onWheels

A Guide to Motorcycle Tires for the Budding Rider

“The most important thing is to have a good relationship with the bike... you have to understand what she wants. I think of a motorcycle as a woman, and I know that sounds silly, but it's true.” - Valentino Rossi

If you have decided that purchasing a beautifully designed and powerful motorcycle will indeed be your next big purchase, then you may indeed want to do some reading regarding the two tires that keep such magnificent creations going.

As the quotation by Valentino Rossi, Italian professional motorcycle road racer, and multiple Moto GP World Champion, notes: To enjoy your bike and to ride safely, you need to understand what your motorcycle wants. And knowing what tires to fit is an essential part of this knowledge.

Having the best motorcycle tires around will not just ensure the smoothest and most enjoyable ride possible, it will also keep you the safest. Motorcycles are certainly tricky to get used to if you have only just begun riding one, and so you certainly want the best parts equipped that will ensure your comfortable peace of mind.

Where to Begin

You will need to find a motorcycle tire service that adequately accommodates to your motorcycle’s make and design. The best motorcycle services are those that provide quality work for a wide range of motorcycles, from Ninjas toHarley Davidsons.

When you consider what your motorcycle needs, there are a few personal decisions that you need to make. Firstly,your skill level will probably not be the greatest, seeing as you have just started out.

You will also want to consider just what your interests are as a rider. Will you be tackling gravelly, muddy mountain tracks, or are long cruises through winding countryside roads your thing? Either way, the most vital consideration always has to be safety. And using the correct tires for the application are an essential part of motorcycle safety.

Opinions seem to be mixed; however, it is wise to fit off-road tires when riding on dangerous mountain tracks and road tires when riding for long distances on a tarmac road.

There are a number of dual-purpose tires that can be fitted which are suitable for both on-road and off-road riding. Therefore, if you plan on riding on both surfaces with your bike, it is worth considering purchasing a set of dual-purpose tires instead of having to change tires every time you swap road surfaces.

What Goes into a Motorcycle Tread?

The Tread

The tread is the part of the tire that touches the road, and what generally comes to mind when you think of tire components. The general rule is that a smoother tread will pair better with a dry and smooth surface, as opposed to the chunkier tread variations, which are more suitable for off-road ventures.

There are the street tread pattern variations which have been designed to better handle wet roads. Then there are the street tread patterns which have been constructed specifically for off road, which come in many different designs for a variety of surfaces, which include sand and hard-packed dirt.

The Bead

The bead is what joins the tire to the wheel. You will generally find this part to be made from steel wire which has been heavily wrapped in rubber. The bead should always fit snugly in the wheel, in order to avoid the wheel’s rotational slipping within the tire.

The Carcass

This is what is known as the body of the tire, which can be found underneath the tread. In terms of motorcycle tires, you will generally find radial or bias-ply implementations, which simply means how the tire has been built.

Bias-ply tires will contain belts which will generally be made from cords of fiber, such as fiberglass, polyester, or aramid, which will run in between beads at angles of around thirty or forty degrees, which is where the bias comes from.

A radial tire contains a reinforcing belt, which will mostly be made of steel, which runs from bead to bead throughout the tread of your tire.

Whichever type of tire you end up going for, make sure that it is top of the range, and make sure that the service you approach has the right accreditations and certifications for legal and safety reasons.