Every motorcycle enthusiast is curious about the life-span of their tires. Great tires ensure you enjoy longer rides without having to worry about their condition.
We can’t emphasize enough the convenience offered by a top quality set of tires. Unfortunately, not all tires come up to scratch.
The overwhelming number of poorly manufactured tires on the market has influenced people to think that tires should only last a couple of years. This is far from the truth.
A quality set of tires should last you at least five years. Premium tires on the market will exceed that. Avoid purchasing a product that doesn’t deliver a minimum of five years of use.
False promises have become another trend in the tire industry. Some manufacturers advertise performance that their tires can’t achieve.
Unfortunately, exaggerated marketing claims can cause disappointment down the line when purchasing such products. These cases are occurring too often, and hopefully, we can help prevent you from falling victim to such.
This article will inform you on what realistic expectations you should demand from your tires.
We’ll also discuss how to tell a good-quality tire from a bad one. This ensures you buy a product with reasonable expectations.
Last, we’ll recommend the best tires on the market today. These are the products that tick all our boxes in our evaluation criteria. We believe you’ll be satisfied with the options we recommend.
Why Do Long-Lasting Motorcycle Tires Matter?
Not having to replace your tires regularly is an incredible benefit. If you don’t ride daily, you can extend the life-span of bad tires. But those who use their motorcycles often will need durable and robust tires.
The alternative is replacing your tires every couple of years. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it will also cost more money than buying superior tires.
Tire mounting is an additional cost that is often overlooked. Depending on the tire type, you can spend between 13 and 45 dollars per tire on this alone. If you are changing tires every couple of years, you’ll definitely be inconvenienced.
You could avoid this cost if you do the tire mounting yourself. But few people are skilled enough or have the space to do so. It takes some effort to do it properly, which is why most people prefer to delegate this task to someone else. But if you’re committed to doing the tire mounting yourself, this video is a great aid.
The economics of long-lasting tires make sense. Think in terms of cost per year. If you buy a premium set of tires for 200 dollars, that’s 40 dollars per year if the tires last five years. In comparison, if you purchase poor quality tires for 100 dollars, that need replacing every two years, the cost per year works out at 50 dollars.
If you add the cost of tire mounting, you realize how expensive it is to opt for cheap, short-lasting tires.
Think of the long game. Premium value is best noticed over time. Things made to last cost more initially but can be the cheaper option in the long run.
Having a great vehicle isn’t enough to have a superb ride. You need tires that optimize your engine’s performance.
Wheels are the only part of a motorcycle that remains in constant contact with the ground. They are responsible for secure road grip, comfort and fuel efficiency. If you neglect these considerations, your rides will not be as fulfilling as they should be.
Where tires are concerned, long-lasting is closely related to quality. Brands that make such tires use premium materials that improve tire performance. You rarely have a bad-performing, long-lasting tire. Improving the durability of tires also improves other qualities of it. So you’ll get more than just a more robust tire at purchase.
What Other Qualities are Important in Motorcycle Tires?
Secure Road Grip
Secure road grip is the primary function of a set of tires. A two-wheel vehicle is less stable than a four-wheel one. A secure road grip is, therefore, critical.
Think about it: when it turns, a car doesn’t travel at an angle the same as a motorcycle does. If it did, one side of the vehicle would have its wheels in the air. Because of this, car tires differ from motorcycle tires.
It’s not enough to have grip perpendicular to the ground. You must also have excellent grip on the sides of the tire. This will allow you to turn safely on tight corners without the fear of a horrific accident.
Also, the grip is, in part, responsible for the braking distance. If your tires don’t grip the road well, you will travel much further than you should after braking. Sometimes this is hardly noticeable. But in emergencies, it can be the difference between an unnecessary accident or just a scare.
When we talk of durability, we usually refer to how long the grip will last. Think of MotoGP. New tires have incredible performance. Drivers perform their best on a fresh pair of tires. As the tires deteriorate, the driver must employ performance and tire management to finish the race.
That’s because tires lose grip. A massive factor determining the rate at which they do this is the quality of the tires. Durable tires are slow to lose their grip.
Tires must promote comfort. They work together with suspension systems to ensure you have a smooth ride. When motorcycle manufacturers try to improve ride quality, their criteria includes using the right set of tires. Bad tires can be unstable, and you’ll feel every bump a road has to offer. Better tires can make you feel almost weightless.
To understand why tires contribute to fuel efficiency, we need to discuss some physics. One of the many forces acting between the tires and the ground is friction. Friction is a necessary property in transmission. It’s responsible for secure road grip and handling. However, too much friction is a terrible thing.
More friction means there is a greater force that the vehicle’s motor must overcome to move. Think in terms of loads. A motorcycle carrying a 100-pound load will use less energy than one carrying 200 pounds—the same thing with friction. More friction means the car must produce more energy to move.
Since gas is the primary energy source in most motorcycles, you’ll be using more gas per mile if there’s a lot of friction.
Quality tires have an ideal balance of secure road grip and fuel efficiency. That’s because engineers work very hard to research new materials and rubber compounds. This innovation comes at a premium which is why high-end tires cost so much.
Types of Motorcycle Tires
Not all tires are made equally. We can say the same with motorcycles. The tires used for city commuting wouldn’t be suitable for off-roading. This is why there are different types of motorcycle tires. Many people who have never had to change their tires won’t know the difference between them.
Purchase the tires that complement the motorcycle you own. Touring motorcycles function best with touring/cruising tires, while high-performance bikes need high-performance tires.
These are the most robust tires in the industry. Naturally, they’re made for cruisers, which are heavy vehicles that often carry two or more people. The tires must be able to handle a lot of weight while also being long-lasting. This is because cruiser owners usually go on long rides with their vehicles. That’s the sort of owners these motorcycles have.
The stiff sidewalls of cruiser tires provide the support needed to handle large loads. These tires also have relatively more tread depth. A tread depth of 10/32 inch is common among these motorcycle tires.
Besides the durability, cruiser tires have outstanding wet-weather performance. A motorcycle owner shouldn’t have to worry about wet weather, especially when traveling. This type of tire makes sure of that.
For high-performance motorcycles, think Hyper- or Supersport bikes. Such vehicles are extremely lightweight and emphasize speed and handling. The tires must also reflect these intentions. Thus, high-performance tires are light and consist of very soft compounds that help with grip and handling.
Because such bikes reach high speeds, these tires can handle quick temperature changes. As the transmission speed of the vehicle increases, the tires will get hot.
This is ordinarily dangerous because rubber changes shape at high temperatures. But, new, heat-resistant materials have been created and are used for these tires. These compounds ensure your tires function well in hot conditions.
These tires are a hybrid between cruising and high-performance tires. You’ll get the durability that comes with the former and the handling from the latter. The tires are much softer on the sides to enable this, ensuring good traction when cornering. They also have a hard strip in the middle responsible for their long-lasting nature.
Dual Sport/ADV Tires
These are easy to recognize. They look robust and tough enough for any adventure.
Such tires are meant for the unbeaten path. Maintaining a grip on very slippery surfaces is the primary function of this tire. It must handle mud, dirt and all that comes with the wilderness.
Which Are The Best Motorcycle Manufacturers?
The big names in car tires also produce the best motorcycle tires. The three biggest brands in the tire industry offer the longest-lasting tires on the market. These companies have billions of dollars in revenues. This ensures they can invest heavily in research while recruiting the best talent on offer.
With such resources, they can produce exceptional tires that will last. Although they price most of their tires at a premium, the value they offer more than compensates. The following is a review of the three best motorcycle brands.
This French tire company is also well known in culinary circles. They award Michelin stars to the world’s top restaurants and chefs.
The multinational earns over 24 billion dollars annually. This has allowed them to develop and introduce innovative tires in the market.
Take the Commander 2, for example. It’s a cruiser tire that offers exceptional handling and durability. You can expect at least five years of use from this tire. What makes it distinctive is its wet weather performance. Few tires can compete with it in this department.
The German company has become world-renowned for its innovative tires. Continental tires match the performance and efficiency we’ve come to expect from German manufacturing.
Because of this, they reach annual revenues of over 44 billion dollars. With all this capital at their disposal, they’ve produced captivating tires.
The ContiMotion is a splendid example of this. It’s a Sport/Touring tire that has a near-perfect performance. The outstanding feature about this product is the value.
Each tire costs less than a hundred dollars but still delivers premium performance. Economies of scale mean larger companies can produce better products at a lower price.
Pirelli is an Italian multinational that is most famous for being the tire supplier to Formula One. Having such a lucrative deal means the company does phenomenally well in ground-breaking innovation and research. We can also see this ambition to exceed boundaries in their motorcycle line.
The Diablo Rosso personifies everything that Pirelli is about. It features a novel high-performance silica compound, which ensures that the tire functions optimally in all conditions.
Should I buy second hand tires?
No. Avoid doing so. There are various cheap alternatives for brand new tires. And unless you’re an expert, it’s hard to see how much life a tire has left when it’s secondhand.
Should I buy my motorcycle tires online?
It depends on where you buy them from. First, you must know the exact size you need. But after that, buy either from a reputable brand or reputable supplier. That’s because such entities can guarantee value. They’re also more likely to offer good warranties.
Tires should never be an afterthought, especially if you value your riding safety and comfort. Many inferior tire brands claim to be durable and robust, but few deliver on these promises. Reputable brands are always going to be more trustworthy. That’s why they’re reputable!
Understand that your tires are also meant to enhance your riding experience. They should be a pleasure to travel on and shouldn’t come with inconveniences like a bumpy ride or a short lifespan.
Five years is the minimum you should expect from a decent set of motorcycle tires.