Sorting Motorcycle Street Tires | Side-by-Side Chart
There was a time when choosing motorcycle tires wasn’t that tough. The range of motorcycle tires once available for any given bike went like this:
- Street—strictly designed for pavement riding
- Universal—quasi-knobby tires that purported to work well on both pavement and for light dirt work, but generally didn’t do all that well for each riding style
- Strictly dirt with big, knobby tread
Bias ply, uni-compound, and your choice soft or hard, tube-type, end of story. Over the years, things started to get a little more complicated. Tires evolved and the range of options expanded to include radials, tubeless, multi-compound, you name it.
Now, motorcycle tire manufacturers offer a dizzying array of tire options for nearly every bike and riding application from track day hypersport performance to laid back weekend cruising the back roads, replica tires for classic bikes (with today’s high tech in most cases) and loaded two-up long distance touring.
Options are wonderful. But it’s finding the best choice that can be a little daunting. To help with the fundamentals of tire selection, we’ve provided some background information on motorcycle tires in the past, so if you hadn’t seen these, check them out:
That information helps set the stage for shopping for your next set of motorcycle tires, but sorting out the options available for your bike and your kind of riding is still likely to be a challenge.
To help make the process easier, we’ve created a handy matrix to allow a side-by-side, multi-brand, multi-type assessment of options possible in one place.
We have included only DOT (FMVSS 219) approved models; non-approved racing tires are not included. For this go-round, we are limiting the matrix to include street tires covering the range from tires suitable for high performance track day applications to touring and cruiser/conventional and classic bike street tires.
The information is on 10 commonly available brands of tires based on a review of online and retail outlet selections. The information is also gleaned from online vendors and retail information. Classifying tires is a little complicated because not all manufacturers use the same terminology to describe the intended application for their products. So, as is our custom, we made some arbitrary decisions on our own and applied some generally accepted terms to create categories for the purposes of this piece.
Our goal is just to create a handy place to start narrowing things down when you are considering new tires. There are other brands you may wish to consider, of course, and the type of tire that suits your riding best is ultimately determined by your bike’s manufacturer’s specifications and precautions, those of the tire manufacturers, tire sizing limitations, projected tread life, your preferences and other factors—not least of which is pricing.
This information is not to be mistaken for the complete technical information available on the manufacturer’s websites, from experienced motorcycle shops, professional mechanics and so on. To get the whole picture on tire selection, please use those sources, as well. Let us know if this is helpful; if it is, we may well invest the time to keep it updated and even may expand it to include dual-purpose, off-road, scooter tires and others.
Motorcycle Street Tires: Cross-Manufacturer Riding Style Chart
|Manufacturer||Track Day/Comp.||Street Sportbike||Sport Touring/Touring||Cruiser/Harley||Vintage/small dis.||Note|
|Avon||3D Ultra Sport AV79/AV80||3D Ultra Sport AV79/AV80||AM26 Road Rider AM20/21 Roadrunner (F/Rr.), Storm 3D X-M, Venom R (Rr), AV55 Storm (F/Rd), AV72 Cobra/AV71 (ww)||AM20/21 Roadrunner (F/Rr.), AV72 Cobra/AV71 (ww) Safety MKII (Rr), Speedmaster MKII (F), Venom R (Rr)||AM20/21 Roadrunner, Safety MKII (Rr), Speedmaster MKII (F)|
|Bridgestone||Battlax R10 Evo, Battlax BT-39/BT-39SS||Battlax RS10 Type R, Battlax RS10, Battlax S21 Hypersport, Battlax S20 Evo, Battlax BT-90, BT-90 Pro, Battlax BT-39/BT-39SS, Battlax BT-45/BT-45V||Battlax S21 Hypersport, Battlax Sports Touring T30 Evo, Battlax S20 Evo, Battlax BT92, Battlax BT-39/BT-39SS, Battlax BT-45/BT-45V||850/851 Exedra (Rr Rd) Battlecruise H50 G702 (Rr), G852 (Rd/Rr)||Accolade AC-01, AC-02,AC-03,AC-04|
|ContiSportAttack 3, ContiSportAttack 2, ContiSportAttack, ContiRaceAttack Comp. End., ContiRaceAttack Comp., ContiAttack SM||ContiSportAttack 3, ContiSportAttack 2, ContiSportAttack, ContiRaceAttack Comp. End., ContiRaceAttack Comp., ContiAttack SM, ContiSportAttack 3, ContiGo! TKV11/TKV12||ContiRoadAttack 2 CR, ContiRoadAttack 2 GT, ContiRoadAttack 3, ContiGo! Allround, ContiMilestone / ContiMilestone WW, ContiSportAttack 3, ContiLegend, ContiTour, ContiMotion||RB2/K112 Classic, ContiMilestone / ContiMilestone WW, ContiLegend, ContiTour||Classic Attack Vintage, ContiClassicAttack, ContiCity, ContiGo!, RB 2 / K 112, TKV 11 / TKV 12|
|SportMax Q3, Sportmax GPR-300, Sportmax GPA-Pro||SportMax Q3, Sportmax GPR-300, Sportmax GPA-Pro, D207 ZR, D208 ZR||SportMax Roadsmart II, Roadsmart III, Elite 3 (Rd/Bias F), D207 ZR, D208 ZR, K700/K701||American Elite, Cruisemax (ww), 491 Elite II, Elite 3 (Rd/Bias F), Elite 4, D206, D220, D250, D251, D401, D402, D404 Metric, D407, D408, D417 (Rr), F24 (F), K177, K505, K555, K525 Qualifier (Rr), K591, K630, K700/K701, F20 Qualifier (F)||K70 Vintage, K81 Vintage, TT100|
|IRC||RX01 Spec R||RX01, RX02, RX01 Spec R||Durotour RS310 (F/Rr)||Durotour RS310 (F/Rr), WF910, WF920, GS11, GS18, GS 19, GS23, NF52/NR66, F53/NR67||GS11, GS18, GS 19|
|Kenda||K671 ST, K205, K206. K253a, K265, K268F, K272, K273, K418, K430, K489, K657||K671 ST, K673 Kruz, K205, K206, K253a, K265, K268F, K272, K273, K418, K430, K489, K657||K205, K206, K253a, K265, K268F, K272, K273, K418, K430, K489, K657|
|Metzeler||Sportec M7 RR, Racetec RR, Racetec Interact K3, RACETEC SM, Racetec Interact K0 K1 K2||Sportec M7 RR, Racetec RR, Sportec M5 Interact, Racetec Interact K3, RACETEC SM, Racetec Interact K0 K1 K2||ME 888 Marathon Ultra (ww), RoadTec 01, Roadtec Z8 Interact, Sportec M5 Interact, Lasertec||ME77 (Rr), ME 880 (Rr)
ME 888 Marathon Ultra (ww), Lasertec, ME 22, ME 880 Marathon XXL
|Block-C, ME11 (F), Sportec Klassik, Lasertec, ME22, ME77, MO 90|
|Michelin||Pilot Power 3, Power RS||Pilot Power 3, Power RS, Pilot Power 2CT,||Pilot Road 4, Pilot Road 4 GT, Pilot Road 3, Pilot Road 2, Pilot Power, Pilot Power 2 CT, Pilot Power 3, Pilot Street Radial, Commander II, Scorcher 11 (Rd, for H-D), Scorcher 31, Scorcher 32,||Commander II
Scorcher 31, Scorcher 32, Scorcher 11 (Rd, for H-D)
|Pilot Activ, M45|
|Pirelli||Diablo Rosso III, Diablo Rosso II, Diablo Rosso Corsa, Diablo Super Corsa SC, Diablo Super Corsa SP||Diablo Rosso III, , Diablo Rosso II, Diablo Rosso Corsa, Diablo Super Corsa SC, Diablo Super Corsa SP, Diablo, Phantom Sportcomp, Angel ST||Angel GT Sport Touring, Angel ST, Phantom Sportcomp, Sport Demon, MT66, MT75||MT 66, M45, MT15, Night Dragon, Night Dragon GT||Phantom Sportcomp, MT 15|
|Shinko||003 Stealth, 005 Advance, 010 Apex, 016 Verge 2X||003 Stealth, 005 Advance, 010 Apex, 016 Verge 2X,||230Tour Master, SE 890 Journey, SR 733, 734, 735, 712 (F), 718 (Rr), 006 Podium, 009 Raven (Rd), 011 Verge (Rd),||230Tour Master, 240 Classic, 250 Classic (ww), 270 Classic, 611, 712 (F), 718 (Rr), 777 Cruiser, SR 733, 734, 735, SR 880, 881, SE 890 Journey, 611 (F),||240 Classic (WW), 250 Classic (ww), 270 Classic,|
- F = front
- ww = whitewall available
- Rr = rear
- Rd = radial
* Always follow the manufacturer’s tire specifications for your motorcycle and the manufacturer’s specifications and application data for the tires you may select. Some manufacturers may classify tire applications differently than what is shown here.