The tires on your motorcycle are more than just black rubber hoops that keep your bike moving while you’re out on the road. Motorcycle tires are responsible for providing traction for your bike to accelerate, brake, turn, and even serve as a part of your bike’s suspension!
Before the fork and shock begin to work on your bike, the tires on your motorcycle absorb some of the impact of the bumps and potholes that you hit in the road.
You depend on your tires to keep you safe in the cold, rain, and extreme heat. You may not always realize it, but every time you ride on your motorcycle, you’re betting your life on your tires.
Checking your tires regularly is very important and should be part of your regular maintenance plan. When you know it’s time to change your tires over, how exactly should you go about buying the right type of tires?
Five Tips for Buying Motorcycle Tires
So, how do you go about buying motorcycle tires that are the perfect fit for your bike? We’ve got five tips to help you make the best decision for your ride.
Know When Your Tire Needs to Be Replaced
Having a flat tire isn’t the only sign that you should watch out for. Your tires could use a little TLC if:
- They have a sidewall puncture
- There’s damage to the tire that can’t be repaired
- Your tire is more than ten years old
- There’s a puncture to the fire that’s large than 1/4 inch
- You can’t seem to raise the low pressure of your tire
- Your tire has sices and/or cuts
- There are missing tread blocks on your tire
- If there’s any less than 2/32 of an inch of tread in any area
- The tire is causing your ride to feel choppy
If you’ve noticed any of these occurrences with your tire, you need to change it out immediately. The safest option to go with is buying a new tire instead of attempting to fix any damage that you’ve noticed on your tires.
Considering how essential motorcycle tires are in the safety of your ride and in the performance of your bike, we would highly recommend you buy new tires instead of trying to fix anything!
Choose the Right Type of Tire
In order to go about choosing the right type of tire, you need to take a look at your bike and figure out what kind of style your bike is. The four main options you have to choose from are:
- Dual Sport (aka ADV)
Thankfully, choosing the right type of tire for your bike is one of the easiest steps in this process!
Choose the Right Tire Size
To go about choosing the right tire size for your bike, you need to take a look at the tires that are already on your bike. On the tires that you have, you’ll see a manufacturers code that breaks down the tire width, aspect ratio, speed rating, radial construction, and rim diameter!
In order to figure out your bike’s specific manufacturer code, you’ll have to look up their alphanumeric system to discover the measurements they printed on your tire.
However, here’s an example of what a manufacturer’s code may look like and what the measurements in the code mean:
The 130 is the width of your tire, the 50 is the aspect ratio, the Z is the speed rating for the tire, and the R indicates that your tire is a radial tire.
Choose Between Bias-Ply or Radial Tires
The difference between bias-ply and radial tires is simply in the construction of the tire. This difference in construction affects how the rides and handles on your bike.
Bias-ply tires last a lot longer than radial tires and provide users with a softer ride. On the other hand, radial tires are much stiffer, which results in more traction. However, radial tires don’t last as long as bias-ply tires do.
You don’t have to choose one tire over the other. It really just depends on what type of bike you have and what your manufacturer recommends!
Check Out the Tire Tread
There are countless different types of patterns and tread designs available on the market. That’s why it’s important that you check out the tread design on a tire before installing it on your bike.
Tires that have large, knobby threads are great for off-road riding, as they easily bite into the dirt for traction. Take this same tire out on the street and the traction from the pavement will easily eat through the tire.
On the other hand, the tread on street tires aren’t as aggressive. The tread on street tires have been built to help wick water away from the center of the tire. This helps to keep the tire from hydroplaning while riding on wet roads!
While you’re shopping around for tires, just keep in the back of your mind that the fewer groves there are on a tire, the potential for traction increases. You should also be aware that tires with a high-grip rubber happen to wear out a lot faster than tires that have a hard compound.
We hope that this buying guide helps to make buying tires for your bike easier!
Keeping your motorcycle tires in great condition is one of the easiest ways to make sure that you’re staying safe on the road.
Are you looking for more tips on how to keep your bike in perfect condition? Check out our motorcycle repair manuals today!