Tread of Tyre – Does It Matter for Bike?

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Motorcycle tyres come in different sizes, construction, and tread patterns. If it’s clear about the size and construction, the tread often misleads amateurs into thinking that the more aggressive tread pattern is, the better grip it provides. But the reality is actually not that obvious. What do you have to pay attention to while choosing motorcycle tyres?

Why are bold tyres better for a dry tarmac? 

If you have ever been watching (or participating) motorcycle racing, you must have noticed that some sportbikes use slicks (rubber tyres that have virtually no tread pattern on them) on dry tarmac and it’s ok for them. Actually, they benefit when racing on such type of tyres. It’s because on a dry road the traction greatly depends on the size of a ‘contact patch’ (the tyre’s usable surface). It is much wider on slick tyres, and, as a result, they provide a better grip and stability on much wider lean angles. And in motorcycle sport, better grip means that engine power is translated into movement better.

What is the tyre tread for?

So in motorcycle tyres, the tread isn’t for added grip. It is needed to avoid aquaplaning, a condition encountered on wet pavement (not just damp, but when there is a layer of standing water) when the tyre suddenly loses grip and slips. Tyre tread blocks and grooves are designed in the way to help displace loose gravel and water faster from under the tyre so that it can keep contact with the road.

So the amount of tread on the tyre actually says how good it will be at resisting aquaplaning on the wet. If you not only ride on sports events but also use your bike for everyday commutes and multi-day voyages, you need some tread to keep moving in any weather and on any terrain.

How to choose motorcycle tyres?

Choosing tyres for your bike, you should keep in mind that the more tread pattern there is on the tyre, the less its surface area is, which results is inferior traction and impaired cornering ability. To balance both wet and dry benefits, you should probably have 2 sets of tyres for your bike: slicks for racing on a tarmac and ‘treadish’ dual-sport tyres for your everyday needs.

The easiest way to figure out the type of tyres you need is following the rule of a surface: the tyre’s texture must resemble the terrain you are riding upon: sportbike slacks for smooth tarmac and chunky dual-sport tyres for gravel and other nuisances.