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Radial or bias tires?

There's a lot of diversity in the world of motorcycles and scooters. Michelin uses two tire builds to make sure it has something for everyone: bias (or diagonal) tires and radial tires.

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Bias (or diagonal) tires

The carcass of a bias tire is made from layers of ply cord running diagonally to the center line of the tread. The layers are placed so that the cords create a criss-cross pattern. The whole structure is uniform throughout; the crown and sidewalls of the tire have similar mechanical properties.

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Radial tires

With a radial construction, the ply cords radiate out at 90-degree angles to the center line of the tread. In addition, the crown is made from layers that form a belt. As a result, the crown and sidewalls have their own particular characteristics.

Two kinds of tires for specialized performance

Due to their soft sidewalls, the crowns of radial tires stick to the road on contact. Their footprint, shorter but wider than that of a bias tire, provides added grip when leaning in heavily on corners. The pressure of the air in contact with the tire surface is distributed more effectively with radial tires, which results in more even tread wear over time.

Radial tires also provide greater comfort at higher speeds, once again as a result of their soft sidewalls, which absorb the impact of imperfections on the road surface. On the other hand, bias tires are able to carry a greater weight because their sidewalls are more rigid. At high speeds, bias tires can become so deformed that their performance is affected. Ultimately, bias tires are suitable for vehicles traveling at moderate speeds, with small to medium-sized engines and flexible chassis. They are also suited to heavy or heavily loaded motorcycles. Radial tires are needed for more powerful vehicles with very rigid chassis and for more sporty purposes. They allow you to reach ZR speed ratings, above 150 mph.

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