Motorcycle tyres (or tires, if you’re American) are expensive, no question about it, and the truth of the matter is that because good traction is so important for both performance and safety on a bike, a lot of riders are happy to spend extra money on the best tyres. However, it’s not always possible to buy the best tyres on the market, and sometimes you need to look for a less expensive alternative.
There are several options available if you’re looking for cheap motorcycle tyres, depending on your particular requirements. If you want the peace of mind that comes having a set of leading brand tyres, but don’t want to pay full price, you could try to get hold of a part-worn pair which will offer all the quality of a brand new set but probably won’t have as much life left in them.
You can find part worn motorcycle tyres on eBay or at motorcycle breakers, although you might not be able to find a matching pair from the same source so you might need to shop around to get a matching front and rear tyre from different sources. The price of a pair of part worn tyres will vary, obviously depending on how much tread is left on them. One point to bear in mind is that because the tyres don’t have as much life left in them as a brand new set, they will need replacing sooner, and the overall cost of buying tyres over the course of a couple of years might not work out that much cheaper than brand new tyres, unless you make sure you get a good price on them.
Remoulded motorcycle tyres
An alternative option is to buy remould/retread tyres. Companies buy old tyres and remanufacture them, adding on a new layer of rubber using the same processes that are used when they are originally produced. Remoulds are a controversial choice, because some people argue that they do not offer the same quality as brand new tyres and cannot be trusted. Obviously, this is an argument that the mainstream tyre manufacturers are happy to encourage, since low-cost remoulds of their own tyres create unwanted competition.
However, companies like Tomahawk claim that their quality control processes are extremely high and they even go so far as to sponsor racers in order to demonstrate the tyre’s performance on the track. It’s hard to say definitively whether remoulds offer the same quality as brand new motorcycle tyres, since there are few reviews of the products in the professional motorcycle press and opinions posted on discussion forums tend to contradict each other.
The bottom line is that if you ride a high performance motorcycle and you tend to push it hard, then you really shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to your bike tyres. But for commuting or low-intensity riding, remoulds can offer a good value alternative to expensive motorcycle tyres.