What motorbike tyres? Tyre Choice

Modern motorcycles vary greatly in design and specification including scooter and all-terrain to suit a variety of requirements and applications including race, street, sport, touring, off-road and leisure. Tyres should be chosen with both the motorcycle and application in mind. For guidance, or if in doubt, you should: a) refer to the owner’s manual b) consult a tyre specialist c) use the tyre manufacturer’s fitment guide book

Types of tyre

Three basic tyre construction types exist for motorcycle tyres – radial ply, diagonal (cross) ply, and bias belted. Depending upon the wheel type, these may be tubeless (no tube required) or tube type (requiring an inner tube). It is recommended that tyres be fitted in matched paris for optimum performance. (In certain European countries it is illegal to mix tyre brands on the same bike. Local tyre regulations should be checked when taking your bike abroad). Special tyres are available for sporting events, some of which are unsuitable for road use and are marked accordingly (normally NHS – Not for Highway Service).

Mixing of tyres

It is illegal and dangerous to mix tyres of different construction on motorcycles in certain ways. See the table below for permitted fitments. If in doubt a tyre specialist should be consulted, but it is generally recommended that both tyres on a motorcycle should be of the same construction and from the same manufacturer.

Related content


Your tyres are the only part of your motorcycle, scooter or moped in contact with the road surface so it is essential…

Tyre Maintenance

From motorbike tyre Pressure and Running-in to Tread Depth, Inspection and Maintenance, take a look at TyreSafe’s top…

Safety Tips

TyreSafe’s tips for checking motorcycle tyres Check your tyre pressures from cold at least once a week using an…


TyreSafe has a range of assets for supporters and stakeholders to leverage in their tyre safety awareness activities.…