Ask this question to a dozen motorcyclists and you’re bound to get a dozen different answers. The tricky part is, there’s probably truth in all of them. Aside from what tires are best for my motorcycle, one of the questions we get asked the most is “Do I need to replace tires in pairs, and can I mix and match different brands and types of tires front and rear?”
Should You Mix Street Motorcycle Tires?
Okay, so for street bikes, a motorcycle tire manufacturers will say definitely do not mix and match. Some people might think this is a sales tactic, but here’s the thing, tires are developed in pairs, not individually. They’re designed to be used from the start, together. This means that traction and handling qualities are determined by testing them both, at the same time. This means replacing them both at the same is pretty important. If you have more wear on one, and less wear on the other, it has the potential to be unpredictable. If you mix and match brands, even if the tires are brand new, you still have the same issue.
Can You Mix & Match Off Road Motorcycle Tires?
What about off road? Well before you dirt bike guys reach for the keyboard, we definitely do acknowledge that it’s a different deal off road. There, mixing and matching is commonplace, usually by riders looking for the best combo of traction and handling for their particular kind of terrain. Plus, with the bike always breaking and gaining traction, things like exact profiles and tread patterns aren’t quite as influential. So that means the main recommendation here is to avoid going too “different” front to rear, like having an aggressive knobby on the rear and a street-biased tire on the front. each provides a very different kind of traction of various terrain, meaning that you bike’s handling could change pretty dramatically, something we’re all trying to avoid.
Does that make sense? Are we way off? Watch the video below and leave us a comment with your thoughts! Do you know where to buy motorcycle tires from Twisted Throttle! If you’re not sure your size, choose the shop by bike feature or give us a call at 1-855-255-5550 and we’ll get you squared (or should we say rounded) away!