Get A Grip On the Road With These Motorcycle Tires
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Whether you’re a long-time biker or just jumping into the motorcycle circuit, one thing is for certain: you’re eventually going to need to replace its tires if it’s hitting the road in any capacity. That said, you do have to make sure you purchase the right tires for your motorcycle and for your travel needs.
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In order to find the right size tires for your motorcycle, you’ll want to consider the numbers and letters printed on your tire’s sidewall. The first number is the tire width in millimeters, while the second number is the aspect ratio —- or the ratio of the tire’s width as a percentage of its height. After that, you should see a letter between J-Z to let you know the speed rating, but you’ll want to refer to your motorcycle’s manual for more information on its meaning. Lastly, the number at the end will indicate the tire’s rim diameter in inches.
Once you know the right measurements, there are still some other factors you should consider before you slap on a fresh pair of tires and hit the road. First, you’ll want to consider how long and how often you intend to ride. Second, consider the weather conditions because cruising in the rainy Pacific Northwest will demand different tread requirements than riding around southwestern deserts.
So whether you’re gearing up for a long, cross-country road trip or just cruising around on the weekends, there’s bound to be the perfect tire for you below.
Kenda Kruz K673 Motorcycle Street Front Tire – 150/80H16
This 150/80H16 front tire is DOT-approved and H-rated for speeds up to 130MPH (not that we condone being such a speed demon out on the road). It features an improved tread design with deeper, wider grooves for cruising comfortably through most — if not all — weather conditions. Plus, it boasts a new rubber compound that offers enhanced stability and performance, especially when turning around corners.
Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars from 470 ratings
Amazon customer FJ Guy says: “I’ve been riding on these tires now for over 1,000 miles and they handle great on dry or wet pavement.”
$89.16 at Amazon.com
Goes the Distance
Bridgestone Excedra G850 Cruiser Rear Motorcycle Tire 180/55-18
This 180/55-18 rear motorcycle tire is designed to provide solid performance throughout high-mileage use. It’s made from a silica-enriched compound to deliver superb grip on both wet and dry surfaces, and its Kevlar mono-spiral belt construction allows for a more stable ride with improved shock absorption. Overall, it’s pretty safe to say this is an optimal choice for cruising down all the long, bumpy roads in your bike’s future.
Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars from 378 ratings
Amazon customer Jeff Sullivan says: “I am quite surprised that no other manufacturer makes a comparable tire this size (180/55-18). Well, there are a few others actually, but at almost twice the price, buying this one is a no-brainer. Grip and handling are excellent, and I got over 10,000 miles on the last one!”
$144.99 at Amazon.com
Rainy Day Recommended
Kenda Cruiser K671 Motorcycle Street Tire – 170/80H-15
This 170/80H-15 street tire is 6-ply rated with a tubeless construction that makes it perfect for sport, touring and cruiser bikes. The tire’s deep, offset tread coupled with its wide contact patch allows for enhanced water dispersion for the ultimate wet weather traction. Even better, it boasts a stiff sidewall to deliver increased performance and handling at every twist and turn for miles and miles to come.
Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars from 377 ratings
Amazon customer MDW says: “I’ve gone through at least a dozen bikes and probably hundreds of tires from all brands. This Kenda is a great tire. This year, I rode every day through the very cold and often very rainy winter and I never had any traction issues … I recommend this tire highly and I’m sure I will buy one again when this one wears out.”
$88 at Amazon.com
Twice As Nice
CONTINENTAL MOTION Tire Set 120/70zr17 Front & 180/55zr17 Rear
If you’re replacing one tire, you might as well replace both at the same time to ensure maximum traction and performance. Luckily, this set of two tires includes a 120/70ZR17 front tire and a 180/55ZR17 rear tire to amp up your wheels in one fell swoop. Boasting new formulated polymers in the compound and a new concept radial, both are built for year-round performance with safe and reliable feedback, regardless of whether the road is wet or dry.
Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars from 292 ratings
Amazon customer Reagan says: “They have an aggressive tread look to them which I like. They grip great on the corners and I trust them. They feel smooth and, for the price, I would highly recommend.”
$169.88 at Amazon.com
CONTINENTAL MOTION Tire Set 120/70zr17 Front & 190/50zr17 Rear
Similar to the previous pair from Continental Motion, this set of two tires includes a 120/70ZR17 front tire coupled with a 190/50ZR17 rear tire so you can rotate them both out all at once. They’re made to perform throughout the year with the utmost safety and reliability, and they’re built to last thanks to the improved polymers in the tires’ compound.
Amazon rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars from 227 ratings
Amazon customer Peter K says: “Very impressed with these. These tires are very confidence inspiring, especially in turns. The grip is there, even when cold … If you’re looking to get a high quality budget tire that gives you bang for the buck, these are it.”
$178.99 at Amazon.com
Michelin Commander II Cruiser Bias Tire-180/65-16 81H
If you’re looking for a tire with lots of longevity, but you’re not willing to compromise on stability and maneuverability, this Michelin cruiser tire is a damn solid pick. In fact, third-party tests show that this tire lasts nearly twice as long as its competitors. Its stiff frame combines with resistant (yet lightweight) aramid fiber construction to deliver a stable ride, even at high speeds. It also boasts outstanding grip on wet surfaces thanks to its brand-new longitudinal tread.
Amazon rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars from 247 ratings
Amazon customer tyler stradtman says: “After two months, 21,000 miles, 48 states and part of Canada, these tires are highly recommended for anybody looking to do long rides … They handled great all the way until the end [of my road trip] and survived rain, ice, dirt and mud.”
$203.89 at Amazon.com
Grip Plus Grit
Shinko 712 Rear Tire (130/90-16)
This 130/90-16 rear tire is designed specifically for high mileage and maximum performance in less-than-ideal weather conditions. While other tires might only be able to focus on one of those aspects at a time, this Shinko boasts a staggered tread pattern that allows for precise handling in wet conditions while also giving you more riding miles than the average.
Amazon rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars from 178 ratings
Amazon customer Dennis M. says: “This is a great tire … Very good handling in both wet and dry conditions. Great wear as well. Over 9,000 miles on the rear before needing to be replaced and the front tire is still going strong … For the money, they can not be beat.”
$70.65 at Amazon.com
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