|1. Michelin Pilot Power 2CT||2. Metzeler ME 888||3. Michelin Commander II|
Six years ago, on one of my solo trips to one of the most scenic destinations of the world, my car’s tire just started losing all its air in the middle of nowhere. Within the next 10 miles, the pressure in my rear tire was close to zero. It was extremely hot, and I could sense the impending doom that was upon me. With more 30 miles away from the closest town, my tires had given up. They were not able to survive the extreme heat temperatures on route my destination.
That day, I vowed to never take a solo trip again. Six years hence, I have finally gathered the courage again to take up that same route, alone, in the same cruiser that once let me down in the middle of nowhere. The only difference is that this time around, I had the Best Motorcycle Tires For Cruiser Bike. If there is one thing that I have learnt over the past six years is that you should never underestimate the importance of the Best Motorcycle Tires For Cruiser Bike.
If you are a seasoned rider or you are just starting out, always make sure your tires are in the best possible state before you plan to foretske any expedition or adventure . Investing on a good set of tires is as important as investing on an extremely good cruiser. A cruiser is absolutely nothing without the perfect pair of tires. I learnt this the hard way and here I am, sharing all my knowledge in a comprehensive guide to make sure no one makes the same mistake I made six years ago.
Quick Overview: Our Top 5 Tires for Cruiser Bikes
|Michelin Pilot||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Metzeler ME 888||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Michelin Commander II||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Michelin Road 4||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Bridgestone Exendra||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Now, with so many options available in the market, within a relatively similar price bracket, how does one select the gear which suits their ride the best? It is actually a science, all the basics of which are covered here. You must give this entire guide a full read and make sure you understand all the nuances of selecting the perfect set of tires for your cruiser.
The entire guide is divided into two sections. The first section covers all the details regarding the factors that one must consider before choosing any bike tires, while the second section contains a comprehensive review of the top 10 tires for cruiser bikes. We hope this extensive guide helps you through the daunting task that is selecting the best motorcycle tires for cruisers.
Top 10 Best Motorcycle Tires For Cruiser Bikes 2021
1. Michelin Pilot Power 2CT
When it comes to motorcycle tires, there are few very manufacturers that produce tires better than Michelin. It has been in the market for decades now, and they have established themselves as the gold standard in the world of motorcycle tires.
Over the years, they have perfected the art of designing motorcycle tires and consistently produce newer and better tires that would give even the best in the business a serious run for their money. Most hard-core riders tend to feel proud when they own a set of Michelin Tires.
The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT comes with a very small tread pattern, making it the most ideal for hard pavement but perfect for tracks. These tires consistently outperform their competitors when it comes to the incredible level of performance they offer.
From off roads to the track, these tires are made to support high speeds with extremely good traction control, which is quite rare for a tire with very little tread. The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT is quite versatile as well. They work well in all condition, ranging from extreme off roads to everyday streets.
The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT is produced using a softer rubber mix on the edges of the tread which gives the tire amazing traction control to carry the bike through the most daunting of turns efficiently and with relative ease. Experts and users unanimously agree that the Michelin Pilot Power 2 CT grips on to the road like glue and is perfect for cornering.
These set of tires come with the high end Michelin quality that the users and experts have trusted upon for decades. The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT is reasonably priced for what it offers. The performance that these set of tires offers is unparalleled at this price range, which is quite rare. It is the best cruiser motorcycle tire for lightweight to medium weight cruisers.
- These tires come with a soft rubber mix (which makes up about 20 percent of the total tire composition). This gives the tire an insane amount of grip, making this a perfect option for off-road riding and cornering.
- It is quite versatile and can be used is all conditions, ranging from extreme to every day.
- The exquisite design of the tire gives the user optimum handling, probably the best in the business.
- The fact that the tread of this tire incorporates two different rubber compounds provides multiple benefits such as improved traction control, better handling, and versatility.
- The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT is very decently priced for the range of features it offers. This adds an immense amount of value to the tire.
- The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT is not an ideal option for riders who own extremely heavy bikes with high horsepower.
- It tends to have a little issue when dealing with heavier breaking circumstances.
2. Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra
The Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra is one of the finest looking cruiser bike tires you will ever come across. However, one must not confuse this as just a tire which comes with a great aesthetic appeal, as its attractive design adds an immense amount of value to these set of tires.
Metzeler has consistently proven their worth by producing good quality tires which are technically designed to handle even the worst of conditions. The Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra also comes with a high tech look that comes with enough innovation to compete with even the best in the business.
In recent times, Metzeler has redesigned their tread pattern to provide their tires with an improved water drainage capability. Due to this, they have now become the first choice for riders who encompass wetter routes regularly. The new improved design offers better handling capabilities even in the wettest of surfaces. The Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra performs extremely well in both high and low speeds, sometimes outperforming even the best of tires when it comes to handling and stability.
When we talk about longevity, the Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra outlasts even the best names in the business. The users and experts generally are of the notion that these sets of tires appear to go on forever, with the ability to run thousands of miles before even beginning to show a little sign of wear and tear.
The Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra are priced a little higher as compared to its competitors. However, the fact that these specialised tires come with a technology that brings ultra-high mileage and superior life span, which better than most in this price range, make these tires a worthy investment. If you regularly tread routes which are wet and experience heavy rainfall , then there are very few tires which can match the performance of the Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra.
- Better improved tread pattern gives increased water drainage, giving exceptional traction control even in the wettest of surfaces.
- These tires are quite versatile. They perform equally well at high speed and low speed situations.
- Metzeler is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to manufacturing tires with extremely high mileage capabilities.
- They are the perfect for touring in all weather conditions, and can go thousands of miles with no visible signs of wear.
- These tires generally tend to develop a bubble in the tread which significantly affects the life and handling of these tires.
- They are a tad bit expensive when compared to its competitors for the features it offers.
3. Michelin Commander II
Often touted as the holy grail of Michelin tires, there are not many tires that can compete with the outstanding performance that Michelin Commander II offers. Ever since these tires were launched, almost every single rider, no matter the skill level or use, has bought at least a pair to test the beauty of this tire. Since then, they have remained nothing but loyal to the Michelin Commander II.
The automobile industry is one that keeps on changing with new technology and products being introduced almost on a daily basis. So, for one set of tires to rule the industry for years, these tires must have something special, and they do!
Michelin tires are known for their quality. For years they have been at the pinnacle of the tire manufacturing industry. The Michelin Commander II is the perfect blend of innovation and classic, old school reliability.
Each Michelin Commander II front tire size is tailored to the unique handling characteristics of each bike by a combination of profile and casing designs. These tires are manufactured using carcass ply instead of polyester, which offers a stable ride. The handling that comes with these set of tires is almost unparalleled till date, which is quite a feat considering the technological advancements and the rise in competition in the tire manufacturing industry.
When we talk about the back tires, the Michelin Commander II comes with Aramid belts instead of the cheap fiberglass. This controls the centrifugal growth on the tire, allowing large areas of contact and excellent traction control.
The Michelin Commander II has been developed and tested by riders from around the globe. The most interesting fact about Michelin tires is that their customers are quite loyal. Many riders who have used these tires once, still use the same set of tires even after multiple tire changes.
This just goes to show the product quality that the Michelin Commander II comes with. These tires are quite versatile as well but work best with high end and heavy cruisers.
The Michelin Commander II is surprisingly not as expensive as one would expect. For the range of features and after sales service Michelin offers, one might think that the price of the Michelin Commander II is quite unreal, but such is the quality and value of this product.
- Over a million miles have been logged on these tires by riders around the globe simply for the purpose of testing. This shows the amount of hard work and dedication that Michelin as a manufacturer puts in its products.
- The intricate and detailed designing of these tires offer superb handling and steering.
- These tires offer a noticeable increase in cornering and braking when compared to its competitors.
- The Michelin Commander II offers the smoothest of rides and handles the grooves in the road perfectly.
- They can easily hold up for 30000 miles without any noticeable decrease in traction.
- These tires offer the best value for money in the business till date.
- These tires don’t perform well on wet surfaces or conditions.
- The tire is a bit wider as compared to its competitors, which provides better handling but at the cost of speed.
4. Michelin Pilot Road 4
In case you are wondering why we keep coming up with tires from Michelin in our review, it’s down to one simple fact. Michelin, as tire manufacturers, produce the best and the most versatile tires with great life and amazing traction control. And the best part about these tires is its price. At their price range, none of its competitors even come close when we compare value for money.
Just like its predecessor, Michelin Pilot Road 4 is one of the best in the business at the moment. The Michelin Pilot Road 4 offers the best all-round long distance performance at its price. These tires are a tad bit more expensive when compared to the ones reviewed before, but they are specifically designed to stop shorter on wet surfaces,which in turn increases the level of safety enormously.
The Michelin Pilot Road 4 is also designed to last longer, which just adds to the value this tire already offers. This touring tire from Michelin outperforms its competitors significantly in almost all surfaces. Even in the most extreme conditions which include heavy rainfall and slippery roads, the Michelin Pilot Road 4 holds its ground quite well.
These tires come with XST+ technology that includes transverse sipes to improve wet braking and chamfers added to the side edges. This prevents any abnormal wear or tear even in the worst of conditions. It also allows the front tire to break the water film and thus, to provide outstanding braking even in the wettest of conditions.
The Michelin Pilot Road 4 has also introduced a rubber compound in the center to withstand any sort of aggressive braking and acceleration. While on the other hand, the rubber compound on the shoulder is softer, hence, maximizing the grip on the lean angle which facilitates handling and better traction while cornering.
Even though it falls on the expensive side of the spectrum, the Michelin Pilot Road 4 delivers where it matters. It is impeccably designed to the best of its abilities even in the most extreme circumstances. For the money it costs, this is an exceptional tire for every cruiser. When we talk about riders who like to tread uncertain roads which an ever-changing weather, the Michelin Pilot Road 4 is the best cruiser motorcycle tire at the moment.
- When it comes to wet surfaces, this is the best tire in the industry at the moment. It stops up to 17 percent shorter than leading competitors on wet surfaces.
- It provides amazing grip at the leanest of turning angles.
- They are specially designed to be used on hard surfaces in the most extreme conditions for extended amounts of time.
- They are quite versatile, like all Michelin tires. They work well even in city roads.
- They are equally impressive on wet as well as dry roads.
- The tires tend to make a lot of noise at high speeds.
- The Michelin Pilot Road 4 is a little expensive when compared to other tires from the same manufacturer, but this tire delivers exactly where it matters.
5. Bridgestone Exendra G704R
Like Michelin, Bridgestone is one of the most well-known brands in the tire manufacturing industry. It has been in the industry for several decades, and is trusted by users and experts alike. When we talk about four-wheelers, Bridgestone has no competition. It has been the best in the industry for several years now. When it comes to motorcycle tires, Bridgestone is relatively new as compared to Michelin and other popular brands. Still, Bridgestone entered the motorcycle tire market with their top of the line product, the Bridgestone Exendra G704R which is an incredible choice with plenty to offer for its price.
This tire was specifically designed by Bridgestone for Honda’s much-loved line of Goldwing touring bikes. It is a well-documented fact that most touring bikes tend to make a lot of noise at high speeds, which in turn can be quite distracting for the rider. However, Bridgestone with their Bridgestone Exendra G704R designed a first of its kind cruiser motorcycle tires which can handle high speed and distances without making anynoise.
When it comes to performance, the Bridgestone Exendra G704R is at par with all its competitors. It offers excellent traction control and handling capabilities. It has been designed for long distance and can run thousands of miles without any noticeable wear or tear. The Bridgestone Exendra G704R is the perfect motorcycle tire for cruisers as it can perform to the best of its ability even in the worst of conditions.
Bridgestone, being a high-end tire producer, has priced this product significantly higher as compared to its competitor. However, it is important that one delivers on what it charges, and the Bridgestone Exendra G704R does that extremely well. The value offered by the unmatched construction and performance makes up for the price.
- One of the most comfortable tires to ride on. While designing this set of tires, the manufacturers paid a fair bit of attention the comfort of the rider, and it shows.
- The Bridgestone Exendra G704R is designed to be ridden hard. No matter what the condition or the surface, these tires will very rarely disappoint.
- It is the quietest of bike tires. They maintain very low levels of noise even at the highest of speeds.
- Provide excellent value for the money it charges.
- It is the best tire for heavy cruising bikes. They have specifically designed to provide close to perfect handling and traction control.
- The Bridgestone Exendra G704R is not quite versatile. These tires were designed only for Honda which hampers its versatility, otherwise it would have given its competitors a serious run for their money.
- These tires do not have a long life. They tend to wear out very soon as compared to the other tires in this list.
6. Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR
The Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR is a great example of how tire manufacturers tend to learn on the racetrack and transfer that knowledge seamlessly on to their street tires. This gives professional quality tires to riders all around the world, at an affordable price.
These tires are known for their unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship. The Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR tires are intricately designed to provide the best handling and traction control ever produced by an everyday tire.
The amount of grip that comes with these tires is enough to keep your grounded and stuck to the surface. With the Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR, you can navigate through the tightest of turns without any sign of slipping. The amount of safety these tires is unparalleled. With the Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR, you can drive around with race track like handling on the city streets.
These tires are designed to hold up to a maximum of 168 miles per hour. Now, it is not advisable to ride at such high speed. Over the years, experts have tried and tested this claim time and again, and quite successfully.
One of the most interesting facts about the Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR is that it is designed to have a long life. This has paid off and this one of the very few sports tires which come with a longevity which is comparable to the cruiser tires.
The Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR is one of the tires in the industry with professional grade performance and construction, and it all comes at a very reasonable price. This makes sure that riders around the world can taste the essence of race track tires and use them on a daily basis. This adds immense value to a product which is already quite adept at competing with the best in the industry.
- The Metzeler 180/55ZR17 Sportec M7RRR comes with redesigned treads that improve the handling significantly. This was an extremely important improvisation to make this product a success among every day users.
- It is rated to handle speeds of up to 168 miles per hour.
- This tire has one of the best traction control in its price range. They stick to the ground and don’t slip away in corners.
- They warm up quite quickly and take up no time to reach the peak of their performance.
- These tires showcase great mileage for a high-speed tire.
- The treads tend to deform quite quickly, which is quite common is these type of tires. It still outperforms other sports tires in this department.
- When nearing the end of its life span, one might experience loss in handling and slipping while cornering.
7. Bridgestone Exendra G702
It has been almost a decade since Bridgestone Exendra G702 was introduced in the market. It was one of the first tires Bridgestone introduced when it decided to enter the motorcycle tires market. The Bridgestone Exendra G702 Has Stood the test of time in a very competitive market. It is not easy to constantly produce, revamp and improve one of your flagship products and still make sure that remains relevant over the years. However, Bridgestone has done that with the Bridgestone Exendra G702.
This tire was an improved version of the tire which was reviewed earlier in this guide. Although it takes a lot from its predecessor, the Bridgestone Exendra G702 has features that make it very difficult for any buyer to invest in this product.
The Bridgestone Exendra G702 was initially designed by keeping Japanese cruiser bikes in mind. However, they have introduced several revamped editions that work amazingly well with all the other high-end cruiser bikes.
If you are looking for an impeccable amount of stability along with increased handling and mileage for your touring bike, then the Bridgestone Exendra G702 has everything you could ever ask for.
When it comes down to performance, there are very few tires which can outperform the Bridgestone Exendra G702. It has been specially designed to work best with lightweight cruiser bikes. It offers superior low-speed handling which is a must in these bikes. These set of tires come with a bias-ply construction. This improves the life span of the tires, making sure you can ride for thousands of miles without worrying about the condition of your tires.
The mileage of the Bridgestone Exendra G702 might exceed 20000 miles in most cases which just goes to show how well these tires can withstand any and all conditions thrown at them.
When investing in a high-end tire and brand, one must be well aware that the quality, service, performance, and intricate attention to detail comes at a price. The Bridgestone Exendra G702 is not the cheapest in the market when we talk about motorcycle tires for cruisers. But the return on investment is quite unmatchable when we consider the Bridgestone Exendra G702.
- The Bridgestone Exendra G702 is the best motorcycle tire for lightweight cruisers. These tires are trusted by some of the biggest bike manufacturers around the globe, such as Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki.
- These tires offer superior low speed handling and stopping compared to similar tires.
- The bias-ply construction of this tire make sure the Bridgestone Exendra G702 has a decent life span, which is still a lot higher than most of its competitors.
- Due to its design and sturdy construction, the mileage of this tire can climb up to upwards of 20000 miles quite easily without any major wear or tear.
- The Bridgestone Exendra G702 was specifically designed for light weight Japanese cruisers. As a result, this is not one of the most versatile bike tires available in the industry.
- These tires tend to give off plenty of tread noise, especially while turning, which can be an issue for majority of riders as it is quite distracting.
8. Continental ContiMotion
Unlike other high-end brands that tend to design tires only for seasoned rides, Continental took the uncharted route. Not wanting to ignore the rookies and new enthusiasts, Continental introduced its entry-level range of tires called the Continental ContiMotion. This entry level tire was specifically designed for rookies to invest on. The Continental ContiMotion is one of the very few tires that offer all the features of a professional tire at a very low price. This worked wonders for Continental as motorcycle manufacturer as people now started to invest more on their entry level tires, rather than investing in an expensive professional tire straightaway.
The Continental ContiMotion has a good lifespan. It has been tested by experts to maintain top performance for miles. The tire lasts for a very long time, considering what it costs. What makes this tire stand out is the fact that it sustains maximum tread and performance for a very long time before showing any signs of wear or tear. It continues to work at the best of its ability for thousands of miles without any trouble.
Along with great mileage, the Continental ContiMotion boasts of one of the best traction controls that offers consistent traction and impeccable handling in both wet and dry conditions. The radial construction of the tires gives them top-notch stability, which unmatched at this price range.
Owing to the fact that this was designed to be an entry-level tire, the cost to value ratio of the Continental ContiMotion is especially high. Beginners and causal riders can now have the high mileage and reliable traction of high end bike tires at a very decent price. If you are looking for a professional tire which won’t create a hole in your pocket but still give you the performance of one, then the Continental ContiMotion is the perfect investment for you.
- The first and the most obvious benefit of investing in the Continental ContiMotion is value for money. When we compare the return on investment, there is no tire in the entire industry which comes to close to this product.
- It is a well-known brand and has had customers from around the globe for several years now.
- The Continental ContiMotion has one of the best traction control systems, and you can seamlessly handle your cruiser bikes in both wet and dry surfaces.
- It has been designed to give the rider a smooth ride, and it delivers what it promises.
- The Continental ContiMotion is known for its longevity. It takes thousands of miles to begin to show any wear.
- During the end of its lifespan, the tread wears out extremely fast.
- Continental ContiMotion is one of those tires that takes time to settle in. It starts out as a bit loose, and takes time to break in. But once it sets in, the performance is as good as the other expensive models.
9. Dunlop D404
When we discuss touring tires, it is only natural that we bring Dunlop up. Dunlop is one of the first motorcycle tire brands that introduced a specific range of tires of touring motorcycle on to the market. Over the year, their production has taken a back seat due to lack of popularity and increasing competition. But that does not mean that this manufacturer is not capable of producing good quality tires. The Dunlop D404 is still one of the best options available in the touring tire industry.
Like all other tires in this list, the Dunlop D404 has a range of unique features. It comes with an excellent tread compound which delivers an excellent balance of mileage and grip. The tread patterns on this tyre are specifically designed for outstanding water evacuation and wet grip. These tires perform exceedingly well on wet surfaces.
The Dunlop D404 comes with a bias-ply construction that is designed to deliver excellent load carrying capacity as well as give the rider an extremely smooth ride with maximum comfort. The offset center groove of this tire offers excellent straight-line stability.
The most unique quality of the Dunlop D404 is the fact that these tires come with the one size property. This is the only tire with such a feature. In case of other tires, there is always an issue of which bike or rim will this tire be able to fit into. However, these tires eliminate that issue and fit onto any compatible bike with relative ease.
When it comes to consistency, Dunlop tires never fail to impress. The Dunlop D404 has been in the industry for years and is still competing with the best in business. This shows the production quality of these tires. The design of these tires is classic and timeless. , However, the Dunlop D404 is quite understated. The Dunlop D404 has been one of the best touring tires in the market for many years now. It is quite decently priced and with the range of features that this product comes with, it is worth every penny.
- Dunlop tires are known for their consistency around the globe, and the Dunlop D404 is no different.
- These tires provide reliable traction on all types of roads and surfaces. They perform exceedingly well on wet surfaces due to their intricately designed treads.
- The only tire which comes with a one size fits all feature which one the rarest in the entire industry at the moment.
- Tires tend to wear out quite quickly given they are specifically designed and marketed as touring tires.
- They are a tad bit expensive for the mileage they offer.
10. Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Pirelli is one of the best-known manufacturers of high-quality race tires. They have been in the business for several decades now. Everything the manufacturers have learned on the race track over the years has been perfectly translated on to beautifully designed street worthy tires.
The sleek design and sturdy grip of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II will keep the riders in their most relaxed and comfortable shape, making this one of the best motorcycle tires for cruisers. In case you are wondering these tires are just designed for cruising, you couldn’t be more wrong. The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II is still a racing tire at heart. The tires come with an insane amount of traction that once it grips the road, it just won’t let go. Be it straight runways or the tightest of corners; these tires tend to stick on to the road like glue.
The design of Pirelli Diablo Rosso II oozes durability and performance. These tires have been intricately designed with much attention to details. The handling is impeccable and is at par with the best racing tires in the industry.
Unfortunately, the feature that makes this tire so great and unique also contributes to its downfall. Since the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II have been designed with a race track mindset, it has directly affected the versatility of this beautifully designed tire. Due to the decrease in versatility, these tires have somewhat been relegated to the more experienced riders. However, ones who can manage to control these tires, there is nothing which compares with the sheer performance and power the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II has to offer.
- These tires provide extreme grip with all types of surfaces and roads.
- The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II is designed as a racing tire, so the durability and strength of these tires are quite high.
- These tires have exceptional handling and grip on wet roads and surfaces.
- The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II have been carefully designed to not slip even at the tightest of turns.
- This product has been consistently performing well for the past several years.
- The overall life span is much shorter than expected, which is quite rare for high end tires.
- These tires tend to take a bit longer to warm up as compared to similar models.
Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Motorcycle Tires For Cruiser Bike
By now, you must have realised that tires form an integral part of any motorcycle. Some might even say that they are the most important part of a motorcycle owing to the fact that the right tires offer optimum efficiency, performance and handling. With so many options available in the market, one must be absolutely careful while choosing the best tires for their motorcycle.
This section comprises a comprehensive instruction guide which gives you immense details on how to select the best touring tires for your motorcycle.
To begin with, we will take a detailed look into some tire construction terms so that you can better understand the guide.
Tread is the part of the tire that is in direct contact with the road. It is one of the most important things to consider while investing in a motorcycle tire. In general, it is assumed that a smoother tread works better on smooth and dry surfaces such as city roads or the highways. On the other hand, meaty or fat tires are the best for off-roads. Some street tread patterns are designed to do better in wet surfaces. While off-road tires are produced for a variety for different surfaces. Based on your use and need, you can choose from hard-packed dirt to sand.
This is the part of the tire that mates on to the wheel. It is generally a steel wire that is covered in heavy rubber. The bead must fit well onto the tire to prevent the wheel from slipping rotationally in the tire.
The carcass is the body of the tire which is present under the tread. Motorcycle tires are typically bias-ply or radial, which refers to how the tire is constructed. Radial tires have reinforcing belts (which are mostly steel) running from bead to bead across the tread of the tire. While on the other hand, bias-ply tires have belts which are typically cords made of fiber that run from bead to bead at a very narrow-angle of 30 to 40 degrees. This is known as the bias of a wheel, and this is the basic difference between radial and bias-ply tires.
This is the area of the tire that bridges the tread and bead. The sidewall is a relatively small part of the tire when compared to the other parts, but it is vitally important. It allots the tire it’s handling and load transfer characteristics. This is the referenced part of any tire, and plays a major role in determining the reference height, profile, or the aspect ratio.
Typically, a shorter sidewall yields stiffer sidewall, which tends to flex less. To a rider, this means better handling and turning, worse bump absorption, and more difficult mounting. This section plays a major role in suspension of a tire and is one of the most important suspension components. ‘
Another very important fact one must note is that all the information regarding a particular tire is mentioned on the tire sidewall. There are two ways to decode this tire information, one being the alphanumeric way, while the other being the metric way.
When it comes to choosing the best motorcycle tires for a cruiser, it is very important that you keep two things in mind.
1. Choosing the right type of tires based on your needs
2. Determining the correct size for your application.
Choosing The Right Type Of Cruiser Tire
To choose the right type of tire, careful examination of your ride becomes a necessity. You need to give a lot of thought to your bile and riding style, and them examine thoroughly to make an informed decision.
There are four general types or designations when it comes to motorcycle tires.
Choosing a family of tires from the above-mentioned options is quite an easy task. However, it gets really difficult and confusing when you get down to specifics like brand, compound, speed rating etc. and after a point of time you’ll realise it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Cruiser bikes can use more than just cruiser tyres. When it comes to purpose-built cruiser tires, they are relatively newer as compared to a number of older tires which have been in the market for decades now.
There are a variety of tires that are designed specifically for other applications that were then pressed into service on cruisers and have worked extremely well ever since. Some of these are still the best in business and can be a really good choice for your ride. Let us take a more detailed look at the options to further understand this.
Sport tires are specifically designed for maximum traction when leaned over while turning or cornering. These tires have soft, sticky tread compounds and shorter lives as compared to other tires. Their excellent traction offers amazing handling and works perfectly fine in the braking mode on a typical cruiser, which lacks the cornering clearance or power to utilize it in other situations.
However, they are extremely popular among riders who love a sporty look and want to add a bit of performance and charm on to their rides. The price at which they are offered and short life span of sports tires, however, make these tires a poor choice for a vast majority of cruiser owners.
These tires are the exact opposite of sport tires. They are fairly inexpensive, low-tech and modest in terms of traction and control, but not the most durable. These are not favoured much by enthusiasts.
Economy tires also tend have a shorter life span. So, it is always advisable that you don’t invest in one, otherwise you’ll be back in the tire shop sooner or later, trying to mount another pair on to your ride.
When it comes to offering high mileage and impressively long life spans, touring tires are the best in business. Although these tires can be quite expensive, they are a must have if you travel far or frequently on your bike.
Touring tires generally deliver close to 20000 miles under most conditions, which is not bad for a set of tires. These tires are recommended by riders and seasoned veterans around the globe due to their ability to give better wet and dry traction than the OE cruiser tires.
Sport Touring Tires
The compromise of cornering grip and traveling mileage may be worthwhile on a cruiser with significant cornering clearance. Most cruisers will get all the traction that they may need from a high mileage cruiser tire.
For most cruiser owners, sport touring tires are the best balance of price and usable performance. These tires perform equally well in all conditions, and are particularly better looking and designed.
Choosing The Right Tire Size
As long as you stick to the stock size tire that your motorcycle was designed to use, you will never really face any major issue or concern. That, however, doesn’t mean you can not experiment. Choosing the perfect size for your ride is an art. Depending on your motorcycle, you may still have a choice of sports tires, designed to provide maximum grip at the expense of tread life, touring tires designed for maximum mileage, or sport-touring tires that provide you with the best combination of both worlds.
However, one must always remember to experiment inside the safety norms and standard practices.
Choosing the right tire size requires immense knowledge of what the code designators printed on the side of the tread mean.
There are three standard methods manufacturers use to designate tire information.
2. Standard inch
The standard inch is system is the oldest of the three and is now no longer used. On the other hand of the remaining two, metric system is most commonly used and accepted world-wide. The alphanumeric system is infrequently used.
The metric system is printed on the sidewall of all tires and has 5 main components. We have mentioned below,a detailed description of all that these codes or components indicate and signify:
1. Section Width: It is the measurement of the width of the tread, in a straight line from one end to another. It is almost always a three digit number.
2. Aspect Ratio: The ratio of tires width with respect to its height is known as the aspect ratio. The higher the aspect ratio, the taller the tire. It is generally a two digit number.
3. Rim Diameter: The measurement of the rim from one lip to the other gives us the rim diameter. It is generally calculated in inches.
4. Load Rating: It is a code designating the weight a tire is designed to bear. It generally ranges from the low 20s to the high 80s.
5. Speed Rating: An alphabetic code which gives us an idea about the speed the tire is designated to run safely at, when properly inflated and loaded.
The metric system is not the easiest to understand and can be quite difficult to comprehend without the help of information from the manufacturer. . If you are new to the tire market, it is advisable that you have a good look at the manufacturer information.
Another thing which is marked on most tires is the “born-on date”, which indicates the tire’s date of manufacture. This is a four digit code, out of which the first two digits indicate the week of the year it was manufactured, while the last two digits indicate the year it was made in.
Tyres sometimes tend to have other marking such as WW, indicating white walls or TL, indicating tubeless as well.
The tire you choose should perfectly fit the appropriate rim size. Using tires that are wider than the prescribed size would naturally offer grip, but will have a detrimental effect on the performance. It could even lead to reduced agility along with acceleration and suspension duties being hampered.
When it comes to touring motorcycles, it is always better to invest in dual-purpose tires. Due to their tread and relatively larger size, they offer the best traction and control on both dirt as well as tarmac. They generally come with a block pattern that can dig into the surface and push out gravel or dirt for added grip.
Bias-ply Or Radial? Which Type Of Tires To Choose?
Another very important aspect of choosing the best cruiser motorcycle is deciding whether to go for a bias-ply tire or a radial tire. This decision directly affects the resultant ride and handling characteristics.
Bias-ply tires generally last longer and are softer. However, this comes at the expense of reduced grips. On the other hand, radial tires are stiffer and offer more traction control to the rider. They don’t last as long as Bais-ply tires.
There is no specific rule to determine which of these two you should choose as it completely depends on your bike and what the manufacturer recommends. Some riders even use a mix of bias-ply tires and radials. However, one must remember to always use bias-ply tires in the front and radials in the back, and not the other way around.
These three factors are more than enough for you to choose the best motorcycle tire for your cruiser. To ensure longevity, one must follow the below mentioned tips:
1. Maintaining proper tire pressure is extremely crucial. Slight over or under inflation can have a significant negative impact on load, bike handling and tire wear.
2. If you don’t ride daily, it is always ideal to keep the weight off your tires for best life. This takes the weight off and also prevents flat spotting.
3. It is always recommended to bump tire pressure up a little when carrying a passenger.
4. One must break their tires gently from time to time to make sure the tread don’t run out soon.
Now that you have gained sufficient amount of knowledge about selecting the perfect set of tires, let us move on to the next section which covers a comprehensive review of the top 10 cruiser motorcycle tires in the market right now.
We have specifically added a pros and cons list at the end of every product to make sure you make an informed decision.
Best Motorcycle Tires For Cruiser Bikes – What’s Your Pick?
With great power comes great responsibility. In the current scenario, owning a good cruiser motorcycle isn’t enough. You need to constantly upgrade your ride to improve its life as well as its performance, and one of the toughest tasks is choosing the best motorcycle tire for your cruiser.
With so many close options available and new models and variants being introduced every other day, it is not easy to choose which product will give you the best return. We hope this extensive guide has helped you make the right call. We sincerely hope you make an informed decision and choose the best tire, which suits you and the requirements of your vehicle. Happy riding!