Are you in search of a new pair of motorcycle tires and would you like to know which one of them is the best for your bike? Then you have come to the right place!
Having the correct type of tires on your motorcycle will not only improve its safety and fuel economy, but it will also make the overall riding experience much better. Because, motorcycle tires come with various specifications that most riders might not understand, or they just don’t care about them. But, believe it or not, these specification are extremely important. If your tires don’t have enough grip, or they are just way too soft for the road, you will have a bad riding experience.
In this article, I am going to review the Best Motorcycle Tires the money can buy in 2023. Apart from the particular models and their pros and cons, I will also talk about various categories of motorcycle tires and the reasons why you should choose them over the others.
I originally wanted to include only 10 products in this list, but there are so many different brands, models and types of motorcycle tires that I have actually decided to add 5 more. Keep in mind that these are all street motorcycle tires designed for road use or occasional track racing. If you are looking for off-road tires for your dirt bike, you won’t find those here.
There are 5 main categories of street motorcycle tires: Touring, Sport, Racing, Cruiser and Adventure. I will try my best to describe each of these categories of tires and hopefully, make it much easier for you to understand them. Additionally, I will also review each of the models mentioned in the list and tell you about its positives and negatives.
List of the Top 15 Motorcycle Tires
Best Motorcycle Tires Reviews
Tires are the only part of the motorcycle that makes a connection with the road and if anything goes wrong, they can be a lifesaver. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose the best and safest tires you can afford. You can always save some money on riding gear and invest it in a pair of premium motorcycle tires instead. It will definitely be a wise decision in the long run. But, you can never make such an important decision if you don’t know which tires are the best choice for your motorcycle. That’s why I am here with my article about the best motorcycle tires on the market.
Now, I will go through all of the categories and discuss the most important attributes of each type of motorcycle tires. There will be three different models of tires reviewed in each category, so you will have multiple options to choose from. So, no matter what type of bike you are riding, or how limited your budget is, there will be an option for everyone.
Best Touring Motorcycle Tires
Sport-touring has been on the rise in recent years, so logically, manufacturers are now primarily focused on making high-quality touring motorcycle tires. But, don’t be mistaken. Sport-touring tires can be easily used on most categories of street motorcycles such as sportbikes and naked bikes. You don’t have to own a pure sport-tourer such as the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX or Yamaha Tracer 9 GT to utilize them. These tires are designed for riding comfort, safety and longevity. You will be able to get up to 10,000-20,000 miles on one pair of sport-touring tires. This is a much loner lifespan compared to most other categories of motorcycle tires, especially racing tires.
Michelin Road 5
If I could recommend only one model of tires that suits best for most types of street motorcycles and offers very good value for money, then the Michelin Road 5 would be my choice. Yes, at a price of around $400-500 for a pair, these are definitely not the cheapest tires you can buy. In fact, they are one of the most expensive motorcycle tires on the market. However, considering their awesome features, extreme versatility, good build quality and overall brand reputation, you won’t find anything better in the category.
The Michelin Road 5 motorcycle tires are made from the 2CT dual compound, they come in various sizes and can be used on front and rear wheels of most models of street bikes. They are the successor of the Pilot Road 4 and compared to the previous model, the Road 5 is considered a much more all-purpose tire.
In terms of features, these tires offer very good traction in both wet and dry conditions. They are great for aggressive riding on twisty roads, as well as for sport-touring or just commuting to work.
Where the Michelin Road 5 motorcycle tires truly shine though, is their wet-weather longevity. Their tread pattern is a little different compared to most other street motorcycle tires. The channels are specifically designed to maintain their properties even after thousands of miles of usage. Their inner channel width is the same as they get deeper, which means the efficiency of water evacuation will not be reduced as the tires become worn out. This feature makes them the best-performing wet-weather tires you can buy. They will be ideal for you if you often ride in heavy rain and you would like to feel confident while cornering and breaking on wet roads.
Michelin Road 5 Tires
️Pros: 2CT Dual Compound, Innovative Tread Pattern, Extreme Versatility, Very Good Traction, Excellent Handling, Wet-Weather Longevity
Cons: A Little Too Expensive
Continental Road Attack 3
The second place on our list of the best touring motorcycle tires belongs to the Continental Road Attack 3. These tires are ideal for riding in hot and dry weather, but they also perform well in rain. They come with a performance oriented pattern design that provides better drainage in wet conditions. On top of that, their compound is optimized for wet grip on all types of tarmac roads.
The key feature of these tires is their MultiGrip technology, which was specifically designed to ensure seamless transition from a harder center to softer sides of tire. This innovative feature eliminates premature wear on the center of the tire and makes the compound last for as long as possible without losing any of its grip on the sides. This is the main reason why the Continental Road Attack 3 are considered one of the safest and longest lasting motorcycle tires on the market.
Apart from the MultiGrip technology and excellent grip in all weather conditions, the Continental Road Attack 3 are also known for their good stability and perfect handling. You will be able to ride on twisty mountain roads and feel totally safe on your bike. On top of that, there is virtually no break-in requires with these tires, which is a big plus!
I would say that the Continental Road Attack 3 are fantastic all-around motorcycle tires that you simply can’t go wrong with. Most of the riders say the tires are confidence inspiring and have an extremely predictable behavior. There are almost no negative reviews of these tires, but if I had to find something bad about them, it would probably be their higher price tag.
Continental Road Attack 3 Tires
️Pros: Excellent Grip in Both Wet & Dry Conditions, Very Stable, Predictable Behavior, No Break-in Required
Pirelli Angel GT II
Another sport-touring motorcycle tires on our list are the Pirelli Angel GT II. Compared to the Michelin Road 5 and the Continental Road Attack 3, these tires might not be as good for rainy weather and will not last as long. However, they offer excellent cornering grip and very good handling.
Some riders say that the Angel GT II tires are not as grippy as the previous model, but in my opinion, this is just their subjective feeling. Because, the new model features a dual-compound rubber at the rear and a newly designed tread pattern that will give you a lot of confidence in corners. Actually, I would even say these are the ideal touring tires for anyone who prefers aggressive riding style and doesn’t care about tire lifespan that much.
In terms of longevity, the Pirelli Angel GT II are still pretty good for sport-touring tires, but definitely not the best. They will last for around 10,000 miles, which is slightly more than most other tires in the category.
Unfortunately, the Pirelli Angel GT II come with one downside. These tires are not suitable for riding on grooved surface such as on concrete roads. They have long straight lines in their thread pattern that tend to grab onto the grooving, which makes riding the bike difficult and uncomfortable. This is the main reason why I haven’t put these tires higher on the list.
Pirelli Angel GT II Tires
️Pros: Excellent Cornering Grip, Very Good Handling, Great for Twisty Roads
Cons: Not Suitable for Concrete
Best Sport Motorcycle Tires
Sport motorcycle tires, also called sportbike tires, are designed for speed and aggressive riding style. Other than that, they are also good for riding around town and just having fun. These tires have minimal tread pattern and very good friction. Sportbike tires are suited for all types of asphalt roads and highways, but they are very bad for riding on country roads. Also, it is not recommended to ride in heavy rain with these tires. Sportbike tires will usually last for around 2,500-5,000 miles depending on your riding style. They are great for bikes like the Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Yamaha R1.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso III
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso III are the third edition of the legendary sportbike tires made by the famous Italian manufacturer. These have been available on the market for quite some time and over the years, they have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from all riders. They are one of the few tires that have virtually no negative reviews on both Amazon and Revzilla.
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso III are perfect for anyone looking for high-performance motorcycle tires that are suitable for aggressive street riding style. They feature the same technology that Pirelli uses on their World Superbike Championship tires. You will be able to ride at the maximum speed of 168 mph with these tires.
Thanks to their WSBK-derived profile and Silica compound, these tires offer very good response and quick turn-in in all weather conditions. They provide excellent cornering grip and there are absolutely no issues with slipping. The tires stick to the ground on any type of the road and their large contact patch further improves the adherence in lean angles.
In terms of longevity, the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires don’t disappoint and you will be easily able to get 5,000+ miles on them. The innovative “Flash” racing thread pattern ensures uniform wear of the tires, prolongs their lifespan and helps them last longer than most other tires in the category. This is one of the main reasons why I have decided to put these tires on the top of our list of the best sportbike tires of 2023.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso III Tires
️Pros: Silica Compound, Good Response and Quick Turn-In, Excellent Cornering Grip, Longevity, Affordability
Michelin Pilot Power 2CT
When it comes to high-quality sportbike tires, there is one model that we cannot forget to mention. Because, the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT are just phenomenal. They come from the legendary Pilot Power range, which is the 2nd most popular family of Michelin motorcycle tires. These are great for all types of sportbikes or naked bikes and are considered a better value for money than the Michelin Road 5 tires.
The Pilot Power 2CT feature a two-compound technology with 20% softer rubber on the edges, which improves their cornering grip and gives more confidence to the rider in lean angles. The tires work well in all weather conditions and they offer super-quick warm up time. Their precise handling and excellent feedback makes them a great choice for both road use and occasional track days.
The tire lifespan of the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT is around 5,000 miles, but this will highly depend on your riding style. Some owners have complained that their tires didn’t last as long as expected and the tread pattern disappeared too quickly, but these complaints are very rare.
To sum it all up, I really like the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT tires. They are designed for the most demanding sportbike riders who are looking for reliable motorcycle tires that will never slip and maintain maximum grip even in the rain. On top of that, they are not as expensive as some other high-end tires such as the Michelin Road 5, which is a big plus.
Michelin Pilot Power 2CT Tires
Pros: Two-Compound Technology, Quick Warm Up Time, Good Cornering Grip, Precise Handling & Excellent Feedback
Cons: Shorter Tread Life
Metzeler Sportec M9 RR
Another great sport tires are the Metzeler Sportec M9 RR. They are definitely not as popular as most other tires on this list, but I have decided to include them because of their versatility and good value for money. They are the successor of the Sportec M7 RR, which have been one of the top-rated sportbike tires for almost a decade.
Compared to their predecessor, the Metzeler Sportec M9 RR are much more advanced tires with a dual compound and a lot of new features. These are Metzeler’s first silica blend tires that are specifically designed for supersport bikes. This means their compound will resist overheating and it will remain super-sticky in all weather conditions. The tires will stick to the road like a glue and you will be able to use them on the track as well. Other than that, they will also last you 10% longer than the Sportec M7 RR (6,000+ miles).
Apart from their affordability and excellent grip, the Metzeler Sportec M9 RR also offer very short warm-up time. And, once fully warmed up, they will give you extreme confidence on wet roads, which makes them a good option for sport-touring. In terms of speed rating, these tires are W-rated for speeds up to 168 mph.
So, if you are looking for a pair of versatile sportbike tires that are track-ready and suitable for sport-touring, then the Metzeler Sportec M9 RR might be the best choice for you.
Metzeler Sportec M9 RR Tires
️Pros: Silica Blend Compound, Excellent Grip, Short Warm-Up Time, Longevity, Good Value for Money
Best Racing Motorcycle Tires
Racing motorcycle tires are designed for occasional track days. Basically, they are just regular sportbike tires with some extras that make them perform better on the track. These tires have almost zero treads and they wear extremely fast. They are not suited for touring and riding in wet weather conditions. Therefore, you should only consider putting them on your bike if you ever plan to take it on a race track. Racing motorcycle tires, also known as track day tires, are ideal for superbikes such as the Honda CBR-1000RR and Ducati Panigale V4S.
Best Cruiser Motorcycle Tires
Riders who own Harley Davidson motorcycles should put cruiser tires on their wheels. They are specifically designed for heavy machines with lots of torque and horsepower. These tires are not made for maximum speed, but instead, they will provide long mileage and good stability. Cruiser tires are also good for large touring bikes, as their load rating is very high. A pair of high-quality cruiser tires is able to withstand load of 1,000 pounds and it will last up to 15,000 miles. On top of that, they are some of the most affordable motorcycle tires in general.
Best Adventure Motorcycle Tires
The last category of motorcycle tires are adventure tires. These can be useful for classic heavyweight adventure bikes such as the BMW R1200GS or KTM 1290 Super Adventure, but you can also put them on a dual-sport bike. They are suitable for both on-road and off-road use, so you will be able to ride on dirt and gravel roads. Adventure motorcycle tires come with a deeper tread compared to classic street tires. They also offer much better grip, which is extremely beneficial in rainy weather and tough terrain conditions. However, this comes at a cost. They are not as comfortable as other types of motorcycle tires.
How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Tires?
Motorcycle Tire Brand
Bridgestone is a Japanese company and it is currently the largest manufacturer of tires in the world. They have started investing in motorsports back in the 1970s by developing tires for Formula One racers. Since then, Bridgestone has been one of the leading motorsport tire manufacturers as they have gained a lot reputation among professional racers in many different categories. In 2002, Bridgestone has entered the world of motorcycles by supplying tires for the MotoGP championship. Bridgestone motorcycle tires are not that common on street bikes and they are relatively expensive.
Michelin is a French tire manufacturer that makes tires for both cars and motorcycles. It is the world’s second largest tire manufacturer with an outstanding reputation among motorcycle riders. Since 1972, Michelin has been participating in MotoGP and their tires helped to achieve hundreds of victories. Michelin motorcycle tires are usually more expensive than tires from other brands, but they offer very good lifespan and excellent reliability.
Dunlop is a tire brand founded by John Boyd Dunlop, who invented the first pneumatic tire in late 19th century Ireland. Apart from tires, Dunlop was also known for other products such as brakes, wheels and tennis balls. Nowadays, the brand is owned by Goodyear and it is managed by different companies around the world. Over the years, it has became one of the leading brands in the industry. Dunlop tires are not cheap, but they are more affordable than tires from other leading brands, which makes them a very good value for money.
Continental is a German automotive parts manufacturing company that is well-known for producing high quality car and motorcycle tires. It was founded in 1871 and it is one of the oldest companies in the industry. Continental motorcycle tires are long-lasting and extremely reliable under all circumstances. The most popular model of Continental tires is the ContiRoadAttack 3, which is one of the greatest street motorcycle tires on the market.
Pirelli is an Italian motorcycle tire manufacturer that also makes tires for cars and bicycles. It is one of the most reputable brands in the industry and you can choose from many different models. There are three main lineups of Pirelli motorcycle tires called the Diablo, Angel and Scorpion. They are designed for sport bikes, touring bikes and dual sport bikes.
Motorcycle Tire Size
The very first thing you will need to know about your tires is their size. Knowing the correct size of your motorcycle wheels and tires is extremely important. Because, using tires that are way too thick or slim might work in the short run, but it will dramatically change the characteristics and steering abilities of your motorcycle, so riding it might become dangerous. Therefore, you should always read the manual or do some online research to find the correct size of your motorcycle tires before you make the purchase. There are three different formats of motorcycle tire sizing.
Metric sizing is the most common format of motorcycle tire sizing. You will find it on most street bikes, sport bikes and adventure bikes. An example of metric sizing format is 160/70-17. This means the tire is 160mm wide, its thickness aspect ratio is 70% of the width, and its diameter is 17 inches. The metric sizing can also be displayed in this format: 160/70 B17, where the letter B indicates a type of the compound construction.
Alphanumeric sizing format is mostly used on Harley Davidson and classic touring bikes. An example of alphanumeric sizing format is MT90-16, where M means motorcycle tire, T is the width, 90 is the thickness aspect ratio as percentage of the width, and 16 is the wheel diameter in inches.
The third type of motorcycle sizing formats is the numeric format. This type of format can usually be seen on older motorcycles and it looks something like this: 5.00-16. In this format, 5.00 is the width of the tire and 16 is its diameter. There is no aspect ratio indicated on this type of motorcycle tire sizing format.
Load & Speed Rating
The load rating represents a maximum weight motorcycle tires can handle at the speed indicated by the speed rating. So, a tire with “73V” written next to the metric sizing format will be able to handle 805 lbs at 149 mph.
Motorcycle tire speed rating is represented by a letter. There are many different levels of speed rating but I will include those that are the most important for street and racing tires:
|Code||Speed Rating||Speed Rating|
|R||106 mph||170 km/h|
|S||112 mph||180 km/h|
|T||118 mph||190 km/h|
|U||124 mph||200 km/h|
|H||130 mph||210 km/h|
|V||149 mph||240 km/h|
|Z/ZR||149+ mph||240+ km/h|
|W||168 mph||270 km/h|
|(W)||168+ mph||270+ km/h|
|Y||186 mph||299 km/h|
Type of Compound
Each motorcycle tire category comes with a different type of compound and level of hardness. So, if you own a touring bike, you will need to buy motorcycle tires that are hard enough and that will last as long as possible. Otherwise, the rubber will wear extremely fast and you might end up changing them way too often. However, if you own a sport bike, then you shouldn’t care about the lifespan too much and always go for tires that are sticky enough for aggressive riding style.
And, last but not least, is the tread pattern of motorcycle tires. Tread patterns of each type of tires may differ a lot and they will directly affect the grip and handling of your bike. If you often ride in heavy rain, it is extremely important to use motorcycle tires specifically designed for wet roads and rainy conditions. Because, motorcycles only have two wheels and their stability is not that great compared to four-wheeled vehicles. Therefore, you should always choose motorcycle tires with an appropriate depth and shape of the tread pattern.
Motorcycle Tires FAQ
How to Change Motorcycle Tires?
Once your motorcycle tires become too worn out and the tread pattern is almost invisible, you will need to get them changed. Motorcycles are relatively simple to maintain vehicles and if you have all the necessary tools, you will be able to do most of the servicing yourself. However, some of us will never be able to change the tires. Because, it can be too time-consuming and complicated for an ordinary person. Also, there is a special tool needed called tire changer, which is by no means a cheap tool. But, what you can do instead, is to choose the tires, order them in advance and let the service center do the job for you.
How to Break In Motorcycle Tires?
Breaking in motorcycle tires is a process that you will have to do after you swap your old tires for new ones. Because, new tires usually come with a very slick surface that has to be roughen first, before you start riding your bike properly. You will have to clean each tire with a dry cloth and ride the bike in lower revs for about an hour or two, so the slick surface gets rubbed off. It is extremely important to avoid fast acceleration, maximum breaking and hard cornering for the first 100 miles, which is the breaking in period of most motorcycle tires. Alternatively, you can also roughen the tires using sandpaper.
There are some models, such as the Conti Attack SM, that already come with a “pre-broken in” surface. Theoretically, these tires don’t need such treatment and you should be good to go from the very first mile. However, I would still recommend to break in every new tire for at least a couple of miles before you start riding like a madman.
How to Clean Motorcycle Tires?
Cleaning your motorcycle tires is not a big science. All you need to do is use a cotton cloth with warm soapy water and gently clean the dirt off your tires without making any damage to them. Avoid using any harsh chemicals, they can destroy the compound. Once you have done the cleaning, just wash the tires with a pressure washer. Make sure there is no leftover detergent on them, as this could make them slippery and dangerous to ride.
How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?
Each type of motorcycle tires comes with a different lifespan. In general, touring motorcycle tires will last around 10,000 to 20,000 miles, while most sportbike tires will only provide 2,500 to 5,000 miles. However, the mileage can differ a lot and it will also depend on your riding style and weather conditions.
How Much Do Motorcycle Tires Cost?
On average, motorcycle tires cost anywhere between $100 to $300+ for a single tire. The prices highly depend on the brand, category and wheel location of the tire. Racing and sport-touring tires are usually more expensive than cruiser and adventure tires. Apart from that, front tires are about 20% cheaper than rear tires due to their smaller size. So, if you want to buy a pair of high-end sport-touring tires, you will pay around $180 for the front and $230 for the rear tire of the same model.