Here, we will explore how the temperature of your tyres affects your motorbike’s grip. This includes learning how to check the tyre temperature, as well as what you need to do to ensure safe driving.

The temperature of a motorcycle tyre has an effect on numerous properties of the vehicle on which it is fitted. As a result, it is always worth being aware that a difference of just a few degrees can have catastrophic consequences.

In short, the tyre temperature affects:

  • Braking capabilities
  • Safe cornering
  • Elasticity - an increased temperature increases elasticity and tyre deformation

During fast driving on corners, the tyres may reach a temperature of more than 100°C!

What are the consequences of cold tyres?

While many drivers know that hot tyres can cause various problems, not every driver knows that cold tyres, too, can also their own issues. This includes:

  • Reduced grip. Since the grip increases with temperature, a colder tyre has less grip
  • Greater susceptibility for skidding on turns
  • Reduced stability
  • Reduced tyre pressure
  • A greater transmission of unevenness in the road surface to the handlebars

Tyre temperature and driving properties

Clearly, there is a strong change between the motorbike tyre temperature and grip, but this also extends to numerous other driving parameters.

To meet the needs of various different riders, the tyres designed for everyday use are made of compounds which enable driving across a broad range of temperatures.

These tyres are typically designed to be elastic from just 5 degrees Celsius, as well as not suffering excessively fast wear at temperatures of around 90 degrees Celsius. This figure is the temperature often reached when driving at fairly high speed, such as when driving on the motorway.

The rubber compound ensures grip

The adhesive parameters of a particular type of tyre are determined by the chemical substances used in the manufacturing process of the tyre construction.

A variety of compounds are used for various different tyre types:

  • In touring tyres, the compound is used contains a mix of resin and plasticizers, providing significant protection when dealing with cold tyres.
  • For sports tyres, a compound containing resin is used, as this ensures ideal grip as the tyre’s workload increases. It is additionally common for soot particles, or oil, to be used to increase the degree of grip offered.

How to check the tyre temperature

There are numerous ways to check the temperature of your tyres, but perhaps the best and easiest methods are:

  • You can use an infrared thermometer, as this will give quick and accurate readings
  • You can also touch the tyres with your hand. Optimum temperatures begin at 20°C while a temperature of 35°C feels pleasantly warm and heat closer to 60°C will make you take your hand away from the tyre.

This situation is, of course, slightly different with sport tyres, where you can encounter heat up to 100°C and, in some extreme cases, as high as 200°C. In these situations, it is better to use an infrared thermometer or other remote device, rather than touching the tyre.

You should also remember that, over time, a tyre loses its traction properties, even if it does not appear to be damaged. It is, therefore, recommended to replace your tyres with new ones every season, even if they are not showing external signs of wear.

It is equally important to use your tyres correctly. If you are not sure whether or not you are following the manufacturer’s recommendations, take a look at our user guides and find out more.