As much as many of us would like to get out and ride tracks and canyons all day, we have jobs to get to, and errands to run. Many who choose a sportbike as their primary motorcycle need tires with fantastic grip in both wet and dry conditions, that are also stable at all lean angles, and will reward us with a reasonable amount of tire life. Read on to find out which street-going sportbike tires are right for you.
Many riders may be tempted by the siren song of track tires, allowing them to reap the full advantages of massive traction all the time, right? Wrong. Here is a refresher…
Jason Pridmore of Star Motorcycle School told us: "Even on the track, 90 percent of riders would be better off on street tires." This is because street tires warm up faster and won’t drop below their operating temperature at lower speeds. The compounds they’re made of are meant to heat cycle often without ill effect, while those track tires will be spent after just a few uses, leaving you with hard, unsafe tires in a very short amount of time. We already knew that, right? So, buying the right set of street tires will leave you confident on the track, and safe on the street.
Michelin Pilot Road 3
If you travel long distances, this tire is well worth looking into. Excellent water clearance allows this sport-touring tire to respond well in wet and dry thanks to Michelin’s X-Sipe Technology. 2CT dual compound technology ensures confident grip in hard cornering, and long tire life for those highway or freeway blasts. A great tire for those in the Pacific Northwest, and riders looking for a versatile, long-living tire that still inspires confidence in the twisties.
Pirelli Rosso Corsa
Bi-compound technology and a unique profile ensures a uniform contact patch and manageable tread life whether you’re out on the track or just sport touring on your CBR600RR. Clever siping means that the tire delivers slick performance in the dry, and still works well in the wet. The Rosso Corsa leaves the very edge of the tire slick to ensure maximum contact at full-lean. If you’re stacking up miles and want excellent grip and confidence, this tire with World Superbike DNA might do the trick.
Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact
Metzeler uses its Interact 5 zone tension technology in this tire, providing progressive amounts of grip as lean angles increase. Combining that with a silica compound developed to provide excellent contact in wet and dry scenarios makes this tire a keeper. Water ejection is still excellent with the pi-shaped siping, making this road tire: precise, engaging and with good mileage to match.
The Q3 takes its racing heritage seriously. Carbon reinforced sidewalls improve rigidity when turning at high speeds, longer sipes than the outgoing Q2 improve dry and wet traction, and the Q3 doesn’t cost any more than its predecessors either. Like the other tires in our collection, the Q3 features a dual-compound; slightly harder in the middle to mitigate excessive wear, softer on the outside to really stick where it counts. The coolest part? These tires are made in the U.S.
If a sport bike is your daily ride, what kind of tires are you using?