Expert advice on choosing the right tyres for your motorcycle

Choosing the right tyre type for your motorcycle is perhaps one of the most important things to do as it totally controls the way a motorcycle handles in day to day riding conditions. Tyres affect every aspect of motorcycling such as braking, handling, stability, agility and even economy, so choosing the correct tyre type becomes very important if you would want the bike to behave in a predictable manner.

Before heading on to the tyre shop make sure you figure out the need of your motorcycle. There are many different types of bikes present in the market today but all the categories can be more or less fitted into the following classes: Cruisers, Sport, ADV, Off-road, Street and Scooters.

All the modern day bikes comes with tubeless tyres but only certain off-road bikes are offered with tubed tyres. You can fit any tyre you would want depending up on your motorcycle model and need, but since tubeless tyres have more advantages compared to tubed, it is always a more recommended option to go with.

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Size matters –

The wider the tyre is the more it will restrict agility of the motorcycle. That is one of the reasons why bikes/scooters with thin tyre are able to zip through the traffic so easily. And that’s why cruisers with super massive rear tyres can’t handle at all. So be very careful if you are thinking about stepping up the width of your rear tyre. Always go for the recommended size which suits your bike model, or else handling dynamics will be affected severely.

If your daily riding route is just from the home to the office, and you do not like to push around on the fast corners, then do not bother yourself by going for a too expensive sport class tyres. Rather go for daily street tyres which have decent grip and can provide excellent mileage in a longer run.

If you ride something like a Harley-Davdison Street Glide, the need of the hour for you is definitely going to be cruiser tyres. These tyres are designed only to be used in such bikes which usually run on torque rather than power. They are also designed to provide exceptional straight line stability on the flat straight highway. And are usually made wide to handle all the ground shattering torque that cruiser bikes are capable of producing. Another criterion that tyre makers set when designing tyres for cruiser bikes is comfort. Hence these tyres are large profiled to provide cushion support and comfort.  

While if you ride something like a Ducati Panigale or a Kawasaki Ninja H2, you will need nothing else but a sport class tyre. Such tyres are designed to provide exceptional grip around the corners. They also turn very sticky when properly warmed up. These tyres are generally made up of soft and medium compounds. With soft compounds generally found on the sides and medium/hard on the mid section of a tyre. This is done to provide extra grip when leaned over in a corner, while saving tyre life when running in a straight lines. Such tyres are very expensive compared to other category of tyres.

Can I use a low quality/less expensive tyre on a fast bike?

 Tyre manufacturers spend a fortune when it comes to engineering and designing tyres.  And that is the reason why  some tyres are very expensive. If you are running on a tight budget and do not wish to go for an expensive tyre for your superbike, best thing to do is delay the plan and buy the right tyre when you have the budget. Because cheap tyres are a huge risk when it comes to grip, handling and safety, especially on the fast bikes. So cheap tyres and expensive bikes are a deadly combination!

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