A good number of motorcycle accidents are caused by using inappropriate or bad tyres. This is why it is important to inspect them regularly and replace them when necessary. But except you plan on consistently buying the same type that came with your motorcycle, choosing which to buy might be confusing. It can be difficult to determine which will work best with your motorcycle. There are a few things to consider when choosing, which include:
Tread patterns matter because they determine which tyres are best for certain weather conditions. Big tread blocks and grooves are good for wet roads because they grip the road better. However, they have a poor grip on dry roads.
Aside from the tread patterns, the compound the tread is made of is also important. If it is soft, it will grip the road better. This is because when it heats up, it sticks to roads more. On the downside, they wear out relatively quickly. On the other hand, if the tread is made of harder rubber, it won’t grip the road well. It has the advantage of lasting longer though.
Construction type: Bias-ply or Radial?
Bias-ply(or cross-ply) types have relatively harder sidewalls and are heavier. They are good for heavy motorcycles because they can withstand a lot of pressure. They are also best for off-road riding. However, they wear out quickly and aren’t very stable. They aren’t suitable for high speeds as well.
Radial types are the best for smooth rides. This is due to the relatively thinner sidewalls, allowing it to absorb bumps in the road. They are better for steering control and are more durable, but they are poor for off-road riding.
You can choose which one you prefer, depending on your needs and your motorcycle type. It’s advisable to use the same type for both wheels. If you must use different types, however, always use the bias-ply type in the front.
Other factors to consider are the speed rating, the size, and the age of the tyres.
Understanding The Markings On The Tyres
Markings may differ depending on the manufacturer, but there are a few necessary specifications that are always present. These indicate the size, load index, construction type and speed rating. An example is 180/55 R 17 50V.
The first number represents the width of the tread from sidewall to sidewall, measured in millimetres. It is called the section width.
The next number is the height of the sidewall measured as a percentage of the section width. It is called the aspect ratio. To get the actual height, you need to divide it by 100, then multiply by the section width. In this case, the actual height is 99mm.
The letter that comes next, R, stands for radial construction type. If it were bias-ply, B will be there instead.
The next number, 17, is the diameter of the rim, measured in inches.
The last digits, 50, is the load index, which specifies the weight the tyre can hold.
The last letter indicates the speed rating, that is, how fast it is designed to safely run at.
Additionally, the date of production can be found as a four-digit code just after the DoT code. It represents the week and the year when it was made. For example, 0917 means the 9th week of 2017.