This website is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission.
16 Best Motorcycle Tires (Updated Reviews) in 2021
It is not always easy to pick the correct motorcycle tires for your ride. There are plenty of models available, which means that you may soon feel overwhelmed by the number of choices present. Take a look at the list compiled by us below, and you will learn of the most popular models at the moment.
1. Michelin Commander II Cruiser Bias Tire
Michelin is a company with a long-standing tradition in making tires, so you should expect great things from this model. As far as high speed motorcycle tires go, this one is a keeper, and you will notice that many other advantages make it an excellent buy.
It is desired for all cruisers, and it is a durable option that you won’t ever go wrong with. It comes with Michelin’s Amplified Density Technology and a stiff frame, so you will notice right away that it’s easy to handle and extremely responsive.
The top layer of the tire is made from aramid, a material well-known for its high resistance to wear and tear. Compared to other models on the market, this Michelin tire is considerably more durable, so you’ll know you make a sound investment if you decide in its favor. At high speeds, this model proves its worth like a champion.
2. Kenda Kruz K673 Motorcycle Street Rear Tire
One of the top rated motorcycle tires we had to include in our selection is this rear tire from Kenda Kruz. From the get-go, you should know that this model is DOT-approved, so safe for use on public roads, and it comes with an H rating for speeds as high as 130mph, which says plenty about its superior capabilities.
If you ride a heavy bike, you will be pleased to learn that this tire comes with a new casting design aimed at offering the rider superior handling, as well as improved load carrying range.
This is not the only improvement over previous models this tire comes along with. The tread design features deep and wide grooves so that any water excess gets drained fast. In other words, this tire is an amazing match for all-weather cruising and riders who love trips in the rain. The rubber compound is ideal for increased cornering performance.
3. Dunlop D404 Rear Motorcycle Tire
Dunlop aims to please as many riders as possible with this motorcycle tire. Its expanded size range is designed to fit bikes and cruisers of various types, and it even works on older models, which is excellent news. You can depend on this tire to be dependable and offer superior performance as the compound was chosen to provide exceptional grip without sacrificing mileage.
The grooves on the tread evacuate water with ease while offering a good grip on wet surfaces. At a close look, you will notice the bias-ply construction that’s there for a very practical reason.
While optimal for carrying heavy loads, it is ideal for smooth, comfortable rides, so everyone loves it. Another thing that contributes to its outstanding effectiveness is the offset center groove, present to ensure top-notch stability when riding in a straight line. However, it must be noted that this Dunlop tire is not made for Harley-Davidson bikes.
4. Dunlop Harley-Davidson D402 Front Motorcycle Tire
This model is the only one approved by Harley-Davidson for the touring motorcycles carrying its name. Dunlop takes great pride in making competitive products, and the D402 is one of them. The construction of this tire is a clear example of the attention to detail invested by the manufacturer to make it an excellent choice for all Harley Davidson fans.
All the motorcycle tire reviews praise the three-ply polyester casing that comes with fiberglass belts to ensure that the load-carrying capacity outrivals the entire competition. With a tread profile created with high-tech precision, the tire is made to help riders enjoy their trips in rainy weather without fear.
The H rating for high speeds only comes to complement a product that already enjoys a lot of popularity. It must be mentioned that it is a front tire and cannot be replaced with a rear tire even if made by the same manufacturer.
5. Shinko 777 Cruiser Rear Motorcycle Tire
If you ride a cruiser, you should take a look at this model from Shinko. An interesting aspect is that this rear tire is produced by the manufacturer in multiple sizes, so you can easily find a model to fit a V-twin or a metric model. The durability offered is reliable, and you can rest assured that you’ll be able to use it for a long time.
At the same time, the tire supports heavy weights, while the tread compound is a suitable choice for getting proper traction without sacrificing mileage. Another thing you may find remarkable about this model is the availability of a heavy-duty version that comes with a reinforced carcass.
It is DOT-approved, so safe to use on public roads, and the 75H index for speed is another element that may convince you to give this model a shot. The directional tread pattern helps with overall stability.
6. Shinko 777 Reinforced Rear Tire
From all the motorcycle tires rated by customers, this model stands out by being a good fit only for cruisers. This manufacturer doesn’t spare attention to detail regarding the type of vehicles that can use its reinforced rear tires. The model is available in a wide range of sizes so that it fits V-twin and metric cruisers without a glitch.
H-rated for its ability to handle high speeds, this DOT-approved model stands out through other aspects, as well. The speed index is 81H, and it is a tire that can handle heavy loads. You will get plenty of mileage out of this one, so you’ll know your hard-earned dollar doesn’t go to waste.
The top-notch traction recommends this model for regular use. You will observe that your rides become smoother and more comfortable when you opt for this tire, and its dependable stability contributes to its popularity.
7. Dunlop D404 Front Motorcycle Tire
In case you need to replace your front tire, a good look at the D404 from Dunlop might help you end your search with maximum satisfaction. This tire fits older models of motorcycles and cruisers, so you won’t have to struggle with a lack of compatibility. Because of the choice of tread compound, this tire is capable of delivering a complete balance between mileage and traction.
You will notice the tread pattern from the start. The way it’s designed helps with evacuating water when riding on wet surfaces. This aspect helps with developing an excellent grip, so you’ll be safer when riding equipped with such a tire than not.
The load-carrying capacity leaves nothing to be desired, and you will enjoy a smooth ride every time. Straight-line stability excels, too, because of the offset center groove in the tread pattern. Nonetheless, you should know that this model is not recommended for Harley-Davidson bikes.
8. Dunlop Harley-Davidson D402 Front Motorcycle Tire
This tire is made for Harley-Davidson bikes, and it’s evident that the manufacturer thought of investing the most useful features into creating a reliable model. The offset center groove is designed so that riding in rainy weather and going over steel-grate bridges won’t affect stability and grip.
You will have tremendous confidence in your bike when you outfit it with this particular front tire. The tread pattern ensures even wear, which translates into superior mileage and extra durability. At the same time, the bike won’t lose anything from its stability, another factor that will help you ride without fear.
The load-carrying capacity is assured by the three-ply polyester casing and two fiberglass belts. Now there’s nothing that can stop you from equipping your bike with one of the highest-ranked tires available at the moment. Its traction and resistance to wear and tear highly recommend it.
9. Dunlop American Elite Rear Motorcycle Tire
The American Elite from Dunlop is the go-to solution when you need a model that fits older Harley-Davidson bikes. You can rest assured that nothing is spared when manufacturing this tire. It is not only designed in the US but also tested here and in compliance with the highest standards for quality.
The Multi-Tread technology employed by Dunlop guarantees excellent handling and fantastic mileage, two things any rider looks for when shopping for motorcycle tires. With regular usage, you will notice that the tread compound in the middle and that used for the sides will wear off evenly so that stability is never sacrificed.
Speaking of the lateral-grip compound used, you will notice that it plays a significant role in supplying you with top-notch handling. In all possible ways, the American Elite is designed to help you master your riding skills and enjoy your bike rides like never before.
10. Dunlop American Elite Front Motorcycle Tire
Designed, tested, and made in the US, this front motorcycle tire barely needs an introduction. Well-known from all the motorcycle tire reviews and comparisons as being the only replacement approved by Harley-Davidson, it is the type of product guaranteed to offer your money’s worth and even more.
It is a suitable choice for riding in wet and dry conditions, so you will be amazed by its all-around performance. The tread pattern will wear off at the same pace, which means that you won’t experience a loss of stability when you use it for a long time.
You will be equally surprised with its quiet operation. The American Elite has always been made for American motorcycles, and it shows in the care and effort invested into making this tire an iconic model that continues to make fans. When it comes to finding a replacement for your Harley-Davidson bike tires, you cannot go wrong with Dunlop.
11. Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle Tire Rear
In case you are looking for a reasonably-priced option, this model should have a place on your list. The radial design is a new arrival on the entry-level market for motorcycle tires, and that’s something to bear in mind. While it is not as expensive as other models from reputable brands, this cheap motorcycle tire offers good performance that cannot be overlooked.
It behaves well in both wet and dry road conditions, so you will find it optimal for all-weather cruising. Its responsiveness will convince you that it’s a good quality tire. The compound chosen by the manufacturer uses new polymers in a combination designed to offer outstanding mileage for the price.
Another feature that must be mentioned is the zero-degree belt construction that ensures proper stability and comfort while riding. One of the affordable motorcycle tires currently available, it is an excellent option if you’re shopping on a budget.
12. Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3 Rear Motorcycle Tire
Pirelli is another name that could never miss from a top containing high performance motorcycle tires. This rear tire benefits from the same technology that has imposed this brand at the World Superbike Championship over the years. If you want to combine speed with proper handling, you should go for this Pirelli tire.
This motorcycle tire review aims to give you the most useful information on what makes the Diablo Rosso 3 an excellent choice for your bike. The use of a bi-compound that comes with soft stripes on the sides to ensure that you get a full grip when leaning at corners provides it with the superior responsiveness it is famous for.
The considerable footprint is another feature that plays into its increased adherence to any type of surface. To show that nothing was spared in designing and making this tire, Pirelli used silica compounds that ensure fantastic grip in all weather conditions.
13. Shinko 009 Raven Radial Rear Tire
Radial tires have their advantages, and this manufacturer goes the extra mile to provide riders with high-performance options. This model is made to offer you excellent comfort during rides. Because of the choice of tread compound, you will notice that it does a great job when it comes to providing superior grip on any surface, dry or wet.
The top layer is made from aramid fibers, which contributes to its outstanding grip and traction. It serves to know that it is W-rated for speeds up to 168mph. At the same time, this sport-performance oriented tire offers extra mileage, and you can rest assured that you’re making a sound investment, should you decide to buy it.
If you’re the type of rider who doesn’t like to be constrained when enjoying a trip by bike, this tire is for you. Its design aims to provide you with extra performance, and overall it is an excellent deal for the money.
14. Dunlop D402 Harley-Davidson Whitewall Rear Tire
The whitewall version of the D402 from Dunlop deserves a place on our list. Harley-Davidson doesn’t approve any other tire for its touring motorcycle except this model, and that means that you can expect the highest performance possible. Dunlop already enjoys an excellent reputation, but with this model, it is clear that the famous tire manufacturer went beyond the call of duty.
Due to the use of a type of compound that can handle wet and dry roads without a problem, it is a tire that will never let you down. Just like other Dunlop tires, it is made in the US, so it’s nothing unusual to see it outperform many different models on the market.
The tread is designed to minimize cupping, and you will notice that this tire has incredible traction and stability. If you want American excellence at its best, you should consider this tire made by Dunlop.
15. Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT Touring Radial Tire
If you want high-quality tires for your bike, the products provided by Michelin are usually top of the line. This particular radial tire is no exception, and it’s a great choice if you intend to take trips by motorcycle in rainy weather. Especially the performance of this tire when braking is worth noting, and that’s just one of the many things that make riders like it so much.
The manufacturer uses the latest 2AT technology that allows you to take corners and ride in a straight line in the safest conditions possible. The firm construction of this tire ensures optimal comfort for the rider.
A redesigned tread pattern makes sure that this tire lasts longer than other similar products, so you will get a good deal for the money. Also, the way it is designed makes sure that heavy braking won’t lead to the appearance of wear signs too quickly.
16. Bridgestone Excedra G722 Cruiser Rear Motorcycle Tire
There are several reasons to prefer this model over others, especially when riding a Japanese cruiser. While it works for other bikes, too, it is mainly a good fit for Japanese brands, which is something to bear in mind when you go shopping for a rear motorcycle tire.
If you ride a Royal Star from Yamaha, a Vulcan from Kawasaki, or an Intruder from Suzuki, you will notice that this tire fits like a charm. First of all, it is a durable tire and will provide you with good mileage for the money.
You will also notice that the tire offers excellent stability and responsiveness. Its crisp handling is one of the main reasons why riders prefer it. Another thing that significantly contributes to its popularity is the superior comfort provided during long trips. It is an all-around excellent rear tire for a cruiser.
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
A safe, comfortable ride depends a lot on the tires you use when in the saddle of a motorcycle. As you may well know, motorcycle tires tend to wear off after riding for thousands of miles, so if you’re a road warrior, you have to replace them often. To find the best motorcycle tires the market can offer, we put at your disposal this buying guide and essential recommendations.
Make sure you get the correct type of tire
To narrow down your search, it is highly recommended to start by applying a simple criterion: search only for the type of tires that are a good fit for your motorcycle. For instance, if you ride a cruiser, you should get a tire with a high rating for heavy loads. You will find them under the name of cruiser and touring tires, and that should be your first place to start.
What makes these tires different from, let’s say, the best motorcycle tyres for road and track is the use of harder rubber as the primary material. These tires are known for their carrying load capacity and high mileage. Because of how they are built, they don’t wear off fast. Bear in mind that these tires are not made for speed or for taking corners aggressively.
They are champions in rainy weather, as well as when it’s dry. They are considered the best all weather motorcycle tires because of their excellent grip, regardless of the road conditions. You will be able to tell apart cruiser tires from others by the tread design that allows quick water evacuation.
Dual sport tires and adventure touring types are next on the list. The tread pattern is one of the most critical aspects that will help you identify them. Heavy treads are a sign of the best motorcycle street tires, but you’ll find knobby treads in the same category, too. Basically, these tires are made for riding on any street as well as off-road. Labels such as 80/20 street, 80/20 road, and 50/50 will tell you what you need to know about their built and purpose.
Sport tires are the type to go for if you intend to ride at high speeds while enjoying good grip and mileage from them. The most important advantage offered by these tires is their excellent versatility; the rubber compounds tend to be softer than what you can see on cruiser tires, as they must provide superior grip in any weather conditions.
Off-road tires work on dirt bikes, as you most probably know. The knobby tread will let you know what kind of tire you’re looking at, and it will help you navigate challenging terrain. Regardless of what tire type you need, make sure that you browse through the best rated motorcycle tires, as they have already been tried and tested by users.
Bias-ply or radial?
When looking at various tires, you will notice that the manufacturer often mentions from the titles of its products if they are bias-ply or radial. These terms describe the types of construction available. The best part about the existence of various construction types is that you can pick a tire that fits your riding style.
Bias-ply tires are made by laying the plies on the bead to bead diagonal or bias, hence the name. With each layer, the direction of the ply changes to the opposite of the one before, thus creating a particular pattern. Another thing that can be said about these tires is that they come with strength ratings. You can choose between 2-ply models, 4-ply models, and so on.
Even if you may feel tempted to go for a higher number of plies, that’s no longer the best indicator of how strong a tire is. Manufacturers use new compounds that are considerably stronger than their predecessors, so the number of plies is not that essential anymore. Bias-ply tires are stiff, so they are excellent for carrying heavy loads.
This aspect contributes to superior cornering performance. They are very durable, and a tube can be employed, which cannot be said about other models. Still, they are not that good if you want the best street bike tires adaptable at high speeds. Because of their construction, they don’t do a good job dissipating heat. Therefore, if they are pushed too hard, they can start to wear off quickly.
The other construction you must know about is the radial tire. The plies are not laid down in a diagonal but perpendicular from bead to bead. Therefore, they are displayed in a wrapped manner. For good stabilization and extra durability, they are belted with steel. Unlike bias-ply models, these tires are good at taking corners, and they provide a smoother ride.
However, they are not as stiff as bias-ply tires, which means that they also wear off rather quickly, by comparison. Still, they should be your choice for riding at high speeds, as they are the best rated motorcycle tire options available for this purpose.
An interesting fact to bear in mind is that you can equip a bike with a bias-ply tire and a radial tire. The first should come in front, and the other in the back. This way, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Why the tread pattern is essential
When shopping for the best tires for motorcycles, you will notice that manufacturers take great pride in talking about the tread pattern used for various models they sell. The tread pattern is responsible for how much friction occurs between the tire and the road. In other words, you will know how good the tire is at providing the necessary grip so that riding your bike is as safe as possible.
The reasoning behind it is simple. The lighter the tread pattern is, the less friction you will get, which means that you should opt for models with clearly defined grooves. There is another reason why a deep tread pattern is recommended; usually, such tires are made in such a way that they can evacuate the water quickly, so riding in the rain is safer than when using other models.
An affordable motorcycle tire might not have a deep tread pattern, but you shouldn’t discard it right away. A lighter pattern means that your bike can go at higher speeds, and striking a balance between grip and such capabilities is important, too.
Is the brand important?
A simple answer would be ‘yes’. There are companies on the market that have been making tires for motorcycles for a long time. They are responsible for bringing many innovations to the market and helping riders everywhere enjoy smoother, safer rides.
Michelin, Dunlop, and Pirelli are some of the names you should bear in mind when shopping for good quality tires for your motorcycle. Their experience in making high-quality tires recommends them. Just make sure that you pick the correct model for your bike.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to put tires on a motorcycle?
Once in a while, you will have to replace the tires on your motorcycle. As soon as you notice severe signs of wear and tear, punctures, and other similar problems, don’t postpone getting new tires. It is highly recommended that you replace them at a shop, as they are not easy to deal with if you’re by yourself.
Many shops sell motorcycle tires, and they throw in the installation cost without asking for anything extra. However, that’s not always the case, so you can expect to be charged something on top of the cost of the tires.
Balancing each tire costs around 12USD, while weighing and mounting cost 4USD per tire. You may also be charged a recycling fee of 2USD for each old tire you discard. Seeing how a motorcycle tire can cost 100USD-150USD, these costs add up, so you must be prepared for them.
Q: How long do motorcycle tires last?
When you have to replace your motorcycle tires, you know that a substantial expense awaits you and might want to know what lifespan you can expect for your investment. A consensus between experts and riders alike says that you should get up to 5 years of usage from a motorcycle tire.
However, cheap motorcycle tires might not be as long-lasting as the ones that cost a bit more because maybe the rubber compound is lighter, and the overall construction is not as stiff as seen in brand options.
Ultimately, the lifespan of a tire can depend on other factors, too, like frequency of use and road conditions. But don’t forget that tires are made from rubber compounds, and these materials can become brittle with time even if they aren’t used. While theoretically, you could use your tires for up to 10 years, you should replace them after 5 years from the manufacturing date.
Q: Are wider tires better on a motorcycle?
The answer to this question depends on several things. First of all, you want your bike to be as fast as possible, but without losing grip and handling. The weight of your motorcycle dictates what sort of tires to use. A narrow sportbike doesn’t require wide tires, but those will be a good fit on a heavy bike that needs a larger base to remain stable.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that there’s only a cookie-cutter solution to everything. Wide tires shouldn’t be too broad, either, or you will encounter difficulties at corners and when trying to manipulate the bike to do anything else but ride in a straight line.
On the one hand, you have traction and grip to worry about, and on the other, you have speed and handling. Finding the correct balance for your bike is what matters the most, and that’s why there’s no single answer to the kind of tire that works best for it.