Unlike cars, which have tires that are designed to work in either winter or all season conditions, motorcycle tires vary widely in their applications. There are five main types of motorcycle tire, each of which is designed for a specific situation and driving style. While models and maximum speed and load for each type of tire will vary, these groups serve as a good guide for determining which type of tire best suits your motorcycle and driving style.
Like their name suggests, racing tires are designed to provide the greatest amount of acceleration and the highest top speed possible. They tend to be fairly thin, and provide the greatest responsiveness, allowing for quick turning and cornering, and giving your bike the best agility possible. However, racing tires are not very durable, and using them in any environment beside the track can cause them to wear away extremely quickly.
Sport tires are an all-around good motorcycle tire, ideal for city driving. They provide grip in both wet and dry conditions, and have a higher durability than racing tires, making them ideal for bikes used to get to work or for pleasure driving around your neighborhood.
Cruising tires are designed to perform better than sport tires in wet conditions, and they offer greater stability to the bike, making them ideal for longer commutes and highway driving. Cruising tires are also much more durable, and tend to have a longer lifespan than either racing or sport tires. However, cruising tires lack the agility and cornering of other types of tires.
Touring tires are designed to provide the highest durability and the highest degree of stability to your bike while driving for long distances, making them ideal for road trips or commutes upwards of an hour. Touring tires tend to perform well in poor weather conditions, much like cruising tires, but are able to do so for much longer. However, this comes at a cost, and touring tires do not offer the same acceleration or top speed as cruising or sport tires.
Designed specifically for use on dirt or rough terrain, off-roading tires have an exaggerated, bumpy design that allows for greater grip while driving over broken terrain or uphill. Off-roading tires also have rim locks, which prevent the tire from spinning freely within the rim, which other tires will do in rough terrain. Off-roading tires are really only used for dirt bikes, and do not perform as well on roads or the track.
Keep these different types of tires in mind as you shop for a used motorcycle from a dealer such as Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson. If you have any question as to which type of tire is best for your needs, don't hesitate to ask a salesperson for help.