For Motorcycle riders, it is crucial to have some knowledge of tires. The age, size, load capacity, and speed rate, are factors that are important to a tire. Before choosing a new tire, the rider should either consult the user manual for the motorcycle or a bike dealer. Choosing the wrong tires could mess up the performance of the motorcycle, since they don’t meet the specifications.
Differences in motorcycle tires are quite visible. The basic concept in making tires is however, relatively similar, and no matter what shape and size they are, they are still usually put into one of two categories.
The two categories of tires are called Radial and Bias. The main characteristics of each of them can have an effect on the wear and braking performance of the motorcycle. The Radial tires are often used in new model motorcycles, and have a longer lifetime; while the Bias tires are known to be used in older motorcycles and known to sustain heavy weight. The two tire categories should never be combined on a motorcycle, but it is generally safe to switch from Radial to Bias and vice versa, if the dealer has been consulted and agrees with the switch.
Sportbike tires have little or no wet groove, as they are fabricated for dry roads and race tracks. They give more grip and acceleration on a dry surface. Riding with these kind of tires can however, be hazardous on wet roads or streets.
Inspection, Maintenance and Lifetime
Tires do not only serve the purpose of providing friction, they can also give signals, and the rider should always be attentive to these signals. It could mean that the tires are underinflated, there’s a leak, or even worse, damage on the tires.
5 to 10 years is the maximum number of years a motorcycle tire is expected to last. Environment and usage can cause tires to wear out faster. Don’t forget to check the date codes before buying any tire.