Over the river and through the woods, here are the best tires for off-road motorcycles!
When it comes to the types of tire options for traditional motorcycles, there are options, but not anything exceedingly ridiculous. When it comes to the pavement, there’s only so much diversity that you can expect. Therefore there are only a select amount of tires to choose from. Pavement is pavement. It’s hopefully flat, and that would mean that the variety of tires to choose from wouldn’t be too different from each other, depending on brand.
While there’s a huge difference between an off-road bike and a traditional motorcycle, there’s one primary difference that sends it over the edge to that tipping point. It’s the tires, the diversity of them, and the insane amount of options that exist out there for them. You might think, “That’s not fair! Why the heck should dirt-bikes, and off-roaders have more tire options? Traditional motorcycles have been around longer!” I know, I know, but there’s a valid reason. And that’s because off-road bikes don’t just stick to riding on pavement. Dirt bikes can essentially ride reliably on anything that isn’t water (can we please have a bike that DOES ride on water) and because of that, the industry has to cater to that variation.
You have Honda, Yamaha, KTM, Kawasaki as brands, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes there’s something to be said about having too many options because it can become a bit confusing. How are you supposed to know what all-terrain tires are good for what kind of terrain? And even when you narrow that down, there are still endless tires to choose from in that area.
Good thing I'm here because I'm about to cut down all that research for you and let you know the best off road tires. Enjoy and reap the benefits. First, you have to consider the three different terrains:
This is usually a very rocky and firm terrain. The dirt bike tires to handle this terrain would have to have fantastic traction on them, to be sure that they wouldn’t slip in the moments that count (like when you’re dangerously close to the edge of a cliff, maybe?). The tires will also typically be a bit softer than normal, so they have an easier time form to rocks rather than bouncing off of them.
This is for your general idea of the ground, including dirt, too. When you’re riding on grass or relatively flat services, this is the type of terrain that you should classify it as. The treads on these tires are a little closer together so that they can keep traction and friction in the dirt without things getting caught in the treads too much.
When you think soft, think mud. Think some of the most difficult terrain to ride in, only because it’s a challenge to get any kind of traction. If you don’t have traction, you’ll just be sliding and falling all over the place, and let’s be honest, that’s not fun and gets really frustrating after a while. These tires tend to be a little spiky when compared to the other ones, simply because it will give it that extra traction that it needs.
Best Hard Road Terrain Tires:
When it comes to the best and most popular on the market, the best deal you can find is Michelin Starcross MH3 tires. These tires are catered a bit more to serious racers, but that doesn’t mean that the hobby racer shouldn’t enjoy the perks of them! They have side knobs on them that help you get the traction that you need, but they’re spaced far enough apart that they can balance on rocks well.
Price: $37.95 to $85.95
Best Intermediate Road Terrain Tires:
This terrain is a good in-between terrain, so you’re going to have to get tires that really work for that. If you get tires that are meant for hard rides or soft rides, you’ll find yourself more frustrated than having fun. The best tire for this would be the Kenda K785 Millville 2 Tire. It’s soft enough to be able to handle that hard road, but also firm enough that you can handle the soft roads, too. These things have great traction on them, and they’re right smack dab in the middle when it comes to pricing.
Price: $39.95 to $82.95
Best Soft Road Terrain Tires:
For this terrain, you might want to also bring a towel around with you, because you and your bike are likely to get wet and, hopefully, muddy. But having the right tires will prevent you from sliding around and falling down, and the best tire for this terrain the Shinko 540 Motorcycle Tires. They have knobs all along the side of them, so slipping shouldn’t be too easy with this on your off road bike. They also have a very tall tread, too, so that you don’t sink into mud and water too much. These tires are also smack dab in the middle when it comes to price point.
Price: $39.95 to $82.95
And there you have it, the best tires for the three different terrains you can ever expect to ride on. We always suggest making the purchase that you’re most comfortable with, so it never hurts to do your own research and find the tires that best meet your established price point. Maybe you’re not even looking for dirt bike tires, but instead other adventure rides like ATV tires, ATV mud tires and, Four Wheeler tires.