The tyres are pretty expensive.
The people who have a few extra quid to spare cannot go wrong with the Michelin ROAD 5 GT 180. They normally last over 10,000 kilometres and, thanks to the ACT+ casing technology, the tyres boast an excellent dry grip, increased stability, as well as brilliant handling.
180/55R17 (rear position)
W (up to 270 kph)
The tread pattern void ratio and the M+S marking make the tyres more responsive. Mileage-wise, these tyres can give you around 15,000 kilometres. Featuring an increased contact patch, they remain stable when you go straight or lean into corners.
The rubber is not very puncture-resistant.
The Michelin Anakee Adventure handle dirt and the streets with matching performance. Besides that, these all-season tyres are boasting an improved wet grip, meaning that you can ride without worrying about the temperature, weather, or road conditions.
150/70R18 (rear position)
V (up to 240 kph)
The interconnected grooves provide fast and efficient liquid evacuation so that the tyres' grip and handling are not compromised on wet roads. The updated front profile, featuring a revised rayon ply carcass, reduces the required steering input and delivers precise handling.
The tyres are pretty loud.
The Dunlop SPORTMAX ROADSMART 3 are great with sporty roadsters. The enlarged sidewalls improve shock absorption, ensuring that the tyres do not misbehave on bumpy roads, whilst the Multi-Tread™ compound extends the tyres' mileage.
120/70R17 (front position)
W (up to 270 kph)
The tyres do not squirm and do not lose grip when you lean into the turns. Owing to the Michelin ACT+ casing tech, the tyres provide matching wet and dry grip and stick to the roads like they're one and the same, delivering better handling and increasing stability.
The treads wear out pretty quickly if you often ride at a high speed.
As long as you do not spend a long time there, the Michelin ROAD 5 GT 120 will let you ride at the highest speed that the bike can reach. Even when the tread depth halves, these tyres will be able to bring the motorcycle to an abrupt halt immediately.
120/70R17 (front position)
W (up to 270 kph)
The tyres reduce the fall-down at max-lean angles. Raising the blocks and stretching out the biting edge, these tyres optimise traction, accelerate the feedback, and make the bike more predictable on the throttle through corners.
With the M speed rating, the tyre is not great with speeds above 130 kph (which is fine since they're dirt bike tyres anyway).
With Dunlop GEOMAX MX53, you're offered more progressive cornering, great slide control, and unwavering performance on soft terrains as well as firm roads. Employing an advanced apex design, the sidewalls on these tyres achieve uniform rigidity, making them more compliant.
80/100R21 (front position)
M (up to 130 kph)
Michelin ROAD 5 GT 180 55 ZR17 (73W) TL RT
The Michelin ROAD 5 GT 180 are not the cheapest tyres you can find, not even close. But the quality matches the price, so we're not necessarily complaining here. First off, using updated compounds and siped treads, these tyres are offering an excellent wet grip, so you can ride with comfort and confidence even when it is raining cats and dogs. Owing to the same siped treads, even when the tyres are 50% worn out, the braking is not compromised at all, always bringing the bike to an abrupt halt without delay. Then, there's the company's ACT+ casing tech, delivering not just improved dry grip but also increased stability and the best handling, making the ride an absolute joy under any conditions.
From the longevity perspective, these are some durable tyres, usually lasting at least ~10,000+ kilometres before wearing out. The last two stops before wrapping an already impressive package are the speed rating and the warranty. But, looking at the price tag first, the tyres' W speed rating that lets them handle speeds as high as 270 kph comes without saying and the same can be said about the six-year warranty.
In short, when money is not an issue, the Michelin ROAD 5 GT 180 will prove the best motorbike tyres.
Michelin Anakee adventure 150 70 R18 70V TT
On-Road and Off-Road Usage
Michelin Anakee Adventure are polyvalent tyres, enabling matching on-road and off-road usage. To some extent, this is thanks to the tread pattern void ratio and the M+S marking. That being said, the silica compounds that the treads are working with contribute as well. The same compounds improve the tyres' wet grip, so you can ride even during considerable downpours without worrying about handling.
Where longevity is concerned, these are Michelin tyres, so above-average mileage is to be expected. Still, even by the company's high standards, the fact that these can usually give you above 15,000 kilometres is quite brilliant.
Shifting gears, these are all-season tyres, fine with scorching heat as much as with unforgiving cold. The speed rating is somewhat compromised due to the tyres' polyvalence but they will behave well as long as you don't go above 240 kph, so this is not really a compromise. What is a compromise is that the tyres are not quite as resistant to punctures as Michelin tyres usually. Assuming you're fine with that, Michelin Anakee Adventure will allow you to switch between streets and dirt without even noticing the difference. Plus, increasing the contact patch, the tyres remain stable even when you lean into corners.
Dunlop SPORTMAX ROADSMART 3 120 70 ZR17 (58W) TL SP
Accommodating Sporty Roadsters
The Dunlop SPORTMAX ROADSMART 3 are big-time tyres that work wonders with sporty roadsters. Featuring an interconnecting groove design (iGT), these tyres ensures fast and efficient water evacuation, improving the grip and handling on wet roads.
Fighting alongside these grooves is the company's MultiTread compound that uses an optimised tri-polymer blend and high-dispersion silica. Combining these elements, the tyres provide increased mileage.
They don't contribute quite as much as the new tread pattern though. Integrating more pronounced groove angles, the upgraded tread pattern ensures even wear, so you receive long-lasting and uncompromised performance.
Having said all that, we can make an argument that the best part here is the new front profile. First, the revised rayon ply carcass requires less steering input and offers more precise handling. Second, the updated profile preserves the reliable feedback that Dunlop motorbike tyres are known for.
There's only one thing that we dislike about these tyres: they're pretty loud. Apart from that, the Dunlop SPORTMAX ROADSMART 3 deliver a grip and performance that remain stronger for longer. What's more, there's also the new sidewall construction that improves the tyres' shock absorption so that the bike behaves alright even on bumpy roads.
Michelin ROAD 5 GT 120 70 ZR17 (58W) TL FT
Almost as Good as High-End Tyres
The Michelin ROAD 5 GT 120 are not especially different from our best pick. They don't squirm at all. You can lean as hard as you want into the turns without worrying about losing grip. The tyres are fine with wet roads and, as always, do not disappoint on the dry grip front.
There are two reasons these tyres cost less than the Michelin ROAD 5 GT 180. First, the load index rating on these caps at 58, whereas the updated, 180 version pushes 73. Second, whilst these tyres can also boast a W speed rating, meaning that they can handle speeds <270 kph, the treads on these are more fragile. In other words, if you spend a lot of time riding at high speeds, the treads on these motorbike tyres will wear out pretty soon (how 'pretty' will depend on the speed and the road conditions).
On the upside, the tyres come equipped with the same siped treads that their more expensive relative is using. As a result, even with 50% remaining tread depth, the tyres are able to provide superb braking, stopping the bike the moment you squeeze the brakes. So, provided you don't spend the majority of your time on a bike riding at 200+ kph, the Michelin ROAD 5 GT 120 will keep up with the company's more expensive motorbike tyres without breaking a sweat.
Dunlop GEOMAX MX53 80 100-21 51M TT FRONT
More Progressive Cornering
The Dunlop GEOMAX MX53 are the cheapest tyres within this lineup. They're still pretty good tyres though, the price is this cheap primarily because dirt bike tyres always cost less than sporty bikes' tyres. They're predictable tyres (on the throttle through corners), also improving the slide control to enable fast cornering. Plus, making the cornering more progressive, the fall-down at high-lean angles is reduced. These changes were made possible thanks to the advanced apex design ensuring the sidewalls' uniform rigidity. When the load's applied, the sidewalls deflect evenly, providing a firm feeling and increased compliance.
Not unlike the predecessors, these tyres are great at tackling firm and severe underground but, this time, they're also not bad on soft terrains. But, before that, the tyres raise the blocks and increase the surface's biting edge. In doing so, they're able to optimise traction on different terrains, offering that intermedia performance that we've come to expect from the GEOMAX line.
Bottom line, the Dunlop GEOMAX MX53 present an intermediate package that dirt bike enthusiasts might not be able to resist, delivering unwavering stability, progressive cornering, immediate feedback, and optimised traction.
What Are Motorbike Tyres?
Engine, gas tank, mufflers/exhaust pipe, shock absorbers, brakes, clutch, throttle, footpeg, bodywork, and more, they're all important parts that motorcycles are not complete without. But the tyres can give even the most important parts a good run for their money. When you have good tyres, you also have consistent and controlled line holding. Good tyres are always predictable. They should be able to provide decent straight-line traction and reliable feedback.
While middling tyres are seldom offering sufficient wet grip, the tyres that we've gathered here enable matching wet and dry road riding. They also give you precise handling and uncompromised braking. The best tyres remain compliant even as you switch between asphalt and dirt. Sometimes, they can even reduce the steering input that the bike normally requires. Of course, these performance features are irrelevant when the tyres cannot match them with equally impressive mileage, so make sure you're going with the ones that last.