Owning and riding a bike is a passion for many. These days, people in India do not shy away from buying expensive bikes. But, it is also true that not many bikers pay attention to the tyres. The tyres you use in your bike can make a lot of difference when it comes to handling.
One cannot doubt the fact that tyres are the key components on a motorbike. The right tyres can provide your bike with the much-needed stability and balance even at high speeds. Plus, they also determine the efficiency and performance of your bike. So, the million dollar question is- how to choose a tyre for your bike? Well, let’s find out.
Choosing between tube and tubeless tyres?
When we talk about bike tyre types, we usually mean the tube type and the tubeless ones. Let us understand the basic difference between these two categories of tyres.
Tubeless tyres have an inner tube integrated within the tyre. Fixing the valve permanently to the rim makes the assembly air-tight. So, when a tubeless tyre is punctured, the loss of air happens at a very slow rate. As a result, you are able to ride your bike to a considerable distance even after the tyre gets punctured. This is something you cannot expect from a tube tyre, where a tube is stuffed inside the carcass.
Moreover,tubeless tyres do not burst easily. All you have to do is make sure the air pressure is well within the recommended limit. Tubeless tyres are also light in weight and aid in improving the handling and agility of your motorcycle. That’s why a fairly large number of new motorcycles now come stock fitted with tubeless tyres
Should you buy radial or bias-ply tyres?
In the case of bias-ply tyres, the cords are usually made up of rayon,polyester, or nylon, and steel in come cases. The cords run in alternating layers across the tyre in a diagonal fashion. On the other hand, in case of radial tyres, the cords are arranged at 90 degrees.
Advantages of radial tyres over bias-ply
Radial tyres are able to dissipate heat in a much better way whereas the stiff sidewall of the bias-ply tyres prevents them from shedding off heat quickly. This keeps radial tyres cooler even after long travels,reducing wear and tear. Another major advantage of the radial tyre is their flexibility.
Bias-ply tyres, due to diagonal arrangement of cords, offer better load-bearing capacity. So, if your usage requires you to carry heavy load on your motorcycle then bias-play tyres are the recommended option. But, if you are looking for better handling and grip on the road, you should buy the radial ones.
Knowing about the compound and tread pattern
In case you don’t know, compound means the material used in making up the tyre and tread pattern is the design you see on the tyre. The design, or the tread pattern, usually features grooves and channels. Their purpose is to channel away the water from the contact area and offer a firm grip even when the road is wet.
So, when you buy tyres for your motorcycle, you must take into account the weather conditions of the region where you will ride your bike most of the times. Tyres with soft rubber compound stick well to the road and offer superb grip but at the same time wear out relatively quickly. Tyres made from hard compound offer more durability and longer tread life. However, the traction level isn’t that great.
That’s why most two-wheeler manufacturers prefer to go with intermediate tyres, which offer a balance of grip and tread life.
Which size should I choose?
Finally,let us talk about the right size. Quite obviously, the right sizes should be determined according to the rim size of your bike. Wider tyres might offer you a better grip on the road but they will certainly alter handling characteristics and might not provide your bike with the much-needed agility and quick acceleration. So, it is always advisable to stick to the tyre size recommended by the manufacturer.
So, now you have gained enough knowledge about the tyres and their different types. Keep the above-mentioned aspects in mind and then make your decision.