Best Motorcycle Tires 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Are you looking around to buy the best motorcycle tires you can find? Well, I did as well and I found out quite a few things when it comes to motorcycle tires. Aside from being a (legal) necessity, high-quality motorcycle tires can help you with your gas mileage, control over your bike, and comfort while riding. Different types of tires are best for different kinds of riding. For example, a tire that does great on highways may not be the best tire for dirt roads.

Everyone who owns a bike will have to change their tires every 5000-25000 miles or so. How long you can ride before changing your motorcycle tires depends mainly on the quality of your tires and how you ride. Picking the best tires for your motorcycle can be quite daunting, especially if the guys in the garage are pushing whatever they have in stock. (If that is the case, find a new garage. They aren’t all like that.)

What to look out for

To start off, you have to decide whether you are going to replace the tires yourself or whether you will pay someone else to do it for you. As replacing tires can be quite costly when done in a garage, I strongly recommend buying premium tires if you go that route. Spending $100 on tires and $200 on labor every 5000 miles is a lot more expensive than spending $400 on tires and $200 on labor every 20000 miles. (Don’t ask me how I figured that out.) Do keep it in mind, though.

Secondly, consider the fastest you will ever drive. Motorcycle tires are rated on their maximum safe speed (included in this article at the individual reviews at the bottom). If you want to go faster than 130mph occasionally, you will need to buy special motorcycle tires that allow for that. Keep it safe.

Thirdly, consider your driving style. Some tires are made for highways, others more for dirty tracks. If you are going to drive on one type of road exclusively, then buy tires specially made for that type of road. If where you drive changes every so often, you are most likely best off simply buying the best motorcycle tires out there, not worrying too much about what specific type of road they are made for.

Lastly, buy the correct size for your bike. You can find it in the manual and even ask around if you aren’t sure about it. Do keep in mind you have to select the proper size when buying tires. If you don’t select anything, chances are that you will end up with tires that simply don’t fit. (Don’t ask me about this either.)

Top 5 Best Motorcycle Tires

Motorcycle tiresBrandMax Speed 
Michelin Commander IIMichelinUp to 130mph
Michelin Pilot Road 3MichelinUp to 168mph
Kenda Kruz K673KendaUp to 130 mph
Dunlop American Elite HDDunlopUp to 130 mph
Continental Motion Tire SetContinental MotionUp to 149 mph

 

Michelin Commander II Reinforced Motorcycle Tires

Michelin Commander II Motorcycle TiresUsually, you have to choose between superb performance and long lasting tires. However, the Michelin motorcycle tires manage to surprise on both fronts. With that, the Michelin motorcycle tires are the best motorcycle tires I could find. Want to know what makes the Michelin motorcycle tires so special?

Compares to other tires in their price range, the Michelin motorcycle tires tend to last longer. Way longer even. In some cases up to three times as long. Where most tires will last you 8000-12000 miles, the Michelin tires are more often than not still going strong after an amazing 20000 miles.

Normally long-lasting tires perform a lot worse. But even compared to the better tires, the Michelin tires feel a lot better. The improved control and comfort were very noticeable, and I would recommend everyone to at least try them out.

They come in pretty much all sizes, and they are currently the most popular tires. For a reason. However, there is one downside if you want to go really, really fast. The Michelin Commander II motorcycle tires are H rated for speed. This means they are rated safe for speeds up to 130 mph (210 km/h). I’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t go faster than that. however, I will warn you that if you do want to go faster than 130 mph, do not use these tires. Seriously. Biking is an amazing sport, but do use proper gear. If you want to go fast, check out the second best tires.

If you aren’t going to ride faster than 130mph, the Michelin Commander II tires are the very best motorcycle tires for you.

Michelin Commander II key specs

Most key specs differ a lot depending on which size you order and whether you look at the front or rear wheel. The specs that don’t differ based on wheel size are

  • Rayon Carcass Ply instead of polyester
  • Aramid belts instead of fiberglass
  • H speed rating (up to 130mph)

 

Buy Front Tire | Buy Rear Tire

 

Michelin Pilot Road 3 Motorcycle Tires Review

Michelin Pilot Road 3 Motorcycle TiresThe second best tires I could find happen to be Michelin tires as well. The Michelin Pilot Road 3 Motorcycle tires surprised me almost as much as the Commander II’s. The Pilot Road 3 tires are a little bit less expensive than the Commander II’s. Sadly enough, they also don’t last as long. On average they seem to last about 12000 miles, which is still very decent of course. The best point about the Pilot Road 3 motorcycle tires is that they have a W speed rating. This means that they are rated safe for speeds up to 168 mph (270km/h).

The Michelin Pilot Road 4 motorcycle tires are already out as well. They are a little bit better too. The reason I didn’t put them here is that at the time of writing they are 50% more expensive than the Pilot Road 3’s. If that is worth the small improvement to you, check out the Pilot Road 4 motorcycles as well.

Michelin Pilot Road 3 key specs

Most key specs differ a lot depending on which size you order and whether you look at the front or rear wheel. The specs that don’t differ based on wheel size are

  • The material used is Michelin’s 2CT dual compound technology
  • Full depth XST sipes
  • W speed rating (up to 168mph)

 

Buy Front Tire | Buy Rear Tire

 

Kenda Kruz K673 Motorcycle Street Tires Review

Kenda Kruz K673 Motorcycle TiresThe Kenda Kruz K673 motorcycle tires come in third place. They are pretty popular and do perform very well. When it comes to their durability, they seem to average out on 9000-10000 miles per set of tires. They are a nice bit cheaper than the Michelin motorcycle tires and come with an H speed rating (up to 130mph). They are DOT certified and have a new 3+2 casting design which improves handling and high load carrying capacity.

When it comes to actually riding around these tires are pretty good. The stability is very decent, especially when biking through heavy rain. The Kenda Kruz motorcycle tires drive as comfortably as you would expect as well. You are definitely receiving enough bang for your buck.

The reason I put these into third place is not because of any major downsides, as they don’t have them. Overall it is a very solid product, at an almost budget-tier price. The reason I still had to put it third place is because both the Michelin tires did really surprise me. That doesn’t mean this is a bad product in any way, though.

Kenda Kruz K673 key specs

Most key specs differ a lot depending on which size you order and whether you look at the front or rear wheel. The specs that don’t differ based on wheel size are

  • DOT certified
  • 3+2 casting design for improved handling and high load carrying capacity
  • Grooves made for all weather cruising
  • Rubber compound made for extra cornering performance
  • H speed rating (up to 130mph)

 

Buy Front Tire | Buy Rear Tire

 

Dunlop American Elite HD Touring Tires Review

Dunlop American Elite HD Motorcycle TiresDunlop is one of the most well-recognized brands of motorcycle tires, if not the single best well-known brand. All their motorcycle tires are made, designed, and tested in the USA. The Dunlop American Elite HD Touring tires do deserve their spot in the best 5 motorcycle tires. Their durability is as good as the Michelin Commander II tires, which seems to average at 20000 miles per set. They drive very comfortably, even in more extreme weather. Overall a very solid product.

The one major downside is their price. They are the most expensive tires in this list, and although they certainly are awesome, the Michelin Commander II tires deliver the same quality for a lower price. Dunlops may be a better fit for your bike, though. Especially if you drive a Harley Davidson. And if you love USA made products, Dunlops are definitely the way to go.

Dunlop American Elite key specs

Most key specs differ a lot depending on which size you order and whether you look at the front or rear wheel. The specs that don’t differ based on wheel size are

  • Multiple compound tires
  • Made in the USA
  • H speed rating (safe up to 130mph)

 

Buy Front Tire | Buy Rear Tire

 

Continental Motion Tire Set Review

Continental Motion Motorcycle TiresThe Continental Motion Tire set are the best budget motorcycle tires you can buy. I myself am not a fan of buying budget motorcycle tires for two reasons. Firstly, most of the costs come from the labor of replacing the tires. Most garages charge at least double of what the actual tires cost. If you keep in mind that more expensive tires tend to last way longer, the more expensive tires are cheaper in the end. The second reason I don’t like budget motorcycle tires is because of the influence the tires have on your riding experience. And with better control comes better safety as well.

Still, if you have an old bike and you replace the tires yourself, it makes perfect sense to go for the best budget motorcycle tires you can find. And in that case, the Continental Motion Tire Set may be perfect for you. The Continental Motion tires are very strong, and as such have received a ZR speed rating. This means that you can drive over 149mph with them safely. How much over 149 you can go isn’t mentioned in the ratings (seriously, look it up if you don’t believe me), but tires that can withstand 149mph are pretty good.

The tires are made of strong polymers combined with a force-oriented tread pattern and a steel belt in the rear tire. The grip is actually above average which is pretty surprising considering they cost only half what other tires cost.

If you do buy them, do watch out which version you get. I have heard a couple of times that some people received older (even 2013 and 2014 versions) of the tires. If that happens to you do yourself a favor and return them immediately. Rubber doesn’t stay in perfect condition when stored for years, and you will be trusting your life on those tires. When you do get the latest version, however, those tires are a real steal.

Continental Motion key specs

Most key specs differ a lot depending on which size you order and whether you look at the front or rear wheel. The specs that don’t differ based on wheel size are

  • Polymer compound
  • Steel belts in the rear tires only
  • ZR speed rating (safe till over 149mph)

 

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