Actually, the motorcycle is distinguished by its versatility. If desired, any engineer can achieve completely different characteristics by changing a number of functional units. One of the most important components in determining the characteristics of a motorcycle is the type of rubber tread. This is not a joke, but a very serious question. In the modern world, motorized rubber is divided into such a number of subdivisions that you can understand it for a day.
Tread classification logic for motorcycle tires:
- Driving nature, operating conditions
- Engine power
- Symmetry and directionality
A tire must meet the standards of its type of motorcycle in order to perform best in combat conditions.
The tread of a tire is made up of a pattern that results from the shape and depth of the drainage grooves. The fewer grooves, the better the grip in dry weather. From here comes the first type of motor rubber – racing slicks.
Perfectly smooth rubber, the essence of which is maximum grip on the track surface. Such rubber does not need drainage grooves, since the races are planned in dry weather; on a wet surface, such rubber will slip and lose grip. Therefore, no one recommends going to the city on racing tires, this is a purely sporting track specificity, which has a number of branches with specialized grooving, for the necessary conditions such as rain, restrictions on power and the level of piloting on the track.
Sports road tires
The tread of such rubber has the required number of grooves so as not to drive the pilot into a ditch during the first light rain or dew on the road. This rubber has a fast enough warm-up speed so that the pilot can warm up on the road, and not dance with a tambourine and a heating pad like a professional track pilot. However, high-speed capabilities have to pay off with maneuverability in the rain. The tread will not save the pilot of an urban sportbike even with average rain, the wheel will not cope with moisture, the rain will have to wait. By the way, this rubber is more tenacious than track rubber, since it is not designed for a couple of laps of arrival, but for driving the whole season.
The title says it all. Such rubber is created with maximum comfort for driving on public roads. It does not involve climbing sandy mountains or diving in mud baths, it will not make you the first among the RSBK riders. Its tread is precisely adjusted so that you can safely drive from point “A” to point “B” in any weather with maximum grip on the asphalt. A large number of grooves, but not very deep, since the high terrain is closer to the tourist models that leave the rolling Autobahn in search of adventure on dirt roads.
Touring and off-road protectors
This includes everything that has already passed for simple urban protectors, but has not grown in the spite of the pattern to an off-road character. Touring and off-road options are distinguished by increased endurance, as they can withstand the load not only of a motorcycle with a pilot, but also a bunch of things necessary for travel. The tread changes to a crisp tread pattern that can help the bike equally well on and off the road.
Off-road tires and cross / enduro sports tires
The most “evil” rubber of all, as it has a pronounced tread that will mercilessly gnaw the ground and push you out of the mud, sand and everything that might try to stop you. Such rubber is not designed for driving on smooth asphalt, as its grip on a flat surface is minimal. Give this rubber soil, to which it will cling to the convex tread.
Of course, this primary classification can be divided ad infinitum. But we have highlighted the main indicators and this is enough for now.
Yes, motorcycles also have a seasonality in their choice of rubber. This applies primarily to tourists who do not sit at home even in the off-season and to extreme athletes who love to drive in winter. For such motorcycle tires, a stronger carcass and more elastic rubber alloys are used. A separate item is the presence of thorns.
– Does it make a difference what the engine power is? Isn’t there enough driving character to choose a tread?
Small-scale motorcycles have their own rubber, if you do not touch crosses and enduros, but consider modest city representatives and scooters, then for them there is a protector that is aimed at wear (often braking is not always correct) and is protected from a large number of shocks (small motorcycle weight / scooter is not able to quickly absorb shocks from deep holes or collisions with obstacles). The tread pattern itself will not have a pronounced character, since the ride of such motorcycles is usually slow-moving and takes place within the city.
The greater the volume of the motorcycle, the greater the speed and weight the rubber must withstand.
Symmetry and directionality
It is a performance enhancement tool, symmetrical and directional tread patterns are best for wet or slippery conditions, and in harsh sports driving conditions.
Symmetrical pattern without direction is a standard set for simple road trips.
Asymmetry without direction is suitable for higher loads, but asymmetry with the direction of the tread pattern is a rare and highly directional option that is necessary to achieve clearly set goals on a single piece of the route.