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Common Tread

Best motorcycle tires 2022

Mar 05, 2022

Sooner or later, your motorcycle will need a new pair of tires. Choosing the right set of rubber for your ride will keep your motorcycle feeling confident and planted, but with so many tire choices on the market today, this can be a difficult decision.

Top motorcycle tires 2022

Don’t worry! We’ve done all the research for you, no matter what you ride. To make things even easier, we’ve selected two options in each of our tire categories so you can fine-tune your choice to the type of riding you enjoy most.

The selection process

At RevZilla, our obsession with riding means we put miles on all kinds of tires in all kinds of terrain. We also have countless points of customer feedback to reference, plus our tire experts, which means we know which tires outperform the rest. Let’s take a look at our top tire choices for 2022.

The best motorcycle tires of 2022
Tires
Category
Price (pair)
Details
Dunlop Sportmax GPR300
Best budget street tire (17-inch)
$69-$120
    • Big value
    • Solid all-rounder
    Shinko 777
    Best budget street tire (other sizes)
    $73-237
      • Range of sizes
      • Excellent durability
      Continental Road Attack 3
      Best sport-touring tire
      $310-$370
        • Wet/dry traction
        • Minimal break-in needed
        Michelin Commander III Touring
        Best cruiser touring tire
        $300-$450
          • Two versions
          • 20,000+ miles
          Metzeler Cruisetec
          Best cruiser commuter tire
          $330-$420
            • Sticky cruiser alternative
            • Easy upgrade for traditional wheel sizes
            Michelin Road 5
            Best sport/street tire
            $400-$450
              • Long lasting
              • Multi-compound tech
              Dunlop Q3+
              Best sport tires
              $375-$410
                • Track performance
                • DOT approved
                Continental TKC70
                Best on-road ADV tires
                $300-$420
                  • Street bias
                  • High-tech siping
                  Continental TKC80
                  Best off-road ADV tires
                  $375-$426
                    • Gold-standard ADV tire
                    • Long-lasting blocks
                    Bridgestone M59
                    Best front woods dirt tires
                    $145-$185
                      • Resists washout
                      • Absorbs impacts
                      Shinko 525 Hybrid Cheater
                      Best rear woods dirt tires
                      $145-$185
                        • Trials compound
                        • Maximum traction

                        Best budget sport/street tire: Dunlop Sportmax GPR300

                        If you’re on a sport bike, a naked, or just about anything with 17-inch wheels, and you don’t want to blow the budget on tires, we highly recommend the Dunlop Sportmax GPR300s. They’re around $200 per pair, and that’s a bargain for their performance and longevity.

                        Dunlop Sportmax GPR300
                        Dunlop Sportmax GPR300 tires. RevZilla photo.

                        These tires were actually our choice for the $1000 Track Bike Showdown! CTXP episode with Ari and Zack, if you want to see them in action. They’re an ideal choice for everything from commuting to spirited riding. We find that the GPR300 rear tires are good for about 5,000 miles.

                        Best budget cruiser/street tire: Shinko 777

                        For riders with cruisers, standards, and vintage bikes, the GPR300 isn’t an option because it is only available for 17-inch wheels. A set of Shinko 777s is our pick for riders shopping classic or modern classic tire sizes. These tires are around $250 per pair (varies depending on size) and provide confidence on the street with commendable wet weather grip.

                        Shinko 777 tires
                        Shinko 777 tires. RevZilla photo.

                        The tradeoff for the affordable price and performance is less-than-stellar longevity of 4,000 to 8,000 miles from the rear tire, depending on weight, pressure, and other conditions. Even so, the competition can’t match their versatility, and they even come touring and whitewall versions.

                        Best touring/commuting tire: Michelin Commander 3 and Metzeler Cruisetec

                        Tourers and commuters logging big miles on their machines need tires that can go the distance. For the many cruiser and standard motorcycles that cover thousands of miles in a season, the Michelin Commander 3s are our choice. They will run you roughly $300 to $450 a pair, but we haven’t seen a better balance of performance and sheer longevity in the touring/commuting class.

                        Michelin Commander III
                        Michelin Commander III tires. RevZilla photo.

                        Part of the secret sauce is Michelin’s “Amplified Density Technology” that creates a denser compound. Expect up to 25,000 miles out of a rear tire, although it is not uncommon for Commander 3s to last even longer than that. In the long run, they may even be cheaper than buying two sets of other tires.

                        Metzeler Cruisetec tires
                        Metzeler Cruisetec tires. RevZilla photo.

                        If you’d trade some tire lifespan for improved grip, check out the Metzeler Cruisetec tires. They cost about as much as the Michelins, and average rear tire mileage is closer to 12,000 to 15,000 miles, but they stick better for riders who want to push their rides a little harder on tight roads, thanks to a softer edge compound for grip. The center compound is harder to improve tire life. The Cruisetecs also offer better performance in wet weather, which commuters and tourers can both appreciate.

                        Best sport/street tire: Michelin Road 5

                        If you ride a sporty motorcycle on the street, our top tire for 2022 is the juggernaut Michelin Road 5. They’re a favorite among spirited riders here at RevZilla, and they’re one of the most popular tires with our customers, too. Their cornering and handling performance is balanced with outstanding longevity (10,000 miles or more) for a tire that can truly do it all.

                        Michelin Road 5
                        Michelin Road 5 tires. RevZilla photo.

                        An investment at $400 to $450 per pair, we absolutely think the Road 5 is worth the price of admission. One of the features that sets these tires apart from the pack is their Dual Compound technology for the class-leading grip and wear characteristics. Another upside is the XST Evo siping that maintains wet weather confidence as the tire wears. The Road 5 comes in standard, GT, and Trail versions to accommodate a wider range of motorcycles than you might expect.

                        When we assembled this Gear Guide, Michelin hadn’t released the updated Road 6 sport/street tires. They’re intended for the same riders as our top choice, so you may want to cross-shop the two versions to find the best option for your needs.

                        Best sport tire: Dunlop Q3 Plus

                        For a tire that is both street-legal and track-day-capable, we thoroughly recommend Dunlop’s Q3 Plus. These tires became instant hits as soon as they debuted, and they’ve been a sport favorite ever since. You can pick up a set for $375 to $410 depending on your bike’s tire sizes.

                        Dunlop Q3 Plus
                        Dunlop Q3 Plus tires. RevZilla photo.

                        These tires offer neutral handling with easy turn-in. This is partly due to Dunlop’s Intuitive Response Profile that pairs perfectly with a good sport chassis. Dunlop also uses carbon fiber sidewall reinforcements for improved feel and feedback. The Q3 Plus tires hold a line with plenty of tolerance for additional inputs as the pace picks up. Dunlop uses a similar hard center rubber and soft outer rubber to the Road 5 above, but with a much sportier compound. A rear tire should last around 5,000 miles, or about half that if the tires are used for a few track days. 

                        Best on-road ADV tire: Continental TKC70

                        Many ADV riders spend the majority of their miles on the road, but they don't want to pass up a good fire road or weekend expedition. For these riders, our choice is the Continental TKC70, the gold standard for its class. A set of these proven ADV tires runs $300 to $420. They’re available in a range of sizes that sprawls over most ADV tire sizes from dual-sports to open-class ADVs.

                        Continental TKC70
                        Continental TKC70 tires. RevZilla photo.

                        These tires offer a balance of road and dirt performance that’s right in line with how many of today’s popular ADVs are used. They start to falter in sand or mud, but they’re surprisingly sure-footed off asphalt. Continuous Compound Technology makes for a tire that handles highways and hero roads with the competence that made these tires a staple in the ADV world. Their ability to last up to 10,000 miles (with proper tire pressure maintenance) doesn’t hurt, either. For a tire better suited to off-road riding, you’ll want to look at our next choice.

                        Best off-road ADV tire: Continental TKC80

                        Adventure riders seeking better off-road performance won’t be disappointed by Continental’s TKC80 tires, a close relative of the TKC70s that’s better suited to dirt, sand, and mud. That said, TKC80s are considered a 50/50 road and dirt tire, so keep your expectations in check when the going gets rough. (For pushing the limits off-road, we recommend Pirelli’s Scorpion Rally tires, but we chose a 50/50 this year based on feedback from last year’s Gear Guides, as the Pirellis were too focused on dirt for most riders.)

                        Continental TKC80 tires
                        Continental TKC80 tires. RevZilla photo.

                        TKC80s aren’t exactly cutting-edge technology. Instead, they’re a tried-and-true option for most ADV machines, and nothing comes close to their versatility in our experience. Wide blocks paddle through muck and sand with confidence. The blocks also give the TKC80s respectable tire life for their class: 4,000 miles out of a rear tire on the street, or about 2,500 off-road. We’re confident that a set of TKCs ($275 to $426 per pair) will be the right choice for all but the most aggressive ADV riders. 

                        Best dirt tires: Bridgestone M59 front and Shinko 525 Hybrid rear

                        Mixing tire brands and models is common practice in the dirt, and here at RevZilla, our favorite combination for most dirt riding is a Bridgestone M59 up front and a Shinko 525 Hybrid out back. The world of dirt tires is too broad to cover with just one pick, or even an entire article, but this combination is our go-to for most dirt riding. Most of the RevZilla staff runs this exact combination on our personal rides.

                        Bridgestone M59
                        Bridgestone M59 tires. RevZilla photo.

                        The M59 ($100) is known for its ability to maintain traction in gnarly conditions, from torn-up MX tracks to deep woods, and it’s reasonably durable, so you won’t be changing tires after just a few rides.

                        Shinko 525 Cheater
                        Shinko Cheater 525 tires. RevZilla photo.

                        The other half of our secret recipe is the Shinko 525 Hybrid “cheater” rear, which retails for about $55 to $95, depending on size. The 525 hooks up in any terrain with its dense lug design and sticky compound that almost grips like a trials tire. They’re especially good at clambering up rocky features. With the sharp M59 up front, and the 525 Hybrid for traction, the overall effect is a “point-and-shoot” tire combination that’ll perform in most environments. It’s also an excellent choice for beginner dirt riders who are trying multiple styles of dirt riding as they gain skills and experience.

                        That concludes our guide to the best motorcycle tires of 2022. We’re already spooning on more tires to test as we continue evaluating the latest and greatest gear, but for now, these are our favorite options. Questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out with any tire questions. Be sure to check out our other Gear Guides for all the best in moto.