Motorcycle tires generally last between five and 10 years, but if you’re not sure how long you’ve had your tires, it’s time for an upgrade. Here’s your guide to choosing the best motorcycle tires for your purpose and bike.
Best Sport Touring Motorcycle Tires
Of all your motorcycle parts, tires are the most important, and they must be designed for your bike’s make. If you have a sport touring motorcycle, you love the sleekness of sports bikes but prefer long-term travel over speed. Also called sports-tourers, these bikes need tires that can handle lots of rain and puddles and that don’t diminish in performance when it gets cold.
The top brands for sport touring motorcycle tires are Kenda, ITP, Michelin, and Dunlop. Each manufacturer includes tires for your front and back wheels in a variety of treads. If you do lots of offroading in your sports-tourer, the Kenda K299 Bear Claw has over 200 five-star reviews. Similarly, the ITP Mud Lite ATP has over 150 five-star reviews, and both models are available for your front and back tires.
Best Motorcycle Tires for the Track
If you prefer racing to cruising through the woods, you need a motorcycle that can withstand the unpaved asphalt of the track. While you can take track tires on residential roads, they have extra grooves to move water out of your way when racing. They also become hot more quickly than regular tires, increasing your grip on the track and decreasing your chances of a wipe-out.
The top brands for track tires are Michelin, Dunlop, Continental, and Shinko. Their wheel and tread shapes have less variety than sports-tourer wheels, but different sizes are available based on your preferences and bike. For a standard track bike, the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT and the Dunlop Roadsmart III are your best options for tires.
Best Accessories for Bikes of All Kinds
Once you’ve picked out the best tires for your motorcycle, you’re not done shopping. You also need to get the right motorcycle accessories to keep your bike on the road. Experienced motorcyclists recommend keeping an easy-to-use tire pressure monitor with you, especially during cold weather. Brake light monitors, power supplies, and locks are also critical for keeping your motorcycle in top condition.
You also should invest in tools for your own comfort; riding a motorcycle for hours is challenging without a few luxuries. A USB or wireless charger for your phone allows you to call for help in an emergency and listen to music on the road. Helmet locks let you store your helmet safely on your bike while you stop for food or a bathroom break, and earplugs protect your hearing as you zoom down the freeway.
Maintaining your motorcycle means getting your oil changed, checking your brakes, and replacing or recharging your battery. It also means finding the best tires for the kind of riding you do, whether that’s offroading or track racing. Now that you know the differences between tire models, you’re ready to order your newest set with confidence.