Buyers Guide To Different Motorcycle Tire Types

5 min readSep 28, 2021

There is a wide array of motorcycle tires and motorcycle accessories available on the market that caters to different riders. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an experienced rider; purchasing a new tire for replacements or trying out a specific riding style can be confusing,

Every type of motorcycle tire differs in profile and rubber compound used in manufacturing. Knowing the types of tires makes it easy for you to determine which one is the best match for your ride. Choosing the right ones is crucial since you need to consider the intended use of your motorcycle and the safety features it can offer you.

This guide will explain the different motorcycle tires type according to their usage and riding style.

  1. Radial Tires

Radial tires are the most commonly used type of motorcycle tires. They typically offer better performance due to their flexible sidewall, complete with independent configurations capable of riding at high speed and making sharp turns while banking.

These tires have a better grip and adjust to the terrain for a smooth and comfortable riding experience. These are the best choice for riders with sportbikes that have multiple uses.

Shinko tires are one of the best choices of Radial tires. They are well-known for producing tires with radial technology that uses lightweight steel strands running zero degrees around the tires’ carcass. On top of that, they are very affordable to those who are on a tight budget.

2. Touring Tires

Touring tires are the most robust type of motorcycle tires. They intend to hold up heavy bikes such as Harley-Davidson Road Glide, BMW R1250 RT, and Honda Goldwing, to name a few. Sport-riding features have been compromised to provide excellent riding performance at speeds below 124mph. They are constructed with stiff sidewalls enabling them to handle heavier loads such as two-up riding and motorcycle luggage with tools and other items.

Another feature of touring tires is the increased tread depth compared to other types of tires. A Deeper tread depth offers more strength that prevents wearing while giving longer mileage. They also have superb wet weather traction so that rainfall won’t be a problem for the riders. They are generally better at providing comfortable rides in long-distance driving. You can check Avon touring tires if you want relatively lightweight yet durable and efficient touring tires.

3. Cruiser and Chopper Tires

Cruiser and Chopper tires work for motorcycles that are capable of long continuous riding. These include fully modified chopper motorcycle and cruiser motorcycles such as Honda Rebel, Kawasaki Vulcan S, and Indian Scout.

Chopper motorcycles are known for their completely modified appearance that is often built from scratch. They are constructed with stretch frames, long front ends with lengthened forks, larger front wheels, increased rake angle, performance motorcycle exhaust, and tail ape hangers or drag handlebars.

Cruiser and chopper tires feature a good turning grip, endurance to the stress of acceleration, and the ability to silence tires at turns. They are made to offer an “Easy Rider” experience, just like the famous movie of the same name. They usually have white edges to make them visually appealing. They have also been reinforced with a high load index that enables incredibly stable and safe riding. Michelin has a good selection of cruiser and chopper tires that are high-quality and strengthened to last long.

4. Off-road Tires

Off-road tires are mainly for motorcycles that can run on rough and unpaved terrains like the KTM 890 Adventure R, Ducati Multistrada, and Honda CRF300 Rally.

These tires feature deeper treads for extra traction and grip on loose surfaces. These treads are helpful in critical situations such as tightening corners and high-speed turns on uneven surfaces.

The reinforced sidewalls and rubber compounds give resistance to external elements. They reduce punctures or damages from rocks and debris so that they can run through mud, dirt, sand, and even snow without problems.

There is no universal tire profile compatible with all road conditions. Keep this in mind when buying off-road motorcycle tires. You have to choose between a dedicated set of mud tires or winter tires. You need to consider the specific type of surface you’ll frequently drive onto with your motorcycle.

Pirelli offers plenty of tire variants for off-roading at an affordable price. For example, the Pirelli Scorpion trail tires provide all-weather traction on top of good stability and handling on any road surface.

5. Sports Tires

Lightweight sportbikes and high-performance street bikes use sports tires. These tires are made lighter and consist of soft compounds designed to give quick and precise handling and excellent grip from edge to edge.

Sports tires have a more pronounced center line that helps riders to transition from side to side easily. Although they have fewer tread lines, they are still reliable on wet surfaces. The stiff carcass guarantees stability and support in high-speed cornering and braking. Manufacturers use multi-compounds for their high-performance tires to provide supreme traction and good mileage wear. These tires can be used on public roads due to their excellent surface contact.

Bridgestone offers high-performance tires that guarantee both strength and safety. They are a popular choice for sports and high-performance tires because they are commonly fitted on sportbikes like Honda CBR1000RR and Yamaha R1M.

6. Dual Sport/ ADV Tires

Dual Sport or ADV tires are distinct because of the knobs that allow grip in mud, dirt, and rocks while still able to be used on highways. They are usually seen on dual sport bikes and adventure motorcycles like Yamaha XT250 and Honda Africa Twin.

These tires are often listed with percentages of their intended use, like 70% off-road and 30% on-road. These percentages vary depending on the knob of the tires and if they’re aggressive or not, so expect that some of the percentages are better for on-road with some capability for light off-roading. A 50/50 mix is also available for those who are committed to dual-sport riding.

The Continental Road Attack 2 Radial tire is a perfect choice for dual-sport riding. It features blocks of tread that are wear-resistant and continuous compound technology for a smooth ride on paved roads. It also has deep grooves that allow self-cleaning and grip on off-road terrain.

7. Racing Tires

Racing tires are used on the race tracks and are optimized for competitive and high-speed environments. These tires are designed to handle relatively high temperatures produced by higher speed, braking, and acceleration. They often have the highest level of grip among motorcycle tire types because of their necessity when cornering.

Racing tires are made of soft rubber that gives them a distinct slick shape. This feature lets them maximize surface contact, but they tend to wear out quickly due to the soft rubber material. Bridgestone has a wide selection of racing tires with enhanced pattern designs for longer wear than its competitors.

There’s a lot of technicalities that need to be considered when buying motorcycle tires. It is essential that corner handling and the sharp emergency braking are taken into account for safety purposes. As long as you know the tires are compatible with your motorcycle, the road surfaces you will ride in most of the time, and the weather condition of the place, choosing the right tires will be an easy task.

Originally published at on September 12, 2021




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