Moto tires: Does size matter?

tires

Safety is important not only when you’re cooped inside an automobile but most especially when you’re sitting on top of the saddle. After all, a bump that would dent a car could send a motorcycle rider to the hospital.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What are the benefits of fatter tires?

    Fat tires have better grip and provide better stability.
  • What are the benefits of thin tires?

    Thin tires are lighter and are easier to maneuver.
  • Which tire is safer?

    Many motorcycle riders consider wider tires to be more safe.
  • That said, motorcycle owners see to it that they are properly equipped the moment they hit the road. And it’s not just the riding gear. Even the tires — although often overlooked — can be a component that could increase one’s safety.

    On that note, many of us see motorcycles with different tires: some of them skinny and some of them fat. But what do these tires mean, and ultimately, which of them are safer? Let’s find out.

    Grip

    Grip is an important aspect of road safety; grippy tires offer more control and helps improve braking.

    “Wider tires will have a larger surface area compared to skinny ones and will offer more traction,” said Mike Rubina, a motorcycle shop owner in Laguna.

    He also added that grip and traction is vital as it helps you ride the motorbike more stable at higher speeds.

    Handling

    In terms of handling, both tire sizes generally handle well, but you’ll find that a thin tire will be easier to maneuver as they tend to be lighter. Conversely, wider tires will have you exert more effort as they are typically heavier.

    “You’ll have to pay attention to potholes though as thinner tires could get caught in between the cracks and crevices on the road,” said Rubina, pointing at one of the drawbacks of riding with thin and nimble tires.

    Stability

    Wider tires also tend to be more stable not only in high-speed driving situations but also when driving in different road conditions. That said it has the potential to reduce accidents when riding to places that will take you to multiple terrains.

    Compared to thin tires that could compromise your balance when you run over small stones on the road, wider tires can keep you stable if you ever run over such an obstacle.

    Verdict

    While thin tires — when done right — will look good on your motorbike, you can enjoy safer journeys when using wider ones.

    Photo by Juan Paulo Papa

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