Which Dirt Bike Tire is Best for You?

Which Dirt Bike Tire is Best for You?


– What’s up, guys? I am Chase, here at Rocky Mountain ATVMC, and this is our Off-road
and Motocross Tires 101. So I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news for you. The good news is that at Rocky Mountain we have a very big selection
of motorcycle tires. And the bad news is,
well, at Rocky Mountain we’ve got a very big
selection of motorcycle tires. Which means that choosing one, sometimes it can get pretty difficult. You got a lot of things
you need to consider, like the type of driving
you’re gonna be doing, the terrain, tire size, tread design. All these things you gotta factor in, and you gotta remember that not all knobbies are created equal. One tread design might do
really well on one application, but it might not do so
hot in another, so today I’m gonna give you all the
information that you need so that you have the knowledge
to pick your next tire with confidence. So the first thing that we’re gonna cover is gonna be sizing. Now the size of your
tire is gonna be located on the sidewall, and there’s two ways that they’re gonna measure your tire. You’re gonna have metric and
you’re also gonna have inches, and we’re gonna show you both. So on this tire here to
my left you’re gonna have three measurements, you’re
gonna have 120-80-19. So the first number is gonna
be the width of the tire, the section width, so that’s
gonna be from sidewall to sidewall, so this tire
is 120 millimeters wide. The second number, 80, is gonna
be how tall the sidewall is. So, and what it is, they
call this the aspect ratio, and what that means is that
this tire sidewall height is 80 percent of 120, which
is roughly 96 millimeters. The last number is 19,
this is gonna be in inches, and this is the inside diameter,
this is what the rim size that this tire is going to fit on. Now here to my right, this
tire is going to have inches for both measurements, so
you’re gonna have 4.5 and 18. So 4.5 means that this
tire, sidewall to sidewall, is four and a half inches wide. Now, if you wanted to
convert that to millimeters, well, there’s 25.4 millimeters
per inch, so you times that by 4.5 so this tire is just
under 115 millimeters wide, and they’re not gonna
mention sidewall height with these tires, but the 18 is gonna be your rim diameter in inches, as well. Now, a common question
that we get asked is “What is the difference between
an 18 and a 19-inch tire, and which one should you go with?” Well, one thing I do wanna
point out before I talk about that is you gotta
remember that the 18 and 19-inch tire, the outside
diameter is gonna be the same. The difference is gonna
be in the sidewall height. So an 18-inch tire is gonna
have a taller sidewall, and the reason this is popular
for off-road and trail riding is that taller sidewall is
gonna flex a little bit more, is gonna be more forgiving
in that really rough and rocky terrain. It’s also gonna help prevent
pinch flats, so that’s really why a lot of most off-road
riders and trail riders like to go with an 18-inch tire,
but again, that decision really just gonna be up to the
rider and the type of riding and terrain that you’re
gonna be riding in. Now, there are a few more things
that I do want to point out that you are gonna find on
the sidewall of your tire. If your tire is DOT rated,
means it’s street-legal, they’re gonna have that
stamped on the sides. You can see it right here, it says “DOT”, or it might say “DOT approved.” A lot of off-road tires will say “Not intended for highway
use,” so if you’re wondering, look at your sidewall or
look at the product copy that will tell you if your
tire is street-legal or not. Another cool thing is if you
want to know when your tire was made, they will actually
have it stamped on the sidewall of the tire and this can actually show you when your tire was made. So right here on this tire,
you can see two numbers: 10 and 17. So what this means is that
this tire was made in the tenth week of 2017. So there’s a couple more things that I wanna cover real quick, and the first is you wanna
make sure that you know if your tire is directional or not. A lot of tires are actually
intended to be mounted and rotated in a certain direction. Now to know, it’s very simple,
just look at the sidewall. A lot of times there’ll be
an indicator or an arrow telling you what direction
you should mount your tire. Now I do have one more tip that
I wanna share with you guys. Now certain manufacturers, you
will notice, on the sidewall of their tires, like this Dunlop, you have this little circle. A lot of people ask
“Well, what is that for?” Well, what this circle means
is that when they manufactured this tire, this is the lightest
part of the tire, and what they recommend is when
you’re mounting this up, that you either install the
tube stem or the rim lock right where the circle is, and
that’s gonna help balance out the tire. So the next thing we’re
gonna talk about is specific tire types and the tread designs
that go along with those. Now, when it comes to
your off-road and your motocross tires, you’re gonna
have three main tread designs. You’re gonna have soft,
intermediate or medium, and you’re gonna have hard terrain. So we’re gonna talk about
each one individually. So the soft terrain tire,
you can see I’ve got this Starcross 5 from Michelin,
the lugs are gonna be a little bit taller and they’re
gonna be more spread out. And the reason being is you
want this to dig into that sand and that mud as deep as
possible to get good drive. And the reason they’re more
spread out is to help promote self-cleaning. You don’t want mud or sand
to pack in between the lugs, so that promotes the tire to stay clean. Now, a cool feature about
the Starcross 5 is you can actually see it has these
mud-phobic bars between the center lugs. Those are actually
designed to help promote even more self-cleaning. Now, one thing you don’t want
to confuse is soft terrain with soft rubber, okay? Typically soft terrain
tires are actually gonna use a harder rubber compound to
help them dig in and give more drive. So you wouldn’t want to take
a soft terrain tire and go out to a hard-packed area, or
maybe rocky conditions. You have a really good
chance of tearing your knobs or what people like to call “chunking”. Now, on the opposite end of
the spectrum you’re gonna have a hard terrain tire. So a hard terrain tire is
gonna be just the opposite. It’s gonna utilize a little
bit softer rubber compound, so that’s gonna be a little more grip for those hard, rocky situations. And the tread design is
gonna be closer together, ’cause you wanna have as much
rubber contact in the ground as possible. Now, right-smack-dab in the middle of that you’re gonna have your
medium terrain tires. So medium terrain tires are
really gonna make the more common choice, the most
popular tread design, because they’re gonna perform
well in most conditions. So if you’re wondering what
tread design should you go with, what’s gonna be the best for
a wide variety of conditions, well I would go with a
medium or intermediate tire. Now, over here to my right,
if you’re a desert rider, we actually sell desert-specific tires, like this Maxxis Cross Desert. The reason this is desert-specific
is because they use a specific rubber compound
in a stiffer sidewall to give really good durability when you’re in that really rough,
nasty and rocky terrain. So now we’re gonna cover
a few specialty tires. And the first one is
gonna be a trials tire. Now, trials tires were
designed to give as much grip as possible on hard and slick surfaces. The way they do that? Well,
they utilize a very soft, a very grippy rubber compound. You can see the tread design
is very close together to give a nice, big contact
patch, and they utilize a softer sidewall to give a
little more flex to the tire. Now, trials tires have
actually become very popular for trail riding because
of how much grip they have. However, if you’re a more
aggressive rider, you’re probably gonna notice that they
do come up a bit short in the core and in the breaking aspect. And that leads us into
our next specialty tire, which is a hybrid. So a hybrid tire takes
the best characteristics of an off-road knoby-or-not trials tire, and they blend the two together. So you can see with these
a much more aggressive tread design, so a better
breaking, better cornering, but they still utilize a
very soft rubber compound to give you that grip
that you’re looking for. So the last two types of tires
that we’re gonna talk about are both gonna be sand-specific. And the first one is gonna
be all the way at the end, and this is gonna be a paddle tire. So this are specific to
riders who wanna go out and hit up the dunes. You can see they have
large scoops on them. That’s gonna give good
drive and good traction in that soft and deep sand. Now you definitely don’t want
to take one of these tires and go out to any hard or rocky terrain. You are gonna rip these tires up, and they are not gonna last very long. But right next to that is
what we call a sand hybrid. Now this is a type of tire
that you can see professional motocross riders using
for tracks like Southwick. And what’s great about
these tires, as you can see, the tread design has a scoop shape to it, so you’re gonna get
good drive in the sand. But you’re still gonna
have nice, aggressive knobs on the side, so you’re
still gonna get good, cornery characteristics. So, this tire is actually
very popular if you wanna ride in the sandy track one day and then go out to the dunes the next. It’s gonna perform well in
both of those conditions. So the last thing that we’re
gonna cover is gonna be tire pressure. Now, once you’ve found the
tire that you feel is gonna be best for you, you gotta
remember that tire pressure is crucial to get the most
performance out of your tire. So make sure, look at your
owner’s manual, and that’s gonna give you recommendations for
PSI, and you also gotta take into consideration, it’s gonna
vary depending on the terrain and the bike that you are riding. Now generally, for motocross
and off-road tires, you’re gonna be anywhere
from 12 to 15 PSI. Run a little bit less
if you want more flex and more traction, and
run a little bit more if you want to help prevent pitch flats and possible damage from
the rough and rocky terrain. Now, if you are wondering
what are the best ways to prevent pinch flats
and flats altogether, well, we have a really cool
video where we show you the best alternative, so
make sure to check that out. And do not forget, it is
crucial, make sure you check the PSI in your tires
before you go on every ride. But there it is! That is our Off-road
and Motocross Tires 101. So now that you guys have
the knowledge, make sure you head over to our website
at RockyMountainATVMC.com to pick up your next set of tires today. And do not forget, if you
have questions comment below or give us a call at Chat Live Online. Or you can ask questions
directly on the product page and we will get your questions answered. And as always, guys, orders
over $75 are going to ship free. I’m Chase here at Rocky Mountain, and we’ll see you on the trails.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Second on the Kendas.
    I've seen the Parker DT front listed in the catalog but not the rear. Here in Utah I've had great results with these. very aggressive tread for a DOT tire.
    They don't chunk in the rocks like other tires and wear very well. I have over 1300 miles on my first set on a 96 DR350
    and about 350 miles so far on My Beta 300RR Race edition. The vast majority of total miles is in the rocky Utah west desert mountain trails.
    Hopefully you will add these to your offerings.

  2. Video never showed up on my subscription feed despite me being subscribed to all your videos. Only shows up in the Home section which is annoying but not Subscription despite you literally posting this video like 10 hours ago. Please message YouTube as people are missing your videos despite being subscribed.

  3. I'm looking for the video on how to prevent pinch-flats. Maybe include a link to the video in the description, since you mentioned it in your video.

  4. I use the tubliss system with a dunlop d803 trials tire and i run about 4-6 psi i also run the shinko 505 cheater and i run about the same psi for that tire aswell maybe a little less because its a bit stiffer

  5. Chase, I am 60 years old and riding a 2018 TE 250i. My favorite riding is single track loamy, muddy, rocky and love riding in the rain. Watching your videos and others I still find my self drifting back to Michelin. 90/100/21 & 110/100/18 Michelin star cross 5 medium. I am however wanting to switch up to a Tubliss set up. What are your thoughts and do you recommend a particular plug kit for 60 to 80 mile single track rides?
    Thanks for your time
    Ivan

  6. hopefully someone is still answering questions, I have a CR125 that I ride on both dirt hard surface and Dune sands on the same day in the same location, this place is called Juniper Dunes in Washington state. the dirt tires work out there but can cause a lot of frustration when its been really hot and the sand is nice and soft, the dune hills are not huge by any means but there can be some areas where the length of the run before you hit a hill can be short so you need that traction, I am looking for the best tire for 70% sand and 30% dirt to ride on when there and I will have another just dirt tire for everywhere else. this Dunlop Geomax MX11 Sand/Mud Motorcycle Tire looks like it might fit the program I need being the tread is not going to beat me up like a cup tire would on the harder surface. any other suggestions?

  7. is it okay to ride with mx wheels on a supermoto on asphalt? or does that feel horrible? I just like the size of the tires because the supermoto tires are so small

  8. I like the vids, good info..
    But have yet to hear anything for my riding and bike.. Im in northern michigan, riding single track trails mostly sand a few hard and mud spots.
    Bike is old 1988 yz490..
    Bike spins like cray and likes to wash out the front.. Yes, that is nature of the beast.
    But like all the help i can get!.

  9. Does anyone know where can I get 100/100×18 paddle tires? I already check Rocky Mountains and BTO Sports. The only one that I find is 110/100-18 . Can I use 110/100-18 instead of 100/100×18 paddle tires????

  10. The larger rear tire (18 inch) is more popular with offroad riders because it has a larger air volume and footprint. The extra volume makes it more absorbent. The downside is that it bounces in squared-edged whoops. (although the 18 did hook up better than the 19-inch in everything but rock-hard dirt and whoops).

  11. Hi i have yamaha DT 125. What tire size and rim should i install? I want it to lower a litle bit while lifting up the body since i'm only 5'4. My stock tire is 21-18. Thanks..

  12. Would like to see a test on hard terrain tires like kenda and Dunlop and thanks again for all the choices you give us????

  13. On old tires like the 4.50×18 you had there there the ratio is assumed to be 100%. In your example it'd be a 115/100×18. Better option would be a 120/80 (or 90).
    A great website for visualizing different tire sizes and aspect ratios I found is: https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc?tires=

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *