Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever -
Saturday Edition

Motorcycle vs. Car Tires

What are the Differences?

By Isabella Brown with images from Sam and Berry

Share this story:

Story sponsored by Canada Custom Auto Works
Story sponsored by Canada Custom Auto Works

Have you ever wondered what the difference between motorcycle and car tires is and why you can't just use them interchangeably? Do you want to know more about them?

When most people think about tires, they think about the rubber that sits underneath their car or motorcycle. They might not give a lot of thought to the different types of tires available on the market, but there are a lot of options out there for both cars and motorcycles.

In this post, we're going to take a look at some of the differences between motorcycle and car tires. Stay tuned!


Researchers say that by far the most important difference between a motorcycle tire and a car tire is the design. There are distinct differences between the two different types of tires that are suited to each type of vehicle and mode of transportation to make it as safe but also as efficient as possible.

Cars and motorcycles handle tires differently and therefore need to have different tires in place. There is a big difference in the suspension and the handling for each tire and it must be designed to work with the vehicle not just to be a part of it.

Something to keep in mind is that a motorcycle only uses two wheels whereas a car uses four and this is something that is taken into consideration when designing tires for both motorcycles and cars to have the best outcome possible. The physical differences between the tires start with the rims. Most notably, the size and weight of each rim. Motorcycle rims tend to be smaller in diameter and much lighter than their car counterparts. This makes them ideal for bikes because they need to be lightweight to stay up off the ground. Car rims are larger and heavier, which is necessary to support the vehicle's weight. They can also be customized, as done in this Calgary rims shop.

Additionally, motorcycle rims have less tread on them than car rims, since motorcycles don't need as much traction in wet conditions.

Motorcycle tires are designed with riding motorcycles kept in mind and the fact that they will need to learn when going around corners stops completely opposing this car tires are considered to have a square profile and will not be able to lean like motorcycle tires.


Next up on our list, we have traction. traction is another very important part when it comes to looking at tires and choosing the right one for your vehicle. When it comes to comparing motorcycle tires to car tires something you will notice is that they both provide a very different kind of traction to each other motorcycles typically go at much higher speeds than cars do and therefore need to have more traction, especially when it comes to starting or stopping. They are also lighter vehicles and don't have as much weight on them.

Cars are much heavier than motorcycles and therefore don't need as much traction on their tires to get going or to move fast as the weight helps with this.

Tread Life

Tread is one of the most important aspects of any tire and something that you need to keep an eye on when you have a call or a motorcycle. When it comes to comparing motorcycle tires to car tires while looking at the trade you will notice that car tires typically have a much more resistance and a much deeper trade which makes them far more durable than that motorcycle tires which are not as resistant and are a bit shallower.

This also comes with the fact that cause much heavier and they will wear through the trade much faster therefore they need to have a thicker tread.

Looking at the price of a motorcycle versus car tires you would think that car tires would be more expensive because they are typically much bulkier and more durable however this is not the case.

When looking at the tires you will notice that motorcycle tires are a little bit more expensive, and this is because of supply and demand. There are fewer motorcycles on the road than they are cause meaning that motorcycle tires are more expensive since they make fewer of them.


Last but not least we have the maintenance of cars versus motorcycles. This one is something that may seem obvious and it is a lot easier to keep up with the maintenance of a motorcycle as opposed to a car because it is much smaller and requires a lot less maintenance due to having fewer parts.

Maintaining a car can be more difficult and often you have to take it into a shop to get fixed or even wait for ordered parts from overseas which can make it more expensive and just overall more tricky

Share this story:

Back to Tech

Reader Comments

Excellent breakdown of tires

John M Ganley
Kennewick, WA
Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Editor Response Thanks.

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.