Best Motorcycle Tires For Burnouts

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You may not win an award for maturity, but after getting lost in the smoke in an ultimate burnout, you’ll want to know which tires are best suited for the task.

You’ve seen your buddies hit the throttle with their fingers on the brake, drop the clutch quickly, and burn out their tires for fun or frustration; either way, you’ve decided this is also a good idea for you. Once again, we’re not saying this is a mature way to treat your bike, but if you’re going to do it, you do need to know what tires will work best to scratch your burnout itch.

Burning your treads into smoke just for fun is normally done through full burnouts, running burnouts, and stunt burnouts like a merry-go-round or chainsaw. Each one of these three takes different tires, so read on to check out the best selection to do it right.

If you don’t plan correctly, the results could be dangerous and even deadly. You probably have a friend whose frontal lobe cortex has not fully developed and who you have witnessed destroy his bike doing something stupid. Don’t be like that, friend. It’s OK to have fun and to burnout your tires, but if they explode prematurely or you lose control of 700 lbs of metal filled with gasoline, you could end up with an unexpected appointment at your local emergency room. Figuring out the right tires is vital to keep everyone safe.

After checking out the best tire burnout forums, motorbike tire websites, and the specs for the toughest treads you can buy, there are some clear answers on which tires to choose for this loud, smokey, and attention-getting spectacle. There may be some debate as to which you’d choose, but after seeing the facts, it’ll be hard to deny why we’ve made our choices.

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Full Burnouts

This actually might be the most popular of all the burnouts. You’ve come to the end of the life cycle of your bike’s shoes, and you no longer trust them to take you around the track or even around the block. You’ve seen metal show, or you’ve lost most of the tread, and instead of pitching them, you want to give them one last send-off. Like the Vikings of yesterday, the funeral for your bike tires needs to be like sending the tires out to sea in a ship and shooting an arrow of fire into them to watch them burn in dignity and prestige. A burnout is kinda’ like that. It’s the last hurrah in a “let’s wake up the neighbors so they don’t miss this beautiful tire funeral.”

How To Fully Burn Out Your Tire

This type of burnout is simple. You are going to lay the rubber to the road without moving and grind the remaining treads down to zero. Practicing this move is essential. The “don’t try this at home” mantra is a good way to live your life, especially when doing something this dangerous, but if you are going to do it, maybe place the front tire against a wall with your back wheel in an oil slick or water and practice. Get good at it first. You’ll be revving your engine pretty high in first gear with your left on the clutch and your right handing twisting the throttle with at least two fingers on the front wheel brake. Once you quickly release the clutch your back wheel will rapidly spin in place as long as you can control your bike and hold that front brake. You’ll just keep revving and spinning that back wheel until your treads are completely gone and the disintegrated carcass is revealed.

Which Tire Is Best To Fully Burn Out?

There really is no “best tire” for this action; it just comes down to whatever tire happens to be on your bike when it’s time to change them out. The goal of a full burnout is to destroy the back tire, and it doesn’t matter what tire that is. However, If I had my choice of tire for you to do this with (other than whatever tire you happen to have on your bike that needs changing), it would be the Dunlop 402 because this particular tire should have been recalled and discontinued. Some say it is the most dangerous tire ever made, and should you have this tire on your bike, and a full tire-destroying burnout is actually preferred over driving on it.

The history of this tire shows its obvious shortcomings, making it worthy of nothing more than burning whatever disastrous life is left on it. Of course, I don’t want to pick on just the Dunlop 402 because there are many recalls throughout any given year. Just this year, Continental recalled tires for its Contigo!, K62, LB, and TKC. But because the Dunlop hasn’t been recalled by Goodyear, the owner is left to either “risk it” and ride, or to do a full burnout and toss them. I find the Dunlop 402s especially burnout-worth after hearing stories like Steven Morris who owns a car and bike shop in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, who in 2008 decided to celebrate his 26th wedding anniversary to his wife, Patricia, by taking to the road on their Dunlop 402s when the bike tire completely failed after only 700 miles of riding. The Harley they were riding lost control because of the blow-out, and Patricia was thrown from the bike, losing her life in the tragic accident.

This was not an isolated incident, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting by Reveal which investigated police reports and court filings. Four other people died, and twenty-two people were injured between 2006 – 2008 because of blowouts with the Dunlop 402s. Joan Claybrook, a former admin for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that an investigation by the NHSTA should commence immediately. Goodyear didn’t agree and instead blamed it on underinflation, hazards in the road, and overloading, but it’s my opinion that if you have Dunlop 402s from between 2003 and early 2015, just go ahead and use those for your full burnout. During those years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the plant where the Dunlop 402s were manufactured for more than $20,000 for seven safety violations. William Woehrle, an expert witness in a dozen cases involving Dunlop 402 tires that failed said that there was a “systemic problem” with the D402 tires during manufacturing and that they “negligently let defective tires go out the door.”

So check to see if you are riding with 2003 - 2015 Dunlop 402s, and use those tires to wake up your neighbors and impress your friends with a full-on smoke show. Grind those possibly compromised tires into oblivion with a full burnout.

Running Burnouts

The next type of burnout is a running burnout which is similar to the full burnout in technique, but instead of leaving the bike stationary and continuing the burn down to the rims, you want to just make this a quick burnout session that transitions into your taking off down the road. It’s useful when you are leaving your friend’s house after a testy conversation about your riding hobby that didn’t end well. After arguing your point about personal safety standards for your motorcycle hobby, and being unable to convince them that you are, in fact, an upstanding citizen that happens to ride a motorcycle, you can exit the conversation via “running burnout.” You’ll miss their last words of anti-motorcycle wisdom as you lay rubber tracks in their driveway staining their driveway black, and leaving them in a billowing cloud of pro-motorcycle ash that will not leave room for a retort. Remember this is the better option over the full burnout. Imagine the awkwardness if you burn the tires down to the rim. You’d be left to re-engage as your tire would be completely spent. They would enjoy the last word, as you would need a ride home after. But the running burnout allows you to make a quick, attention-grabbing, and dramatic getaway.

For this grand exit move, you’ll want a tire that is safe, sturdy, durable and has lots of tread to waste. My recommendation is the Dunlop Sportmax GPR 300 for its durability, design, longevity, and most importantly price.


This tire comes from a line of sports tires that are made for durability with its radial construction, multi-compound tread, and tough belt design that Dunlop calls Jointless Band (JLB). This technology creates a smoother burnout because it is free from belt overlap during the engineering process. All Sportmax tires are created with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) from Dunlop’s patented Computer-Aided Design (CAD) so that durability becomes the priority. This means it will have loads of tread to give up on the altar of your best running burnout.


The compounds, belt design, carcass enhancements, and durable treads all result in longer life. Some have reported getting 15,000 miles out of this tire; of course, I can guarantee that these owners of the Dunlop Sportmax GPR 300s were not doing running burnouts every day. You can expect much less life when handing out burnout abuse on your rear tire. This is why the price is so important.


The Dunlop Sportmax GPR 300 is one of the best tires for your wallet. Revzilla calls it their “best budget street tire” for 2022 in the 17-inch wheel class. And at only $70 for the front tire and just $100 for the back tire, you will find it hard to find a better more durable rubber-to-rim tire for the buck. Since you’re planning on leaving most of your tread in a long black trail up your street, it would be a waste of money to buy high-end tires. You also don’t want to go too cheap, too used, or too inferior of quality when entrusting your tires to your new, loud, smoke-filled exit strategy. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s still about safety.

Stunt Burnouts

Stunt burnouts can be the same as running burnouts only with a little more flare. So if it’s a chain-saw you’re after (burning out your bike from resting on the ground and raising it into a quick circle loop) or if it’s a merry-go-round (circling your bike around with the back wheel flying), you’re going to need a specialized tire. Whether you are a professional putting on a show or you have the experience to handle stunts, this recommendation for a stunting burnout tire is not an endorsement of your activity, but rather a qualified suggestion in which we take on no liability for your stunt maneuver choices.

With that being said, the best tire for the job will be one with a durable carcass and plenty of tread to spare, but instead of thinking inexpensive, you will want quality. You’ll also want artistry, creativity, and … pizzazz. Oxford describes this word as an “attractive combination of vitality and glamour.” That describes what you’re doing well, and there is no better tire to do it than the Shinko R005 Smoke Bomb (190/50ZR17).

This NFS (Not for Highway Service) tire is designed for your stunt burnout, and although it comes with a W rating, it is for exhibition only. It looks like a normal black tire, but it doesn’t stay that way. Upon revving the throttle up and releasing the clutch your back tire spins against the street creating heat that translates into a purple, red, or blue smoke. Imagine the “aaaah” factor with any stunt involving this Smoke Bomb tire. It’s hard to think of a better way to announce another tiny motorcycle rider into the family than doing a baby reveal with a screaming loud burnout into a red or blue haze that fills the street.

As with all of Shinko’s Advance Radials, the Shinko R005 Smoke Bomb has a Kevlar belt, intermediate multi-compound treads, and the same groove design as the 005s. They come in two sizes: 180/55ZR17 and 190/50ZR17. The permitted rim size is 5.50 – 6.00, the max load is 73, the outside diameter is 24.8 and 24.49, the width is 7.01 and 7.48, and the max psi is 42. But … hold your breath; this tubeless tire is not cheap at $310.00. So make sure your stunt burnout is worth the price of admission.