Best Touring Motorcycle Tires: Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

by Chris Lewis.

When it comes to their precious bikes, motorcyclists know very well that the tires are just as significant as the body. The quality of the tire affects the overall performance, including traction, lean-angle capabilities, and handling.

Only the best rubber can offer you the best of everything and give you the ultimate riding experience. Truly, there is no other alternative to getting the best touring motorcycle tires to take you on your journeys.

So, we have shortlisted 8 of our top picks and included a buying guide to help you get going. Without further ado, let us get started!

Image Name Ratings
Pirelli Angel ST Front and Rear Touring Motorcycle Tires
Price Check
4.7 / 5.0
Michelin Pilot Road 2 Touring Motorcycle Tires
Price Check
4.6 / 5.0
Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle - Rear
Price Check
4.7 / 5.0

8 Best Touring Motorcycle Tires

Like everything else, the tire tech and industry has revolutionised beyond our wildest dreams. There is an abundance of options to choose from and settling on the right product is no short feat. But we hope our little list can be of help.

 8 Best Touring Motorcycle Tires
8 Best Touring Motorcycle Tires

1. Pirelli Angel ST Front and Rear Touring Motorcycle Tires

Pirelli Angel ST Front and Rear Touring Motorcycle Tires
Pirelli Angel ST Front and Rear Touring Motorcycle Tires

Pirelli is well known in the tire industry and their Angel STs are just one of their many remarkable products. These street sport style tires are perfect for lightweight fast sports bikes and have won a total of 7 awards for their exceptional features.

They are made with a 4-ply rated construction using environmentally friendly compounds.

Pirelli's patented 0-degree steel belt radial structure is used within the tubeless design to provide great balance and handling on the road, wet or dry.

You can comfortably manoeuvre through hurdles and complex turns without looking at traction.

The tires have an average speed of 132.9 MPH and allow you to reach maximum speeds of 168. They also provide amazing mileage during your trips. However, you should know that the front tires have more longevity than the rear tires.

High speed and gnarly roads are a deadly combination for the rear tires and can cause severe damages. But if you are a responsible rider, these tires will last for years!

The Angel STs are very responsive to turning and braking; and remain quite stable at higher speed. If you are planning on taking a cross country trip, you can remain assured that these tires can handle lots of rain and gravel.

Pros

  • Has great all-around traction
  • Still looks new even after a thousand miles
  • Has unique tread patterns that provide good performance
  • Perfectly compatible with lightweight and fast sports bikes

Cons

  • The back tires wear out faster than the front tires

2. Michelin Pilot Road 2 Touring Motorcycle Tires

Michelin Pilot Road 2 Touring Motorcycle Tires
Michelin Pilot Road 2 Touring Motorcycle Tires

The Michelin Road 2 is probably one of the best tires in the Road series. They are made with a dual-compound or two-compound (TC) MotoGP technology which combines multiple types of rubbers to get the best end-product. It also ensures an extended tire life and grip.

The front tires come standard-sized, but the rear ones are slightly narrower than usual. This allows them to stand without requiring much weight. They also have soft edges for more stability while cornering and turning.

Initial miles are very important for motorcycles as they usually have less traction and are prone to crashes.

Fortunately, the Road 2s feel sturdier and more compliant from the get-go which results in a shorter warm-up time compared to Best motorcycle tire brands.

However, the soft edges can result in a 'wormy' feel but it disappears once your tires get a little scrubbed in.

These tires have an efficient braking tread design optimized for performance and with 20% more longevity than the 2CT.

You can use them for heavy sport-touring machines and easily get over 7000 miles out of a set. And all of these come at a very reasonable price!

Pros

  • Feels glued to the road even during the initial break-in due to the breaking tread design
  • Fast and stable on wet roads and holds up well over miles
  • Affordable pricing
  • Can be used with heavyweight machines

Cons

  • Can feel slightly unresponsive due to the mould release on the first couple hundred miles

3. Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle - Rear

Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle - Rear
Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle - Rear

Despite being an entry-level product the ContiMotion tires by Continental are one of the sportiest rear tires ever.. It has an innovative concept radial that allows your bike to reach W-rated speed without any difficulties.

They are one of the bestselling tires in the US and are extremely tough. Due to their open tread design with lots of drainage areas, the tires have excellent wet-rubber performance. This model has a tire aspect ratio of 60.0 with a section and rim width of 16 millimetres.

The new design includes a modern polymer tread compound combined with a unique 0-degrees steel belt construction for stability.

The 0-degrees steel belt situated under the tread keeps the tires in shape during high speeds and helps absorb impacts on the road.

Another interesting feature is the backbone tread design carefully placed where the most wear happens.

It is made with 100% rubber for more traction during rides. These tires provide outstanding mileage, dry-weather grip, and safe ride all at a very low price.

Pros

  • Tires stay in shape during high-speed rides due to the construction
  • Pure rubber used results in more traction and good wet-dry road performance
  • Does not wear out due to the pure rubber used in the middle
  • Offer excellent mileage with the force directional tread design

Cons

  • May slip while performing a wheelie.

4. Dunlop American Elite Rear All-Season Radial Tire

Dunlop's American Elite has been around for nearly a decade, originally released to fit the Harley Davidson redesigned touring models.

The tire is designed to handle the additional power and heavy load of the newer machines. It is the only Harley tire to be manufactured and tested in the US.

Dunlop's American Elite is made with a two-compound construction to allow more even wear over a prolonged time.

One of the compounds used is high-wearing and durable; placed along the middle of the tire to absorb most of the impact and maximise longevity.

It is sandwiched between another compound which is softer and more adherent for better handling.

The American Elite is a favorite in wet weather conditions and is acclaimed for its awesome performance.

The mileage is fewer than its competitors, but you can still get in almost ten thousand miles with adequate tread remaining.

If you like to ridehard and train often, this Dunlop tire would be great for you. It has a tougher and heavier feel which guarantees reliability. The grip and handling is amazing, and truly, few things could go wrong with this tire.

Pros

  • Dual-compound technology, wear out the tire evenly over time
  • Performs exceptionally well on wet roads
  • Can handle aggressive riding at different speeds
  • Superior cornering and handling capabilities with less chance of slippage

Cons

  • Less mileage compared to other brands

5. Shinko SE890 Journey Touring Rear Tire

Shinko SE890 Journey Touring Rear Tire
Shinko SE890 Journey Touring Rear Tire

If you like riding larger touring bikes and cruisers and loading up a lot of weight on your weekend trips, the Shinko SE890 tires might be your saving grace. They are not a name brand, but they still work great.

Unlike its well-known competitors, Shinko uses only one compound all over to give the tire a soft and adhesive effect.

These radial tires look just like any other high-quality tire, but they sport a versatile all-weather tread pattern that is quiet and efficient.

The bump absorption along with its fast recovery rate entails a smooth ride even at significant speeds.

These tires are durable and resistant to wear and tear. It has an aramid-belted radial construction to disperse water without slowing you down.

Unfortunately, the 5-ply rated tread and 3-ply rated sidewall rear tires exhibit occasional flat spots after a few thousand miles. This makes taking turn-in initiations slightly dangerous and troublesome.

The Shinko SE890 is a great replacement for well-known and expensive brands. It is relatively cheaper and offers great value when it comes to safety, performance, and lifespan.

Pros

  • Maintain speed after hitting bumps due to its fast recovery rate
  • The single compound used gives a soft grip all over the tire
  • An all-weather tread pattern efficiently moves water out of the way for a good grip on wet roads
  • Perform great at all speeds and conditions

Cons

  • Back tires wear out faster and need to be replaced

6. Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle Tire - Front

Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle Tire - Front
Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring Motorcycle Tire - Front

Continental's sport touring tires sell both front and rear tires. The construction technology of the front tires is just the same as their rear tires, which we already talked about above. But there are still a few differences.

To provide the ultimate steering control, ContiMotion's front tires have a smaller section and rim width of about 120 millimetres.

While the steering still has room left for improvement, the tire gives amazing feedback at leaner angles. The load index rating is also slightly reduced in the front tires.

ContiMotion's front tires are lightweight and do not need much weight to balance either.

While the lighter weight dissipates heat fast at high speeds, the tires still wear through to the zero-degree steel belts due to the reduced rubber depths on the sides.

But you can easily expect 6,000 miles without any problems and will still have enough traction for a couple thousand more.

They grab great when warm and ensure safe kick-outs and drop lows. Once you get these best sport touring motorcycle tires, you will not look back anymore.

Pros

  • Provides great feedback at deep lean angles
  • Handles dry weather and rain well and keeps the ride smooth and comfortable
  • Grip increases when heated which is perfect for longer journeys
  • Do not need to add balance weight and can be mounted easily

Cons

  • Wears out faster than the rear tires due to the reduced rubber density

7. Metzeler Sportec M5 Front and Rear Motorcycle Radial Sport Bike Tires Set

Metzeler's Sportec M5 is the upgraded version of their M3 and has mixed features of their Roadtec and Racetec lines.

It has been constructed to ensure maximum life and superior performance even after thousands of miles of use.

Unlike the common dual or tri-compound tires, the Sportec M5 is made with a blend of resin and silica compound which supplies wet traction and swifter warm-ups.

The silica content in this model is 55% greater than its predecessor to improve its quality and performance.

Metzeler used their interactive technology in M5 in their newer product lines. The tech creates a versatile tire with continuous transition from bead to bead.

It also strategically places a zero-degree steel belt having different tension levels right under the main rubber layer.

The centre has decreased tension compared to the edges to trigger quicker warm-ups and break-ins.

They also provide better traction during street-style riding. However, the edges are softer but have high-strung cords for ideal performance.

Pros

  • The front tire contains grooves to evacuate water faster
  • High silica component for increased traction and smooth ride all-season
  • Easy and fast warm-ups
  • The temperature rises adequately and is significantly safe in the most aggressive conditions

Cons

  • Less product longevity

8. Shinko SE890 Journey Touring Radial Front Tire

We already sang high praises of Shinko SE890's rear tires and it is time to do the same for the front set. These reasonably priced tires give its competitors a run for their money.

Unpredictable weather is a mood killer and can ruin your entire weekend plans. Unless, you have a set of tires that stay under you even in the most treacherous weathers which the Shinko SE890 does.

These tires do not disappoint with their grip capabilities and stay planted at fast speeds while shedding water on rainy days. The dry grip is just as good, if not better.

Shinko's SE890s are tubeless and are H-rated to reach a speed of up to 130 mph. After being broken in, the ride is pleasant and smooth with no traces of vibration or possible safety issues.

The feedback is exceptional but sometimes they grab the road bumps a little too well which tends to disturb the balance a little.

After a few thousand miles, you might notice some cupping on the front tire, but it does not affect the performance much.

The front tire barely shows signs of tread wear. So, you can have massive mileage and still have a comparatively new-looking tire.

Pros

  • Tires stay under you even in the harshest weather conditions
  • May notice slight signs of wear but it does not affect the performance
  • Economically priced but do not compromise on the safety and quality
  • Aramid-belted radial construction and tread pattern for optimal grip

Cons

  • Grabs the imperfections on uneven roads too

Factors to Consider While Buying Best Motorcycle Tires for Touring

All tires look black and round. The appearance may vary a little because of the tread patterns and markings.

So, you must learn to notice the features you should be looking out for to ensure that you do not regret your purchase.

Types of Tires

Different varieties of tires are available for different machines. As such, it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing your tires.

  • Touring Tires

For touring and cruising bikes, you need tires that can handle the weight of the machine along with the added weight of baggage and riders.

These tires should have higher mileage since they would be mostly used in longer road trips.

They should also disperse water and perform well on wet roads in case of sudden downpours during trips. Speed is not a priority for cruising tires as they are not meant to run at fast speeds.

  • Sports Tires

You can also use sports tires for your sports bikes if you are a fan of impromptu long drives.

These tires are versatile and have excellent grips along with high-speed performance and mileage. They run smoothly in varying conditions and road surfaces.

You should not confuse sports tires for street use with racing/track tires. The latter has little to no tread and it can be disastrous if they are used on roads with debris or moisture.

Tire Size

When replacing your tires, you should double-check to see if you have the correct size.

Having the wrong size will cause the weight to be unevenly distributed and will affect the performance and safety.

Construction

Tire technology has advanced a lot over the years. This has resulted in different methods of tire construction which significantly impacts the way a motorcycle behaves.

  • Bias-Ply

In this type, the plies used are cross-sectional and diagonal, one placed over the other in the opposite direction. These tires have multiple strengths starting at 2-ply and increase at their multiples (4-ply, 6-ply, and so on).

Bias-ply tires are stiffer at the edges which makes them great for larger machines. They also have higher mileages and are the only tires to be used with a tube.

However, these tires are terrible at distributing heat and should not be used with high-speed bikes.

  • Radial

The tread design in radial tires is perpendicular to the rotation of the tires which create a wrapping effect. They are usually underlined with steel belts to provide more stability and maximise life.

Since the sidewalls of these tires may be slightly weaker, they are usually reinforced with other materials to increase their strength. They are also highly capable of dissipating heat.

How Long Do Touring Motorcycle Tires Last?

There are a few factors that affect the lifespan of a touring motorcycle tire. Generally, they last about five years but this is not a steadfast rule and vary by the usage.

You should always check the tread of your tires. You will notice the middle section wearing out faster as they have the most contact with roads.

However, modern technology nowadays ensures even wearing. So, if you notice your tread depth to be lower than 1/32 or 2/32, it is time to change your tires.

You should also replace your tires if the sidewall has cracked even though you still have adequate tread. The mileage also impacts the lifespan of your tires and is different for front and rear tires.

Moreover, you should also remember that the mileage is not the same for smooth roads and harder, gravelled roads. If you take frequent long trips out of the city, you might have to change your tires sooner.

Regular maintenance can increase the lifespan of your tires. But you should never go beyond the manufacturer's recommended amount since it could compromise your safety.

Final Words

When it comes to choosing the best touring motorcycle tires, ensuring that your tires have the recommended features will provide the best performance and safety.

However, that does not mean you cannot experiment a little. You can choose any one of our top picks and we guarantee that you will not ever look back again.

About Chris Lewis.

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