I’m searching for a new set of tyres. What kind of tyres do you have? This is a question often asked in motorcycle groups. There is not really a correct answer to this question. Tyres are something personal. But finding the right tyre for you can take you through a lot of sets if you don’t know in what direction you need to look. There are tyres that are better on different surfaces. So follow these steps if you want to narrow down your tyre choice.
I need a new set now and I’m looking into the Continental TKC70. Seems to be a good tyre for what I need and where I am going to ride.
- How do you ride?
- Where do you ride?
- What bike do you ride?
- What’s your budget?
How do you ride?
The way you ride your bike is a big factor in what kind of tyre you would need. If you are a sporty rider grinding your foot pegs in every turn. You might want to take a road or race tyre before you consider taking up off-road rubber. This because you want a stable tyre which doesn’t give you a feeling that it’s travelling underneath you. On an off-road tyre the travel happens because it has knobs for gripping the muck. These knobs will make it ‘hop’ from knob to knob when you tilt your bike and use more and more of the side of your tyre. This might give you an uncomfortable feeling while riding corners.
Where do you ride?
This of course goes hand in hand with the step: ‘How do you ride?’ but has some different aspects. If you plan a tour of mainly road tracks and some light off-roading you’d be better off taking a 80/20 or 90/10 tyre. This indicates the percentage of suitability for riding on the road and off-road. For example, the Michelin Anakee 3 is considered a 90/10 tyre. 90% road and 10% off-road. This means it can take light off-roading but will not suffice riding up hill in the mud.
What bike do you ride?
Weight, size, power and cruising speed. It’s all a factor for your tyres. They need to be able to take the weight of your bike through the terrain. That’s why a BMW GS1200 need different tyres then a HONDA NC750 clearly. But the power and torque of your bike is also a factor to look at. Off-roading tyres are softer than road ones. This means that the weight, power and speed of your bike makes for a higher wear rate and that means less kilometres per set. And that can run the costs up.
What’s your budget?
Although I recommend not being cheap when it comes to buying tyres… There is a difference between buying very expensive tyres just because they have a particular brand you like or buying a tyre with the same qualities for a bit cheaper. I don’t know what you can spend on it but it always helps me to make a balance between price and quality.