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MCN  says:

Poll: Would you buy winter tyres?

In this week's MCN, we look at the debate around riding all through the winter, and talk to people who ride 365 in much worse weather than the UK. One of the people we talk to is a Swedish bike journalist who rides every day of the year, using two types of specialist winter tyres when things get too slippy. Would you...

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  • Posted 2 years ago (27 November 2012 15:00)

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Nov 08

Posts: 884

the winter tyres for my bike

are on my car, that way I don't drop the bike in slush any more...

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Feb 09

Posts: 50

daveyboy79 says:

I got winter tyres fitted to my wife's car, and they're supposed to offer better grip than normal "summer" tyres in ambient temperatures below 7ºC (44ºF), and when I drive it, I can definitely tell the difference. I was sold a few years ago when a tyre fitting mate demonstrating the speed round an empty roundabout on a dry below freezing xmas eve night with me literally crapping myself in the passenger seat until I clicked that the tyres hadn't even squealed, let alone let go. In fact when it's just above freezing, on a dry road with no grit down, you can pretty much trust them enough to drive normally as you would in the summer. I think there's a lot of myths & bull shit about bike tyres anyway, how many road riders do we all know on race reps with un-scuffed knee sliders, and squared off super sticky road-legal sports tyres when they'd be better off with sports-touring tyres? I wouldn't be suprised if even if bike winter tyres were commonly available, many bikers would simply avoid them. I'd fit them to my GSX-R750 in a heart-beat, a tyre that gets to it's optimum for grip operating temperature pretty much from setting off in the colder months has got to be worth the money.

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Jan 11

Posts: 8645

snev says:


You own a "Bus and a Train"????

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Sep 09

Posts: 905

Rogerborg says:

What kind of tyres grip on black ice?

That's the only thing that's put me down, and I went over at a slow walking pace.  I'm sure that Johnny Foreigner's story is just fascinating, but the UK (particularly Oop North) has the peculiarity of being cold and wet, and it's the freeze-thaw-freeze that nobs both us and our road structure.

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Dec 11

Posts: 5

Zoiks says:

Although this makes sense...

If you look at the climate statistics for England (sorry, Wales & Scotland), then you can see that the average MAX temperature is below 11 degrees for five months of the year. If you ride all year round then chances are you will be at or below the 7 degree mark for best part of half the year. Therefore, it would seem that winter bike tyres would make sense for many people for at least half of the year. If you only go for a blast on nice sunny days then it makes no sense at all.

Trouble is, there is a massive amount of snobbery about tyres. Journalists are often excellent riders- and maybe even ex-racers- who test the best and most expensive rubber on smooth racetracks and can draw comparisons between compounds in the most ideal of conditions. The reality for most of us is uneven surfaces, pot-holed roads, over banding, diesel spills, gravel, and a whole host of other hazards that you don't often find on a track. Chances are we would all be just as well off (if not better off) with highly unfashionable sports touring rubber and I doubt many would be able to tell the difference. You only have to look at the best-selling tyres in the UK to realise that the reality is we buy more sporty rather than sensible rubber.

I for one would be interested in tyres that work well in cool AND wet conditions. This is when you really need your tyres to perform. A winter tyre would work a whole lot better in dry and warm conditions than a sporty, sticky when hot tyre would when it is freezing and wet. Sadly, I can’t see anyone making one of these as it would be as unfashionable as a cagoule….

And, obviously, nothing grips on ice (regardless of its colour) but that is no reason to discount the principle of tyres that are better suited to cold and wet conditions.

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May 07

Posts: 16

b3bmcwi says:


...would consider it. Agree there is a lot of nonsense talked about tyres.. some of it by those fitting and selling them. I had to practically PERSUADE the guy who fitted my Pilot Road 3's to sell me them. "But this is a tyre for mainly wet conditions', he said. 'Are you sure you need them? They're not an upgraded version of the Road 2s you know...'

And as I pointed out to him, I ride all year round... and live, as he fecking does, in Belfast, where it rains every other day. Talk about weird. What was he thinking? I could see it making sense on a summer-use only R1. But on my ST1300 which gets put away only when it snows - no. Anything which gets me more grip can only be a good thing. If they were offered here for bikes, I'd stick one on for December to April only and hopefully get a few winters out of them.

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Oct 08

Posts: 95

r1stevie says:


ive got winter tyres its the knobblies on my husky enduro

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Sep 11

Posts: 305

Pilot road 3s are the way forward

Not got into he cold stuff yet, but the grip on the wet is phenomenal. I ride 365 and even through the snow, mainly by accident as it doesn't often snow where I live, but it does quite often where I work. Funny though, i usually pass a trail of beemers that have been unable to make it up the driveway, whilst the bike in a high gear and no throttle chugs me up quite easily.

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Oct 11

Posts: 2787

Piglet2010 says:

@ Zoiks

“over banding…”


“You only have to look at the best-selling tyres in the UK to realise that the reality is we buy more sporty rather than sensible rubber.”

Misleading, unless normalized to average tire life. E.g., does a Honda Fireblade owner going through 5 sets of BT-003’s in 10K make that tire 5 times as popular a choice, as compared to the Honda Dullsville owner going through one set of BT-023’s over the same 10K mileage? Of course not.

“I for one would be interested in tyres that work well in cool AND wet conditions.”

Rubber compounding is the key. Automobile tires that have compounds that do not get hard and slippery have the “M+S” marking (at least here in the colonies).

“And, obviously, nothing grips on ice…”

Tires with carbide studs grip quite well on ice.

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Feb 08

Posts: 817

Andy949494 says:

Yes ... but

As I replace each tyre about three times a year ordering winter tyres around autumn instead of normal ones wouldn't be a major thing for me EXCEPT that the dealers would force me to change both tyres at the same time (because they wouldn't want to leave the bike with a mixture of tyres).

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