If you are reading this page, then, it is okay to assume that, either you are a motorcycle rider – an enthusiast or a fleet owner of bike rentals. It is safe to assume so as only an enthusiast and a keen rider would prefer to ride in the prevailing hot conditions. Many ‘commuters’ would rather travel by car in the comfort of the AC.
And bike rental owners are increasing as many tourists or expatriates choose to see the sights with rental bikes rather than pay exorbitant prices for the taxi service.
A general rule of thumb we’d like to suggest is to go for bike tyres that can withstand environmental heat and resist temperature built up during the ride.
Guide to buying motorcycle bike tyres in the UAE
Reasons for frequent change in bike tires
The heat in the UAE is highly punishing to bike tires and regardless of the bike tyre price or the brand, tires in the UAE tend to not last as long as compared to other parts of the world. This means that as a bike owner or a bike fleet owner, you will definitely need to change tyres more often.
In Addition, UAE’s RTA (Road Transport Authority) ensures there is an annual check of all vehicle tires including bike tyres to ensure they are roadworthy and are safe for the rider.
These 2 factors are the reasons that the bike tire price range is so wide. But if you can make sure to go by manufacturer’s specifications for your bike and choose a good international brand of tyres like the Metzeler tyres, you can ride worry-free on the busy highways of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other cities in the UAE.
Don’t get fooled by the looks of the bike tire
The tread design of tyres does contribute significantly to the performance of the tire. And you might be tempted to install thick block treaded tyres, or wider width tires for your bike, as they definitely look good and increase the style quotient of the bike tire.
But, we would suggest resisting the temptation!
Even though they add a certain visual appeal, thick block treaded tyres are specifically designed to offer better traction in sludge and snow, as the thick grooves in between will assist in the increased evacuation of dirt, providing grip.
On the contrary, the thick block treaded tyres don’t offer much traction on the dry surface, which is pretty much the conditions you’ll be riding in if you are in the UAE. The increased percentage of grooves, decrease the contact surface of the tyre with the road, definitely bringing down the traction level.
While we are discussing traction, it is good to note that, the tyres’ tread compounds are the design aspect providing traction more than the tread design itself.
Soft compound bike tires will become ‘sticky’ when the temperature due to friction increases. Racing bike tyres usually have such smooth tyre design (treads are absent). The grip is obtained from the supple rubber, quite literally sticking to the surface of the road.
Soft compound tyres also wear out very easily and are definitely not advised for a street rider.
In actuality, hard compound tires are better suited for the heat and the dry road conditions in the UAE. They offer the needed suppleness to provide traction and yet offer prolonged service life. Hard compound bike tires are easy to maneuver during cornering and also offer better stability on the road.
Listen to your bike tires’, they are saying something!
Okay, so you know that the best option for your tire is to go by the manufacturer’s specifications. But if you are not willing to go for the same set of motorcycle bike tires, regardless of the price and performance of the standard tires, then you would need to listen to what your tires are saying.
Every tire has a marking on the sidewall, understanding their meaning can help you to choose higher performance or higher mileage tires for your bike.
For example – 195/55 R16 87V
The above example is a typical tire marking that can be found on any tires. They specify (in the same order)
- Tire Width – Here 195 mm is the width of the tire, if you understand the way the width of the tire affects the performance of the vehicle, you can easily go a little higher or a little lower to achieve desired results.
- Aspect Ratio- It is a percentage – so 55 % denotes the sidewall height expressed as a ratio of the width of the tire.
- Type of tire construction – R – This is the radial type of construction of a tire. They can also be bias-ply construction. A general rule to be followed is to ensure both the bike tyres are of similar construction, either both be radial or both be bias-ply.
- Rim Diameter of the tire – 16 is the rim diameter – The size of the bead or inner rim of the tyre that gets mounted on the wheel rim
- Load Index – here 87 does not mean that the bike can only carry 87 kg. The load index is an indicative number. 87 corresponds to a particular weight on the load index table. You could also go either higher or lower to enhance performance.
- Speed Rating – For the given load index, the speed rating indicates the maximum speed the bike tyres can reach safely. Yet again this is a parameter that can be manipulated to your requirements.
Motorcycles being a single-track vehicle are considered a tad dangerous, as the effect of any failure in the vehicle directly harms the rider very much. It is the bike tyres – the only contact of the motorcycle with the road needs to stay effective. Choosing the right set of tires and ensuring proper fitment will ensure your safety and delightful riding experience.
If you are keen on purchasing Metzeler bike tyres in the UAE, they have an online tire shop – myzdegree.com. Alternately, you could visit their 8 different service locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Al Ain to get them fitted directly.