Top 10 Best Rain Tires for Motorcycles Of 2020 Review

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What’s the most important thing we need to think about when riding a motorcycle? How fast it goes, of course!

No, not really! As any decent rider knows, safety is paramount when we’re out on the roads. There are so many hazards out there, and we need to make sure our bike is in tip-top condition to avoid them.

We have all experienced riding in the rain. And we’ve all experienced that feeling of dread when sliding on a wet patch! So, what do we need to help us avoid this?

How about an awesome set of wet weather tires? We’ve taken a look at some of the best rain tires for motorcycles that we could find, so you can choose the best set for your hog!

Best Rain Tires for Motorcycles

Top 10 Best Rain Tires for Motorcycles On The Market Reviews


1 Dunlop Harley-Davidson D402 Rear Motorcycle Tire MU85B-16 (77H) Black Wall – Best Harley Davidson Rain Tires

Rubber Soul.

So, you want to replace your tires with a trusted brand?

Sure, you do! Why not start with the only tire approved by the legendary Harley Davidson Motor Company? This Dunlop Harley-Davidson tire ticks all the boxes.

The computer-optimized tread does not only provide a pleasing aesthetic. But it will displace enough water to provide a stable and predictable performance in varying weather conditions. The offset center grooves ensure improved grip levels, giving you all the confidence you need in any weather.

Built for the road…

The build quality of this tire is fantastic. It offers us every assurance, whether we’re riding alone, with a pillion, or even loaded up with luggage! Featuring a three-ply polyester casing with two fiberglass belts, we have the carcass strength you need for the extra weight we carry when touring. Add to that; these tires come with an H speed rating.

What’s the catch?

Well, Dunlop tires are often slightly softer than other brands. Unfortunately, this can reduce tire life. Put on the plus side; it does offer better handling!

Our verdict?

Not only do they look great, but these tires provide durability, responsiveness, and an overall great performance, all at a reasonable cost. What’s not to love?

Dunlop Harley-Davidson D402 Rear Motorcycle Tire MU85B-16 (77H) Black Wall
Our rating:4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)

Pros

  • Trusted brand.
  • Great strength and stability.
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Lacks durability.

2 Shinko 87-4041 Tire 009 Raven Front 120/70Zr17 58W Radial – Best Budget Rain Tires for Motorcycles

Treading water.

Looking for some fresh rubber that won’t break the bank? Look no further! With these Shinko tires, we can have the best of both worlds. These are high-performance tires without the price tag. Specifically designed to provide durability, these will keep us on the move, whatever the weather.

Let’s start with the design. These are radial tires. Why does that matter?

In general, radial tires have tougher construction, yet lower, and softer, sidewalls. All this leads to a longer life span, giving us the freedom to roam the highways.

Now, most radial tires are steel-belted, but this one uses aramid, better known as the stuff we make bullet-proof vests from.

How does this affect the tire?

Aramid belts offer a more comfortable ride. But, we’re thinking about safety on the road, not comfort! And steel belts really are tougher.

The tread compound keeps us glued to the tarmac. It provides us with good stopping distances, in both wet and dry weather conditions. We definitely wouldn’t worry about being unable to break in time!

But, these are not track day tires. They still need to warm up before they provide the traction you need if you want to drag your elbows through the twisty bits. So be careful, and check the temperature before you go screaming around the race track!

Shinko 87-4041 Tire 009 Raven Front 120/70Zr17 58W Radial
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Durability.
  • Straight line performance.

Cons

  • Cornering traction at low temperatures.
  • Aramid belted.

3 Pirelli Diablo Rosso III Front & Rear Street Sport Motorcycle Tires Rosso Three Rosso 3 – Best Premium Rain Tires for Motorcycles

The Devil is in the detail.

When we consider tire manufacturers, Pirelli are a brand that needs no introduction! With Pirelli, we know what we are getting, and that’s top quality.

Let’s start with the fact that these tires borrow their design from the World Superbike championships! They’re constructed from a Bi-compound rubber. This creates a more durable tire and adds fuel efficiency by reducing rolling resistance.

And there’s more!

It also allows extra grip when leaning into corners, giving confidence, and a feeling of predictability. With these tires, we can turn in aggressively, and transition between corners, all the time adhering to the road with the large footprint area.

And with a W speed performance rating, we might even be tempted to take to the track!

But what about wet weather performance?

Again, they live up to the brand’s reputation. In even the most demanding conditions, we can feel the traction the tread provides. It gives us total confidence, even in heavy braking and sharp cornering.

The downside?

Well, they are pricey. Top quality also means paying top dollar. But, with these tires, we really think we get what we pay for.

And with a branded key chain thrown in, we think this is a pretty sweet deal!

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III Front & Rear Street Sport Motorcycle Tires Rosso Three Rosso 3
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • High-quality construction.
  • Great traction.
  • Trusted brand.

Cons

  • This is not a budget-friendly option!

4 CONTINENTAL MOTION Tire Set 120/70zr17 Front & 180/55zr17 Rear 180 55 17 120 70 17 2 Tire Set

Continental Drift

Another household name enters the ring! These radial tires are aimed at the entry-level market. Excellent! After all, value for money is something we all care about, right?

But how well do these perform in the different conditions that are thrown at us on the road?

Here’s the good news! These are sticky, especially when the tire is running warm. Great, if you enjoy blasting off at the lights!

We can really lean on these tires, and they hold firm. That sidewall strength gives us confidence allowing us to push hard. In dry conditions, they provide a comfortable ride with good stability.

However, we are looking at wet weather performance. And here, we feel the tire comes up a little short. If we’re cruising along the highway and get caught out by the weather, they will probably be OK.

But what if we like dragging our knees around tight corners?

When it’s cold, we can sense movement under cornering and heavy braking. With some tires, we can anticipate behavior when we are losing adhesion. But that’s not the case here.

Unfortunately, these were sometimes unpredictable. We’d like a little more sensitivity. For total peace of mind, we really need to know what to expect.

So, there are positives and negatives here. But we think good far outweighs the bad!

CONTINENTAL MOTION Tire Set 120/70zr17 Front & 180/55zr17 Rear 180 55 17 120 70 17 2 Tire Set
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Price.
  • Durability
  • Dry weather traction

Cons

  • Unpredictable in very wet conditions.

5 Michelin Pilot Power 2CT Motorcycle Tire Hp/Track Rear 180/55-17 73W – Best Moto GP Rain Tires for Motorcycles

Michelin Star!

Here come the big guns. If you’re looking for a brand that delivers, you need look no further than Michelin. They’re an official provider to the Moto GP, no less!

So, can this high-performance manufacturer meet the requirements of everyday riders?

You bet it can! Using Moto GP tech, this dual compound offers precise handling and feedback. This means that we can dive right into hairpins and sweepers alike. Although advertised as a track tire, this offers so much more.

At any speed, we feel planted to the road. Michelin claims a massive 51.2-degree lean angle! If you’re the type of rider who enjoys dragging your pegs on the tarmac, these could be the tires for you!

This all sounds great, right? But we want to see how they handle in the wet.

Here, they come alive! The maneuverability these skins produce in wet weather is impressive! The combination of the compound and tread equip the rider with the certainty that the tire will stick. Even when we suddenly brake, or round a tight corner, we have absolute faith in this tire.

And another advantage these tires have, is they don’t need to generate as much heat as their rivals to reach the optimum grip level. So, in all types of weather, we are ready to roll!

Such high quality means a high price, right?

Not at all! These tires are surprisingly easy on the pocketbook! Both high standards, and a low price; who could ask for anything more?

Michelin Pilot Power 2CT Motorcycle Tire Hp/Track Rear 180/55-17 73W
Our rating:4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Pros

  • Value for money.
  • Performance in all weather.

Cons

  • Let us get back to you on that!

6 Full Bore M2 Super Bike Tires Tire Set Pair Single Suzuki Kawasaki (110/70R17 Front) – Best Z Rated Rain Tires for Motorcycles

Sport and speed.

Up next, a tire for the sport bike riders! With its Z rating, this tire can withstand speeds up to a whopping 149 mph! One for all those budding Marc Marquez’s out there!

Here we have another radial tire. With an awesome amount of road grip, it really provides us with a fantastic level of comfort and safety. And thanks to that design, it helps to improve fuel economy for the bike, too.

Stick to the road…

In dry weather, the traction is amazing. For lane splitting, taking evasive action, or cornering at high speeds, they offer maximum road coverage and grip. They stick to the road, ensuring we’ll be safe from skidding or sliding, even on gravel.

But, we’re looking at the best rain tires for motorcycles! How does it hold up in wet weather?

Well, they work better in the dry. But that’s not to say perform badly in the rain! We still get a really decent amount of friction! After all, most tires work better when it’s dry, don’t they?

We’re pretty confident that we’d feel safe on these under most riding conditions. We can get some serious lean in, without worrying about stability. They’re ideal for those sharp twists, as well as long, sweeping corners.

Oh, and one more thing; these tires are easy on the pocketbook too. So, who knows? Next season, maybe we’ll give these tires a shot out on the track!

Full Bore M2 Super Bike Tires Tire Set Pair Single Suzuki Kawasaki (110/70R17 Front)
Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Pros

  • Radial tires have awesome benefits.
  • Excellent stability in the dry.
  • Good price.

Cons

  • Slightly less effective in the rain.
  • Best suited to sportbikes. Not for Royal Enfield riders!

7 Metzeler TOURANCE EXP Dual Sport Motorcycle Tire 110/80R19-C 59V – Best On and Off Road Rain Tires for Motorcycles

On and off (the road).

Metzeler! This well-known and widely respected German company began focusing on making high-quality motorcycle tires in 1979. C

But can this tire live up to their sterling reputation?

This is a dual-sport tire. Whether on or off the road, it offers maximum friction and excellent grip. Take the highway or the forest trails; the choice is yours!

As any off-road rider has probably experienced, we often run into muddy patches. Hey, that’s half the fun! And that’s where these tires really shine!

Time to get dirty…

Their all-round compound and deep tread give us a fantastic amount of traction, even on soft, wet, ground. OK, they’re not as good as knobblies! But as dual-sport tires go, they’re pretty impressive.

The grooves in the tire are a variety of widths and sizes. This is what makes them so great off the road! It allows us that added friction, as well as providing water drainage.

How do they perform on the road?

Pretty well! The carcass structure sees to that. It offers a serious amount of stability. Not only for off-roading, but this tire also provides top-notch levels of safety and security on the highway too.

We know, we know; this sounds too good to be true. But it really isn’t. For bikes such as a BMW GS, these tires are ideal.

Oh, and regarding durability? They’re hard to beat!

Earlier, we asked if these tires could live up to Metzeler’s reputation. I think we’ve found out they can!

Metzeler TOURANCE EXP Dual Sport Motorcycle Tire 110/80R19-C 59V
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Pros

  • Amazing tread.
  • Dual sport for use on or off the road.
  • Solid carcass.

Cons

  • As they’re best used on larger touring bikes, they’re not for everyone.

8 MICHELIN Power Pure SC Scooter Bias Tire- 120/70-13 (53P) 56P – Best Rain Tires for Scooters

Scoot on down the road!

We’ve all seen Quadrophenia! Scooters may be slower than larger bikes, but they’re convenient, and look cool too! And this is a tire designed specifically with scooters in mind.

Longevity is the name of the game here! That center tread is incredibly durable. Its thick rubber is extremely wear-resistant, meaning we won’t need to change these after just a few miles.

How about traction?

Well, the tread is great! While the center gives that durability we mentioned, the shoulder tread is where we find the grip. In wet weather, we’re confident that they’ll stick to the road!

We don’t usually expect scooter tires to be manufactured to such high standards.

So why is this one different?

It’s the first scooter tire to be made using dual compound, or 2CT, technology. Sounds confusing, right? Don’t worry; it’s actually quite straight-forward, it means it’s a sporty tire. It was designed in the same way as racing tires. That makes it very effective in the rain, as the tread is meant for high-speed cornering on the track!

With a P rating, we can use these tires at speeds up to 93 mph. We reckon that’s pretty fast for a scooter. They offer stability and strength when we’ve got the throttle fully open.

Seriously smooth…

We’re probably not going to be heading off-road with this product! It’s not designed for that. But for road riding in the wet, they provide a seriously smooth ride and firmly grip the road when cornering.

And honestly, it looks awesome too! That racing tread is actually a really good-looking design.

So why not live out all your Quadrophenia fantasies? Buy a Vespa, pop a set of these tires on, and away you go! My Generation!

MICHELIN Power Pure SC Scooter Bias Tire- 120/70-13 (53P) 56P
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • 2CT technology, for friction in the wet.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • P speed rated.

Cons

  • Scooters only. Big bikes not allowed!

9 Bridgestone Exedra Max 180/70R16 Rear Tire 4795 – Best Rain Tires for Cruisers

Cruisin’ off into the sunset.

Our penultimate item is one for the Harley riders! These tires are built to be compatible with large, American-style, cruisers.

Though these are radial tires, they still have that stiff tire wall we’d expect to find in a bias tire. This makes them perfect for weightier motorcycles. They have the ability to carry heavy loads, and can even support a fully dressed Road King.

And not only is it strong, but this product also has great stability. It offers smooth handling, even on sharp corners. Plus, with its high degree of predictability, there will be no surprises here!

But what we really want to know is: ‘How good are they in the rain?’

And the answer? Excellent! Thanks to that tread design, they are sticky on the road, even in the worst conditions. The grooves are optimally designed to allow the quick release of water. We’d sure trust these tires under any circumstances.

Now, we can’t deny, they are quite costly. This isn’t one for those on a budget. But safety comes first! And we’re happy to pay a higher price if it means being avoiding harm on the road.

Oh, and we almost forgot!

We can’t finish this review without mentioning the compound. It gives us amazing durability. Considering these tires are going to be carrying extremely heavy bikes, they last a lot longer then we might expect!

Bridgestone Exedra Max 180/70R16 Rear Tire 4795
Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Pros

  • Good stability in cornering.
  • Optimally designed tread for wet weather riding.
  • Ideal for cruisers.

Cons

  • Definitely not for the budget-conscious!
  • Well, if you don’t have a cruiser, they are not for you!

10 Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT Touring Radial Tire – 120/70R17 58W – Best Value for the Money Rain Tires for Motorcycles

GT Rider.

It seems only right to end our review with another item from that classic tire manufacturer, Michelin. Can this one beat out the competition and be crowned the best rain tire for motorcycles?

Michelin’s 2AT technology offers substantiality and support when riding. Corning is no problem! This tire is completely stable with no nasty surprises from unpredictability. And it’s robust, too. It remains steadfast, even when carrying heavy loads. If you usually ride with a pillion passenger? No problem! This item can take the weight.

How?

Well, that tire wall is firm. Yes, it’s a radial tire! But its architecture still allows the tread to cover a large surface area, whilst also retaining some rigidity.

And as for rainy days? Well, it’s amazing.

It handles breaking incredibly well. That tread allows for efficient water drainage, lowering the odds of aquaplaning. And its unique design offers optimal grip.

Michelin have incorporated their XST+ sipe technology into this product. In tests, they report 24% shorter braking times on wet, slippery surfaces, like road markings. And even on a normal stretch of road, 17% shorter stopping times when compared to similar tires.

Not bad, huh!

No, it is not the cheapest tire out there. But it’s far from being the most expensive, either. And we reckon those impressive braking capabilities along are probably worth it.

Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT Touring Radial Tire - 120/70R17 58W
Our rating:4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5)

Pros

  • XST+ stipe technology offers fantastic braking times.
  • Sturdy and load-bearing.
  • Very predictable.

Cons

  • We’re trying to find one, honestly!

Best Rain Tires for Motorcycles Buyers Guide

Best Rain Tires for Motorcycles

As we said at the start of this list, safety is crucial when we’re out on a motorcycle. Drivers, pot holes, gravel on the road; all these things can put us at risk.

And the rain makes things so much worse! The fear of aquaplaning is ever present! It is crucial to have a great set of rain tires to minimize the risk of this happening.

So, what should we look for when choosing the best rain tires for motorcycles?

First, let’s talk about radial construction compared to bias construction. ‘But what does that mean?’ I hear you cry. Don’t worry! It’s actually quite simple.

Bias-ply tires have their body cords running diagonally. They overlap, piling up in layers, with the cords crossing over. Bias-ply tires have awesome load-carrying capabilities, offer a softer ride, and, best of all, are usually cheaper! But, they retain heat. And if the tires are too hot, we can’t use them. So bias-ply is not a good choice for super long distances or riding in high temperatures.

And bias tires lack flexibility. That load-bearing performance comes from a very rigid tire wall. Many riders prefer a wall that’s a little less stiff, as it allows increased contact with the road surface.

As you might have guessed…

Radial tires have body cords that run radially! Their side wall is softer than with bias tires, which allows more of the tread to have contact with the road, giving them better traction.

For riding in the rain, we’d probably go for radial tires or a combination of radial and bias. Grip is so important in bad weather! For this reason alone, we’d go for radials.

Tread

A decent tread is always vital, but particularly so during bad weather. If water doesn’t drain from the tires fast enough, it can build up, causing us to aquaplane. A deep tread is most effective here.

And of course, we also need a deep tread for greater adherence to the road. While a smooth tread is ok on a dry road, in the wet, we want something a bit knobblier!

We’d probably recommend using them in dry weather for a while first. Don’t go flying straight out into the rain! If we rough them up a little, it’ll add additional grip to assist the tread.

What else?

Best Rain Tires for Motorcycles

Sorry Gentlemen, but size matters! A wider tire gives us a better footprint on the road. If the tire covers a larger surface area, we get more traction. But be careful! We always recommend that you ask your bike’s manufacturer first. And make sure it actually fits your bike!

Oh, and be careful to check the speed rating. Racing demons had better make sure they choose a tire with a high rating.

Choosing motorcycle tires is a tricky business! Hopefully, we’ve given you a better idea of what to look for next time you’re in the market for a wet weather tire.

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Or how about the Best Motorcycle Backpacks, the Best Motorcycle Jackets, the Best Motorcycle Dollies, the Best Motorcycle Phone Mounts, or even the Best Dog Motorcycle Helmets currently on the market.

So, what are the Best Rain Tires for Motorcycles?

We saw some truly fantastic items on this list! But it came down to the battle of the Michelins! And ultimately, we’ve picked the…

Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT Touring Radial Tire – 120/70R17 58W

We felt that this tire was the best all-rounder. Others here we perfect for racing or cruisers, but this tire suits a much wider range of motorcycles. And with those extraordinary braking results, it really was impossible to beat.

So, best of luck next time you’re caught on Route 66 in the rain! Happy riding, folks. We’ll see you out on the road real soon.

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