Too Much Depends on Your Tires

By Glenn Zetterquist (Zee331)

With so many aftermarket motorcycle tires on the market, it can be tough to decide which brand or style fits your riding application best. Street, cruiser and dirt bike tires are made differently to adhere to and improve different riding experiences, and maintain a level of safety. Another factor to consider is road condition the tires will largely experience. Do you use your bike to commute? If so, what kind of road do you go over?

Tires designed for performance generally will not last as long as tires made for long journeys. Some tires are great matches for the in-between, such as Metzeler, Bridgestone and Pirelli. If price is a major factor, but you still want some decent performance take look at Shinko and Dunlop. And don’t be afraid to ask your friends what tires they use, how long they last, and how comfortable the ride is. Informed buying decisions are tantamount to end result satisfaction of products purchased.

As you gather intelligence regarding motorcycle tires you may hear the term “stickiness”. This is referring to the tire compound; the handling quality of the tire and how firm it grips the road. Generally the stickier the tire the better it will handle, allowing you to ride more aggressively. The rubber compound of a tire will dictate its life expectancy, the softer the compound the stickier the tire, the faster it will need to be replaced. The harder the compound, the longer the tire will last, however, you lose traction on the road.

We mentioned before the brands to look out for when purchasing a tire. Companies like Michelin have made a strong name for themselves by producing a tire made for long journeys. Distance is their niche, so using the knowledge you gained about softer and harder tire compounds in the previous section, you can make a safe assumption what kind of tire compound goes into their tires. Bridgestone, on the other hand, is about performance and racing.  It’s helpful to know a manufacture’s strength, and how it applies to your riding style.

So who do we recommend? We have a few recommendations to get you started. Based on some of our experiences the Metzeler ME 880 is a solid, all-around tire that provides great distance and a smoother ride over stock. The price per tire is higher than the Dunlop 404 (which has garnered some good reviews), but we feel the ME 880 suits a large number of our cruiser community. By contrast, the Shinko tire has also generated positive buzz around the office for its surprising durability and low-cost. You can also check out our Motorcycle Wheels

Whichever brand of motorcycle tires you are leaning towards ensure it’s the proper size and grade for your bike. A smaller tire on a larger bike will not hold its weight properly,  while a tire that’s too wide for an application can lead to the sidewall rubbing against the fender, or worse. Double check the manufacture’s recommendations or give our

Customer Care team a call at 888-857-5417 and let us know what you ride!