Best Motorcycle Tire Reviews 2018

The tire is naturally among the most important components of the motorcycle. It defines the rider’s safety, comfort and significantly affects the motorcycle’s performance. All this means that you should be extra careful when you’re acquiring a new set of tires! Today, motorcycle tires are available in all sorts of brands, types, and sizes. So, if you own a cruiser, scooter, sports touring, trail, trial or really any other type of motorcycle, there’s a specific tire for it. With all these variations in mind, we researched and picked out the best motorcycle tires brands. That’s because we’re determined to help you find the best tire for your needs.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Position
Type
Speed Rating
Rim Size
Aspect Ratio
Our Top Choice
Michelin Commander II Motorcycle Tire
Michelin has been manufacturing stylish and durable tires for over a century now. Their commitment to quality design is evident in their rear Commander 11 Tire.
Reputable brand. Ideal for all seasons. Stylish design and an impressive finish. Great for fast and hard rides. Excellent combination of safety, durability and stability.
Isolated claims that the tire doesn’t have enough snow traction.
Rear
Cruiser
H up to 130 MPH
18-Inch
70
Best Value
Kenda Kruz Motorcycle Front Tire
Over the last 50 years, Kenda has made a respectable name in the tire industry. The Kruz Motorcycle Tire demonstrates the brand’s commitment to quality and performance.
DOT Approved. A new improved tread design. A new rubber compound for better cornering ability. Can be used with or without a tube. Performs well even during wet conditions.
Some isolated complaints about noise when riding.
Front
Street Sport
H Up to 130 MPH
18- Inch
70
Dunlop Elite 3 Motorcycle Rear Tire
Dunlop is a leading manufacturer of racing tires, sport bike tires, and Harley Davidson tires among others. The Elite 3 is one of their great products in their motorcycle tire collection.
Incredible wear resistance. Great traction. Improved tread pattern. Works well even in wet conditions. Reputable brand. Stylish tires.
The price is a bit high.
Rear
Touring
H; up to 130 MPH
16-Inches
60
Continental ContiMotion Motorcycle Tire
Continental Tires is an award winning tire brand that produces a diverse selection of styles. The ContiMotion Front Tires are made to provide reliable and safe feedback on wet and dry roads.
Fairly priced. For all year-round. Responsive braking system. Durable, thanks to the modern tread and the polymer compound. Impressive cornering capabilities.
Not the best for serious riders.
Front
Sports Touring
W- 168+ MPH
17-Inch
70
Shiko 244 Series Adventure Trail Tire
Founded in 1946, Shinko manufactures a wide range of motorcycle tires, for any style; on track, road, off-road and dual sport. The Shinko 244 Series is a dual-purpose tire for all-round performance.
Fairly priced. Available in different sizes. Easy to mount. Usable both as rear and front tire. Tackles different weather conditions with ease. Delivers a stable ride.
Not the best for muddy and sandy conditions.
Front & Rear
Dual Sports
P up to 93 MPH
21-Inches
N/a

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Motorcycle Tire?

If it’s that time to replace your motorcycle tires, it’s the best time to start searching for a new tire. One thing that makes the wheel such a crucial component of your bike is that it’s possibly the best route to changing your riding style. For example, if you haven’t been impressed by your bike’s performance on specific surfaces or the load limit is limiting you, get your heart’s desires by investing in different tires.

To mark the beginning of a new riding experience, it’s also the best time to invest in other riding gears to enhance your safety. A motorcycle helmet, for instance, is not only essential for your safety while riding, wearing one is also required by law when you’re on your bike. A riding jacket is likewise a key element in your style as well as your safety, as it can help reduce the effects of falling off your bike, especially if you find yourself sliding on the pavement.

Motorcycle tires come in different sizes and specifications. While it may be a hustle when you’re shopping for the first time, if you have the right information, you’ll get it right. In this guide, we’ll take you through the critical considerations when shopping for a tire. We shall also show you how to decode information displayed on tires, as it all you need when making a decision. We’ve also made it easier for you by identifying some of the best motorcycle tires. After you’ve gone through our review and found the right tire for your cruiser, all you need is a GPS system and you’ll be off on the road trip of your dreams!
Price
How much does a good motorcycle tire cost? The answer varies depending on several factors. The first determinant is the position of tire. Is it a rear or a front tire? Secondly, price depends on the type of the tire. This can either be sport tires, sports touring tires, track or day/racing tires. Thirdly, the price will depend on the brand and the size of the tires.

Despite all the differences, the average price of a motorcycle tire is between $100 and $300. While there are some cheap motorcycle tires that can cost as low as $25, they’re not the best. In this review, we didn’t include them. Instead, we picked models that we believe are built to last and ones that won’t compromise your safety. On the upper end, there are tires costing up to $1500 that you can check out if you’re really serious about your ride!
Features
When shopping for motorcycle tires, there are several factors to consider. Some of these features are so specific that if you pick a tire with the wrong features and specifications, the tire may not be usable. The best starting point should be noting your bike specifications. Have your bike features in mind and your specific riding style to pick a tire with the right features.

Here are some of the most important features that you should have in your checklist.
  • Position. This is probably the most basic. A tire is either for rear or front positioning
  • Type. Different tires are made for different types of bikes, which include cruisers, street sports, touring, or dual sports.
  • Speed rating. Every tire has a specific speed rating
  • Size. Motor cycle tires come in different sizes, depending on specific bikes
  • Material. There are different types of materials used to make tires, rubber being only the most obvious.
  • The mileage range of the tires
  • Specific technology. This depends on the manufacturers
  • Anatomy of a tire. Tread, carcass, bead, and sidewall
Let’s now discuss how these features affect performance of a tire.
Construction and Design
While all tires are (hopefully) circular in shape, there are a lot of differences, most of which being differences in design. A tire has four main parts, tread, bead, carcass, and the sidewall. The tread is the part that meets the road and has a lot of impact on the tire. Tires with smooth treads are best on dry and smooth surfaces. On the other hand, chunky treads, are best on off-road surfaces. There are other carefully designed treads, which make them great on variety of surfaces. The bead joins the tire to the wheel while the carcass is the backbone of the wheel.

Another important part of a wheel is the sidewall, where important information about the wheel is displayed. Apart from being a board, the sidewall determines the bike handling and the load support. To make the correct decision, you must be in a position to decode the sidewall information. By just looking at the sidewall you can tell if the tire will fit on your bike and if it’ll meet your riding demands.

Let’s use a typical example of what you can find on a tire: 130/90 R 16 67 H. In this scenario, there are five things you can immediately deduce from this information. ‘130’ is the section width. This means that when the tire is installed, its widest width is 130mm. If you pick the wrong section width, the tire won’t fit. The code ‘90’ refers to a 90% aspect ratio, which technically refers to the tire’s height. A short sidewall means a low aspect ratio.

R is a designation of the tires construction, in this case meaning radial ply. Apart from radial, the other carcass design is the bias, which is represented by ‘B.’ The ‘16’ value refers to the wheel size, which is the diameter. This tire is made for a wheel with 16 inches diameter. If there’s a specification that you must get right, it’s the wheel size rating. In the same example, ‘67’ denotes the load index. If you pick this tire, you can carry a load of up to 661 pounds. Another vital feature is the last letter, ‘H,’ which denotes the maximum speed that the wheel can support; in our example above the maximum speed is 130 MPH. Apart from the H rating, there are 14 other speed ratings.

If you’re planning to replace a tire, you can easily check the ratings and order exactly like that. On the other hand, if you’d like to upgrade, there’s a lot of room for you to experiment and have something different for a potentially better riding experience. With the help of a professional, you can easily upgrade your tires to conform to your riding style.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of a tire depends on several things. First, there are different types of motorcycle tires made for different riders and bikes. This means that a tire will deliver what it’s meant for. For example, sport tires deliver an unmatched grip on diverse surfaces, but at the expense of the tread. If you’re looking for tires with the highest mileage, the best choice would be touring tires. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a compromise, the best option will be sport touring. First, identify where you will be riding; if it’s a commuting bike, go for tires with improved mileage and that performs well on diverse surfaces.

The four different types of motorcycle tire styles perform differently on different surfaces. The best style depends on your riding style and the bike. Cruiser or touring wheels have a high mileage, which is why they’re made from hard rubber compounds. They’re not the best for high speeds, however, and are rather poor when riding on a road or path with numerous corners.

Sporting tires, on the other hand, provide the best grip and are great for high speeds and have an impressive durability. They’re the most versatile as they’re made from softer rubber, with lesser treads. For a racing/track tire, they’re almost similar, but the latter provides better grip. This makes them good for rugged terrains and when taking corners.

Dual sports tires present the user with a wider range of possibilities. They perform great off road and on paved surfaces. To make a decision, decide how much of each surface you intend to do. If it’s 50/50 on both surfaces, go for a tire with such rating and choose a tread that’ll work great on both surfaces.

Off road tires come in different tread patterns, sizes, and compounds. A great consideration in this case is the material, but the simplest way out is determining your mostly used surface. The final determinant of performance is the tire construction. This can either be bias-ply, radial or bias-ply w/radial construction.

What is the Best Motorcycle Tire?

The best tire for your motorcycle should meet your unique riding needs. Firstly, this means it should specifically be for that motorcycle type. Secondly, it should be of irreproachable quality. This guarantees you safety, even in the toughest riding conditions. Let's look at the 5 contenders in our list.
Our Top Choice
According to verified independent testers, Michelin Commander II Rear Cruiser Tire last twice as long when compared to other competing cruiser tires. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that the best way to describe Commander II tires is exceptional durability. In case you are looking for sports touring tires, check the Michelin Road 3 for performance that lasts.
Michelin Commander II Cruiser Rear Motorcycle Tire, Available in 16 Sizes

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Features
You can never be totally confident that your motorcycle tires will last long enough unless you go for a brand that is synonymous with quality. One such tire brand is Michelin, which has been on the market for over 120 years. Today, Michelin is among the three leading manufacturers and marketers of tires globally. This is no small feat, considering that the company has stood the tests of time, technological improvements, and vigorous competition for all those years. Research shows that annually, this French company releases over 184 million tires.

The brand’s mission is to sustainably improving the mobility of people and good’s by making tires for all vehicle types - automobiles, airplanes, bicycles and motorcycles, earthmovers, trucks and farm equipment – and it is a mission they have brought to over 170 countries globally. Their motorcycle tires are some of the best on the market.


The reason we chose to feature the Commander II is for its proven longevity. These rear tires have a mileage of up to 25,000 miles. This could even be longer, as research shows that some verified purchasers have recorded 40,000 miles. On top of the unrivaled life, Commander II has an excellent wet weather grip, stability, and maneuverability ratings. To mitigate any development of uneven wear in these stylish tires, there is Silica Rain Technology, which integrates silica into the tire’s material when making the treads. Adding to the tires maneuverability is their exclusive architecture and the high-density carcass.

The tire’s top layer has an aramid fiber, which makes for a lightweight feel and resistance, so that even when you’re cruising at the highest speed you won't compromise stability. Thanks to the advanced longitudinal tread, even when it rains, the tires still maintain an excellent grip on wet ground.

The Commander II version we’ve featured here is the 150/70-18 76H version, if this isn’t for your bike, there are another 15 variations to choose from!

If Commander II isn’t your preferred style, for one reason or another, Michelin has other styles for you. Apart from being similar in durability, elegance, and performance, they all have something unique to offer. Here are some other styles, with each having numerous sizes.
  • Michelin Anakee III, which is a BMW choice
  • Michelin Starcross 5 Medium for hard and mixed terrains
  • Michelin Scorchier 11 specifically designed for Harley-Davidson® V-Rod®, Sportster®, Fat Boy®, and all Street models
  • Michelin Pilot Power 2CT for sporty use
  • Michelin Pilot Road 4, best for wet surfaces
  • Michelin Power 3 for Roadster, Sports, Sports Tourer, SuperMoto
Let’s face it… if business jets, military helicopters and commercial airplanes owners can trust Michelin air tires, why wouldn’t you trust their motorcycle tires?
Best Value
Kenda is a brand you can trust when it comes to wheelchair tires, bicycle tires, automotive tires and motorcycle tires. Standing tall among its great motorcycle tire offerings is the Kruz Motorcycle Front Tire, made for the large bikes. If you’re looking for a dual-purpose tire, check the Kenda Rear Tire for street and off road riding.
Kenda Kruz Motorcycle Front Tire, Dot Approved for Larger Bikes

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Features
It is a well-known fact that most tire brands offer tires that look the same – regardless if they are for bicycles, motorcycles, or cars. However, these tires are radically different below the surface. This is the concept behind Kenda’s tires. Kenda has a history of an impressive expertise in manufacturing ATV tires, cars, motorcycles, and powersports tires. The company opened its doors in 1962 and started manufacturing bicycle tires. After 8 years, they introduced bias motorcycle tires and scooter tires. After another 8 years, they introduced lawn and garden tires. Finally, Kenda introduced trailer tires, golf cart tires, and passenger car radial tires.

In their motorcycle tire collection they have scooter, street, dual sport/adventure and a of mix/off-road lines of tires. Here we picked the Kruz Motorcycle Front Tire as it handles any condition it is thrown at. For improved performance, this tire comes in a new rubber compound, giving it unique and impressive cornering capabilities as well as increased mileage.

The Kruz K673’s 3+2 design on the case improves handling and adds to the carrying capacity of your ride. So, when you’re cruising for long distances, you'll fill your saddlebag without worrying about the added stress on the tires. You'll also love the way this tire handles any weather condition thanks to its wide grooves. The H-rating on this tire means it will perform excellently, even at a speed of 130 mph, with exceptional traction. Did we mention that the price of this tire is unimaginable when compared with other tires of similar performance?

The tire we’ve featured here is the 130/70H-18 (front). If you want a different size, there are another 15 different sizes, some are front or rear and others are dual purpose.

The Kruz K673 model is part of their street motorcycle tire line, others in this line include;
  • Kenda Challenger made for touring motorcycles
  • Kenda Cruiser made for small sport touring bikes
  • Kenda RetroActive made for the old classic bikes
Dunlop has some of the best motorcycle tires that you can count on for superior wear resistance. Within this collection of high quality tires, we would like to draw your attention to the custom designed Elite 3 Radial Touring Tire with its H speed rating. If you want a street sports tire, check out Dunlop Cruiser Bias Tire, with bias-ply construction for excellent grip and mileage.
Dunlop Elite 3 Radial Motorcycle Rear Tire Available in 27 Sizes

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Features
Dunlop’s idea, which changed the way the world rides, was born in 1888, Ireland. Today, the brand has been on the market for over 120 years. Their passenger, performance, sport and SUV tires are an essential to motorsport heritage. The company understands that each bike has its unique specifications. They have created a wide range of tires so that you can pick one that fits your bike best. To give you an example of the type of motorcycle tires that Dunlop has, we picked the Elite 3 Radial Tire.

Dunlop’s Elite 3 has improved wear resistance, assuring increased mileage coupled with impressive traction. With this tire, you can hit up to 15,000 miles, regardless of whether you are an aggressive accelerator or not. This tire has an impressive tread pattern, which delivers reliable traction even in standing water puddles. For a confident and solid feel when cornering, this tire comes with an in sport-derived profile, so you'll enjoy each mile of your riding. If you’re looking for the best combination of stability, cornering, dry traction, wet traction and tread life, Elite 3 rear tire is a great deal.

The Elite 3 we’ve featured here is a Radial 428056, size 180/60R16. If this isn’t your bike’s size, there are 9 other sizes to choose from along with 18 bias rear and radial sizes. So be assured that no matter your ride, they have something for you!

The Elite 3 motorcycle collection is one among the many motorcycle tire collections that Dunlop has. If the Elite 3 doesn’t match your riding needs, don't worry. Here are other Dunlop motorcycle tire collections that we couldn’t fail to notice:
  • TRAILSMART, America Elite, 491 Elite 11, and Elite 4
  • Geomax AT81, MX11, MX3S, and MX52
  • Sportmax Q3, GPR-300, Roadsmart II, and GPA-Pro
  • D402, D401, D408, D407, D404, D803, D220, D250, D251, D209, D908 and D606
  • K591, K555, K70, K81/TT100, K630, K177, K505, K700/K701, KR448, KR449
  • ScootSmart and SX01 Scooter
  • Alpha-13
If you're a price-conscious motorcycle owner, and you’re looking for tires that can match even the toughest riding conditions, Continental ContiMotion Sport Touring Tires would be a great option. In case you want dual sports rear tires, check the 60% off-road and 40% on-road, Continental Twinduro Rear Tire, with a self-cleaning feature.
Continental ContiMotion Sport Touring Motorcycle Tire, Front, All Season

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Features
Continental Tires holds several records in the tire industry. First, the brand has been on the market for 145 years, which is no mean feat. Up to date, the brand still holds that they have the “Future in Motion”. The brand has seen it all and has a commitment to keeping pace with any tire tech changes. Secondly, the brands hold a record of consistently releasing tires that keep drivers in their seats. Continental Tires ensures that their tires are designed with consideration of every performance and safety aspect.

Today the brand makes car and van 4x4 tires, bicycle tires, specialty tires, truck and bus tires, and motorcycle tires. From their extensive motorcycle tire line, we picked the ContiMotion tires for their affordability and performance ratings. These tires deliver an unmatched combination of mileage, price, and grip all year-round. Courtesy of their unique polymer compound and a modern tread pattern, these tires will serve you for years,

For your comfort and stability, ContiMotion has a 0-degree steel belt construction in the rear tires. So if you're looking for safety, without any compromise on pleasure, ContiMotion is a great deal. The tires are also available in many sizes.

ContiMotion is just one of Continetal’s great offerings. Other motorcycle tire lines that we thought you should also know include;
  • ContiRoadAttack 3
  • ContiSportAttack 3
  • ContiTour
  • ContiLegend
  • TCK 70
The Shinko 244 Series is one of the best 50/50 tires on the market, at an incredible price. This black wire tire has a 4-ply design and is DOT approved. If you are looking for street touring tires - best for high speed and long distance riding - check the Shinko Tour Master Front Tire, which are v-rated for riding speed of up to 149mph.
Shiko 244 Series Adventure Trail- Dual Sport Front and Rear Tire- Available in 14 Sizes

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Features
For over 7 decades, Shinko has been specializing in motorcycle tires. This brand that has earned accolades for quality tires that motorcycle riders can trust. They have a wide collection of sports bike, cruiser, scooter, and off the road tires. From their adventure trail tire collection, we picked the 244 series for their affordability and design.

The 244 series comes in a wide array of sizes, all of which can be used for rear and front fitment. If you’re riding in dirt or the street, you can count this tire for unmatched performance. Unlike other tires, this model has a tread pattern that delivers a stable and smooth highway feel, while featuring tread spacing that is carefully calculated for off-road grip.

Shinko 244 Series tires also stand out for how easy they’re to mount. So, even if you're doing it for the first time, you can easily do it on your own. From other users’ experiences, you can easily tell that the tire’s performance can match or even outperform some other highly priced tires. Some users indicate that the tire can hit up to 8,000 miles.

Shinko 244 series tires are a dual-purpose type, but if you are after specific off road tires, Shinko has the following types;
  • Mud and sand tires off road tires
  • Soft/intermediate off road tires
  • Intermediate/hard off road tires
  • Hard off road tires
  • Full track off road tires
  • Trials/trails off road tires
The tire version we featured is the 2.75-21 size, but if this isn’t your size, there are 13 other sizes. We’re sure you’ll get the perfect size for your ride.

Get the Best Motorcycle Tire of 2018!

No matter the type of motorcycle that you own, where you ride, and what type of rider you are, we can confidently predict that these brands have something for you. While we’re confident we found some of the best motorcycle tires out there, if none of them is a perfect fit for your ride, browse through everything else these brands offer and get the right tire for your motorcycle.

Our Top Choice
Michelin Commander II Motorcycle Tire
Best Value
Kenda Kruz Motorcycle Front Tire
Dunlop Elite 3 Motorcycle Rear Tire
Continental ContiMotion Motorcycle Tire
Shiko 244 Series Adventure Trail Tire