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How to choose the right tyres for motorcycles

Tyres for motorcycles must be chosen according to the right criteria to ensure optimal performance and safety. What are these criteria? That's what we propose you to discover in our guide. If you have a scooter, please see our article on scooter tyres.

Contents of the article:
1- Usage and performance
2 - Dimensions

1- Usage and performance

Choosing the right tyres for your motorcycle depends above all on your usage and, by extension, on the performance you expect from it. Your expectations, for example, are obviously not the same for commuting as for motocross.

2 - Dimensions

Besides the usage, it is the dimensions that will determine your choice. It is mandatory to follow the dimensions recommended by your manufacturer:

  • If you drive on the road, you are legally committed to respecting the homologated dimensions.
  • If you ride on track or off-road, the dimensions are not subject to legal obligation. If you stay within the limits of compatibility, you can then prioritise the performance you are looking for when making your choice.

In the next part of this article, we will go into more detail to help you decide which tyres would be perfect for your motorbike depending on your usage.

Click on the section you are interested in :

Commuting tyres for motorcycles

You use your motorcycle / scooter for your job or for travelling to and from your place of work. Your vehicle feels the effects of life in the city: frequent stops at traffic lights, dodging other vehicles, damaged road surfaces… and you ride whatever the weather, all year round. Your tyres need to be hard-wearing and help you travel safely for as long as possible.

With this in mind, Michelin offers two categories of ranges, depending on your driving style.

1 – Sporty motorcycles

For sporty driving where your pleasure lies more in the sensations, you can opt for the MICHELIN Pilot Street ranges, on sizes recommended by your manufacturer.

e.g: MICHELIN Power 3 SC for scooters and MICHELIN Pilot Street Radial for motorcycles. You can find these tyres on our commuting page.

2 – Commuting motorcycles

If you only use your motorcycle for commuting with a relaxed riding style, the right tyres for your motorcycle are likely in these ranges: MICHELIN Pilot Street 2, MICHELIN City Pro

If you use a scooter for commuting, then we recommend one of this range: MICHELIN City Extra 

You can find these tyres on our commuting page.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

3 – Roads and paths

If you use your motorbike for commuting during the working week but also for occasional rides on paths for a nature getaway, then opt for our MICHELIN Anakee Street range.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Touring and Sporting tyres for motorcycles

Looking for an adventure? Our tyres will follow you on your journey along smooth roads or off the beaten track in search of new experiences. Our aim: to provide you with tyres that last and can go anywhere with the highest level of comfort and total safety.


There is nothing like road trips to get away from the daily routine! Our wide range of tyres for this purpose will satisfy all needs while offering the best possible safety and comfort on your journeys. E.g: MICHELIN Road and Pilot Road families.

You can find our Touring tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Touring tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.


And for those looking for more thrills with a sporty driving style, our MICHELIN Power and MICHELIN Pilot Power families will meet your expectations.
E.g : MICHELIN Power 5

You can find our Sporting tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Sporting tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Custom tyres

Your custom motorcycle makes you smell the sweet scent of freedom as you cruise long roads surrounded by beautiful scenery.

The best custom tyres you could choose for your bike are the MICHELIN Commander, such as MICHELIN Commander III Cruiser and if you have a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

You can find our Custom tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Custom tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Retro motorcycle tyres

For fans of vintage motorcycles, MICHELIN has designed MICHELIN Road Classic tyres which offer modern technologies to make the most of your classic bike with no compromise on stability and grip.

Discover MICHELIN Road tyre.

Radial or bias tyres?

With a radial construction, the ply cords radiate out from the centre of the tyre. In addition, the crown is made from layers that form a belt. As a result, the crown and sidewalls have their own particular characteristics.

Due to their soft sidewalls, the crowns of radial tyres stick to the road on contact. Their imprint, shorter but wider than that of a bias tyre, provides added grip when leaning in heavily on corners. The pressure of the air in contact with the tyre surface is distributed more effectively with radial tyres, which results in more even tread wear over time.
Radial tyres also provide greater comfort at higher speeds, once again as a result of their soft sidewalls, which absorb the impact of imperfections on the road surface.

The carcass of a bias tyre is made from ply cords in layers arranged at an angle. The layers are placed so that the cords create a criss-cross pattern. The whole structure is uniform throughout; the crown and sidewalls of the tyre have similar mechanical properties.

Bias tyres are able to carry a greater weight because their sidewalls are more rigid. At high speeds, bias tyres can become so deformed that their performance is affected. Ultimately, bias tyres are suitable for vehicles travelling at moderate speeds, with small to medium-sized engines and flexible chassis.

There is a version of bias tyres called "bias belted" where a belt has been added to stiffen the tyre section. Some heavy motorcycles are homologated by the manufacturer with bias belted to allow good endurance.

How can you tell Bias tyres from Bias belted tyres?
A bias belted tyre is identified by the letter B on the tyre dimensions.
For example : 180/65 B 16
If it is a single bias tyre (not belted), there will be a dash in place of the B.
For example : 180/65 - 16

Find the right tyre for your vehicle
Find a tyre
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Find a tyre
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