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How to choose the right tyres for motorcycles

Tyres for motorcycles must be chosen according to the right criteria to ensure optimal performance and safety. What are these criteria? That's what we propose you to discover in our guide.

If you have a scooter, please see our article on scooter tyres.

Contents of the article:

1- Usage and performance
2 - Dimensions

1- Usage and performance

Choosing the right tyres for your motorcycle depends above all on your usage and, by extension, on the performance you expect from it. Your expectations, for example, are obviously not the same for commuting as for motocross.

2 - Dimensions

Besides the usage, it is the dimensions that will determine your choice. It is mandatory to follow the dimensions recommended by your manufacturer:

  • If you drive on the road, you are legally committed to respecting the homologated dimensions.
  • If you ride on track or off-road, the dimensions are not subject to legal obligation. If you stay within the limits of compatibility, you can then prioritise the performance you are looking for when making your choice.

In the next part of this article, we will go into more detail to help you decide which tyres would be perfect for your motorbike depending on your usage.

Click on the section you are interested in :

Commuting tyres for motorcycles

You use your motorcycle / scooter for your job or for travelling to and from your place of work. Your vehicle feels the effects of life in the city: frequent stops at traffic lights, dodging other vehicles, damaged road surfaces… and you ride whatever the weather, all year round. Your tyres need to be hard-wearing and help you travel safely for as long as possible.

With this in mind, Michelin offers two categories of ranges, depending on your driving style.

1 – Sporty motorcycles

For sporty driving where your pleasure lies more in the sensations, you can opt for the MICHELIN Pilot Street ranges, on sizes recommended by your manufacturer.

e.g: MICHELIN Power 3 SC for scooters and MICHELIN Pilot Street Radial for motorcycles. You can find these tyres on our commuting page.

2 – Commuting motorcycles

If you only use your motorcycle for commuting with a relaxed riding style, the right tyres for your motorcycle are likely in these ranges: MICHELIN Pilot Street, MICHELIN Pilot Street 2, MICHELIN City Pro or MICHELIN M35. 

If you use a scooter for commuting, then we recommend one of these ranges: MICHELIN Road 4 SC, MICHELIN City Grip, MICHELIN City Grip 2, MICHELIN City Grip Saver, MICHELIN City Extra or MICHELIN City Grip Pro. 

You can find these tyres on our commuting page.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

3 – Roads and paths

If you use your motorbike for commuting during the working week but also for occasional rides on paths for a nature getaway, then opt for our MICHELIN Anakee Street range.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Track tyres for motorcycles

Are you looking for an adrenaline rush on your motorbike?

Tried and tested on the racetrack, our ranges of track tyres are made using advanced technology that has withstood some of the most impressive circuits around. High performance tyres for added grip and total safety.

The two categories of track tyres we offer are easy to differentiate. The first one is for leisure circuit, especially for track days, which you can choose to participate in, and the second one is for competition.

Track day tyres

The choice of motorcycle tyres for track day depends on your level of skill. We help you make the right choice in our dedicated article on the best tyres for motorbike track days.

Competition tyres

If you are involved in competition, Michelin offers a range of tyres suitable for amateur or experienced riders and for all types of motorcycles. The aim here is to make you a winner! You will find your ideal tyres among our MICHELIN Power Performance ranges, specially designed for endurance and speed (e.g: MICHELIN Power Performance 24, MICHELIN Power Performance Cup and MICHELIN Performance Slick), and MICHELIN Power Rain that offers an excellent grip in wet conditions and even in the rain.

You can find all of our competition tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our racing tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Off-road tyres for motorcycles

The pleasures of off-roading come in different forms. Cross, Enduro, Trial and Rally are all-terrain activities that require tyres with optimal grip and traction. MICHELIN offers a full range of competition tested tyres, suited to your needs and to every kind of terrain (sand, mixed, soft, hard...) you might encounter.

Enduro tyres

For Enduro riding, it is important to comply with the approved dimensions in order to respect the regulations when riding on the road.

In our Enduro range, you can choose from our dedicated or compatible ranges, for hard, soft, sandy or mixed terrain.

e.g: MICHELIN Enduro Xtrem NHS, MICHELIN Enduro Medium, MICHELIN Enduro Hard and MICHELIN Tracker.

You can find all of our Enduro tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Enduro tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Motocross tyres

For motocross, your engine size will determine the tyre options for your bike. Then look for tyres that are specifically designed for the types of surfaces you ride on. Our article on choosing motocross tyres will guide you towards your final choice.

You can find all of our Motocross tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Motocross tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Trial tyres

A good grip is the key to overcoming the most difficult obstacles during a trial and our dedicated range has been specifically designed to meet this need.

Our MICHELIN Trial Light, the champion of this category, gives you excellent dry and wet grip while remaining light and flexible. And for unrivalled handling on soft to rough terrain, you can turn to the MICHELIN Trial Competition, which has been appreciated for years, including by the pros, for its grip and robustness.

You can find our Trial tyres on our off-road page.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.


If rallies are your playground, either the MICHELIN Desert Race, perfect for winding roads, or the MICHELIN Desert Race Baja, our sandy road expert, will be your best companion. The former offers optimum stability at high speed and good cornering performance. The latter is very robust with its reinforced lugs and becomes puncture-proof if you equip it with our MICHELIN Bib Mousse solution.

You can find our Rally tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Rally tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Adventure and all-terrain tyres for motorcycles

A beautiful road, beautiful bends, beautiful sunshine, it's time to hit the road! With MICHELIN tyres, there's no need to choose between the ride of your life and a safe day out.

Fitting your motorbike with the right tyres for short or long trail rides is the first step to satisfying your desire for adventure and freedom.

We offer several ranges that are perfect for this purpose with an enhanced grip and a remarkable handling and stability. E.g: MICHELIN Anakee ranges, MICHELIN Road 6 or MICHELIN Scorcher Adventure. (The latter being specifically designed for Harley Davidson motorcycles).

You can find our Adventure & all-terrain tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Adventure & all-terrain tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Touring and Sporting tyres for motorcycles

Looking for an adventure? Our tyres will follow you on your journey along smooth roads or off the beaten track in search of new experiences. Our aim: to provide you with tyres that last and can go anywhere with the highest level of comfort and total safety.


There is nothing like road trips to get away from the daily routine! Our wide range of tyres for this purpose will satisfy all needs while offering the best possible safety and comfort on your journeys. E.g: MICHELIN Road and Pilot Road families.

You can find our Touring tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Touring tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.


And for those looking for more thrills with a sporty driving style, our MICHELIN Power and MICHELIN Pilot Power families will meet your expectations.
E.g : MICHELIN Power 5, MICHELIN Power GP, MICHELIN Power Cup 2, MICHELIN Power Cup Evo, MICHELIN Power Slick 2, MICHELIN Pilot Power 2CT and MICHELIN Pilot Power 3.

You can find our Sporting tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Sporting tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Custom tyres

Your custom motorcycle makes you smell the sweet scent of freedom as you cruise long roads surrounded by beautiful scenery.

The best custom tyres you could choose for your bike are the MICHELIN Commander, such as MICHELIN Commander III Cruiser and MICHELIN Commander III Touring, or the MICHELIN Scorcher families if you have a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

You can find our Custom tyres on our dedicated page. Click here to find our Custom tyres.

Don't forget to check that the dimensions are available for your motorcycle.

Retro motorcycle tyres

For fans of vintage motorcycles, MICHELIN has designed MICHELIN Road Classic tyres which offer modern technologies to make the most of your classic bike with no compromise on stability and grip.

Discover MICHELIN Road Classic tyre.

Radial or bias tyres?

With a radial construction, the ply cords radiate out from the centre of the tyre. In addition, the crown is made from layers that form a belt. As a result, the crown and sidewalls have their own particular characteristics.

Due to their soft sidewalls, the crowns of radial tyres stick to the road on contact. Their imprint, shorter but wider than that of a bias tyre, provides added grip when leaning in heavily on corners. The pressure of the air in contact with the tyre surface is distributed more effectively with radial tyres, which results in more even tread wear over time.
Radial tyres also provide greater comfort at higher speeds, once again as a result of their soft sidewalls, which absorb the impact of imperfections on the road surface.

The carcass of a bias tyre is made from ply cords in layers arranged at an angle. The layers are placed so that the cords create a criss-cross pattern. The whole structure is uniform throughout; the crown and sidewalls of the tyre have similar mechanical properties.

Bias tyres are able to carry a greater weight because their sidewalls are more rigid. At high speeds, bias tyres can become so deformed that their performance is affected. Ultimately, bias tyres are suitable for vehicles travelling at moderate speeds, with small to medium-sized engines and flexible chassis.

There is a version of bias tyres called "bias belted" where a belt has been added to stiffen the tyre section. Some heavy motorcycles are homologated by the manufacturer with bias belted to allow good endurance.

How can you tell Bias tyres from Bias belted tyres?
A bias belted tyre is identified by the letter B on the tyre dimensions.
For example : 180/65 B 16
If it is a single bias tyre (not belted), there will be a dash in place of the B.
For example : 180/65 - 16

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