4 Reasons Why Motorcycle Tires Are So Expensive [Explained]


A common complaint in the biker world is that motorcycle tires come with hefty price tags and high replacement costs. The four main reasons why motorcycles tires are so expensive are as follows:

  • Motorcycle tires have a small market
  • High engineering requirements
  • Riding a motorcycle is a hobby, so the accessories are overpriced
  • Your life depends on the tires (meaning that you are willing to pay more)

If you would like to learn more about these factors as well as the average prices of motorcycle tires, this post is for you!

Without further ado let’s drill into the details!

Why Are Motorcycle Tires So Expensive?

Low Demand

It’s safe to say that the main reason why motorcycle tires are so expensive is their smaller market.

There are much fewer motorcycles out there than cars, and they only have two (sometimes three) wheels. This results in low demand, which keeps retail prices high.

What’s more, there are many different motorcycle models, which means a lot of different tire sizes. Furthermore, these models frequently change! On top of that motorcycles typically have different front and rear tires.

This means that compared to car tires, there are much fewer motorcycle tires being sold each year and manufacturers have no way to spread out their initial costs. 

If the same amount of motorcycle tires were being sold as car tires, they would be priced much cheaper. But as long as the market for motorcycle parts is significantly smaller, we have to face higher prices for motorcycle tires!

Special Design

Contrary to popular belief car and motorcycle tires differ in many ways. Therefore, another reason for motorcycle tires being so expensive is their special design and features.

It’s good to know that motorcycle tires have more engineering requirements and higher standards than car tires.

They are also made of special material compositions and feature a different profile and sidewall structure. These result in better grip and handling, since motorcycle tires allow the machine to lean into the turns (thanks to the curvature of the tire).

Motorcycle tires also come with custom threads, which can help to keep water out of the way.

Additionally, motorcycle tires are made to tighter manufacturing tolerances and can handle higher speeds. All of these result in higher engineering and manufacturing costs.

Riding is a Hobby

Let’s face it, for most owners riding a motorcycle is a hobby rather than for everyday transportation.

And because motorcycle enthusiasts are prone to spend a lot on money on their toys, manufacturers can charge more for the tires and other accessories. This is the same reason why new motorcycles, jet skis, and even snowmobiles are so expensive!

On the other hand, many owners ride only a couple of thousand miles a year, meaning that many of them use the same tire set for years.

Because of this, many owners never notice how much tires actually costs. However, if we do the math it’s easy to see that tire replacement is only a small part of the annual costs.

Your Life Depends on Them

Unlike cars, motorcycles run on two wheels, which results in less stability and higher risks. What’s more, the contact patch on motorcycle tires is a small section, which typically means just a couple of square inches!

That’s why the tires on your motorcycle need to be of the highest quality available. The last thing you want on your bike is to lose grip because of a low-quality tire!

Keeping safety in mind, many riders are willing to buy the best tires available rather than the cheaper options, which also meet the requirements. Motorcycles are expensive, just like their maintenance, so it’s simply not worth the risk of gambling with the tires!

How Much Are Tires for a Motorcycle?

The price of motorcycle tires varies widely depending on their size and quality. But if you’re looking for a good ballpark figure, a set of motorcycle tires can cost anywhere from $200 up to $600. It’s safe to say that the majority of riders spend about $200-$400 on a set of tires.

The most expensive motorcycle tires are arguably racing and sport bike tires. Ironically, they wear out much faster than cruiser and touring tires.

Regarding brands, the best motorcycle tires are made by Dunlop, Continental, Pirelli, Shinko, Bridgestone and Michelin.

You can’t go wrong with any of these brands, since all of them offer high-quality products!

Conclusion – Why Are Motorcycle Tires More Expensive Than Car Tires?

Motorcycle tires are more expensive than car tires because of the significantly lower demand. While countless car tires are sold each year, the market for motorcycle tires is much smaller. Additionally, cars have the same tires on all of their wheels, but motorcycles have different front and rear tires.

What’s more, motorcycle tires are made to tighter tolerances and have higher speed ratings than car tires.

Another factor is that motorcycles are no longer considered vehicles for regular transport. Instead, riding has become an expensive hobby. That’s why motorcycle tires are so expensive, just like any of the other accessories made for riders.

Finally, don’t forget that if you ride a motorcycle your life strongly depends on the tires. Because of this, it’s recommended that you invest in a good quality tire set. A pair of good-quality tires is like having second insurance on your bike!

Let’s face it, owning a motorcycle is very expensive, so it doesn’t make sense to save a couple of bucks buying low-quality tires.

Keeping safety in mind it’s highly recommended that you have the highest quality tires on your motorcycle, even if they come at a higher cost!

References:

https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/motorcycle-tires-101-guide

http://motorcycleintelligence.com/tires/83/

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