by Dave Nichols 4 min read
Whether your sport bike is a Honda Fireblade, BMW S1000RR, or the most recent Triumph Daytona, it comes a time when you need new tires. Any experienced biker will tell you there is nothing harder than picking the right pair. Except choosing the right motorcycle sound system, of course.
How do you know how grippy your motorcycle tires will be versus how many years they will last? Which bike rubber type gives the best handling? And lastly, which is the best value?
Tires—they are quite possibly the most critical part of your bike, regardless of the type of riding discipline. They are the only thing that you ideally ever want coming into contact with the ground while riding on a motorcycle. Knees and elbows do not count unless you are on track.
Talking about contact, you only get a few square inches of rubber touching the ground at any given moment. Additionally, roads in the United States can be very unpredictable. Your tires will have to contend with the ever-changing horde of forces and conditions, all while fighting traction. So definitely, you will want to choose a tire that is going to suit your riding needs as best as possible.
This brings us here. You are torn between two again. Your finger keeps drifting the cursor towards those sexy, racing, Hypersport tires. They look aggressive and sporty. You even imagine yourself floating down the block getting side-eyes from bike enthusiasts like yourself. So what's it going to be champ? The Q4s or Supercorsas?
Hold on right there, Marquez. Unless your bike is a regular on the track, or riding bikes is a reserve for sunshiny days, you should stay away from everything that has Corsa, RR, RS, or Q anywhere in its description. Ideally, I would insist that many street bikers should consider rocking the sport-touring tires, no matter how hard they hit the canyons on the weekend.
We understand, the idea of ST Rubber brings back flashbacks of old guys on air-cooled Beemers steaming down Blue Ridge Parkway, but their categories have buffed up over the years. These days the sport-touring segments have everything even for bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 and Yamaha Tracer 900GT. Believe us, the tires built for those machines are equally capable, offering impressive grip, handling, and durability.
So Why Go the Touring way?
Number One: Longevity
The major consequence with Hypersport tires is they do not last long. Tire designs often try balancing between grip and mileage. The Hypersport tires of today sway too far in the traction end of the scale. This makes their lifespan for a street bike used every day very short.
With prices as high as $175 for one tire, replacing a tire for every 2000 miles simply does not make sense. However, if this is not too pricy for you, knock yourself out.
Sport-touring tires, on the other hand, do an exceptional task of adjusting the grip-versus wear-and-tear equation. Maybe you'll have to compromise a bit on the traction, but the grip for making turns on the streets is incredible. This equilibrium is achieved with the use of a multi-compound tread design which puts harder, longer-lasting rubber in the middle of the tire and softer, grippy stuff along the shoulders.
A quality ST Tire will give you 6000 to 10000 miles of cold hard tarmac without thinking of replacements.
Number 2: Traction Overkill
The second problem with using Hypersport tires on the street is that they are a total overkill in terms of traction. The corner on your road does not need that much traction to beat. If you do, you should be on the track and not the streets. The warning with the Hypersports is that traction is only available when the pavement is dry, and the tires heated up to certain levels.
This factor means that Batman, with his pimped out track tires and loud ST400 Cruiser Motorcycle Speaker System—blasting Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf—chasing joker down the streets of Gotham, has less grip than you using ST Rubber tires on your Yamaha MT-07 if it decided to rain.
Additionally, sport-touring tires have useful tread hollows that help you remove standing water away from the contact rubber. This leaves you with pure, uninterrupted rubber when you decide to step on it in the rain.
If you are a die-hard biker who only goes riding on warm sunny days or during track days, then Hypersport tires may be for you. However, for the rest of us, real-world bikers—, who experience rain, cold, paint lines, and snow—forfeiting a little traction for grip may be worthwhile.
Since we already have so much in common, let me recommend a Steel Horse Audio speaker system for your motorcycle audio needs. Have a look at the ST200, ST400, or ST600 speaker systems all ready for your picking. Irregardless of the sound quality you desire, we know we have something exceeding your exquisite tastes.
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