This Year’s Top Tires for Motorcycles Reviewed
Whether you’re looking for the best motorcycle tires to change your worn ones or want an upgrade, you’re in the right place. With so many reputable brands offering countless models, it’s hard to make a choice and be confident with it. You must take into account many aspects such as size, features, and performance, and balance all of these with the price. The good news is that we’ve done all this research so you don’t have to. We’ve looked at some highly acclaimed models and tried to decide which ones offer the best value for the price. We recommend the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT as the product you should buy. This tire is 180-mm wide, can offer superb cornering and handling performance, and it also features the renowned Real MotoGP technology. If it is currently out of stock, you may want to take a look at the Michelin Pilot Road 4.
Our Team Recommends
If you’re looking for the best tire to upgrade your bike but simply haven’t got the time to sift through hundreds of motorcycle tires reviews, then you’re in luck. We’ve created a list to showcase some of the most popular motorcycle tires today, complete with descriptions so you get help in choosing the right one for your needs and budget.
Michelin Pilot Power 2CT (B005J889QA)
The Pilot Power 2CT is a high-performance 17-inch motorcycle tire that is suited to people who like riding the track as well as normal roads. This tire is 180-mm wide with a 55 percent aspect ratio, making it a good candidate for people who love sharp cornering and a good grip even on wet roads. The surface and patterns shed off water quite easily so you get to enjoy all your rides.
This model features a rubber mix on the edges of the tread which is 20 percent softer than the rest, resulting in a much better cornering grip and possible lean angles of 51.2 degrees. This tire benefits from the Real MotoGP technology which has earned the Michelin brand countless awards, as well as 15 GP World Championships.
You get a tire that can satisfy even the needs of pretentious sportbike riders by offering a solid grip on many types of surfaces, as well as superior handling, acceleration, and braking performance every time.
Michelin Pilot Road 4 (B00LUUS0WY)
The Michelin Pilot Road 4 is a high-end 17-inch tire that’s perfect for street enthusiasts and daily commuters. This product balances many qualities and features so it can offer reliable all-around sport touring performance every time. This model is tubeless so you get to enjoy long-term performance with little risk of having a flat tire.
This model is 180-mm wide and great for adrenaline-filled road races but also for day-long rides. You get great handling as well as reliable braking and acceleration on dry as well as wet roads so the weather won’t ever spoil your fun. This tire is advertised to offer a 20 percent longer service life than its predecessor, the Pilot Road 3.
Thanks to the 2-compound technology and enhanced tread patterns, you get to benefit from a superior grip, while the XST+ siping makes for excellent traction when cornering even at steep lean angles. This tire is rated W which means it is designed for a maximum speed of 168 mph.
Michelin Commander II (B005J882YY)
The Michelin Commander II is a reinforced front tire that is designed to offer superior performance and reliability to riders who enjoy cruising on long trips. This tire has been tested extensively to ensure a proper response and handling in various road conditions, logging over half a million miles to ensure that it is up to the task.
This front tire has been designed to offer unique handling capabilities through an ingenious combination of characteristics and a complex casing and profile construction. You get stable handling in any situation thanks to the rayon carcass ply which replaces the standard polyester ply.
You also get the less costly fiberglass belts replaced with aramid ones for a better control of the centrifugal tire growth which in turn increases contact area and thus provides better traction while minimizing wear.
This Michelin motorcycle tire is an excellent choice for cruising fans and occasional commuters alike, offering long-term reliability, precise steering, and long mileage for the most pretentious out there.
Continental Motion Tire (B007N6RPSY)
If you’re looking for a tire set that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, then the Continental Motion is an excellent choice. These are made according to the highest manufacturing standards so you get reliable performance on the road to enjoy both short trips and long cruises across the country.
The tires are radial, offering a better grip on wet surfaces as well as dry gritty roads. You also get to enjoy longer tread life and increased longevity for year-round use. The rear tire benefits from a steel belt construction for maximum strength and flexibility, ensuring extra stability and comfortable rides every time.
Thanks to the new polymer compounds used and the tread patterns which are force-oriented, you get to benefit from a longer-lasting performance. The front tire is 120-mm wide with a 70 percent aspect ratio, while the rear tire measures 180 mm in the widest section and has a 55 ratio. These tires are 17 inches in diameter.
Kenda Cruiser K671 (B005D2CPXK)
The Kenda Cruiser K671 is an inexpensive front tire that comes with a solid construction which will keep you riding for a long time. This product is DOT-approved and has an H speed rating which means it can be used at speeds of up to 130 miles per hour. This 6-ply tire is a fine option for touring, cruiser motorcycles, as well as sports.
Thanks to the deep offset tread sips, you get to benefit from efficient water dispersion as well as a better traction on wet and slippery surfaces. The strong and stiff sidewalls offer excellent handling and overall performance, while the wide contact patch increases grip as well as mileage so you won’t need to replace this tire anytime soon.
This tire measures 90 mm in width with a 100 percent aspect ratio. Because it is a tubeless model, you won’t need to get an inner tube and neither will you experience too many flat tires.
Shinko 705 Series (B0026UG30I)
If you’re looking for a tire that works well on the rear as well as on the front, then the Shinko 705 Series is just what you need. This 18-inch model is designed to give you an amazing street experience every time. You can also use it successfully for trail riding, despite not being specialized for this discipline.
This tire features an innovative tread pattern which offers excellent adhesion on both wet and dry surfaces so you get to ride on the highway as well as off it regardless of the weather conditions. The strong rubber compound is made to resist the tough conditions of off-road riding. The 4-ply construction increases tear-resistance as well as long-term durability.
This bias ply tire is versatile and can give you a good feel of the road as well as superior performance and handling. You also get tougher treads for increased mileage as well as a tubeless design for fewer problems down the road.
Dunlop Sportmax Q3 (B00DT8B7FC)
The Dunlop Sportmax Q3 is a rear tire with a diameter of 18 inches which is made with modern technologies and strong materials in order to offer reliable performance on various surfaces. This model benefits from the CFT or Carbon Fiber technology which inserts carbon fibers inside the sidewalls of the Sportmax Q3 to increase resistance while keeping it lightweight.
This tire shows exceptional stability even when cornering at high lean angles, making it a top choice for many passionate street riders. You also get precise steering as well as predictable responsiveness so that you can negotiate tough terrain with ease.
With the new tread pattern, which uses the Dunlop cosecant-curve and fewer but longer grooves, you get smooth performance when steering as well as normal riding in rainy weather so you get superior traction and grip. The Multi-Tread technology provides a strong compound inserted in the center of the tread and on the sides for an increased resistance to wear.
Shinko 230 Tour Master (B001CDAEA0)
The Shinko 230 Tour Master surely deserves its name. With a solid construction, innovative technologies, and a well-designed tread pattern, this 4 ply-rated tubeless rear tire is an amazingly resilient model and an excellent addition to any rider who enjoys touring around the country in maximum comfort and style.
This tire is 170-mm wide and an 80 aspect ratio, with a diameter of 15 inches. You get a wider contact area so that the motorcycle can transfer a lot more power to the road while maintaining a good grip in all kinds of conditions. The 230 Tour Master is designed for long distance riding as well as maximum speeds of up to 149 miles per hour.
The smooth tread also ensures long-term performance and mileage so you get to save money in the long run. The aramid-belted tire also features a staggered tread pattern which minimizes noise when riding while also offering exceptional performance that you will enjoy every time.
Shinko 712 100/90 (B001CD5E8M)
In case you value performance and mileage in a tire but you definitely don’t want to break the bank to get a decent model, then the Shinko 712 might just suit your budget and needs. This front tire is 100-mm wide with a 90 aspect ratio and a 19-inch diameter that will help you achieve consistent high speeds on the road while also maintaining a high level of comfort.
The staggered tread pattern can shed off water faster so you can still enjoy your ride even when traveling on wet highways. This model has an H rating which means it can perform well at speeds up to 130 miles per hour. The 712 comes with a tough build which features a 4-ply nylon carcass and a tubeless design so you won’t have to spend money on inner tubes.
The improved lateral grooves offer better stability in various conditions so you get to travel safely and enjoy your cruises to the maximum.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso II (B004X6C8YI)
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso II is one of the most versatile and sportiest models of the new generation of Rosso road tires. This rear tire comes with a 180-mm width and a 55 aspect ratio, making it a superb choice for both long touring adventures as well as daily commuting.
This radial model is one of the most popular Pirelli motorcycle tires for riding in all kinds of conditions, including on the wet highway. Thanks to the Enhanced Patch Technology, this model provides an optimized contact patch, resulting in an improved grip. The Integrated Contour Shaping also contributes to the handling of the bike, especially at high lean angles.
The slick shoulder area boosts performance when cornering, giving the rider more confidence while also improving safety. The Functional Groove Design leads to a better response on wet surfaces. The 17-inch Diablo Rosso II comes with a ZR speed rating which makes it functional at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.
Dunlop D404 Tire (B000GROKCQ)
The Dunlop D404 front tire is one of those affordable models that is packed with features. This tire comes in the 16 inches variant, has a speed rating H which equals a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour, and it is an excellent choice for street riders. The bias construction ensures greater stability as well as an improved performance in different road conditions.
The D404 fits on street bikes and standard models, but it may also be quite a good choice as a vintage motorcycle tire. The tread compound balances grip and mileage so you get the best of both worlds without investing a fortune on a new tire. The tread patterns offer efficient water evacuation while considerably improving traction and grip on wet surfaces.
You get a tire that’s comfortable to ride in all kinds of conditions while also benefiting from an enhanced straight-line stability, thanks to the offset center groove. This model comes with a Black Wall sidewall style and Marauder fitment.
Duro HF319 Front/Rear (B00D6OLCN6)
If you want an inexpensive tire to mount on your front wheel, then you should look no further than the Duro HF319. The great thing about this model isn’t just its really low price, but also the fact that it is made of tough compounds so you get extra protection from punctures.
This tire also comes with ingenious tread patterns to shed off water easier and offer a better grip on wet surfaces. This tire combines modern materials and technologies to ensure an enhanced mileage so you get an excellent value for the price. This model is great for street bikes, as well as vintage cruisers, offering increased functionality and flexibility every time.
The bias ply construction ensures a good performance and increases stability so you can safely take sharp turns or negotiate difficult terrain. The HF319 comes with a black sidewall and it is a tube type tire so you’ll need to get inner tubes as well.
ProTrax PT1010 Motocross (B01JSI0XBA)
The ProTrax PT1010 is a rugged tire that’s perfect for off-road adventures. With a solid construction and durable materials, this tire will help you dominate any kind of terrain. However, you will obtain the best results on soft to intermediate terrain. You get an amazing value for the price and enjoy a superior performance for the fraction of the cost of some high-end models.
This tire comes with a modern design that balances traction with durability so you can benefit from an increased mileage out of it while also being able to maintain a very good grip on off-road surfaces. This tire is suited to mini or mid-sized dirt bikes, and it has a diameter of 16 inches.
Thanks to the stiff 4-ply construction, you get extra protection against punctures so you won’t risk having your exciting trail experiences spoiled by a flat tire. The knob spacing minimizes mud build-up and helps the tire through bogs and other wet conditions.
Kenda K760 Dual/Enduro (B00BUNMCC0)
The Kenda K760 Dual/Enduro is a 14-inch diameter tire that’s designed for all sorts of off-trail adventures. You get a sturdy construction as well as great performance and value considering the low cost of this model. You can be confident when hitting the trail, knowing that this tire offers an enhanced grip and traction on many types of surfaces for maximum enjoyment.
This tire is legal for highway use so you won’t only be limited to wild areas, and neither will you need to haul your bike to and from your favorite off-road locations with a truck. The K760 is meant to be used predominantly off the road, although you’ll still get a decent mileage and performance on the highway.
The carcass benefits from a strong 6-ply construction while the aggressive knobs will bite the dirt and improve performance. You also get a stiff bead and sidewall which enhances stability and offers better control when cornering.
This Year’s Buying Guide
If you’re trying to find the best motorbike tires, there are several things you should take into account to make sure that you make the right purchase. Especially if this is the first time, trying to find a tire replacement or upgrade might seem quite difficult, especially considering the wide selection of models present on the market.
Here are a few things you might wish to know about tires which could help you perform a comprehensive motorcycle tires comparison so you can select the very best one to suit your needs, ride style, and budget.
Tube type or tubeless?
One of the first questions you might ask yourself when looking for the best tires for motorcycle is whether to go for a tubeless or tube type model. In modern times, the popularity of tubeless tires has far surpassed that of their older counterparts. This is because of the stiffer and stronger design of tubeless variants.
A tubeless tire comes with the advantage of being able to run cooler, which in turn means that it offers a better overall performance, as well as increased mileage. In case of a puncture, a tubeless tire will deflate much slower than a tube type variant, posing a decreased risk of losing control of the motorcycle.
You can also run at a lower pressure with a tubeless than a tube tire, benefiting from improved cornering and braking. However, you should definitely not dismiss the idea of getting a tube type tire. Tubeless motorcycle tires for sale tend to offer a more supple ride, and you get to fix flats easier in the long run.
With a tubeless tire, you can patch up a puncture with an external plug in an emergency, but many experts advise against trying to repair a damaged tire. You can use an internal plug and patch, although you’d best hire a professional for the job. With a tube type, despite the hard work, you can simply replace the inner tube with a new one, or patch it up in case of an emergency.
When it comes to good motorcycle tires, many tube type models also tend to be much cheaper nowadays so you can expect to save quite a bit of money. However, you should only use the same type of tire the motorcycle initially came equipped with.
Radial vs bias
When choosing a proper tire for your motorcycle, you should also make a choice between going for a radial tire or a bias type. Each comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. With a radial tire, the sidewall flex won’t be transmitted to the tread so that the motorcycle can actually transfer a lot more power to the road, leading to increased performance.
With a radial tire, you also benefit from a lower fuel consumption so you can save more money on gas. This tire exhibits less compaction and thus is less susceptible to damage and wear. You also get better shock absorption and comfort, especially during long rides, which can really be a rear saver. Radial tires are capable of offering better traction than their older counterparts.
However, bias-ply tires are also good in certain activities, and they’re actually better for things such as touring. Due to their heavier sidewall construction, these are more sturdy and better able to handle a heavy touring bike that’s stuffed with all sorts of supplies. Many riders also feel more confident riding on bias-ply tires, especially when on heavier motorcycles.
If you enjoy vintage bikes that come with spoked wheels, then you actually need to get a bias-ply tire. This is because spoked wheels should only be used with tube type tires, and radials shouldn’t be used with an inner tube. Some cruisers such as models from Harley-Davidson use bias-ply tires, or sometimes in combination with a radial tire.
Deciphering the sidewall code to get the right tire
If you’re getting your first tire replacement, then you definitely need to learn what all those numbers and letters that you see on the sidewall of a tire mean. The first number tells you the width of the tire in its widest section. The next number is the aspect ratio between the height and the width of the tire, expressed in percentages.
You should make sure that you choose the right tire for your needs. For example, rear tires need to be wider than front tires, while street variants are certainly going to be wider and have lower aspect ratios than enduro tires.
You might also see a letter next to the aspect ratio, which can be an R or a B, corresponding to radial or bias-ply. The 3rd number indicates the rim diameter, where a 17 would mean the tire is to be used with a 17-inch wheel.
The last number on the sidewall is the load index which expresses the maximum load supported by the tire, with a capacity in pounds. You must check a chart to see the exact value. The last letter on the sidewall is the speed rating, where an H corresponds to a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour, while a W indicates a top speed of 168mph.
How much should you spend?
Depending on the type of motorcycle you’re riding and your specific needs, you might get by with an inexpensive mode, or you could look at spending over 100 bucks for one tire. For example, you can get one of the decent cheap motorcycle tires for the normal road for several dozen dollars, while a quality track tire would cost nearly 200 bucks, if not more.
What’s important is to decide what you want most from the tire. Your specific needs should dictate your choice and not the price of motorcycle tires, where you choose the most expensive model you can afford. Make sure you get the proper type and balance performance with mileage and cost so you get the perfect buy to give you enjoyable rides while saving money.
Frequently asked questions about motorcycle tires
Can a motorcycle tire be repaired?
If you have a tube type tire, then you can repair it by replacing the inner tube or at least by patching it. With tubeless tires, things are trickier. Most manufacturers don’t recommend it, but you can use an external plug for an emergency fix, and then an internal plug and patch for a somewhat permanent repair.
Can a rear motorcycle tire be used on the front?
While some riders have successfully managed to use a rear tire on the front wheel, many experts advise against it. This is because most tires are made specifically for the front or rear, and since they serve different functions, they have different characteristics which make them unsuitable for working properly in the wrong position.
What do motorcycle tire numbers mean?
The first number shows the width of the tire or the section width. The second number shows the aspect ratio between the height and width of the tire, expressed in percentages. The 3rd number is the rim diameter, while the 4th number gives you the load rating. Finally, the last letter in the code is the speed rating of the tire.
What are good motorcycle tire brands?
There are quite a few brands of motorcycle tires manufacturing durable models that offer superior performance. However, the best tire is the one that is perfectly suited for your motorcycle and ride style. You can go for a street or cruiser tire, or pick one of the grittier enduro tires that suit your needs and budget.
When to change a motorcycle tire?
A tire doesn’t need to get completely bald to need a replacement. If your model has a wear bar, check if it has become flush with the tread. Any cracks, ruptures, cuts, inexplicable pressure loss or just the feeling that the tire is old should get you to buy a new tire.
What are motorcycle tire warmers for?
Motorcycle tire warmers are a great addition to your arsenal if you often ride on racing tracks. These are actually the equivalent of electric blankets, and they will warm the rubber of the tires to operating temperatures. If you only ride on normal roads, you might not need these as the tires will get warm after a few miles.
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