We all know that that most motorcycle tires are produced in a wide variety of shapes, patterns, treads and compounds used. Each of them has their particular performance benefits and drawbacks, and different mixes produce tires for different conditions. Sport motorcycle tires are usually the major selling points that give an impression that an equipped motorcycle will perform better. This could be half-true, ironically, it could be half a selling myth on marketing.
To clarify the issue, read the things that you should consider…The Tire Compounds
The type of rubber and even the hardness of a tire production has a lot to do with the performance of a motorcycle tire. Sport tires usually softer and spongier because both factors provide better grip to the road surface.
Michelin motorcycle tires are known for this particular reason because the compounds produce a tire that gives a “stickier” feel for the rider. Stickiness is a critical performance issue because it means the tire holds better in turns and doesn’t slide. The drawback of a softer tire is that the tire surface degrades faster, particularly on the race track. If the tire has degraded enough, it will slide just as much as a hard street tire.
Hard tires, are more durable over the useful life of a tire, but they don’t hold road surface as well. On tight turns driven at speed, it is common to have hard tires slip and slide, which can cause accidents.
Sport motorcycle tires are more expensive than stock motorcycle tires. It is not uncommon for sport tires to run between $100 to $200 each. This can be a bit of a cost for a weekend racer going out to the track since tires are useless for track riding after a day or two of use. For road riders, the cost is likely spread out over much more time, but it is still higher than that of a set of regular tires.
There are many manufacturers for sport motorcycle tires like Bridgestone, Michelin, Dunlop, Firestone, Pirelli, IRC, and Cheng Shin Motorcycle Tires. Not all can be considered top quality or good for the particular area. Having a conversation or small talk with fellow riders in your area regarding which tires perform better could be so helpful to gain knowledge. Just keep in mind that opinions will vary, and some folks are dedicated to particular brands versus others, so the discussion can get a bit heated. A good way to counter this bias is to also talk to local dealers and find out which brands they sell more than others in terms of what they stock.
Avoid Used Tires
It is a big “NO, No” to purchase used sport tires for the sake of a few dollars saved. You save a few dollars, but the performance and safety are at risk. Used tires or old ones have worn-down spots, and they may be cracked or have other issues. What you save with a reduced price could in turn result in a critical failure while riding.
Always remember that you only have two tires on a motorcycle. Once your tire failed, it has a higher probability of a serious crash versus a car with four tires.