When it comes to a motorcycle, how they look is one of the most important attributes. Sure, the engine is essential and cool accessories help with the flashiness of a bike, too. But, the best motorcycle tires are really what you should be paying attention to.
Of course, other aspects of a bike are imperative, but if you do not have good tires, then your ride is going to be awful. It will not matter how great your engine is or if your brakes can stop on a dime. As you dive further into this guide, you will sort through a variety of products that are important for you to investigate further.
There will be aspects that you concern yourself with to help you buy the best tires on the market today. These tires will fit who you are and how your bike rides.
Best Motorcycle Tires: Editor’s Top Picks
Types of Motorcycle Tires
There are a ton of motorcycle tires to sift through, but you can handle them all. The ones you should know include touring, sport, dual-sport, and off-road tires.
Touring tires should be the first ones you get comfortable with. Bikes that are cruisers, baggers, or touring motorcycles need this type of tire because they have an amazing load index rating to handle the weight.
Mileage is the most important factor when it comes to touring tires because the people who buy these tires use them a lot during the riding season. These tires are made from hardened rubber that takes a long time to wear down. Tires of this nature are great for the freeways and highways. But, just because you take them there does not mean you try to max out their speed rating. These tires should not be ridden over 100 mph. If you are looking for a smooth ride and the best grip around on paved roads, the tires are great for that and protect you against water.
Dual Sport Tires
Dual sport tires should be the next alternative on your list to investigate. These tires can be used for a wide range of things. To get the best performance for your bike, they can take on heavy bikes and well as street varieties. They are great for off-roading and chilling on paved surfaces, too. Dual tires use a ratio to help you make a more educated decision. If you see a ratio of 80/20 street, for example, this means that these tires should be ridden 80% of the time on the street and the other 20% on off-roading.
Sport tires are purely for people looking for the best grip on the market. But, speed and mileage will not be forgotten either. Since sportbikes ride on a plethora of paved surfaces and conditions, these are the most versatile tires money can buy. They are made of a softer material than cruiser tires as well. You will also receive more tread for these models that handle wet weather. Do not buy these tires if you have to maneuver debris on the road. This is not what they were made for.
Off-road tires are the last type of motorcycle tire to look into. They come in many different sizes, are made of different compounds, and have varied tread patterns. Check the manufacturers’ notes to see what kind of tire would fit your bike for the best performance and traction around. But, do remember if you change up the sizing, you may run into traction and cornering problems. Lastly, psi is imperative for these tires, so you can maintain max longevity.
Things to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Tires
As you look to get the best motorcycle tires, do not forget to consider a few features before you make your decision. Nothing is worse than buying motorcycle tires without considering options that might benefit you on your bike. So, before you make your big purchase, look at these buying guide musts.
Getting the Multipack
If you are looking to save some money, look for only tires or winter tires in a set. Instead of buying rear and front tires at a separate price, why not just buy them all at once? Now, this might only save you a few bucks, but if you are looking to stay under a budget, a multipack is your best bet.
Everyone wants a tread that will last and last. That is why you should look for a tread that has great handling characteristics. But, first, you have to decide what kind of tread you are looking for. Tread that is low profile is usually found on sports bikes, while the aggressive tread is essential for off-roading. There are even types of treads that keep water away from your vehicle. No matter what you decide, be solid on your decision. This way, your tread will fit the environment your ride in.
Along with tread comes mileage. Motorcycle tires can last for thousands upon thousands of miles, but not all add up to that. Since good tires cost a pretty penny, it is crucial that you look into the fact is they will be worth your while or not. If you only take your bike out a few times a year, you probably should not payout for tires you barely use. However, if you use your bike day after day, buy tires that fit the bill.
When it comes to high mileage tires, you will notice they sacrifice grip because of the hard construction compound. Tires with multiple compounds usually will not have a problem because of harder wearing materials that take on road contact with ease.
Knowing The Speed Rating
Every tire has a speed rating, but many people just gloss over the fact of what they mean. The speed ratings use a letter to exemplify how fast they can truly go. The letter “H” maxes out at 130 mph, while “V” hits close to 150 mph. “W” is the fastest tire at 168 mph. These are the three common letters used for speed but other letters help in this process as well.
Tire construction is another thing that should not go unnoticed. Bias-ply tires use ply systems of 2,4,6, and beyond to build a tire. The rating system for strength is categorized by the ply that is used. Because technology has continued to improve over the year, less ply is needed during construction. This has allowed for strong tires nonetheless. With this type of construction, sidewalls are stiff and great for bikes that carry the heaviest of leads. They can truly handle high mileage with great ease.
Radials are another tire construction you should get familiar with. The plies for this tire run face over and down, which makes it look like the tires are wrapped. They are belted, allowing for reduced wear and tear over the life of the tire. With sidewalls that are a little thinner, they absorb nasty bumps and flex more over time, giving you the utmost traction.
Radial Bias-Plies is the last construction to know. This type of tire is always in front of the motorcycle. Great for motorcycles with a tall tire up front and a wide tire outback. This mix should never be switched because radial tires should never be front and center on a motorcycle.
Top 15 Best Motorcycle Tires Reviews:
1. Michelin Commander II Rear Motorcycle Tire
If you are looking for motorcycle tires from the brand Michelin, you have come to the right place with this first model. These tires use a wet grip that helps with added durability. For this product, it comes packaged in bead wire which helps keeps the rigidity of the tires. Additionally, the installation will be a breeze with this product.
By using Amplified Density Technology (ADT), the casing for the tire will hold up under the harshest of conditions. These tires also give feedback as to how they wear, to help Michelin make better tires in the future. Another piece of technology is Silica Rain Technology (SRT). This is where the tread of the tire wears evenly, so you will not have any trouble when you are driving. Even at the highest speeds, you will be able to maintain stability and maneuverability.
With longitudinal tread grooves, your tires will handle the worst kind of weather, keeping you grounded as you roam. By having each tire weighing 21.5 pounds, they are sturdy enough to maintain traction for years to come. It’s a tire like this that has a high-speed rating no matter the vehicle.
- Has a rim diameter of 16-inches
- These are high-mileage tires
- Great value for the money you pay
- Sensational all-season tires
- Grooves create for a stellar partnership with the road
2. Dunlop American Elite Rear All-Season Radial Tire
Dunlop is one of the leading choices for tires on the market today. These motorcycle tires wear better and longer than ever before. Sold by Avid Cycles, these tires get the job done right. Weighing 21.8 pounds per tire, they are heavy-duty enough to handle the road, while not weighing your vehicle down.
The section width measures out at 180 millimeters (mm), while the rim diameter is 16-inches. With an aspect ratio of 65 and a high-speed rating, you will love how these tires look and perform. Additionally, there is great lateral-grip to help improve any handling you need on the road. This variety is a tubeless model, but you can also add a tube if you have spoken wheels. Check out these tires if you own a street glide, Harley, or American Elite bike.
- One of the most inexpensive models on the planet
- Tires will last for multiple years
- These tires can handle the roads at 70 miles per hour (mph)
- Perfect for a scooter as well
- Add great balance to a motorcycle
- Take on bad, wet weather with ease
- Tires are only a couple of weeks old when you buy them
3. Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle Tire
If you are looking for a brand new product, Continental has created the best cruiser motorcycle tires for you to enjoy. This radial option is essential for both wet and dry roadways. They are a safe product that will not leave you stranded at the most inopportune times. The value for your money is a great attribute of these tires. You will not be buying tires that cost a lot and wear down quickly. With these inexpensive tires, you will see the value last for years to come.
These tires are made of steel construction for the best stability around. Also, as you are riding on your bike, you will notice a great level of comfort wherever you take your bike. The tires themselves only weigh 12 pounds, with a section width of 160 mm and a rim diameter of 17-inches.
- Great all-season tires
- Has a W speed rating which can go up to 168 mph
- Awesome radial tire
- Tires can last over 6,000 miles
- Perfect for Honda CBR and Sport Touring bikes
- Deep tread that handles turns with ease
- Essential for aggressive bike riders
- Ideal for your first set of replacement tires
4. Shinko 777 Rear Tire
As some of the best touring motorcycle tires, Shinko knows how to get the job done right. These tires are designed for the best cruiser machines. They fit V-twin models and other metric options. By taking on high mileage and the load capacity of what you have on your bike. This allows for a great tread compound alternative.
The version of Shinko tires has a variety of selected sizes. With highly-rated tubeless tires, they are also rated for 4 or 6 ply options. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved this option as a sensational whitewall version. Make sure that your bike adapts to the necessary tire specifications with a recommended rim measurement of 4-inches. Lastly, the tires are 6 pounds each, so they will not hold you down as you go out driving. Not only will you fly around on the pavement, but they will also hold up under the toughest of conditions.
- Has a load index rating of 77.0
- The speed rating is high
- Uses an aspect ratio of 80.00
- Patented as a directional tread option
- The tire will accept tubes
- Will last for thousands of miles even if you ride hard
5. Kenda Cruiser K671 Motorcycle Street Tire
Kenda Tires have always been a DOT-approved model, and these best-rated motorcycle tires are no exception. As a high-rated model, these tires can get up to 130 mph without damaging the tire itself. By being 6-ply rated, the tubeless construction of these tires is perfect for sport or cruiser bikes. The deep tread is great to keep wet weather away. Water will be dispersed away from your vehicle and off the roadways.
There is also great sidewall protection for the best protection on today’s roads. This allows for handling that will keep you away from any accidents, as well as great performance so the tires will last and last. With a wide patch, this will help you increase your mileage every time you drive. Each tire only weighs 18 pounds, so you will be able to have strong tires that will not weigh down the bike.
- Has a load index rating of 83
- Constructed with a section width of 170 mm
- The aspect ratio is an 80
- Ideal for a low-profile model or street application
- Can add a tube if desired
- Each tire lasts for 10,000 to 12,000 miles
6. Bridgestone Excedra G850 Cruiser Rear Motorcycle Tire
These are performance-enhanced tires that you will love. Made by Bridgestone, these radials are of the professional variety and will take on high mileage easily. The tires are made from Silica, which goes through an enrichment process. This compound allows for a great grip no matter if the roads are dry or wet and muddy.
With spiral belt technology, your tires will maintain great stability even when you drive fast. They are made with the help of Kevlar, which is the same material used for bulletproof vests. Also, your ride will be more comfortable with stellar shock absorption. These best touring motorcycle tires are perfect for the V-Rod, Roadstar Warrior, Mean Streak, and VTX1800 models. Check your listings for more models that work with these sweet tires. Your installer will like them too because of the way they flawlessly attach to any motorcycle rim.
- The tires weigh 13.9 pounds each
- Maintains a Z Speed Rating
- Uses radial technology for this rear tire
- This tire can be mounted on the front as well
- Ideal for a trike bike also
- The warranty for cracking last us to 4 years
- Treads smoothly at 60 mph
7. Pirelli Diablo Rosso III Front & Rear Street Sport Tires
Even though these are not the most inexpensive tires on the block, these are the best sport-touring motorcycle tires you will find. To start, not only will you receive state-of-the-art tires to enjoy, you will also get a log keychain straight from Pirelli. As we maneuver back to the tires, they respond well to where you want them to go. Transitions and turn-ins work just as well with these tires, too.
Made of a dual-compound, the grip on these tires creates a great lean angle. With a large footprint, the adherence to these tires is spectacular, as is W-rated to top speeds over 170 mph. These top-notch tires also have a section width and an aspect ratio of 1 mm each. Lastly, the load index rating falls at 1.00, and the rim diameter measures out at 17-inches for better gas mileage.
- Perfect for recreational use and racing
- Developed specifically for the World Superbike Championship
- The shipping weight is only 10 pounds
- The tire will wear evenly
- Great for precise control
- More grip than you ever thought possible
- Created in the year 2018
8. Michelin Commander II Motorcycle Tire Cruiser
This great front wheel is one of the best cruiser motorcycle tires. Made by the triumphant Michelin brand, they are developed and certified in the United States of America. Since they are ridden on over half a million miles in America, you can imagine their worth to a motorcycle rider. These tires are specifically designed to add to the design of your bike already. With this in mind, your bike becomes a unique model, which most riders will covet.
Made of a rayon ply, this tire stays away from the polyester variety, which allows for a stable ride wherever you go. Belts in the rear of the tire give this tire to be patched if needed, and the traction wears evenly over time. Weighing in at almost 13 pounds, this model is one of the best in the business. Check out its bias construction that you will be sold on.
- The speed rating is an H
- Rim width measures out to 130 mm
- Can be shipped anywhere in the United States of America
- Model is a tubeless tire
- The tire holds up extremely well in all weather conditions
- No weighting needed to balance these tires
9. Metzeler ME880 XXL Cruiser Street Motorcycle Tire
With an extra-wide body, this motorcycle tire can handle anything you drive on. The tire is great for custom bikes or power cruisers. Its flattened tread allows for the greatest mileage any motorcycle can have. These tires can take on the heaviest of loads, and even keep up on the heaviest of bikes.
The grooved tread is what sets these tires apart from their competitors. With an offset design, this will help eliminate road noise and wear and tear, too. On the wettest of roads, even when braking, the tires will hold up and give you the same control day after day. A steel belt is also used to help with tuning and when mounting a back fender. The tire barely weighs anything at 13.23 pounds. With a section width of 260 mm and a 40 aspect ratio, these tires are built for success.
- The rim diameter measures out at 18-inches
- There is a Load Index Rating is an 84
- The speed rating is a V
- Created as a tubeless design
- Made in the country of Germany
- Tires kick debris away from your bike
- Stick perfectly to mountain curves
10. Dunlop Harley Davidson D402 Front Motorcycle Tire
Harley Davidson sells the best adventure motorcycle tires for all those thrill-seekers out there. Perfect for touring bikes, these tires use a 3-ply polyester casing. With the help of two belts, the load capacity and stability stay strong throughout the length of the tires. You will like the tread, too, because it is been optimized to improve your ride, even on the bumpiest of roads.
The steel grated tire bridges are perfect against wear and tear. You can buy these for the front or the rear of your bike, and you can buy a Blackwall, white bar, or white sidewall. With an H speed rating, these slim tires can hold up to 908 pounds. Since the tires only weight 8.4 pounds, they are maneuverable in a lot of different situations. This is why Dunlop is an extremely good option for those who have a Harley, Suzuki, and Kawasaki to name a few.
- Has a rim diameter of 21 inches
- Made with 2 belts that are made of fiberglass
- Perfect for a street bike
- Can get up to speeds of 130 mph
- Tire is tubeless
- Quick shipping on this product
- Amazing value for the money you pay
11. Continental Motion Tire Set
If you are looking for the two best tires in one place, check out these motorcycle tires. The front tire has a quality of 120/70ZR17, while the back is 180/55ZR17. With a new radial conception, people love this tire, as it glides along with the motorcycle. Safe is a big priority for Continental, and they do it right with this model. No matter the road conditions, dry or wet, these tires can truly handle things.
Worried the tires will not hold up? These tires can handle mileage. With formulated polymers, the compound used for these tires is long-lasting and you will see that year after year. As all-around tires, they grip well to the road and are competitively priced against any other business in the market. In 3 to 4 business days, you will be well on your way to getting the great tires you deserve for your bike.
- Dependable durability
- Will handle thousands of miles with these tires
- Ideal for the Sport Touring model
- Great deal for the set you pay
- First and second impressions will wow you
- Can take on a few hundred pounds with these tires
12. Duro HF319 Front/Rear 4-Ply Motorcycle Tire
When looking for the best price for motorcycle tires, it can be laborious when find the right fit for your vehicle. No need to worry because this tire from Duro is a game-changer. Weighing in at only 6 pounds, you will enjoy what they can do for you and your bike. The tire is DOT approved and can hold up to 441 pounds of weight. By blowing them up to 32 pounds per square inch (psi), they will ride smoothly around.
Your bike will be able to hit speeds right around 100 mph, and they are a perfect gift for those celebrating a birthday or for the holidays. Even though they are not a tubeless option, they still reach a high quality that is unmatched in this day and age. Whether you have a Honda or a Harley Davidson, this tire can work well whenever you have a chance to ride.
- Great option as a replacement tire
- Perfect for a vintage kind of bike
- The grip allows for stable turns with no slippage at all
- Pattern buzzing is not annoying, but rather calming as you ride
- Mileage and longevity is what Duro is all about
13. Shinko Tire 712 Series
Shinko tires might not be the most well-known, but they are quickly gaining traction with this super option. Brand new, this tire turns heads weighing in a tiny 6 pounds. With this in mind, these tires will not hold you down, and they will not wear out either. The section width is a solid 100 and the aspect ratio is 90.00. Add a rim diameter of 19-inches, and a Load Index Rating of 90.0, and you will love this tire all over again whenever you lay eyes on it.
Do not forget to check out the speed rating for this beauty either. It is an H rating, which means the tire can haul on the roadways. So, if you live anywhere in the United States of America, Puerto Rico, Australia, or the United Kingdom, you will be able to purchase this tire to enhance the bike you already own.
- The tire can be tubeless or tube filled
- Created as a bias ply tire
- Perfect for Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki bikes
- A quality tire is what you will get
- Great for vintage bikes as well
- Comes with a great defect warranty
14. Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle Front Tire
Still, looking for the best motorcycle tires? These should not get lost in your choices. As a premier radial tire, Continental sells this model as a level market tire. It is one of the safest around and just as reliable on dry roads as it is on wet roads. For the money you pay, you will get great mileage out of this tire. Made with a polymer compound, this tire is formulated for greatness. A steel belt construction is ideal for comfort as you ride and stability when you make tight turns.
With this tire weighing less than 10 pounds, you can imagine the great technology it brings by being lightweight and durable for thousands of miles. A bias-ply system is what makes these wheels great. The rim diameter is 17-inches, while the load index rating is 58 holding even the heaviest of bikes.
- The tire has a W speed rating
- The rim width is 120 millimeters and so is the section width
- The aspect ratio is 70
- Perfect all-season tires
- Essential for Kawasaki and Honda riders
- Inexpensive for the price you pay
- The traction is unparalleled in this market
15. MMG Set of 2 Tires
Sometimes, it can be a drag when you only get one tire. That is why you should buy a set of two for your motorcycle. MMG has your covered with the last product we will share with you in this article. First off, these are very inexpensive tires, which means that you will save a buck. At the same time, you will not buy tires that will wear down in a season. The tires are good for the long haul.
As a DOT-approved model, you will notice the sensational tread pattern, which allows for the best handling and stability in the 21st Century. With a max load of 430 pounds, these tires can hold up on the biggest of bikes. When using these tires, make sure that the psi level is a 36. Made with a special rubber concoction, you will love the wear and grip these tires possess.
- Best for motorcycles and scooters
- Each tire weighs just over 8 pounds
- This is a tubeless model
- Great for Hondo motorcycles
- Very easy to install
- Shipping only takes a few days
- The tires push dirt and water away from the vehicle
What Type to Choose – Tube or Tubeless?
Having a choice is a nice thing to have, but when it comes to tires, your motorcycle has a lot to say if you can choose between a tube and tubeless variety. Bikes are set up in different ways, so if your bike is set up for tubeless, tubeless will have to stay, unless you want to get a new bike. It would be easier to just take the tire off and install a new tire, but that just will not work in this instance.
When you do buy your bike for the first time, the tire that is on is the kind you should keep forevermore. This is why the manufacturer of a bike has the tire there for you to reference. Road bikes usually have tubeless tires for one main reason: safety. If a tubeless tire blows out during a ride, the rider will not get thrown off their bike to their death. The tubeless tire will be a scary event, but the rider will be able to make it to the side of the road without a severely shredded tire.
But, if you have a tubed tire, know that this variety is a lot easier to repair. If you get a flat, you should fix it simply. A tube tire is great for slower motorcycles that you can carry extra tubes, a repair kit, and tools to fix it right.
How to Read a Motorcycle Tire Sidewall
On a typical tire sidewall, you will find a code of numbers that may seem like a foreign language to you. Let us get into the nuts and bolts of what they mean. For example, let us pretend the motorcycle reading says: 90/90 – 16 67 V.
The first 90 means that the width of the tread is 90 mm. The second number is the aspect ratio, which means the percentage of the sidewall similarly to the width. So, 90% means the sidewall compared to the width of the tire. The third number is all about rim size, while the fourth number is about load rating and how much the bike can hold. The number, in this case, is 67, which means the bike can hold over 660 pounds of weight. The last letter is about the speed rating, which was mentioned in the buying guide.
Motorcycle Tire Brands
Tire brands are an important aspect of your motorcycle experience. There are tons you have already seen in the product review. These brands are competing for your business and are big players in the worldwide market of motorcycle tires. Brands like Continental, Pirelli, and Bridgestone are your best bets, but there are many more, as you have seen, that could make your best driving experience a reality.
If you were to head out and take with a bike about their tires, they will have a favorite brand that they have used for years. In this day and age, there are a lot of brands that make really good tires. It is up to you to find what quality tires will work for you and your lifestyle. This is why it is important to experiment and try out tires from a variety of manufacturers. Look for brands to allow you a trial period to test them out. You deserve to feel 100% comfortable with your purchase.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Is repairing a motorcycle a reality?
This truly depends on what kind of tire you have. If you have small puncture holes, a kit can fix things up nicely. A tire sealant, like Tire Slime, can be a big help, too. Do you have worse damage than that? If you do, you cannot repair this at home. It will now be time for you to take your tire to a repair shop for the best service and patch-up.
However, if you come to this point, it might just be better to get a new tire. They are inexpensive tires that you could still get a lot out of. Since motorcycle riding is the most dangerous vehicle to drive statistically, do not up these chances by having a bad tire.
Q2: Can rear tires be put in the front?
As stated earlier, do not put a back tire upfront or Visa Versa. However, if you are in a pinch, this could work for a time. Most bikes have a design for specific front and rear tires. Front tires have more drag force, while rear tires push the bike ahead. Mixing can be a dangerous thing, but if you need to get new tires and that is all you have around, drive it carefully to the shop. However, the best route just might be towing it.
Q3: What size tube is needed?
The sidewall will tell you everything you need. On each tube, they will state the size as well. Paperwork for your motorcycle or the Internet can help you get the job right, too.
Q4: Is reusing a tube a bad thing?
Do not do this, unless you are in a pinch, like the last question. However, hauling your bike to the shop is a better bet. A new tube is quite inexpensive and you can get it installed with a repair kit on your own or have a professional finish the job.
Now that you have dived headfirst into the world of best motorcycle tires, it is time for you to make a decision. Consider everything that has been discussed and you will be well on your way to success. Then, you can drive on the open roads with peace of mind, knowing you made the right decision for yourself and your motorcycle. Happy trails!