Cruiser and custom bikes have a wide variety of tire options available, but if you have a Harley-Davidson or Triumph Rocket III, fully custom café racer, or Ducati Scrambler, choosing the right tire is easier when you understand the technology that used. in them.
Most tire checks will vary depending on who’s driving, and large comparative tests generally look at grip on the track, which is why we spoke to Gary Hartshorne, Bridgestone’s senior manager of motorcycle products in Northern Europe, to find out how you can make the right decisions for yourself …
Gary is a passionate motorcyclist, riding all types of motorcycles over 25,000 miles every year.
What is the best tire for my custom, cruiser, scrambler or café racer?
The size and style of your bike will greatly influence the best rubber. This is what Gary recommends; we will see why next …
|I have a big cruiser like a Harley or a Kawasaki VN1000||Battlecruiser H50|
|I ride in a cafe racer||Battlax RS10, S22, Adventurecross Scrambler AX41S or even BT-45, depending on what it is|
|I have a scrambler style motorcycle||Battlax Adventurecross Scrambler AX41 S|
Does it matter how heavy or powerful my bike is?
Yes absolutely. All tires are manufactured to meet the specifications of the European Tire and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO); For any given axle weight, a certain tire load capacity (and specific pressure) will be required. The carcass of each tire is designed to function within the given parameters to ensure that they are safe for the maximum total load that the motorcycle, its luggage and the passenger will place on the front and rear axles. Tires have a pair of numbers that refer to the maximum load that a single tire can safely carry and a letter denoting speed:
Motorcycle tire load index in kg
|71||3. 4. 5||72||355||73||365||74||375||75||387|
Motorcycle tire speed ratings in mph
|Maximum speed||75||93||99||112||118||130||149||> 149 *||169||> 169 *||> 149|
* With reduced load
You should not use a tire that has a lower speed rating than the bike requires, although lower snow tires are the exception. Load ratings are also a legal requirement, but there is nothing that says you should use the make or model of tire recommended by the motorcycle manufacturer.
Your bike can use cross-layer radials, diagonal band, radials, or zero-degree radials; Neither is outdated technology, but each has a carcass that deforms differently, so it is important to use the tire construction designed for your bike, or it could significantly affect handling as the suspension is designed to work with a certain type of tire.
You can mix cross and radial layers, but only in a certain way – you can put a cross layer front and a radial back, but it is illegal to do it the other way around. You can basically just fit the most flexible tire up front, giving you several options, but the safest answer is to follow the advice of the tire manufacturer.
Cross Layer and Radial Blend Options
|Front tire||Rear tire options|
|Cross cape||Cross layer, cross layer with diagonal belt, cross band radial or zero degree radial|
|Crossover cape with bias belt||Crossover cape with diagonal belt, crossband radial, or zero degree radial|
|Cross Belt Radial||Cross band radial or zero degree radial|
|Zero degree radial||Zero degree radial only|
How do I know which tires to install on my custom motorcycle?
If you have a machine completely …