If you’re reading this article, odds are you need a new set of tires for your bike.
Now I recognize that there are lots and lots of tires you could choose out there, and for many people, it can get to be a little bit confusing when you start trying to compare all these tires against one another.
What we’ve done in this article is picking out some of the excellent performers to help streamline the process of choosing some tires.
|Model||Tire Compound||Best For||Price|
|Michelin Pilot Road 4||Dual Compound||Cold & Wet Weather||Under $250|
|Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT||Dual Compound||Heavier bikes||Under $250|
|Bridgestone T30 EVO||Dual Compound Rear Only||Wet Weather||Under $150|
|Pirelli Angel GT||Dual Compound Rear Only||Increased mileage||Under $150|
|Shinko 009 Raven||Aramid belted||Dry weather||Under $100|
From a bike perspective, as the title implies, we will be concentrating on sportbikes, specifically middleweights right on up to the big ones. If your bike has a set of 17-inch wheels and tires on it, the odds are good this will apply to you.
That may also be some bikes that don’t race reps. There may be some sportbikes, but maybe not super sports. There may also be some naked mixed in there.
Regardless, If you’re riding something based on the 600 or 1000 class, and you have a pair of 17-inch wheels and tires, these are probably going to be somewhat applicable to you and your situation.
One of the other things you should realize is that we selected all W-Rated tires, so these will be good for all, but the very fastest of motorcycles.
If you’ve got a bike, but it does put out quite a bit of power, you shouldn’t be too concerned about any of the tires we have chosen because, again, these are W-Rated, which is the highest speed rating category in motorcycle tires today.
As the title of this review suggests, these are B-Rated tires that are geared towards mileage. So if you’re looking at any tires, you’ve probably come to realize that most things exist on a spectrum.
Usually, you have mileage at one end, and at the other end, you have something like grip. Now there are some tires out there where you can get a little more from both categories, but those tires typically cost a little more money.
We’re going to be talking about tires, really the prioritized mileage over other things. If you do need a super grippy tire, we’ve got an article for that as well.
Michelin Pilot Road 4
The first tire we have up here is the Michelin Pilot Road 4. If you were to talk to one of our gear geeks, you told him you had a 180x55x17 rear and a 120x70x17 front.
You told him you didn’t know anything about your bike, your riding style, or you just refused to give out any information: this tire would probably at least get mentioned, if not recommend.
That may seem a little bit crazy, but the reason we would do that is that this tire makes such a wide variety of riders happy for a variety of different reasons.
Let’s talk a little bit about some of this tire’s construction features, why they should appeal to you, and what they might do for you.
The first thing that is cooked into this tire is its dual-compound tire, which means there are two types of rubber. Down the Center strip of this tire, there’s hard, long-wearing rubber.
It means you won’t square the tire off prematurely especially, if you’re, doing lots and lots of mileage down straight roads. We all have to jump on the freeway from time to time, and it’s best not to ruin a tire when you’re doing it.
The other compound occurs at the shoulders of the tire down the sides. That’s a much softer rubber that gives lots and lots of grip, especially when you’ve got the bike over on its side, and you need maximum grip from the tires.
It’s a great design feature, it’s not found in every tire, but again, it makes this thing a good performer. It doesn’t matter if you’re pushing it hard, or you’re just trying to get to work in the morning now.
One of the other things you can’t see is inside the tire is the amount of silica they use. Silica is an additive for tires, typically used for performance in either cold or, most especially wet weather.
Because there’s so much silica in here you get lots of good mechanical adhesion to the pavement when you’re riding around, especially when it’s wet out. It helps the tire stick to the road and gives you a confident feeling if it happens To be wet.
Adding to the wet weather performance are the sipes in this tire. Most of you are probably familiar with tread, the larger voids between the tread blocks on the tire. Siping, however, is the narrow cut you’ll see throughout the tire.
Those narrow cuts do sponge up water into the body of the tires as you roll over it and then eject it as you roll through it.
It gives this tire a better chance at grabbing the roadway by clearing water out of the way. Again, it adds to the confidence you’re going to get in wet weather.
As an anecdotal teaser, you should probably know that this is a tire that we see a lot of right here in our parking lot.
If you walk the staff lot, you’re going to see more Pilot Road fours on bikes than just about any other tire.
Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT
For those of you who are on heavier bikes, or perhaps a sport-touring rig, you should also know the Pilot Road 4 also comes in a GT version.
So if you’re trying to get maximum mileage out of your tire, and you’re on a heavier bike, the GT might be the one to look into.
Pirelli Angel GT
I have a personal affinity for the Pirelli Angel GT; I’ve run them on quite a few motorcycles. I like the way these things perform.
Let me give you a little bit of anecdotal evidence if I can. I have put these on several bikes, and at some point, I realized that these were my go-to tire because I couldn’t find the limit of their grip, not at street speeds.
I was well exceeding most of the speed limits. In most of the places I ride, I tend to ride a little bit on the violent side.
A tire that was as long-wearing as the angel GT seemed like a perfect setup for me because I couldn’t break traction with this thing In almost all riding situations that I found myself stumbling into.
The fact that it would then last significantly longer than some of the other sportbike tires on the market was, for me, a huge selling point.
These are a little different than the Pilot Road 4 you just saw. These are a dual compound in the rear only. It’s not a dual compound front and rear, it’s just in the back, but again for me, that was where it mattered.
I imagine it probably is, for those of you guys who ride long miles in a straight line. It’s the rear that always tends to go too pop most quickly.
All in all, the Angel GT is also a very popular tire. Our customers like these things just as much as we do.
We have a feeling that you’re probably going to be in the same boat.
Bridgestone T30 EVO
The Bridgestone T30 EVO is the child of the Bridgestone T30 and the grandchild of the old BTO23.
I’m not sure how many of you older riders remember that tire, but it was a great tire in its own right. You could lay down the miles on those things.
This is a similar setup to our previous tire. We’ve got a dual compound rear, a single compound in the front.
Again, we’ve got those softer rubber strips at the shoulder to give you a better grip when you’re burying this thing through the corner.
On a personal level, anecdotally, I don’t know that I like these quite as much as some of the other tires here.
However, one of the things you are getting here is a much lower price with these tires.
These usually come in a few dollars lower than some of the other tires that we already talked about, and I feel like the performance in these is pretty good.
I’ve had these as an OEM tire on a few different motorcycles and been pleased with their performance, especially when you go back and you look at that prices compared to some of the more premium entries in this category.
Shinko 009 Raven
Our final tire is the budget Buster of the group. We figured we wanted to throw one tire in there for those of you who are watching the wallet, maybe trying to get through a season, or perhaps you’ve got a bike in your garage that you’re considering flipping, and you want to keep the cost down.
A lot of people don’t realize that Shinko used to be the Yokohama motorcycle tire division. They’ve since split off, but these are very good tires.
A lot of people don’t clue in on that fact. The technology is not necessarily completely up to date on them, however, a tire that was good a couple of years ago is still probably pretty good today.
While I wouldn’t call this necessarily my first bet, especially for a wet weather tire, if you’re a fair-weather rider and you’re looking for something that’s going to give you longevity, the Shinko 009 Raven is a great place to start.
A couple of people would say: well, why am I going to put up with that? The easy answer is the Shinko 009 Raven is a budget buster.
The fact is, a set of Shinko ravens in a common sportbike size comes out to about the same cost as just a rear tire for some of the more premium tires on the market.
So if you’re looking to keep a couple of bucks in your wallet, the Shinko raven is the way to fly.
That pretty much rounds out our top tires for the sportbike mileage category. Everything we’ve told you about today is a winner in its class, but, as you can see, each one of these tires has some subtle variations. They’re going to be more tailored to a specific rider, or scenario, or perhaps a motorcycle.