Motorcycle tyres: different tyres for different bikes

By Julia Freeman

The unstoppable advance of automotive technology means that today there are motorcycle tyres for all occasions, riders, weathers and terrains. Years of experience suggest to us that the diversity of this wide range of tyre brands and styles is only going to increase as more types of motorcycles are introduced to the market.

person riding motorcycle

Garages will offer recommendations and fitting services. Often you won’t even have to leave the house: a simple internet search for ‘mobile motorcycle tyre fitting near me’ will find mechanics and tyre fitters ready to come to your home or workplace.

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Tyre type vs. motorcycle and ride style

In our experience there’s no substitute for a little prior knowledge, so here’s a brief guide to the various tyres available for the different types of motorcycle.
Riders in cities and towns will need the most common types, while the owners of touring bikes, choppers and classic motorcycles will all have their own differing requirements. Racers will go for sport tyres, some of which suit both the racetrack and ordinary journeys while others are strictly for sporting circuits and may be marked NHS (Not for Highway Service). Finally, there are off-roaders who will demand a level of performance far beyond most expectations.

Construction designs

There are three essential construction designs for motorcycle tyres:

  • Diagonal cross-ply

  • Radial ply

  • Bias-belted

Cross-ply is the oldest design and was standard in the early automobile industry before the introduction of the radial design after the second world war. Cross-ply tyres have resilient sidewalls but can make for a less comfortable ride and higher fuel consumption.
Radials are the most common choice today and have a lot to recommend them, but they are vulnerable to sidewall damage.
Bias-belted tyres were invented in the UK in the 1920s and feature a belt of steel or fibreglass underneath the tread to protect against puncture. Today they are most commonly favoured by owners of classic bikes, mainly for reasons of authenticity.

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Know your bike’s limits

Each construction type may come with or without an inner tube. Add to this the huge variety of tread patterns and profiles and you’ll understand why the choices seem limitless. One of the hidden hazards is the possibility of falling foul of legal regulations which limit certain combinations of different types on one machine. Unless you are familiar with these rules, we recommend you seek the advice of our tyre professionals.

The local garage you can trust for price and advice

Tyre price will be a consideration for the majority of motorcycle owners. Most of the common tyre brands produce a full range of motorcycle tyres, whether it is at the higher end with names like Pirelli or moving into the more budget conscious territory of Bridgestone, Dunlop and Maxxis. It’s important to consider what features you need and how much you are willing to pay for them.
If you’re baffled by the choices available, don’t panic. At Protyre our tyre professionals can guide you through the maze and our qualified fitters will get you ready for the road or track quickly and efficiently. Book your free tyre check with Protyre online now or speak to our experts for advice and assistance today.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Brand Marketing for Micheldever Group and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to deliver their automotive needs.
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