Motorcycle Wheels & Tires

Motorcycle Wheels & Tires

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There’s an old axiom in the automobile industry: “Your tires are the only thing between you and the road”. That statement may be true for any motor vehicle but it’s especially applicable to motorcycles, because while a car will usually remain upright and supported on the other wheels in the event of a tire failure, if a tire (or wheel) fails on a motorcycle the rider will almost certainly become more familiar with the road than he wanted to be. Tires and wheels are arguably the most important components on a motorcycle, and their condition is vital for rider safety. If your tires are worn, and/or your wheels have seen better days, we have the replacements you need to restore safe operation. And if you’re looking for more than just replacements, and want to upgrade your bike’s performance and appearance, you’re sure to find the right tires and wheels in the huge selection we have on our digital shelves.

Tires aren’t just crucial for safety, they’re essential to enabling you to get the most performance and enjoyment out of your bike. Modern tires are highly specialized, with different methods of construction, tread patterns, rubber compounds, and sizes to suit all the various motorcycle applications and riding styles. Motorcycles were late to the radial tire party, not appearing on bikes until the 1980s, and unlike the automotive industry, where they’re strictly for classic cars, bias-ply tires are still OE on some motorcycles. Radial tires have plies that run perpendicular to the bead, which allows the tire to run cooler and flex more, creating a larger contact patch and better cornering grip. They were originally developed for road racing and high-powered sport bikes, but today they’re used on a wide range of motorcycles. With radial construction, tires can also be made much wider without a corresponding increase in sidewall height, for greater traction and awesome looks.

On bias-ply tires the plies extend diagonally from bead to bead, and overlap one another, creating a tire with a stiffer sidewall that can bear heavy loads. Bias-ply tires are ideal for heavy cruisers and touring bikes, and because they were fitted as original equipment, we have a large selection of bias-ply tires for older models and classic bikes. Unlike automobiles where radial and bias-ply tires should not be mixed, some chopper-look cruisers come from the factory with a tall, skinny bias-ply tire on the front and a fat radial tire in the rear. Besides radial construction, tires for sport bikes generally have a softer rubber compound and minimal tread for better grip on dry pavement. The tradeoff is faster wear and less grip on wet roads. Multi-compound tires are an alternative for sport bikes and sport tourers. These have harder rubber compound and water evacuating sipes in the center of the tire that gets the most use, and softer compound rubber and fewer or no sipes at the tire’s edges for aggressive cornering.

Along with tire construction to handle the load of 2-up riding on a heavy bike with luggage, tires designed for cruisers and touring bikes typically have harder rubber compound for longer tire life and tread that’s designed to deliver good performance on dry and wet roads. Although at first glance they might all look the same, “knobby” dirt bike tires vary in their tread block arrangements and tread compound, with blocks that are spaced further apart better for sand riding, softer rubber compound better for hard-packed dirt, and harder compound ideal for loose soil. Choose dual sport/adventure tourer ties based on where you ride most often. If you spend equal time on dirt and street there are 50/50 dual sport tires that closely resemble dirt bike tires, but if you do mostly street riding, 80/20 tires with their street-oriented tread are a better choice. When selecting new tires, it’s usually best to stay with the stock size. This information can be found in your owner’s manual, but it’s also molded into the sidewall of the tire, where you’ll find the width, aspect ratio, and rim diameter, as well as load and speed ratings.

Spoke wheels, commonly known as wire wheels, are the oldest type of motorcycle wheel. For decades they were the only kind of motorcycle wheel, and they’re still the wheels of choice on dirt bikes, most dual sport bikes, and many cruisers and retro bikes. A wire wheel is comprised of a hub, a steel or aluminum rim, and a network of steel spokes arranged in a pattern between the hub and rim that supply the strength to support the bike and keep the wheel round and true. Solid, one-piece motorcycle wheels, also called cast wheels, and in the early days “mag” wheels because some were made of magnesium, first became available in the aftermarket in the early 1970s, and then began appearing as OE fitment on some models later in the decade.

Today, most bikes roll on solid wheels. They’re less expensive for bike makers to produce, they have the rigidity to handle wider tires, heavier loads, and high horsepower engines, and unlike spoke wheels which require tubes when mounting tires, they can be shod with modern, tubeless tires. However, spoke wheels have the classic looks that are just right for many cruisers and retro bikes, and they’re still exclusively used in dirt bike applications because they can handle rough terrain without deforming. And when they do fail they can be repaired, unlike solid wheels which must be discarded. Our extensive wheel selection has the products for the job, whether you need to replace dented or cracked solid wheels, want to repair or replace spoke wheels, or just want a whole new look for your bike.

For dirt bikes and motocrossers we have rims, hubs, spoke kits, and nipple sets for building and repairing spoke wheels, as well as complete wheel assemblies. Many of the individual rims, hubs and nipples and the hubs on some complete wheels are available anodized in color. We offer both vehicle specific and universal spoke wheels for dirt bikes and motocrossers. The universal wheels can be moved from bike to bike, so you can keep your wheels and mount them on your new model. Our street bike spoke wheels come in your choice of spoke quantity and spoke patterns, including unique fat spoke designs that are sure to make your bike stand out. They’re available in a range of rim diameters and widths, for single and dual brake rotors, and in your choice of rim and spoke finish.

Although the word “cast” is commonly used when referring to one-piece wheels, we in fact offer forged solid wheels that are much stronger than one-piece wheels created from aluminum alloy castings. Forging makes the aluminum denser and less porous and alters the grain structure, which makes the wheel exceptionally stiff and strong. The superior quality of the forged aluminum means less material is needed to achieve the desired strength, which is why forged wheels can be made very light. Forged wheels start out as chunks of premium quality aluminum that are heated and forced into the raw shape of a wheel using huge hydraulic presses that apply many tons of pressure. They’re then finish machined and powder coated, or chrome plated. Our forged wheels are available in a variety of styles for popular cruiser applications, and many feature contrasting machine cuts for exceptional eye-catching detail.

In addition to tires and wheels we also offer standard and heavy-duty tubes, including tubes that are preloaded with balancing beads, eliminating the need for tire balancing and wheel weights. New tubes should always be used where they are required when fitting new tires. Plus, we have easy to install Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) that allow you to monitor your bike’s tire pressure and temperature, wirelessly transmitted from tire valve stem mounted sensors, on a convenient, handlebar installed LCD display.

  • New Tire Benchmark
    New Tire Benchmark
    Unleash Your Potential
    Unleash Your Potential
  • Unique Spirit & Performance
    Unique Spirit & Performance
  • Setting the Standard in Handling
    Setting the Standard in Handling
    Designed for Your Journey
    Designed for Your Journey

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Wheels & Tires Reviews

4 reviews
This is the best wheel I've had in this bike yet, my son actually hit a curb with the bike while these wheels were on the bike and he was probably going 20 to 30 mph and the only thing he broke was his arm when he landed.
Posted by Customer / November 14, 20202011 Honda CRF80F
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