With regard to the carcass type, tires can be divided in the following categories:
- Diagonal tires have the longest tradition and are most spread in the market. The carcass of a diagonal tire is composed of two or more textile cord layers (rayon, nylon, polyester), which are crossed at certain angles. Diagonal tires are the right choice for smaller motorcycles with a lower cubic capacity, scooters and older motorcycles whose chassis is adapted to diagonal tires.
- Bias belted tires are actually diagonal tires with a reinforced diagonal belt under the tread surface. These tires are designated with the B letter (diagonal belted tires), e.g. 130/90B15. These tires are ideal for higher cubic capacity motorcycles whose chassis is not adapted to radial tires and demand for stronger tires.
- Radial tires have a carcass with a cord layer placed at a 90°angle in driving direction. To stabilize the tire tread surface, the reinforcement cord belts are placed over the carcass. Radial tires are the right choice for motorcycles with higher cubic capacity since they have to transmit strong forces onto the road, which develop at accelerating, braking and cornering. Radial tires have many benefits, the most important one being the ability to reach high speeds. Due to a centrifugal force, the temperature in the tire increases, which can damage the tire, aggravate the road grip and increase tread wear. The radial construction eliminated almost all disadvantages of diagonal tires. The behavior of a tire in limiting conditions is better predictable.
- Steel cord-reinforced radial tires have additional steel cord placed under the tread surface. The final result is a more rigid carcass which delivers optimum riding performance as the tire wears and also through its entire lifetime.
- Ever since the construction of the first motorcycle, a hundred years ago, special tires for motorcycles have been designed. The development of tires has been remarkable through the decades. We have several types of tires available, which differ according to their basic construction as well as their appearance. The appearance and the construction depend on the motorcycle type. Irrespective of the fact whether it is about scooter, enduro or road tires, they all have the following parts in common:
- Tire tread – the upper tire part, which contacts the road surface. Tire tread pattern and rubber compound ensure a grip on the road or off-road as well as water drainage from the tire. The grip depends on the rubber compound. As a rule, the tire made from a softer compound has a better grip and a shorter service life, whereas the tire made from a harder compound has a worse grip and a longer service life.
- Sidewall – it includes all the important data: speed symbol, load index, name of the tire, manufacturer, country of origin, the ECE homologation number and others. During the ride, the sidewall transmits lateral forces, throttles oscillations and prevents tire deformations.
- Carcass (armature) – is the carrying part of the tire, it ensures its shape regardless the forces developing during the ride. It can be made of two or more cord layers. Cord can be made of rayon, nylon, polyester or Kevlar, individual parts of the carcass can be steel-reinforced.
- Tire bead – provides a close connection with the rim and prevents the tire on the rim to move. It is made from a wire bead and layers of rubberized cord wrapped around the wire bead. In this way, the tire wins a required rigidity in the bead area, controls accelerating and braking forces and transmits them onto the suspension. In the case of tubeless tires, the tire bead prevents a loss in inflation pressure.
M/C – tires for motorcycles for mounting on the rims of motorcycles whose tire bead seat diameter differs from the rims having the same designation but are used for passenger or commercial /delivery vehicles.
MOPED – tires constructed for motorcycles which achieve the speed of 50 km/h or less.
MST- tires for special purpose motorcycles with a wider tire tread than comparable dimensions with the same designation.
NHS – tires for motorcycles designed for the off-road rides. Their use on public road surfaces is not allowed.
M+S – tires designed for the use in mud and snow (winter tires).
PR – designates various versions (load index/inflation pressure) of tires having the same dimension designation.
REINF – motorcycle tires for load and inflation pressures exceeding the standard values.
TUBELESS – tires which are specially designed for tubeless mounting on suitable rims.
TUBETYPE – tires specially designed for mounting with a tube.