Finding the Right Motorcycle Tire for Your Needs

What Is the Average Cost of a Motorcycle Tire Change?

Like with any vehicle, motorcycle tires need to be regularly checked and maintained. A motorcycle’s tires significantly impact its steering, acceleration, and braking. Tires that are worn, have improper pressure, or have damaged valve stems can lead to blowouts, which put the rider and others in extreme danger. Finding the right motorcycle tire for your needs is key to having a safe ride.

harley-davidson earnings motorcycle tire

ahundt / Pixabay

Choose tires wisely

While all motorcycles are made of hundreds of parts and components, the tires are the only things that actually make contact with the ground. Tires are much more important and complex than many may realize. While most everyone is aware that tires are necessary for traction, they also serve as an extension of the suspension system. They absorb the initial impact from every bump and turn in the road and are expected to perform well in all conditions. When you choose a set of tires, you’re entrusting your life to them. Riders do well to choose the right tires for their motorcycle and lifestyle.

The price of a tire can vary based on the type of motorcycle tire as well as the manufacturer and model of the motorcycle. The basic types of tires include touring, sport, cruiser, off-road, motocross, and sand. Average models of motorcycle tires for sale will range from $50 to $300 per tire.

If you’re a casual rider who isn’t looking to spend a lot of money, you can potentially get by with retreaded tires. These are used tires that have been repaired, and they often sell for 30-50% less than new tires and are considered reliable. If you consider yourself more than a casual hobbyist, and you put some strain on your bike, you’ll probably want to choose more carefully.

Sport bike tires

Tires for sport bikes need to be able to strike a balance between grip, track performance, and longevity. Tires for these bikes are generally smooth and are chemically and mechanically designed for optimal grip to asphalt. Some sport tire models are designed to offer stronger grip for acceleration, but these tires generally have shorter lifespans due to softer materials in their makeup. There are dual sport alternative tire models, which can be worthwhile for riders who spend a significant amount of time both on and off road. These tires are generally constructed with a street-to-trail ratio in mind, and they can be significantly more appropriate for one vs. the other depending on their construction. Models intended more for off road trails tend to have deeper grooves, so they can better grip dirt and gravel, while tires built more for the street will have smaller grooves and a sleeker design.

Cruiser tires

Tires for cruiser models are built more for longevity, as these motorbikes are meant for long trips on the highway. Cruiser tires have to be built for more significant wear and tear than other types, and there are a wide variety of options associated with them, including tires without inner tubes for superior grip and comfort. Load and speed ratings for cruiser tires also tend to be more varied than with other types, so you can greatly customize your experience.

Dirt and off road tires

If you’re more interested in dirt bikes or motocross, you’ll need tires that reflect that. Dirt bike tires have a singular focus: gripping the terrain as much as possible. These tires will generally feature high treads and low valleys that allow them to maintain grip while also moving debris. Due to the rougher rides off road, these tires will almost always have tube construction to create a better seal between the wheel and the tire.

Choosing the right tire for your needs is important for both safety and performance. It’s more important for your livelihood that you ride on high-quality tires.




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver