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Buyers Guide - Dirt Bike Tires

Dirt Bike Tires

Looking for dirt bike tires? Rocky Mountain ATV/MC carries over 100 off-road tires for a variety of bikes and riding preferences. Use the filters on the left-hand side of the screen to narrow our selection down by terrain type, tire size, brand and price. You can also enter your motorcycle’s make, model and year at the top to specifically identify tires that will fit it.

Need additional help in finding the right tire? Check out our tips and info below. We want to make sure that you have everything you need to purchase the right tire for you.

Terrain Type

When it comes to buying dirt bike tires, the main thing you want to focus on is the terrain type you expect to ride on. Street motorcycles basically have to worry about one type of terrain: asphalt. Dirt bikes, on the other hand, are designed to traverse numerous types of terrain: rocky trails, forest paths, loamy soil, dirt roads, sand, mud, motocross tracks, slickrock and a lot more (and that’s not even counting if your bike is street legal and will also see asphalt).

There are three primary types of dirt bike tires: soft terrain, intermediate terrain and hard terrain. By choosing the one that best describes your type of riding, you can get a tire that will perform well for you.

The primary difference between these three types of tires is the tread pattern. Soft terrain tires have wider-spaced lugs. This allows the tread to penetrate soft soil, increasing the overall rubber contact but also allowing the tire to somewhat “scoop” the softer terrain. Hard terrain tires, on the other hand, must get as much rubber as possible to the terrain’s surface. For this reason, they typically have narrower-spaced lugs. As you might expect, intermediate terrain tires lie in-between.

Recommendations

So which type of tire should you choose? If you don’t already feel confident that you can match up a tire type to your type of riding, here are a few tips:

  • If you find yourself in sand, mud or looser soil, consider a soft terrain tire.
  • If you frequent the motocross track or ride trails with varying conditions, consider an intermediate terrain tire.
  • If you ride almost exclusively on packed soil or slickrock, consider a hard terrain tire.
  • If you tend to ride on a wide variety of terrain types and don’t focus on just one, consider an intermediate terrain tire.

Rubber Compound

The rubber compound is also very important. Soft rubber grips the terrain better, therefore providing superior traction. Hard rubber compounds aren’t as grippy, but they typically last a lot longer.

Specialty Tires

Of course, there are also specialty tires as well. If you ride exclusively in the sand, soft terrain tires are nice, but quality paddle tires are best. The difference is that while some sand tires (particularly paddle tires) work excellently in sand, they don’t always work well at all on other types of terrain. Soft terrain tires, on the other hand, work fine in the sand, but they also work well on other types of soft terrain as well.

Trials tires are a must for trials bikes, but they can also be used on traditional dirt bikes as well. If you ride exclusively on hard terrain, you might find that trials tires give you even better traction than standard hard terrain tires.

If your bike is street legal and you plan on riding on the road as well, make sure you pick up a set of DOT-approved tires.

Air Pressure

To make sure you get the longest life out of your tires as possible, use the correct tire pressure. Overinflated or underinflated tires will wear faster and can also be more prone to accidents. Check your owner’s manual for the correct psi.

Tire Size

Don’t forget to get the right size. Check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended tire size. All modern dirt bike tires utilize a three-number system to indicate size, such as this: 80/100x21.

  1. The first number (80) indicates the tire width, measured in millimeters.
  2. The second number (100) is the tire height from bead to centerline, expressed as the width/height aspect ratio.
  3. The third number is the rim diameter, measured in inches.

So a size of 80/100x21 is a tire designed for a 21-inch rim that is 80 mm wide and 80 mm tall (100% of the width).

Some sizes will also indicate ply construction. Radial tires include the letter R after the second number. While radial tires are common for street bikes, many dirt bike tires still use bias tires, which do not include a letter in the tire size. (If the tire size includes the letter B, that means it’s bias belted. You won’t see this ply construction on pure dirt tires, but you might see them on a few dual sport tires.)

Sometimes additional information is also included. A fourth number combined with a letter indicates the load and speed ratings. The number/letter combination is actually a code, so you’ll have to compare it to our load index and speed ratings charts.

Buy Dirt Bike Tires

We make it easy for you to find the right tire, and we always carry an extensive selection of dirt bike tires at low prices. With our emphasis on customer-centric programs and support, there’s no better solution than Rocky Mountain ATV/MC.

Browse our selection now, and pick out your next set of tires today!

Latest Dirt Bike Dirt Bike Tires - All Reviews – You could win up to $500 for reviewing products!

  • Michelin StarCross 5 Hard Terrain Tire

    Michelin StarCross 5 Hard Terrain Tire

    Thomas in CA

    Great all around tire

    I am very happy with the way this tire handles on hard pack fire roads and in the sand.It seems to be wearing very well after 600 miles of dirt and 40 miles of pavement. I run tubeless and have had no issues with it holding air. It has even been plugged once and is still going strong. I run between 8 and 12 P.S.I.

    Read All Reviews
  • Shinko R505 Hybrid Cheater Tire

    Shinko R505 Hybrid Cheater Tire

    anthony in TN

    Great straight line traction.

    I like this tire alot, I'm running it at 5psi on tubliss. It's great on most terrain. Exceptional on rocks wet or dry, roots wet or dry, and dirt that's not hard pack or mud. Has very bad traction out of turns you cannot sling shot out of corrners. Glad I bought it might do it again.

    Read All Reviews
  • Motoz Tractionator Enduro I/T

    Motoz Tractionator Enduro I/T

    Eric in CA

    Good tire

    I put about 300 miles on it at the Bishop dual sport this weekend. Tire still looks new, wear was negligible. Rode sand, rocks hardtack with some pavement thrown in. The tire works well in all terrains. I used an extreme hybrid on the rear(first time)and this is my new go to combo. I'm riding an 09 Husky te510.

    Read All Reviews
  • Shinko R525 Hybrid Cheater Tire

    Shinko R525 Hybrid Cheater Tire

    MIKE in UT

    Impressed

    Used it for an Enduro race and was really impressed by the traction and Great breaking this tire had. After 60 miles of racing the tire still looks brand new. Did notice on long hard pack the tire feels like it’s wandering but that’s expected.

    Read All Reviews
  • Metzeler MC360 Mid-Hard Tire

    Metzeler MC360 Mid-Hard Tire

    Donnell in CA

    Best tire for sandy desert on a dual sport

    This is essentially a longer lasting, DOT version of the Maxxis Desert IT. It wont last on sharp rocky terrain but it has great traction in socal deserts. I doubt it will last as long as the Motoz but I'm willing to sacrifice some lifespan for better traction in the sandy covered hard pack.

    Read All Reviews
  • Dunlop MX33 Geomax Soft/Intermediate Terrain Tire

    Dunlop MX33 Geomax Soft/Intermediate Terrain Tire

    RICHARD c in AZ

    The best frt tire I’ve ever used and I’ve tired a lot of them

    Read All Reviews
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