the tire is 95, then it means that the tire is capable enough to lift a load of about 690 kg (max).
V- Speed Rating
It refers to the maximum speed that a car can maintain with the given tires. For example- if a tire has got ‘S’ rating then it means that the vehicle can reach a speed of 180 km/h (max). It is similar to how we evaluate the load index, as each letter represents a specific value.
Tread Designs On A Motorcycle Tire
We come across individuals who think that a specific type of tread pattern indicates the road grip levels of a tire, which is true to a certain extent. Some people even think that bigger treads and deeper grooves mean to indicate greater grip levels and stability in many conditions.
Some find these tread designs visually attractive, believing that they really don’t serve any more purpose. Hence, many of them go ahead and fit different kinds of tires on their motorcycles, regardless of whether their vehicle are in riding conditions.
We will tell you how tread patterns should be interpreted and the important information they carry that needs to be decoded. The best motorcycle might have large tread blocks and huge grooves because they help to provide greater traction on wet surfaces or muddy terrains.
These tires help to pump away more dirt or water from between the tire contact patch and road-surface as the vehicle moves. But if a similar kind of tire is used on dry surfaces or rough roads, then the larger groove percentage may lead to a decrease in contact patch of the tire with the road surface, further leading in lower or weak grip levels.
As we are dealing with the kind of grip a tire provides, it is important to mention that it grip level majorly depends on a tire’s material compound greater than its tread pattern. A tire which is built out of a soft compound will be more ‘sticky’, that is because it will create more friction when the temperature increases.
The con is that a soft compound tends to wear out quick. On the other hand, a tire made of a hard compound carries exactly opposite properties; it will ensure a much longer life, but you will have to compromise on the grip level and handling.
Mixing Bias-ply and Radial Tire
We recommend you to not engage in that and try to follow what your manufacturer has recommended instead as they are the ones who spend their time building the vehicle. In some cases, bikes are factory fitted with a mixture of bias-ply and radical tires.
For example- the Yamaha R15 V2 has a mixture of the two, as it has a bias-ply tire up front and radial fixed at the back. Do note that this setup may not be successful with every other bike and may further cause a malfunction in your bike if you try mixing tires.
If you still feel tempted to mix tires or try it out once, then ensure that radial tires are employed on a rear wheel and the other one is employed at front. But if you are engaging in this, do remember that it will be risky if your manufacturer doesn’t recommend you to do so.
Width Of The Tire
One of the most frequently asked questions by motorcyclists is how wide a tire can they fit on their motorcycle. Just like the tread design and the type of the tire is important to consider, so is the width of the tire. Be it fat or a wide tire on your motorcycle, it will only serve as a visual proposition rather than a functional one, at least in most of the cases.
To understand this you need to understand the technicalities behind using a wide or a narrow tire for your bike. First of all, a tire ‘grows’ in every direction when it is affected by higher temperatures and centrifugal force.
This further means that it requires some amount of clearance as the motorcycle runs on the road surface. So if you fit a wide tire on your bike, (more than what is required) then it may hit the vital components of the vehicle like swingarm, chain-set, etc.
Quite similar to this, if you want to go for a high profile rubber, the circumference of the wheel or the rolling radius will increase rapidly. This will, in turn, lead to a change in gearing ratios and indicate faults in speedometer readouts. Then again, it may also come in contact with fenders and swingarm, leading to more defaults.
Some motorcyclists truly believe that wider tires mean more grip levels. We do not deny that the wider the tire is, the more the contact patch increases, but a wider tire may turn out worse than a stock tire in other respects.
It can lead to a drop in the fuel economy or it may affect the performance ability of the vehicle, etc. You need to understand that a balanced amount of width is needed and then only invest your money to buy the best motorcycle tire.
Whether to choose a tubeless tire on a tube-type rim or a tubeless tire with a tube
This is another domain where motorcyclists tend to get confused and end up making faulty choices for their bikes. First, you need to understand the functions of a tubeless and tube- type tires and to make you understand that we’ll take into account some specific cases.
A tube-type tire on the tubeless rim- some people have a misconception that they can use a tube-type tire for a tubeless rim and if such people recommend you to do the same, please don’t! A tubeless tire is not built to roll without a tube for a simple reason.
A tubeless tire has a distinct and reinforced bead design so that it is able to contain air against the rim in an airtight way. On the other hand, the bead design which is specific to a tube-type tire is not meant to hold air because it uses a ‘tube’ for the same function.
So if you try to use a tube-type tire on the tubeless rim then think before you take that step, because if anyone could do that, then manufacturers would not have taken the pain to divide tires as ‘tube-type’ and ‘tubeless’ in the first instance.
Tubeless tire with tube- running a tubeless tire vehicle with a tube is not that risky, but is recommended only when there is an urgent situation. As mentioned earlier, a tubeless tire has a different interior design as compared to a tube-type tire. So if you engage in any kind of switching and swapping, an inner tube may get disrupted, which may further lead to instant deflation. It can also lead to other damages; using a tube can alter a tubeless tire’s properties as it will run hotter than usual due to the added mass. Therefore putting a tube on a tubeless tire is not advised because it can be damaging not only to the vehicle, but also compromise the rider’s safety.
There are a few more things you may like to know about fitting a tubeless tire on your tube-type rim. If the rim is spoked, it won’t be able to contain air. if it is an allow wheel, a tubeless tire may fit, but then again this is not something recommended by any manufacturer.
Tube-type and tubeless tires have a different valve-stem and are designed differently. Henceforth we advise you to follow the specifications laid down by the manufacturers and have fun riding in a safe and carefree manner.
Buying Best Motorcycle Tires: Easy to Follow Tips
You should know when it is time to replace your vehicle’s tires. Mostly all tires wear out after 5 years, but it also is dependent on how much you’ve ridden your vehicle and on what kind of surfaces (off-road, rough surfaces).
Remember to check how many tires need to be replaced; both or just one. Sometimes both the tires may not wear out at the same time, so you need to be sure before investing your money on the best motorcycle tires for the street.
Before buying the best motorcycle tire online, make sure to check not only the size of the tire but also the kind of tire that will suit your driving conditions. If you live in an area which is affected by monsoons all over the year; you may require a different set of tires in accordance with that kind of weather conditions. Same goes for extreme winters or summer conditions. If you are not sure about that or face extreme changes in climate; you can always go for all-weather tires.
After you have selected tire online, make sure that you know all the details of the product. You should always maintain your vehicle to ensure the life of the tires, irrespective of the guarantee period, as marked by the manufacturers. The tires should be inflated in a proper manner with the right amount of tire pressure.
If by chance the tire pressure is less, the tire may deteriorate soon because this puts increased pressure of the vehicle on the tires. Due to this, the rubber of the tire will also burn faster. If, on the other hand, the tire pressure is more than necessary, then there are more chances of tire burst (especially in hot weather conditions). Hence, we recommend that you maintain a balance, inflate the tire with the right tire pressure; neither too high nor too less.
If you have bought one of the best motorcycle tires for street, make sure to properly maintain the valve, as it helps to keep the tire’s pressure where it needs to be. Valve cores should be clean and free of any debris or filth that might lead to air leakage. Remember to use your valve stem caps.
These are all the necessary factors to consider, before getting the best price on motorcycle tires. make sure to read the tire review, the manual of the product, the tire quality, about the specific brand that you choose, and other properties of the tire that you have shortlisted. Another tip is to always compare the prices of the tire with other online dealers or sites.
If you are already satisfied with the tires you had earlier equipped in your bike, it will be an easy task for you. But if you are a beginner and looking for the best place to buy motorcycle tires, do make sure to check out the next section of this guide. As we will be reviewing some of the best motorcycle tires available on some of the most popular sites.
Till now we have been discussing in this guide about the different types, properties, and brands of tires that are available in the market today. In the previous section, we had listed important factors to look for before purchasing motorcycle tires online. In this section, we’ll be listing some of the most popular and best motorcycle tires available on Amazon, which is the best place to buy motorcycle tires, covering products by some of the best brands of this industry.
Top 20 Best Motorcycle Tires 2020
1. Heidenau K60 Scout Rear 150/70-17 Motorcycle Tire
Heindenau is a German based premium tire manufacturing brand, who design tires made of the best quality materials and promise greater performance. This particular model;
K60 Scout tire features distinct and attractive tread design which is optimized for that tire’s size and needs of the motorcycle it will probably be installed on. So it is safe to say that this product is designed to serve some specific motorbike, but that doesn’t mean that it cannot be installed on any other motorcycle.
Some rear tires come in chevron style, while others may have a continuous line or strip in the center of the tire. This particular product has been made in chevron style and that kind of tread pattern is similar to knobby patterns which promise to offer a lot of open space between the tread blocks to route sand, gravel, and water from the contact patch.
While at the same time the pattern keeps some rubber in contact with the road as the tires roll on the surface. This tire comes under one of the best motorcycle tires because this brand does not sacrifice on-road longevity and adherence to the pavement for maximum off-road resistance.
It is for sure a true fifty-fifty dual sport tire; the K60 Scout brings an accurate balance of performance, both on and off-road. Because of its advanced tread and compound, it offers better cornering stability and handling. It is ideal to ride on wet surfaces as it delivers a great grip, plus you can ride it on off-road surfaces too.
2. Dunlop D404 Metric Cruiser Rear Tire – 170/80-15
The best part about Dunlop 404 tires is that they offer an expanded size range that can fit many advanced cruisers. It promises to deliver a smooth and comfortable ride. The man features of these motorcycle tires are; bias-ply construction which delivers excellent load- index or load- carrying capacity, offset center groove offers great straight-line stability, and it is priced reasonably, as compared to other motorcycle tires which offer similar features.
The tread patterns on these tires are designed to deliver amazing water evacuation and greater grip levels on wet surfaces. The tread compound of these tires offers an accurate balance of mileage and grip. Please note that D404 is not meant to be installed on Harley-Davidson motorcycles because these tires won’t be able to carry that much load of the vehicle. If you want to look for the best motorcycle tires for Harley Davidson specifically; check out Dunlop Harley-Davidson D402/401 series for maximum load capacity.
3. Michelin Road 5 Rear Tire (160/60ZR-17)
Michelin comes under the category of one of the best manufacturers of motorcycle tires. This particular product provides maximum confidence in wet and dry conditions, thereby providing greater grip on any kind of surface. Michelin Road 5 tires provide superior wet weather grip as compared to other leading brands, because of the patented Michelin XST Evo siping and the company’s latest 2CT and 2CT + tread c.
This brand doesn’t only work on one isolated element of performance. They try to focus on the whole components of the product, adding more features which maximize comfort and increase the performance level, safety, durability and the fun of riding a bike.
The greatest selling point of the Road 5 tires is their longevity as Michelin offers more water evacuation. As the tire goes through regular wear and tear, the negative spacing between the tread gradually keeps decreasing in size. When the P5 wears, it maintains a more tends to maintain a more consistent volume of negative space where water can disperse. It, therefore, leads to more confident wet-weather cornering and emergency.
4. Dunlop Elite 4 – Radial – 180/60R16
This is yet another model by Dunlop which offers increased mileage. The MT multi- tread rear tires offer more mileage than single- compound tires. It is also available in sizes to fit many different models, from new Gold Wings to bikes dating back to the 1970s. You won’t have to worry about the fit and if it’ll be suitable for your vehicle. All these tires use Dunlop’s multi-tread technology; with a long-wearing compound in the centee of the tire and a lateral grip compound on each shoulder. It tends to provide maximum mileage without compromising on handling.
These new tread patterns provide better grip on wet surfaces and even contribute towards less noise. These models are available in radial as well as bias-ply construction.
5. Heidenau K60 Enduro Rear 120/90-18 Motorcycle Tire
The Heindenau K76 comes under the category of an adventure/ dual sports tire for both on- road and off- road use. The wide tread block arrangement and balanced rubber elements provide greater resistance and full weather grip for any kind of terrain. It also allows you to peel off the tarmac and attack the fire road.
6. Motorcycle Front Rear Tire 130/90-16 Tube Type Fits HARLEY DAVIDSON Electra Glide, Softail, Road King, Road Glide, Sportster 883, Dyna CVO Series
This motorcycle tire is by MMG and comes with a 130/90-16 front or rear DOT approved tube type tire rim. The rim size is 16” and the load rating for the vehicle is 73. The maximum load it can carry is about 803 lbs or 365 kg. it is equipped with a special rubber compound which provides excellent grip and handling. If you are looking for a tire which can be installed on any kind of Harley Davidson bike; this motorcycle tire is the best because it can lift the weight of the vehicle easily. You can get the best price on motorcycle tires at Amazon and this product is available under $100, which is a pretty good sum and won’t cast a hole in your pockets.
7. Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra 130/90-16 Wide Whitewall Front Tire 2407600
Metzeler is another German motorcycle tire company which originally produced different rubber and plastic products. In the 1970s it started focusing only on motorcycle tires and utilizes many patented technologies to manufacture motorcycle tires. The unique feature of this brand is that it uses silica compound in a specific tread for the front wheel. This particular product; ME888 Marathon Ultra 130/90-16 also comes equipped with the same feature.
These tires provide high mileage for V-twin cruisers and heavy touring motorcycles. It is also referred to as the “triple eight”, but it does not in any way replace the renowned ME880, instead, it just provides a supplement for riders who look for high mileage. It offers outstanding tread life, with up to 50% more mileage, combined with great performance and handling. It is also custom designed for touring bikes.
8. Shinko 705 Series Front/Rear Tire – 120/80-18
Shinko group began as a manufacturer of bicycle tires and tubes in Osaka, Japan and now they are one of the most burgeoning manufacturers of rubber products. They began with the production of motorcycle tires quite late but now it produces about 200,000 motorcycle tires per month.
The Shinko 705 has a versatile tread pattern which is suitable for any weather conditions and for any kind of surface; be it wet or dry. It promises all-weather adhesion and smooth running on the highway, plus is designed for 80% street and 20% trail riding. It is, no doubt, one of the best motorcycle tires for the street.
The main features of this product include rubber compound resistance, which helps to resist wear and tear during off-road riding. It is equipped with 4- ply construction and front /rear that indicate that the tire can go on either in the front or rear on the bike. Tires are mostly bias-ply, with the exception of some. It offers a tubeless rim and is rated H (130 MPH).
9. Dunlop Elite 3 200/50R18 Rear Tire 45091765
Yet another motorcycle tire by the renowned brand Dunlop; this one specifically delivers great mileage for those looking for ultra-high mileage. It also offers great handling for most touring bikes equipped with radial tires. It offers improved wear resistance with more characteristics that provide maximum mileage as well as excellent traction.
The E3 tread pattern it comes with provides top-notch performance on wet pavement, and even through huge puddles of still water. The sporty profile of the tires provides a good response in turn transitions and a sturdy feel through turns, for better cornering. If you are specifically looking for wide tires for your vehicle then this extra-wide rear tire is the best choice you can make. Just be sure that you check all the specifications before fitting a wide tire in your bike.
It incorporates all the high-tech and advanced features of the regular radial E3 lineup to give all the same benefits. It even includes extra-wide custom sizes for size fanatics, plus amazing handling and better performance for custom motorcycles.
These tires are original equipment on many Harley Davidson models and the Victory Hammer; something that increases the worth of these tires if you were still doubtful. At last, it has a long-wearing compound in the center of the tire and a lateral-grip compound on each shoulder. It is nonetheless the best motorcycle tire by Dunlop.
10. Shinko 777 H.D. Rear Motorcycle Tire Black Wall for Harley-Davidson Road King FLHR/I 2009-2018
These tires by Shinko are H rated tubeless tires with Aramid belts. These tires are an ideal choice for cruising or touring. The 777 H.D. is a heavy duty version with a reinforced carcass. These are mainly designed and produced for larger cruiser machines. They are available at Amazon in a variety of sizes to suit all vehicles, and may even fit V-Twin and metric cruiser models.
The tread compound of these tires is built for a better combination of traction and mileage. If you are looking for high mileage, then these tires won’t disappoint you at all. The directional tread pattern these tires come equipped with offer great wet and dry traction. It has 4 or 6 ply construction and has a tubeless rim. These tires are also great to install on Harley Davidson bike models because these tires can carry the load of the vehicle.
11. Pirelli Angel ST Front Street Sports Touring Motorcycle Tires (1x Front 120/70ZR17)
Angel ST is one of the best motorcycle tires because it is the holder of 7 world records. Doesn’t it make these tires unique and special? A feature that adds more to its uniqueness is that it is made of environment-friendly advanced compounds.
The creative and functional tread design it comes with, plus the patented zero-degree steel belt radial structure offer a balanced behavior; wet or dry. This supersport touring tire promises maximum comfort, style, high-performance levels, in an Extended Mileage Sport (EMS) tire design. It is W-rated for speeds of 168 MPH and a little more. The visual appearance of the tread changes in the first stage of tire life to reflect the double soul of the tire.
12. Pirelli Demon Sport Touring Tires
Another best motorcycle tire on our list is again by the brand Pirelli. The Pirelli Sport Demon tires are a combination which sets itself apart from the other tires. The front tire profile has been designed in a way that it improves handling with excellent water evacuation. The water evacuation is controlled by the central sine-wave groove.
The multiple-radius rear tire profile offers lighter and more accurate handling, balance and stability in all sorts of riding conditions, with radial like handling from bias-ply tires. It actually has a bias ply construction and has a tubeless rim. It is H rated for speeds up to about 130 MPH, V-rated for speeds about 149 MPH and (V)- rated for speeds of 149+ mph.
13. Pirelli Angel ST Rear Street Sport Touring Motorcycle Tires (1x Rear 190/50ZR17)
This is the third consecutive motorcycle tire by Pirelli that has been included in our list of top 20 best motorcycle tires available online. This one also is the holder of 7 world records. It is made of environment-friendly compounds. The patented zero degrees steel belt radial design of these tires promises greater handling and balance in wet and dry conditions. It is an Extended Mileage Sport tire design which offers maximum comfort and performance, without compromising on style.
14. Shinko 230 Tour Master Rear Motorcycle Tire for Honda Rebel 250 CMX250 1985-1987
Looking for new tires to experiment with your bike? But you are not willing to shell out a lot of money from your pockets; Shinko 230 Tour master is the best motorcycle tire for the street that you can get under $100 at Amazon. It is specially designed to carry heavy loads for long distances. It is built to perform well in both wet and dry conditions; similar to many other models that are reviewed in this guide. It offers high-speed riding and other features include; aramid belt, tubeless rim, staggered tread design which provides a quiet riding experience with great handling. Overall this is a very versatile design which can be used to ride for greater distances.
15. Michelin Commander II Cruiser Tires
These tires are from a renowned brand which comes under the top three brands in this industry. Cruiser tiers are for riders who like long road trips on their bikes; therefore cruiser riders need more mileage. Compared to other bikes like sports bikes or bikes for regular local riding, cruiser and dual-purpose riders try to put the most miles on their bikes. That is what Michelin provides- tire longevity which is twice the size of its competing brands.
Many people have tried and tested these tires to check how they perform in long-range roads, and no doubt they have excelled in every test. Michelin claims 25,000 miles and many people have recorded that they have gotten more out of them. The brand employs “Amplified Density Technology” which leads to a much sturdier tire carcass, hence less heat is produced and the tire wears better.
The rubber compound of the tire comes mixed with aramid fiber which is a tough, heat resistant synthetic but advanced material mostly employed in aerospace applications and bullet resistant armor. This gradual increase in heat resistance is what increases the given mileage. The tread design is created as such that it helps to squeeze extra life from the tires. The tread design helps in evacuating water and sticks better to the road surface. It is important to note that with these many advanced features, the price of the product also raises a lot. These Michelin cruiser tires are sure unbeatable but to purchase them you need to shell out a little more money.
16. Dunlop American Elite Front Motorcycle Tire 130/80B-17 (65H) Black Wall for Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide Ultra Limited FLHTK 2010-2018
It is one of the best replacement motorcycle tires for Harley Davidson motorcycles which is both designed and tested in America. Dunlop brand’s decades-long tech and engineering experience with Harley Davidson bikes are the basic foundation of the all-new American Elite Front motorcycle tire. The latest tread design it is equipped with, offers even tread wear and quiet operation in all conditions, be it wet or dry. The sidewall design proudly features the name of the model and a made in the USA logo.
17. Shinko 712 Rear Tire (130/90-16)
Shinko, as mentioned earlier, is a Japanese tire maker that bought up Yokohama’s old tire molds. The entire manufacturing happened in South Korea and now all their products are of low rates as compared to similar designs by other brands.
The Shinko 712 tires are ideal tires for cruisers and older street bikes. It has an H rating which is great for 130 MPH. please do ensure that your bikes’ combined on the road weight doesn’t excel 667 lbs. from all the road tests that were conducted to check this product, it has been found out that the grip levels it offers are above average for such a low price. The rate of wear is also not that bad. These are really good tires for those with low planned budgets because even with such prices Shinko provides mostly all good and necessary features.
18. 160/70B-17 (79V) Pirelli Night Dragon GT Rear Motorcycle Tire for Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob FXDB (ABS) 2012-2017
Pirelli had first come up with an original Night Dragon model and then later Night Dragon GT was produced, which has a similar profile. It features a wide single radius contour which makes sure better handling when entering the bend and to support the motorcycle at every lean angle. It also shapes the contact area from straight to full lean, for a crown space to make sure that maximum resistance is provided.
This motorcycle tire has a tread pattern similar to the earlier model which guarantees high performance and excellent water drainage and mileage needs of these motorcyclists. The strength of its tread design is its optimization of the contact patch area, providing ideal contact between the bike and the road surface in any possible riding condition to offer power to the ground. For all the Harley Davidson fans out there who want to customize their motorbikes, these tires can be installed on your Harley Davidson bike as they are built accordingly.
19. Tire 3.00 – 18 Tube type Motorcycle Cruiser Street Front/Rear Tire
This motorcycle tire is by ScooterPartsDepot and the best part about this tire is that it is available at Amazon under $50. It has a DOT approved tube-type tire with a rim size of 18”. The speed rating is P, plus the load capacity is 440lbs. It is built with a special rubber compound that provides great grip and wear. It has a unique tread pattern which offers precise stability and handling.
20. Michelin Pilot Power 2CT Front Tires
The last one on our list is another best motorcycle tire by the renowned brand, Michelin. This brand has been producing some of the best motorcycle tires for decades and Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tires are no less. It is equipped with 2 compound technology. While 2CT technology began in MotoGP racing, Pilot Power 2CT tires are specially made for the most demanding sportbike riders and professional motorcyclists, who use their bikes either on the road or for track events.
Its tread surface is categorized into 3 distinct areas, containing two different rubber compounds. This helps to offer many benefits in terms of dry grip, handling, lean angle, advanced acceleration, and braking on wet surfaces. This technology form the tire company has won 15 continuous GPWorld championships. It has 20% soft rubber mix on the edges of the tread which helps to offer excellent cornering grip. It provides unprecedented lean angles; 51.2 degrees in the dry on Michelin’s tests as well as accurate handling and feedback. The track day tire it has is equally good on the road. The last product mentioned in our guide is no doubt an unbeatable feat.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional in riding motorcycles; we hope that this guide has been helpful in highlighting all the important details regarding one of the best motorcycle tires for street and otherwise. We had highlighted the benefits, properties, types and important factors to consider before buying the best motorcycle tire in this guide.
Remember not to underestimate the importance of tires as they are crucial performance components of the motorcycle. Most of the products we had reviewed in this list represent an excellent balance between value and performance. If you still want to know more about a specific product or a particular brand; check out the website of that brand or the manufacturer to be fully sure before sealing the deal.
What Are Basic Tire Construction Terms?
Before we go one with other sections of our guide, it is necessary that you know the basic terms regarding motorcycle tires. O Only when you delve into the details, you will know which parts are important to consider before purchasing a motorcycle tire and which ones are not.. All the parts mentioned here are important for the working of the tire and contribute their tiny bits.
Tread- it is the part you see that is in major contact with the road, and a part very important in a motorcycle tire. The usual opinion is that smoother tread works well on smooth, dry surfaces, and “chunkier” tires work well on rough, off-road surfaces. Some of the tread patterns found in the best motorcycle tires for the street are designed to do better for local riding, in any kind of weather conditions. So, if you live in a place which is affected by monsoon throughout the year, the new recommend you look for tires which run well on wet surfaces.
Motorcycle tires designed for off-road experiences come in a variety of models, which are suitable for different surfaces, from hard-packed dirt to sand and gravel.
Bead- This is the part of the tire which mates to the wheel. It is generally a steel wire which is covered massively in rubber. The bead has a tight fit to the wheel to make sure that the wheel is prevented from slipping rotationally in the tire.
Carcass- to put it simply, this part is referred to as the ‘body’ of the tire which is under the tread. Motorcycle tires are majorly bias-ply or radial, which refers to how the tire is built. Radial tires come with reinforcing belts (which are mostly made of steel) running from one bead to the other across the tread of the tire. On the other hand, bias-ply tires have belts which are generally cords made of fiber, like polyester, aramid, fiberglass, etc. these cords run from bead to bead at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees or more.
Sidewall- it refers to the area of the tire that connects the tread and the bead. It is actually a very small part of the tire, but very important too. It imparts the tire much of its handling capacity and load transfer characteristics. This is the part of the tire manufacturers refer to when they refer height, profile, or aspect ratio, etc. – particularly, a shorter sidewall that yields a stiffer sidewall, which tends to flex a little less. To a motorcycle rider, this means greater handling and balanced turning, worse bump absorption, and tough mounting. This part really contributes to the tire’s role in the suspension.
Properties Of Motorcycle Tire
Listed below are some of the properties of the best motorcycle tire that have an impact on the firmness, strength, performance, and handling of a motorcycle.
Rolling resistance- it happens when a tire rolls on a plane surface. Usually, the rolling resistance coefficients of tires are approximately 0.02, but it maximizes with speed and tends to decrease as inflation pressure rises.
Cornering force- it is a force exerted parallel to the surface, produced by a vehicle’s tires during cornering. Cornering force of bike tires decreases due to 3 factors; increased vertical load, increased inflation pressure and increased temperature.
Camber Thrust- it is the force or energy produced, perpendicular to the direction of a tire, dependent on its camber angle and finite contact patch.
Pneumatic trail- is an effect produced by tires rolling on a hard and rough surface, and subject to side loads.
Relaxation length- is the deferring period between when a slip angle is produced and when the cornering force outstretches its steady-state value.
Different Types Of Motorcycle Tires
Motorcycle tires are available in different styles and for various applications. Tires are specifically designed to suit different purposes, as there are different tires for dirt-bikes, touring, sport, and cruiser bikes.
Sport or Performance tires- these tires help to provide great grip but one disadvantage is that they can last about 1,000 miles or 1,600 km or even less in some cases.
Sport touring and cruiser tires try to find the most suitable balance between grip and durability. There are tires available which are particularly designed and created for racing. Those tires offer the highest levels of grip for excellent control and cornering. As these tires operate in high temperatures, using them on the street or road for regular rides is not recommended.
These tires are unsafe if ridden as regular bike tires because they will not be able to reach the desired temperature before a rider arrives at a destination, therefore end up providing no grip at all. In the case of racing competitions, these tires would generally be brought up to high temperatures in advance by the use of special tire warmers, in order for riders to perform their best.
Sport touring tires- these tires are not recommended for high cornering loads, instead they are ideal for long straight paths, and rides across the country.
Sport street tires- these are the best motorcycle tires for street for competitive street riders who like to pass most of their time busting corners on public roadways. Do note that these tires do not offer long life, but in turn, they do offer greater traction with regards to high-speed cornering. Street and Sport Street tires offer better resistance even when cold, but when warmed to greater temperatures, they tend to lose traction as the internal temperature of the tires increases rapidly.
Track or Slick tires- one of the best motorcycle tires for track events or races. They have a more triangular profile, which tends to offer larger contact while leaned over. These tires are not suggested to be ridden on streets by manufacturers, plus they are considered to offer a brief life on the street. Because of their triangular angle, there is a less contact patch in the center, leading the tire to develop a flat spot quicker when used to ride on straight paths for longer periods of time.
They have no tread and hence lose most of the grip in the wet. Racing slicks are often built of a soft rubber compound and do not offer much resistance as street tires, but if warmed to a higher internal temperature as compared to what street tires normally operate at, they can provide better traction. These tires are not recommended because they do not usually put an adequate amount of friction n the tire, to maintain the slick’s optimal temperature (especially in places with colder climates).
Cruiser tires- these ones are new as compared to the previously mentioned motorcycle tire types. For many years, people have been using other tires for cruisers, which resulted in a tire that wasn’t very fine for cruising. But the cruiser tires that are available today are specially designed for cruising and so are made thinner than sports tires. They are meant to provide great grip and ensure a smooth ride. They are usually decorated with whitewalls, tire stickers, custom rims, etc.
Off-road tires- these tires have knobby treads for increased grip on surfaces like loose dirt, sand, mud, gravel, and such tires tend to be a little less stable on flat or paved terrains.
Touring- these ones are generally built of harder and coarse rubber for more durability. They offer long life, but offer less outright grip as compared to sports tires, at optimal operating temperatures. These tires work differently as they offer greater grip at lower temperatures, which means that they can be ridden in cold climate or winter conditions. Whereas a sports tire may not reach the optimal temperature in similar weather conditions.
Best Brands Of Motorcycle Tires Available Online
Today, there is a plethora of options out there in the market and different brands which manufacture best quality motorcycle tires. Listed below are some of the renowned brands which produce the best motorcycle tires-
Bridgestone Motorcycle tires- Bridgestone has been developing high-performance motorcycle tires both for regular use as well as racing. It offers the right grip, balance, and strength a bike rider needs for ultimate fun and safety. Whether you are touring for a long ride or for a racing event, Bridgestone for sure offers a great variety of motorcycle tires that can fulfill your demands.
Avon Motorcycle tires- For more than a century, this brand has been producing tires for multiple purposes, be it for street, off-road, or racing events. Avon has been at the head of technical revolution; from being the lead in the tire development in the 1980s to manufacturing durable rubber for the demands of Supermoto competitions.
Dunlop motorcycle tires- Dunlop tires uses various patented technologies to ensure performance and greater handling. The tires that are designed for different applications and purposes are based on specific technologies and build the best motorcycle tires for the street.
Noise shield technology- it allows putting down the interior sound level by up to 50%. The technology involves the use of special polyurethane foam layer inside of the tire to minimize noise levels.
Multi-blade system- this feature enables tires to be used in extreme cold weather conditions. The structure of these tires employs different types of blades to increase their performance capability.
Specific bead seat system- this feature is for providing precise driving experience. It helps to provide greater stability and firm ride by strengthening the connection between the tire and rim.
Run on flat tires- this technology was developed by Dunlop to allow riders to travel a certain distance (50 miles at maximum) even if a tire gets punctured. Now it is important to note that these tires are allowed to use on vehicles that are built for run-flat tires and feature TMPS.
Michelin- it is the second largest tire manufacturer in the world after Bridgestone, arguably greater than both Goodyear and Continental. Michelin’s various inventions include the Pneu Rali, the removable tire, and the radical tire. Michelin has been participating and competing in Formula One, MotoGP, and endurance racing.
Continental AG- also commonly known as Continental is a German tire manufacturing company which is also the fourth-largest tire manufacturer. It is the first company to construct grooved vehicle tires and has also invented detachable wheel tire made for touring vehicles. In the year 2012, it was ranked third in global OEM automotive parts sales, in a study sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Pirelli- it is a multinational company based in Milan, Italy. This company is the fifth largest tire manufacturer behind Bridgestone, Michelin, Continental, and Goodyear. Its main focus is on consumer business and constructing tires for various vehicles. It commercially is operating in over 160 countries with a strong network of around 14.600 retailers and distributors.
Check out our FAQ section to find answers to further doubts with regards to motorcycle tires.
Q1- Is it a good idea to mix two types of tires on a motorcycle?
We recommend that you do not mix two types of tires on a motorcycle because it can severely affect handling and grip, so you’ll be compromising on your own safety. Some people also tend to use automobile tires on motorcycles just because they are cheaper and offer to last longer. Why we do not recommend using automobile tires is because the built, compounds, and profile of these tires are usually not suitable for motorcycles and hence should be avoided.
A variety of materials are used in the designing of various kinds of tires.
Many types of expensive tires are made with steel belts, which are sturdier than the synthetic fabric cord materials like nylon and rayon. The use of different material compounds to create tires lead to the formation of different handling properties, therefore it is a risk if you want to experiment anytime.
If you are thinking of buying a motorcycle tire from a different brand (other than the brand in the original model), you sure can go ahead, but make sure to check the material compounds and the properties of those tires to match with your vehicle. Other than that, you can always check with your dealer or the tire manufacturer for more detailed advice with regards to a change of tires and how it works out on specific models of motorcycles.
Q2- Should I mix radial and bias-ply tires? Can I switch from bias to radial tires?
We totally understand if some riders want to experiment and their right to choose, but we strictly advise you to stick to the tire construction type as recommended by the manufacturer. Generally, radial tires offer lower temperatures which lead to longer life, stiff construction, and ability to have sidewalls with a lower aspect ratio, which further results in less flex.
Bias- ply tires, on the other hand, offer a softer, more adaptable ride and that too at a lower price range. One of the other main benefits of using bias ply tires is their load-carrying capability.
Bias tires can handle more weight and that is why it explains why Harley Davidson and certain touring bikes employ these. Some manufacturers in the industry use a mix of a bias- ply front and radial rear as their original set up. So if you are very eager to mix both, why not buy a bike which already has a mixed setup?
Q3- What will happen if I use a tubeless tire with a tube in it?
It is not that risky to do that but you should note that adding a tube to a tubeless tire adds to more friction and therefore production of more heat into a tire. Many sources believe that if adding a tube to a tubeless tire, it is wise to suppose that the tire has stepped down one load and speed step.
Q4- Can I use some of the old tubes when I put on a new tire?
It is not a very good idea to engage in this as in tubeless tires, the valve stem is usually replaced at every tire switch. The rubber tens to harden as it produces heat. So every time you ride, the tube’s rubber, which should be soft and smooth, turns rough and brittle, therefore becoming prone to cracking. So, we recommend that you replace the tubes with the tires.