The tires on your motorcycle are the most important safety device there is. It’s where the rubber meets the road. They are what will keep you grounded. They are what you call on when you desperately need to stop. I cannot emphasize enough that you should not take chances with bald motorcycle tires. Your life or and health are not worth risking saving a few bucks and trying to get a few more miles out of a bald set of tires.

Bald tires mean less grip in normal conditions, and substantially reduced grip with slight road debris or rainy conditions. I implore you to research the individual models of the tires you’re thinking of purchasing, as the performance of tires will greatly vary between individual models and tread patterns.

Tires are expensive!

Motorcycle tires don’t last as long as car tires, and sometimes, depending on you motorcycle and aggressiveness, you may even have to replace tires after only 3000 miles. They are often more expensive than car tires, likely because there just isn’t as much competition in the space. They are a major cost driver of motorcycle ownership for me. If you want more in depth car vs motorcycle costs check out my cost comparison.

Do your research

The individual model of tire is important and I encourage you to do as much research as you can and read as many reviews as possible when buying a new set. Don’t just get what came OEM or what your dealer would install. Do some research yourself. I have pretty much always managed to improve my bikes by doing research on and choosing a better set of tires for them. Also see if you can replace the bias ply tires on your bike with Radials. As a rule of thumb, I think of the following brands as high quality tires: Metzeler, Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli (low tread life), Dunlop, Avon.

The following brands are more of an economy tire, and my experience is that the quality and performance can vary a lot between individual tires of cheaper brands, most likely because their manufacturing process does not have high quality standards. Some of these brands are Kenda, Cheng Shin, and Heidenau.