There are three types of compounds: hard, soft, and intermediate. Wide White Wall, Narrow White Wall, ultra-sticky tires and high mileage tires, 100% street tires, 100% dirt tires, and everything between 80/20, 70/30, and even 50/50 are available. There are various additional aspects to consider when it comes to fitting, so let’s get started with this motorcycle tire size guide.
How To Determine The Size Of A Motorcycle Tire
It is where we’ll begin, and then we’ll get further into the details. After speaking with thousands of clients one-on-one, I’ve discovered that most of them have no idea what size tires they have on their bikes. How do you determine the size of your bike’s tires? Metric sizing (most frequent), Alpha Numeric sizing (mostly cruiser), and Inch sizing are the three most prevalent sizes for street tires (Mostly Dirt Bike). Get down on the ground and have a look around. If you have aftermarket wheels on your motorcycle, the actual tire size may differ from what is specified in your owner’s manual or on the standard sticker.
Bias Ply Vs. Radial Ply
Bias Ply tires were the first and are ideally suited for large loads, which is why we see them on the majority of the heavy cruiser and touring motorcycles. Bias Ply tires are made of alternating layers of cords laid down from bead to bead across the tire, made of materials like Nylon, Rayon, or Polyester. It results in a highly rigid sidewall that can support much weight, but the tires become hot and are less maneuverable than their modern Radial siblings.
Radial tires, which first appeared on motorcycles in the 1980s with highly restricted applications, have layers that run radially across the tire and are often constructed of steel. Only the tread portion of the tire has these alternating layers of steel belts. Steel belts dissipate heat faster than bias cords. At the same time, radial tires’ sidewalls are thinner and more flexible than Bias Ply tires, allowing the tire to be more nimble and provide better rider sensation.
Tire Load Rating For Motorcycles
The next set of digits and letters (77H) represents the tire’s speed rating and load index. This code is the same whether the tires are Metric or Alpha/Numeric.
• The numerals (77) refer to the tire’s load-carrying capacity. Seventy-seven pounds equals 908 pounds in this situation. A standard load rating chart ranges from 47 or 386 lbs to 87 or 1,202 lbs.
• The letters (H) denote the tire’s speed rating. H denotes a top speed of 130 miles per hour in this case. A typical speed chart will display J, which is 62 miles per hour, all the way up to W, which is 168 miles per hour.
• Now and then, we’ll see a ZR in the tire size, followed by a separate Load Rating / Speed Index label. This Z denotes a maximum sustained speed of more than 149 mph, while the 91W denotes a top speed of 168 mph.
Put, if your bike has spokes, you will almost certainly require a tube. Tubeless tires are most often used on bikes with cast wheels, mag wheels, forged wheels, or billet aluminum wheels because the wheel’s interior is smooth. Unlike spoke wheels, there is no way for air to escape. Learn more with our motorcycle tire size guide.