Tires are one of the most important parts of your motorcycle. Often overlooked, it’s pretty terrifying to think that only this tiny patch of rubber is responsible for keeping you rubber side down and shiny side up. That said, it’s very important to ensure that your tires are always in tip top shape. After all, the condition of your tires could very well mean the difference between life and death.
Now, we’ve covered how to check your tire pressure, as well as the overall condition of your tires in another article. This time, it’s time for you to get a new set of rubber for your motorcycle. While doing so can be intimidating due to the sheer number of options available in the market, we’ll try to narrow things down for you to make it easier for you to go about buying brand new tires for your beloved steed. All that being said, here are 5 things to consider when buying new motorcycle tires.
With online shopping now a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, it can be all too easy to order the wrong size of tire for your motorcycle, and inadvertently wash thousands of your hard-earned pesos down the drain. With that in mind, be sure to double, or even triple check the exact size of your motorcycle’s tires. Normally, it is acceptable to get slightly wider tires, such as, say a 160 tire for a bike that originally came with a 150 rear tire. However, make sure to thoroughly do your research, as ensuring your tires fit perfectly onto your rims is a vital element in keeping you safe on the road.
Type of riding
Just like motorcycles, tires come with various designs meant for specific types of riding. Be sure to do your research when it comes to the specific type of tire you want to get. Does a set of low treadwear semi-slick tires make sense for you if you’ll be riding your motorcycle to and from the office on a daily basis? Maybe not. Perhaps you may want to opt for more long-distance, hard-wearing sport touring tires instead. Do you plan to ride off-road? Then maybe you’d want to do some research on the best adventure and dual-sport tires currently available in the market.
Different tires come with different treadwear ratings, which ultimately dictate just how long your tires will last. Now, treadwear ratings may vary depending on your manufacturer, however, most performance oriented tires have softer compounds which oftentimes translate to lower overall mileage. On the other hand, sport touring tires such as the Metzeler Roadtec 01, or the Pirelli Angel GT, tend to provide the best of both worlds when it comes to outright grip and longevity. However, if you will be riding on the track, or have a purpose built sportbike, then going for performance-oriented rubber may be your best bet.
It may come as a surprise to some of you, but motorcycle tires have a shelf life. It is recommended that your motorcycle tires must be no more than five years old, given the fact that rubber compounds tend to break down over time, thus drastically reducing your tires’ ability to perform under various heat and load conditions. That said, it’s very easy to check the manufacturing date of your tires by simply looking at the markings on the side wall.
Unfortunately, tires can be very expensive, and not everybody has the cash to burn on top-shelf rubber. As a result, the tires most people end up buying will be a compromise of a variety of factors. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as there are loads of tires in the market which offer incredible versatility and value for money. That said, be sure to allocate a budget when it comes to choosing your bike’s next set of rubber. As is the case with most things motorcycle related, prices go way up, the bigger your bike is. For instance, a set of tires for a commuter scooter can fetch anywhere from P5,000 to P12,000. On the other hand, a decent set of tires for a big bike can cost well over the P30K mark.