How To Choose Tires for Motorcycle
Choosing the tires for your motorcycle is just as important as riding one, as the kind of tire a person chooses has a big difference in the working as well as the handling of the bike. Mostly people don’t pay a lot of attention to the kind of the tire used on their bikes and only bother with the general upkeep of getting air filled or puncture repaired.
Although, if given a careful thought, there is a lot more to the tires of the bike beyond the upkeep which has a definite effect on the motorcycle’s performance and the overall riding experience.
Does The Choice of Tire Matter?
The motorcycle’s tires are what support the smooth performance as well as mileage over a period. No matter how well the engine is optimized, unless the tires have been kept in good shape, the bike’s performance will be lagged and will likely be troublesome. A lot of people understand the difference between tubeless or tube tires, but don’t know that there are different categories beyond these two that specify which kind of tire works well for what.
A simple difference in when to use tubeless or tube tires is based on the wheel type. For bikes with cast wheels, tubeless tires should be utilized. Alternatively, when the motorcycle has bicycles like spokes for wheels, in that case, tires with tubes are used.
Temperature plays an important part in understanding the tire type and which to use. If a person lives in a place like Dubai where the temperature is high, then it is necessary to know the tire type and capacity. When the temperature reaches 45-47°C, then the tire temperature can go up to 70°C.
Parts of A Tire
There is more than what meets the eye, and with tires, it is true. One should be familiar with the parts of a tire so that when one has to make a choice, they can make it based on information rather than just lowest price, without bothering with the condition and quality. The tire parts which require some introduction are:
- Tread: The tire tread is the most noticeable part of a tire that people know about. It consists of channels and grooves, which are made into the tread for ensuring that the tire sticks to the ground.
Usually, racing tires have no channels, but only grooves on the tread since the racing bikers need more control at higher speeds; On the other hand, on street tires, grooves have patterns alongside for ensuring channeling of water properly when the tire is wet, so the tire doesn’t lose its grip.
- Sidewall: The design of the Sidewall is important for determining the load support and handling of a tire. Bike tires have vertical sidewalls, along with a rounded tread for making sure that tires stay in contact with road constantly and traction is maintained when the bikes leans around to make a turn.
- Bead: Bead is where the wheel is mounted to the tire. Mostly, multiple steel cords are used in these areas to avoid leakage in a tubeless tire and in the meanwhile ensuring a snug fit.
- Carcass: Carcass is known as the tire’s backbone and lies beneath the tread. It is made of steel or fiber cords which run from one end of the bead to other.
Tire Size and Type
For making the Carcass, there are usually two different ways that can be seen as Radial Ply and Bias Ply.
In the Bias ply, there is a directional angle in the cords, while in the case of radial tires, the cords are placed alongside each other.
In a real world situation, Tires utilizing Bias Ply have been found as having a reduced grip in comparison to radial tires, but have the benefit of providing more longevity.
Radial Ply tires are mostly used in racing bikes as they have higher grip but offer a short life.
For most bike types, Bias Ply tires are most commonly used.
For choosing the right tire type and size, there is some basic understanding required about the codes that are mentioned along with the tire side. All Manufacturers make use of three different methods for assigning the tire information.
These methods are Alphanumeric, metric and standard inch.
Although, Alphanumeric isn’t used much now, and the standard inch system has been phased out from the industry. Thus, the industry standard system, for now, is the metric system.
The Metric system is based on the five components, which are printed on the tire’s sidewall. The components are:
- Aspect Ratio: Aspect ratio is the ratio of the tire’s width in comparison to the height. Therefore, the taller a tire is, the higher the aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is usually given as a two digit number.
- Section Width: Section Width is a measurement of the tread’s width in a straight line that is taken from one end side to another. Section Width is taken as a three digit number.
- Load Rating: Load rating ranges from 20 to 80. This code works to designate the total weight bearing capacity of a tire.
- Rim Diameter: Rim Diameter is the measurement of the rim in inches from one lip to the other.
- Speed Rating: Speed Rating is an alphabetical code that designates the optimal speed at which the tire can work at safely when it is properly inflated. The speed rating is usually taken from J-Z.
Apart from this, some more additional information is given, such as the tire’s manufacturing date that is given by the use of a four digit code. The code gives the week and year in which the tire was made. The first two digits mention the week of the year (1-52), and the last two digits provide the year the tire was made. For example, a tire that has 5116 as the code signifies that the tire would have been made in the third week of the December in the year 2016.
Tips For New Tires
Amidst all this information, these tips can be crucial in understanding bike tires so the person can better their life.
- Normally, it is advised that if a tire is replaced, it should be replaced with the tire of the same size as the one that came with the bike. Even then, if a person wants to change, they can choose to experiment with different sizes and styles. Mostly, racers try to do this to find which tire suits them best.
- Inflating the tire every few days to the proper levels is important. Over as well as Under inflation of the tires lead to a negative impact on the tires regarding wear and tire and are bad from handling point too.
- If there is a pillion rider too, on a daily basis, then it is recommended that the tire pressure is bumped up by 1-2 PSI so that extra weight can be accounted for.
Now that all the information that a person has been provided for making sure that the bike’s tire choice is proper, try to use it, when you need to get new tires or need to service the tire. As the bike is one of our favourites, it certainly should be cared for as one.