4 Step Guide For Supersport Motorcycle Tire Choice
Choosing the correct tires for your supersport motorcycle is very important. There is a huge range of different tires on the market that all perform differently in different situations and conditions, making decisions on this topic quite difficult. The trick is to pick the right tire for the right use. A track tire will not grip on the street because of the high operating temperatures required for grip. A fast street tire designed for the twisties and a warmer climate will not perform well when commuting in the cold or wet. Simply put, fit the tire that suits your needs.
4 step guide – Motorcycle tire choice
This 4 step guide is designed to help you chose the right set of tires for your particular needs. The information listed below is my personal choice for my riding needs used as an example, simply exchange the information listed in the 4 steps with your own if your needs are different. If you need a more generalised guide to tire choice or some more information, click here.
- Let’s figure out what we will be doing with the motorcycle so we can cover these bases. The broader the use of your motorcycle, the harder it is to find a tire that covers all bases. Personally I will:
- commute to work during the week
- ride the twisties on the weekends
- I also do the occasional track day but I usually fit a different set of tires for this depending on circumstances
It’s hard to make a tire do everything well, so sometimes sacrifices need to be made. Because track days are more rare, it makes sense for me to use a different set of track specific tires.
- Lets select the tires that cover the bases listed above appropriately. Personally I need a tire that is:
- harder compound in the middle for the work commute
- soft on the edges for the twisties
- wet weather capable if I get caught out in the rain
- Has some longevity because of the large number of miles ridden.
This means I need a street tire that is at least duel compound so I can do plenty of straight line miles and go hard in the twisties on the weekend.
- Let’s look at some of the major brands that offer the tires I need:
Diablo Rosso 3
Diablo Supercorsa SP V2
Pilot road 4
Pilot power 3
- Let’s read some reviews and forums to see what these tires are like in the real world. This will help us make an educated decision in what best suits our motorcycle and what we will be using it for. Personally I need a tire that will not be destroyed quickly while commuting, but have high performance on the twisties because I push them hard. I am finally led to 3 different choices:
- Bridgestone S22
- Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3
- Dunlop Q3
Unfortunately price is a big factor in tire selection as we should all be making good financial decisions for the future. The longevity of the tire plays a large part in this as it will last longer so keep that in mind. The difference in a few of the brands may be so little that the cheaper set of tires wins, or the tires on sale at the time. This is the case for my 3 picks listed in step 4. I will most likely pick the cheapest or best value option first, then I might pick a different brand the next time to compare.
Be careful not to sacrifice quality to save a few bucks. It’s smart to shop around and find the best price you can, but very unwise to sacrifice performance and safety by picking the cheapest tires you can find.
The 4 step guide in this article shows how to chose a supersport tire for good cornering performance as well as commuting. Street tires spend their lives on crappy road surfaces with dirt, grime, stones and potholes. They need to be tougher and able to deal with the rougher conditions with maybe some wet weather thrown in. A Sport touring tire or fast street tire will offer this much better than the Bridgestone RS10, Diablo Supercorsa SP V2 or the Michelin Power RS, which are basically track tires, but are road legal.
The fastest street tires listed in the table above are basically track tires but are road legal. They are excellent track tires for higher beginner to intermediate riders out on the track. These type of tires make it possible to ride to the track, race, then ride home on the same set of tires. Tires manufactured solely for track use come in the form of wet or dry, are made with super soft compounds that only work properly under high heat (track conditions). They usually require tire warmers between rides during the day to help with longevity and will wear extremely quickly due to the soft compounds and high temperatures.
Tires with a higher-silica rubber have a lower rolling resistance providing better grip in the cold, better performance in the wet and better mileage. The grooves of the tire are solely for water displacement, so more grooves are required for wet weather riding. The trick is to find a tire that performs well in the wet and dry without sacrificing the contact patch with the road such as a sport touring tire or a faster street tire for the more enthusiastic rider hitting the twisties.
The tires with the most longevity for your supersports motorcycle are Sport Touring Tires. They have a harder compound in the middle for long distance riding, with a softer compound towards the sides offering more grip when leaning through corners. The fast street tires listed in step 4 will still have some longevity to them, they just perform better in the twisties than a sport touring tire. If you like to push hard in the twisties, it’s a good idea to sacrifice some longevity for corner grip.
This guide on choosing the right set of supersport tires for your motorcycle is aimed at helping you make the correct decision yourself. Ultimately you will need to do your own research to help you make a decision as everyone’s needs are different and simply listing a brand and tire type is just a personal opinion (although my own personal example is listed in the steps). Feel free to follow the choices I have personally made for my own tire purchases, but at the end of the day it is only one man’s opinion (even though those 3 tire choices are excellent!).