Sportbike Motorcycle Tire Reviews
The best way to search for tires is to first determine which tires are available to you based on the recommended tire size for your bike. Once you have identified the population of tires that could fit your wheel, then look at the list below to see which is highest rated and why.
There were two main tire tests that helped set the ranking, one by Visordown and another by Motorcycle USA. These more formal, comparative tests were given more weight in the ranking process than user reviews. The Motorcycle USA test was completed in 2010 and used a Honda CBR1000RR. Motorcycle USA grouped the tires into Group A and Group B based on price point. The Motorcycle USA test references Streets of Willow (1.3 mile Streets road course at Willow Springs International Raceway) and Willow Springs (2.5 mile main course at Willow Springs International Raceway). The tires were also ridden on the public roadways around Southern California.
The Visordown test was conducted in 2010 on a 2009 Honda Fireblade. The test was conducted in England at Bruntingthorpe's, with low temperatures and water. The testers requested tires that were suitable for general road use in all types of conditions, for a heavier sports bike.
In some cases the same tire was reviewed in both tests, so this helped bridge the gap between tires being reviewed in one test but not another.
Intermixed with these more formal tests are other tires that were not part of the Visordown and Motorcycle USA tests.
#1 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tested the best on both street and track, which is difficult to do. Often tires need to choose a focus between the demands of street and track, but the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa excelled at both.
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP was rated as the best tire in the Motorcycle USA test. It was in Group A and was #1 at Streets of Willow (1:23:54) and #1 at Willow Springs (1:31:45).
# 2 Dunlop Qualifier II
The Dunlop Qualifier II, while in the more expensive group of tires, provides good performance and value. Both the Visordown and Motorcycle USA tests support this tire as being better for the street than on the track. So, if you are looking for a solid street tire you should definitely consider the Dunlop Qualifier II.
In a Visordown review the Dunlop Qualifier II was rated number 1 of the tires tested. Damp Test: 1:21:58 - Warm-up fast and cut through water nicely, braking is good, Michelins seemed to hold line better, always felt in control. Dry Test: 1:12:80 - Great amount of feel, mid-corner handling is excellent, best of the group in performance and value for the money.
In a Motorcycle USA test it was rated #2 as a street tire and #4 as a track tire. This tire was also in Group A, like the highest rated Pirello Diablo Supercorsa SP, #2 at Streets of Willow (1:23:91) and #4 at Willow Springs (1:33:53).
Reviews from other tire sites rate the front tire higher than the rear. On one site the rear is rated 4 of 5 stars, on another rear 3.7 of 5 stars. Front 4.6 of 5 stars.
# 3 Metzeler M3 Supersport
The Metzeler M3 Supersport is rated higher by users than the Dunlop Qualifier II, and was rated #2 overall in the formal Visordown test. This is definitely a tire worth trying.
In the Visordown review the Metzeler M3 Supersport was rated #2. Damp Test: 1:22:05 - Quick warm-up, don't cut through water as well as BT-021 or Angel ST, but have more feel, rear grip better than BT-021 out of the corners. Dry Test: 1:12:63 - Grip from rear under braking is very good, mid-corner similar to Dunlop and Michelin, like the Dunlops you can get on the throttle earlier.
On one site the front and rear were rated 4.5 of 5 stars, on another front and rear 4.7 of 5 stars. This puts the Metzeler M3 Supersport slightly above average on the user reviews.
# 4 Michelin Power One 2CT
The Michelin Power One 2CT is rated average for a sportbike tire. Both the user reviews and Motorcyce USA comparison test support this conclusion.
In the Motorcycle USA tire test it was rated #3 for a street tire, #2 for a track tire. Group A: #3 Streets of Willow - 1:24:47, #2 Willow Springs - 1:33:20. One site rates the tire 4.4 of 5 stars, which puts the tire slightly below average.
# 5 Bridgestone BT003 Racing Street
The Bridgestone BT003 Racing Street tire is very close in ranking to the Michelin Power One 2CT. Formal tests put the Michelin higher, user reviews rank the Bridgestone higher.
Motorcycle USA conducted a comparison test and rated the Bridgestone BT003 Racing Street tire #4 for a street tire, #3 for a track tire. Group A: #4 Streets of Willow - 1:25:35, #3 Willow Springs - 1:33:27.
Other tire reviews place it at 4.5 to 4.6 of 5 stars, which place the user reviews about average with its peers.
# 6 Avon VP2 Supersport
Tests of the Avon VP2 Supersport between the Visordown and Motorcycle USA test were pretty consistent. The Avon VP2 Supersport was well below the other tires in performance.
Visordown did a comparison test between a number of tires. The Avon VP2 Supersport was rated #3. Damp Test: 1:22:58 - On the brakes the front was planted, quite a lot of grip, not as much feel, mid-corner kind of vague, need to be progressive with the throttle or it will let go. Dry: 1:13:54 - On damp and dry exits the tires spin up quite a bit, but could still move at a good pace.
Motorcycle USA also conducted a comparison test with other tires. It was rated 5th of 5 tires tested in the group. Group A, #5 on Streets of Willow - 1:26:54, and #5 Willow Springs - 1:35:17.
# 7 Bridgestone BT-016
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.
# 8 Michelin Pilot Power 2CT
The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT is a highly-rated by users. Formal tests put the tire more in the middle of the pack of less expensive tires.
In the Visordown article it was rated #3. Damp Test: 1:21:90 - Best for rear traction and really stable under hard acceleration, took a bit to warm up. Dry Test: 1:12:83 - Warm-up isn't great, once warmed up feel like will grip all day long, feel is on the level of a race tyre, best on brakes.
In the Motorcycle USA tire test it was rated #2 for a street tire, #3 for a track tire. Group B: #2 Streets of Willow - 1:27:43, #3 Willow Springs - 1:36:53.
One site rates the front and rear 4.5 of 5 stars. Another rates both 5 of 5 stars. Another rates the front and rear 4.7 of 5 stars,
# 9 Michelin Pilot Power
Both the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT and Michelin Pilot Power are highly-rated by users. These tires are pretty much rated equally.
The majority of the reviews are 4.7 of 5 stars. Both the front and rear are equally liked.
# 10 Pirelli Diablo Rosso
The Michelin Pilot Power 2CT, Michelin Pilot Power and Pirello Diablo Rosso are very close in rankings. All are highly-rated by users.
In the Motorcycle USA test it was rated #3 for a street tire, #2 for a track tire. Group B: #3 Streets of Willow - 1:28:44, #2 Willow Springs - 1:36:52.
Reviews from other sites rate the bike higher. From one site 5 of 5 stars, from another 4.5-4.7 of 5 stars, from another rear rated 9.5 of 10 stars.