Whats with Motorcycle Tire Width ?
Video from Motorcyclist Magazine Online talking about motorcycle tire width
What’s with tire width? Why do some bikes come with skinny little tires while others have bigger buns? What if you want a wider rear tire on your bike, how will it affect the handling?
Most of you are going to think this tire-size question is dumb because the answer seems obvious: Bigger, more powerful sport bikes need bigger tires because bigger tires provide more grip. Bigger tires mean more grip, so bigger must be better, right?
Not necessarily. It’s true, larger tires are needed to support heavier bikes, and wider tires mounted to appropriately sized rims will offer more grip because they have a larger footprint. But, if there’s one thing to remember when it comes to tire performance, it’s that everything is a compromise.
Wider tires, especially really wide setups like you might see on a custom cruiser or a fat-tire Suzuki Hayabusa, aren’t good for handling. For starters, the bike won’t tip into corners as easily and it will require more bar input to stay on line. Wider tires (and wheels) are also heavier so acceleration and braking performance suffer, and that extra mass makes your suspension’s job harder since there’s more unsprung weight to control.