Best Motorcycle Tires for Cornering
Here are some of my very own personal favorite tires in the high-performance cornering category:
Continental Road Attack 3
Continental Road Attack 3 Tires have a solid reputation among high-performance and high-mileage tires. These tires are designed for riders that want to tackle everything from weekend off-roading to cross-country tours in all sorts of weather. I found that they perform their best in warm and dry conditions, although they still offer amazing wet weather stability and traction compared to the competition. This is thanks to the aggressive siping that repels water for a better grip in wet conditions.
The Road Attack 3 has undergone the MultiGrip curing process, which forms a harder layer of rubber in the middle of the tire with softer shoulders for improved cornering traction. The tires offer 10% more mileage than Road Attack 2 and customers can easily get 10,000 miles out of these tires without wearing away the bars or reducing the tire’s death grip on the road.
The Road Attack 3 has also undergone the "Traction Skin" finish which eliminates the need for a releasing agent, which means you do not need to scrub off a waxy surface before you hit the roads.
- Excellent choice for sports, naked, and retro bikes
- Easily get over 10,000 miles out of them
- Incredible stability and feedback, better grip
- Traction Skin finish eliminates the inconvenience of removing wax from the tires
- Not the cheapest tires in the long run
Metzeler Cruisetec is an innovative, high-performance take on the traditional cruiser rubber tire. It is a high-quality tubeless tire that has gotten a newly-designed skeleton equipped with advanced dual-compound construction that gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to superior traction and longevity.
The enhanced tread pattern equipped with a high silica compound offers a great wet-weather grip and allows you to take sharp corners or turns on the drag strip with complete confidence. The tires also offer lots of mileage as well as great value for money.
- Dual-compound makes better traction and cornering grip
- Excellent wet grip
- Tubeless tires are very helpful in case of punctures
- Tires are heavy
- Come only in a small number of sizes
Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 tires are the most aggressive tires from the manufacturers when it comes to excellent performance. This is the reason why they may not be the best tires for daily rideability. However, if you love the race tracks, then Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 is your best bet.
These multi-radius tires offer a lot of grip and feature sparse siping since their one big objective is ultimate grip in wet and warm conditions. They warm up quickly so you can go full out on the throttle from the get-go and let your bike rip.
The rear tires are made with a dual-compound that offers superior durability to the center tread, flanked by super-grippy sides that make it feel the motorcycle is riding rails on the corners. In my humble opinion, these tires are the perfect weapon for both track day enthusiasts and canyon carvers.
- Offer excellent traction and grip that improves confidence at high speed and corners
- Tires rate for ~170mph
- May be too performance focused
- Wear out more quickly than the competition
Dunlop Q3 Plus Sportsmax
Dunlop Q3 Plus Sportsmax is an excellent hypersport street and track tire with all the trappings of the standard Q3 but elevated to a whole new level, thanks to 80% of the tire’s redesigning. The tires are now equipped with an innovative silica-enriched center for longer tread life flanked by a lateral grip compound on the shoulder for improved gripping.
One of the major features of the tire is the Carbon Fiber Technology that offers reinforcements on the sidewalls and aggressive siping for the ultimate cornering stability at lean and high angles, precise and responsive steering, and a smooth and predictable transition. Upgrades to the Q3 resulted in an up to 6% larger footprint and hence more traction at maximum lean angles.
Long-lasting, the Dunlop Q3 Plus Sportmax tires are excellent tires if you love canyon carving.
- Great value for money
- An upgrade on the Q3
- Exceptional cornering stability at steep angles
- Precise steering
- Great for canyon carving
- May not be the best option for gravel or dirt road
- They can overheat quickly on the track
Michelin Pilot Power 2CT
Michelin Pilot Power 2CT motorcycle tires are one of the pioneer tires to integrate multi-compound technology into a sports motorcycle tire but still remain an excellent choice in rubber tires. The tires are equipped with three new silica-reinforced tread compounds. Engineered from MotoGP rain tires, the silica helps provide exceptional grip and enhanced responsiveness on wet and cold surfaces.
The front tires are made of a soft compound while the back tires are made of a more rigid compound that can withstand the abuse of the road from rapid acceleration. The rear tires are also equipped with a slightly more supple section, part of which touches the ground, even when the bike is fully upright. This ensures good warm-up and grip.
Test riders were able to achieve a 51.2-degree lean angle in dry conditions on the test track, which is very impressive. This is one of the best replacement tires for Harley-Davidson motorcycles and performs very inspiringly on Kawasaki ZX-11 as well.
- Multi-compound tires outstanding grip and responsiveness in cold and wet conditions
- Can deliver steep lean angles on dry tracks
- Offers a great traction and a super smooth ride
- The size may be narrower than your original bike tires
Shinko 777 Cruiser Blackwall
Shinko 777 Cruiser Blackwall tires are a high load capacity and high mileage tires. The tires are reinforced with four to six ply-ratings, offering a higher load rating that ensures better stability and a more enjoyable ride. The tires are available in Blackwall applications in multiple sizes that fit the most popular motorcycle tire measurements and v-twin models.
Shinko 777 Cruiser Blackwall tires are engineered with a rubber compound that is engineered to offer maximum grip and comfort. The tread design features functional siping and grooves for enhanced traction in dry and wet conditions. Because of the tires' excellent ability, riders can corner, accelerate, and brake with extreme confidence.
Another thing that is included in the tire is the Aramid belt design, which is the reason for the higher load capacity as well as improved stability and increased thermal conductivity.
- Functional sipings and grooves improve gripping in wet conditions
- Aramid belt increases stability and load capacity
- Reinforced carcass ensures a highly stable ride, perfect for cornering and accelerating
- Better mileage
- Does not have wear and tear indicators so riders may not realize when they become unsafe
Bridgestone Pneu Battlax BT-46
The Bridgestone Battlax BT-46 is a very sports-focused tire that can be found in several sizes. This is very advantageous for riders who have vintage motorcycles. The manufacturers have combined the high-performance compounds of its Sport Touring lineup with an upgraded bias-ply construction that has been optimized to work with older suspension designs.
The tires have concours-correct tread patterns and offer good grip in both wet and dry conditions for riding classic motorcycles on modern tracks and streets.
- One of the very few tires specifically engineered for vintage and classic motorcycles
- Integrated with modern rubber compound for wet and dry grip
- Upgraded bias-ply carcass
- Some purists may find the modern tread pattern unfitting for their vintage bikes
- Wears faster since it is a single compound tire
- No radial version for 80s superbikes
Kenda Kruz K673 Motorcycle
Kenda Kruz K673 is a DOT-approved bike tire for larger motorcycles. The tire has been crafted with the appearance and needs of the cruiser market. it is made of a heavy-duty rubber compound that has been etched with deep and wide grooves that offer all-weather traction and improved mileage.
The tires come with a bias-belted 3+2 casting design that increases high load capacity and handling. This construction is designed to decrease the deformation caused by the centrifugal force. It has an innovative profile that is crafted to improve cornering performance. The tire has a tubeless construction which is very helpful in case of punctures. Its deep V-shaped grooves ensure wet-weather riding with confidence.
The tire is rated H for tolerating speeds up to 120 mph. It is DOT-approved and comes in various different sizes.
- Rugged rubber compound delivers a high loading capacity
- Deep V-shaped grooves for excellent wet traction
- DOT-approved and H-rated
- Comes in various different sizes
- The tires are intended for larger bikes so may not be a good fit for smaller ones
Things to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Tire for Cornering
Before you set your heart on a tire, you need to find out whether it fits the needs of your motorcycle, your riding style, and your budget. Let us take a look at some of the factors that can help you make a more informed decision.
When it comes to your safety and an enjoyable riding experience, you should never compromise on the quality of your tires. Major manufacturers like Bridgestone, Pirelli, Continental, Michelin, and others that we have listed above are crème de la crème when it comes to tire brands and can offer you not just one but several different tires in a category.
Of course, these are not the only brands in the market that offer you excellent cornering tire options. Choose wisely when it comes to making your brand selection and only opt for high-quality ones.
Pricing is very important when it comes to selecting the best motorcycle tires for cornering. You do not want to set your heart on a tire that is way beyond your price range. Fortunately, high-quality cornering tires do not have to bust your budget. There are several brands like Metzeler and Shinko that can give you excellent tires for a decent price.
Tire life largely depends on your riding style and riding routine. For high speed and superbikes, softer compounds are better for performance but they have a shorter life. However, many tires now come with a harder center and softer shoulder gripping edge that offers you performance as well as a pretty decent life span.
Always check what material your tire is made from (multi-compound silica-enhanced tires are more durable) and how it is constructed before you buy it.
Your tire’s traction capability depends on the tread pattern. Sports tires typically have longer but fewer treads than cruising or touring tires. However, a lighter tread pattern means a lesser grip or traction. For better cornering, you need tires with an aggressive tread pattern which will ideally work well in both wet and dry conditions.
So make sure your tires have enough treads as those are vital for cornering at high speeds as well as braking.
Tire material is also of paramount importance when it comes to gripping, traction, and durability. Most tires will harden over time if they remain unused. So make sure you buy tires made only recently or that have been stored in a tire warmer. This will prevent them from becoming rigid.
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley