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Tyre: Basics that you must know

The tyre, A rubber hoop that covers the wheel. A crucial part of a machine with a variety of parts working together in harmony called the motorcycle. But how well do we know this understated invention? Read on.

Tyre sizes and profiles 

In the picture above take a look at the numbers mentioned in the red circle, they are:

90/ 80 – 17

90 is the ‘Width of the tyre in mm.’

80 is the ‘height or profile’ of the tyre. It basically is a percentage. So in the current example the ‘height or profile’ of the tyre is 80 % of the 90 mm.

17 is the ‘rim size in inches.’

In the figure,

A=Width, basically 90 mm from the above example.

B=Height/Profile, basically 80% of 90 mm.

C=Rim diameter.

Classification of tyres

Tyres can be classified based on the type of rubber + compound mixture used.

Hard Compound tyres

These tyres are for the urban/city/touring biker and perform decently on or off road. They have good lifespan but offer much less grip than the soft compound tyres. The plus point of such a tyre is in the fact that they last many a mile and can handle a variety of terrain due to their construction material compound mixture.

Soft compound tyres

Soft compound tyres offer superb traction. On the down side their lifespan is very short.
These kind of of tyres are preferred on a race track. Motorcyclists experiment around with their tyres a lot and ideally a soft compound tyre provides good tarmac grip and inspires confidence, But with a low life span and less multipurpose capability, the soft compound tyres definitely are purely a track enthusiasts choice of tyres as they provide that extra bit of grip.

Manufacturers now produce tyres that are best of both worlds, as in tyres that have softer compound rubber that can handle a variety of terrain, these last longer than a track meant (racing slicks) tyre but of-course a lesser life span than the hard compound tyre. They provide you with that extra grip than the normal hard compound tyres.

To know how to choose the right tyre for your motorcycle visit the following article: How to choose the right tyre.