Good tyres mean safe motorcycle

Badly chosen, incorrectly fitted, incorrectly balanced or inflated tyres mean playing with life
The tyres are the only elements that connect the motorcycle to the road. They provide grip and absorb unevenness – that's why they must be designed, manufactured with the highest possible quality and operated in accordance with safety rules. An ideal tyre is one that works well with the motorcycle's suspension, facilitates braking, saves fuel and ensures safety.

Each year, tens of millions of tyres dedicated to motorcycles from various segments are sold on markets around the world. At least several hundred thousand find buyers on the Polish market. The technology of their production is also being improved every year. One thing remains unchanged – the contact area of the tyre with the road, not exceeding 5 square centimeters!

The construction of two-wheeler tyres, as for other vehicle categories, is constantly evolving – to ensure greater safety, durability and cooperation with various drive configurations. What does not change are the laws of physics – and motorcycle tyres have to cope with high speeds, pavements and changing weather conditions. That is why their quality and proper pressure during operation are so important – explains Piotr Sarnecki, General Director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association (PTIA).

Renowned manufacturers of motorcycle tyres, due to their extensive experience, are aware of the challenges they face in the tyre design and production process. High speeds, sharp turns, different riding styles and a small footprint are part of the problems faced by engineers and designers. The selection of the right tyres and their proper operation is just as important as the production process.

The right choice

Motorcycle tyres, unlike those installed in cars, have to meet much greater requirements – also because the two-wheelers run in curves. Therefore, it is important to have the right tyre size and profile that will not affect the riding characteristics of the motorcycle. In addition to the size, the purpose of the tyres is also crucial, and therefore their properties.

– Unfortunately, many two-wheelers users, in order to improve the appearance of their motorcycles, install tyres that do not meet the manufacturer's requirements – and this translates into safe driving. Remember that the key is the size as well as the load and speed indices. The last parameter is very important in the case of the so-called speeders. Fitting a tyre with a lower speed index – for example S to machines that speed over 200 km / h (U, H, V, W indexes) is asking for trouble. Such a rubber will perform worse in the entire speed range. It is also subject to wear and potential damage much faster – adds Sarnecki.

We can, of course, change the purpose of our machine a bit and, for example, from naked, by changing road tyres to more road-off-road tyres, make a scrambler. However, let's do it wisely – remembering that the size, indexes and quality of tyres do matter.


In addition to the wrong type of tyres, we should also avoid fitting and purchasing used tyres. Yes, their price can be attractive, and the appearance does not have to indicate damage – but the buyer can never be sure that they are not from the motorcycle that was involved in the accident and that the carcass and rubber compound are in good condition, which are responsible for durability. It happens that such tyres cannot be balanced due to uneven wear or invisible damage. We should remember that used tyres come to Poland for a reason – most often they have been withdrawn from use in Western European countries.

When choosing tyres, you can freely buy sets that are several years old. According to the PN-C94300-7 standard, factory tyres can be stored, distributed and sold, while maintaining all their parameters in terms of operational safety for 3 years from the date of purchase. In practice, the factory tyre, properly stored (in the right temperature, away from sunlight and industrial gases) maintains its parameters even a little longer. If the seller offers a branded tyre, but its DOT number is from a few years ago, it is definitely worth considering buying it.

Choose the professional service

The right tyres are part of the success. Another element is a professional service that will take care of setting up and balancing the entire wheel. It is best to choose one that has the quality standard for tyre services confirmed by the Polish Tyre Industry Association.

At highway speed, the rear tyre spins more than 1000 times per minute. It is the second fastest-rotating part of a motorcycle, after the motor shaft, and the only part that ensures contact with the road. The road safety of all of us depends on the quality of the tyres, but also on the quality of their service.

Appropriate exploitation

The user and his driving style have the greatest impact on the condition and service life of tyres. Dynamic gas handling, frequent braking, sharp cornering. All this significantly accelerates the wear of the tread – especially in the case of soft, sporty types of tyres dedicated to sports motorcycles. In such conditions, the mileage of up to 6 thousand. kilometres on one set of tyres is something completely natural.

The service life of tyres also determines the correct pressure. Although there is a temptation to ride with too little pressure in sports machines – because that's what competitors do on the track. True, but race track tyres are not the same tyres as street tyres. Even for sports machines. What competition tyres can withstand without any problems, civilian tyres will pay for much faster destruction. Too little pressure accelerates the degradation process of the tyre even twice. And you may end up bursting the tyre while driving due to overheating of the inner layers. The same happens when the motorcycle is overloaded or the tyre is incorrectly selected. We should also remember to check their condition regularly and check the pressure at least twice a month. Measurements should be made cold, preferably with a proven gauge.


Equipped with knowledge of what tyres to buy, we should choose official points of sale that offer branded, approved tyres covered by the warranty. Purchase in a specialized store is a professional help in choosing tyres for each motorcycle segment and machine. It is also a lower risk of potential faults and a problem-free complaint.

It is worth bearing in mind that new tyres also involve certain obligations on the part of the drivers – the first few hundred kilometres of mileage should run smoothly, so that the tyre "settles" on the rim and comes from the remnants of protective substances, which are left over from the production process. Tyre "stacking" is important for safety when making significant shifting while driving in curves.

Remember that saving on tyres can take revenge, especially in the case of motorcycles. The tyre is the only element of contact with the road, and a two-wheeler does not forgive mistakes such as a car!

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Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association