Touring Tires last longer than performance tires.
Losing traction due to bad weather, road conditions and treadwear on a long motorcycle ride is not something any rider wants to experience. Touring is a popular form of long-distance, multiple terrain motorcycle riding with its own market of tires designed to last longer and ride smoother than performance tires.
Touring tires focus on a smooth, stable ride and increased tread life because of harder rubber compared to a performance tire. Sport-touring tires offer grip and quick warm-up times because cold weather and rain are taken into account during manufacturing that will allow an experienced rider to lean the motorcycle over and potentially drag a knee around a corner.
Standard touring tires focus on longevity and comfort. Commuters or riders who enjoy long, non-aggressive rides are potential candidates for this kind of tire. Touring-sport tires are more aggressive and a very popular choice with a range of motorcycles. They offer strong handling and performance but still focus on comfort and tread life.
Each touring tire has a unique tread pattern that affects performance. Year after year manufacturers come out with improved designs leading to improved performance. The Pirelli Angel St Sport-Touring Radial is an example of how this class of tire is evolving as it retains durability but offers grip once only available with street-sport tires. This is because of their zero-degree steel-belted radial construction along with a mix of resin, carbon black and high-density silica inside the rubber that molds itself to differing road conditions. The tread pattern also works to keep a larger contact patch on the pavement for increased stability and braking.
Touring tires are a long-running favorite for motorcyclists who cover many miles in a variant of weather conditions. With an increased tread-life, riders will have to buy tires less frequently. According to a 2009 “Cycle World” magazine study on motorcycle tires, 30 percent of the people surveyed owned sport-tour tires and 17 percent owned touring tires. As stated in the study, sport-touring tires accounted for the second most popular type of motorcycle tire purchased by “Cycle World” subscribers. Out of 261,019 people surveyed, 51 percent said they changed tire brands for improved durability and wear.
Motorcycle touring safety at the machine level is partly due to the treadwear and age of a tire. The human element also affects riding safety. The Motorcycle Safety foundation advises additional refresher riding classes along the way, to never exceed personal limits, never ride impaired by alcohol or illicit substances and to wear protective gear at all times on the road, which includes a DOT-rated helmet.