Sport Touring Motorcycle Tire Ranking
The Pirelli Angel GT is the new, highest ranked sport touring tire. Wet handling reviews are mixed. Dry handling is said to be better than the Michelin Pilot Road 3 which is another highly rated tire. The German magazine Motorrad rated the Pirelli Angel GT as number one in their testing. US-based reviews back up this high rating.
The Michelin Pilot Road 4 is reported to handle better and last longer than the Michelin Pilot Road 3. Performance handling tar snakes is improved over the PR3. Traction in all conditions is praised. Main complaints are front tire cupping and tire price.
The reports are that handling is as good or better than the Michelin Pilot Road 2. Wet handling is especially praised. In one test a rider could drag a knee through inch deep puddles, and said the tires were the best road tyres they have used in the wet. Others report quick warm up even in cold and that the bikes handling feels lighter. As of now this tire is the highest rated of any tires reviewed. The Michelin Pilot Road 3 was rated # 6 in a 2012 Motorrad sport touring tire test.
The Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact inspires confidence in stability, cornering, dry traction and wet traction. Tested on a variety of bikes and performed well on all of them. Especially impressed with handling with new front, worn rear. This will often introduce handling issues, but the reviewer still felt the tires delivered 90% of the handling performance. Others say the tire is better than the Bridgestone BT 021, Dunlop Roadsmart and Michelin Pilot Road 2s. Another likes the Z8 over the Z6. The Z8 was rated # 1 in a 2012 Motorrad sport touring tire test.
The Pirelli Angel ST receives high marks as a sport touring tire, and even held its own when included in a test of sportbike tires. The Pirelli Angel ST was rated 2nd of 8 tires in the wet, 4th of 8 tires in the dry and 4th overall in a Visordown tire test. Confidence inspring in dry, wet, highway, back roads. One rider complained of lower than expected mileage. The Pirelli Angel ST was rated # 2 in a 2012 Motorrad sport touring tire test.
The Bridgestone BT 023 has generally positive reviews. There have been various, formal tests of the BT 023. One reviewer rated the Bridgestone BT 023 4 of 5 stars, while the Pirelli Angel ST got 2.5 of 5 stars. A number of reviewers praised the stability of the rear in braking. Another feels the BT 021 turns-in better, but feels the 023 is more planted in the turns. Both wet and dry handling is praised. The Bridgestone BT 023 was rated # 5 in a 2012 Motorrad sport touring tire test.
The Dunlop Roadsmart 2 is a sport touring tire. Riders praise the warm up time, mileage, traction in wet and dry. One rider felt the noise was louder than the older Roadsmart. A few people tried them for track days and said they performed well. Another rider did not feel the tire handled that well in the twisties. Generally people like the Roadsmart 2 better than the Roadsmart. The Dunlop Roadsmart 2 was rated # 3 in a 2012 Motorrad sport touring tire test.
The Metzeler ME 888 is rated similarly to the ME 880 it replaces. Generally positive reviews as a cruiser tire. Better than stock Harley Davidson Dunlop tires. Consistent complaints that wet handling is not the best.
The Michelin Pilot Road 2 is one of the top tires for sport-touring bikes. Overall the reviews are quite positive. Tires handle well in dry and wet and have long tire life. A number of riders list these as their favorite tires. Good combination of tread life and sticky grip. As compared to the Z6 the handling is more neutral. Multiple reviews of 10,000-12,000 miles on a sport tourer. If you have tried the Z6 and didn’t like it try this tire. Multiple reviewers say they like the Michelin Pilot Road 2 better than the Metzeler Z6.
The Dunlop Roadsmart got good press at release. Those who had more sport oriented tires and wanted more tread life are happy with the tire. Nice, even cornering. The tire gets fewer miles as compared to some of its peers, averages between 5-7,000 on the Dunlop Roadsmart compared with 10-12,000 with the Michelin Pilot Road 2. Others reported the rear sliding under hard braking.
The Metzeler Roadtec Z6 is generally considered to be less long-lasting compared to the Metzeler ME 880, but provides better traction. Generally positive reviews of the tire regarding wet and dry handling. There is a consistent complaint about not having wear bars. Some have reported they have been stranded because they did not know the tires needed replacing. Metzeler warns that you should not run a Z6 rear without the Z6 front because they were designed to work together for water dissipation.
The Bridgestone BT 015 receives slightly above average reviews. In a Visordown test against sport tires the BT 015 was rated 7th of 8 tires overall. User reviews are more positive with cornering and stability praised. The tire life is also a positive.
The Bridgestone BT-016 is a well-rated for a less expensive tire. It still ranked 7th overall when compared to the full population of sportbike tires. Motorcycle USA conducted a comparison test and rated the Bridgestone BT-016 #1 in the Group B. Group B was a group of tires that was generally less expensive than Group A. It was rated 1st of the tires tested in the group. Group B: #1 Streets of Willow – 1:26:75, #1 Willow Springs – 1:35:65. Reviews from other sites vary quite a bit. Some rate the tire 5 of 5 stars, others 6 of 10, others 4.6 to 4.7 of 5 stars. The reviews are generally positive.
A number of reviewers felt the Avon Storm 2 Ultra’s have more grip than Bridgestone BT 021′s. One of those was a person who does power wheelies. One of the tests on a BMW K1200S showed good bump absorbancy and good front end turn-in. Part of the test was at a track. They felt the tires warmed up quickly and handled well in the wet. They were able to get the tire to heat stress at the track, but this tire is not really meant for the track. In normal road use they found it hard to get the back to break free. Rear tire life in the test estimated at 6,000 miles. Recommended from people riding a 2000 Bandit 1200, ST1100, ST1300, recommended best tire on a 2007 ZX14R as compared to about 6 other tire brands.
The Shinko 009 has fairly consistent, positive reviews. Probably best for a moderate to low aggressive rider. Seems to provide a good balance between performance and tire life. A number of reviewers say they like this tire better than a number of other tires. The tire’s value is also praised.
The Bridgestone BT 020 is an OEM tire for a variety of bikes. This tire provides better tire life than some other sport touring tires, but does not stick as well as some shorter lived tires. Miles average between 10-12,000. Tires not recommemded for cold/wet. A number of reviewers said the colder it got the worse the tire performed. Also not recommended for hard cornering. More on the touring side of sport-touring.
The Pirelli Diablo Corsa III is a great all-weather tire. They warm up quick even in the cold. Have great traction and stability.
The Continental ContiMotion is a value oriented tire. That being said, there were quite positive reviews for this tire. Provided good small bump absorbtion, and was rated as sticking better than Bridgestone BT 021 and Dunlop Roadsmarts. Worth a try if saving money is a priority.
Reviewers generally don’t like the handling and stick provided by this tire. Reports of both the front and rear slipping. This tire was rated #4 in a 2012 Motorrad sport touring tire test. This tire uses a somewhat new technology called traction skin which provides stick almost immediately and reduces break-in time. Reviewers agreed there was a noticeable, positive difference in break-in time.
The Continental Road Attack tips in easily, instills confidence in the corners, warms up fast and handles well in the dry/wet. The tire squares off somewhat easily and wears fast. Miles averaged around 7,000.
The Bridgestone BT 021 has mixed reviews. Some like the tire and others don’t. There are some complaints that the front wears out faster than the rear. On heavier bikes there also seem to be more complaints than lighter bikes. If you are looking at this tire you might want to investigate the reviews specific to your type of motorcycle. Mileage ranges between 7-10,000 miles. This tire is more on the touring side of sport-touring.
The Avon Azaro ST tires ride smooth, are stable in the corners, and handle the rain well. The older Concours are not made in the needed sizes anymore. Better than pretty much any bias ply tire alternative. There really weren’t any negatives listed other than some looking for longer tire life, but others were saying they got more mileage out of these than other, comparable tires. The rear tire was rated significantly better than the front.
The Kenda K657 Challenger rear received relatively low scores. The main complaint seems to be tread life and wet handling. Other than that the tires seemed to handle well. Riders tended to be on mid-sized cc bikes.
The Kenda K671 Cruiser received slightly below average reviews. Mileage was generally praised compared to the competition. One rider says they prefer this tire over the Elite 3 which is another highly rated tire, primarily because of mileage.