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Motorcycle Terminology 101

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At RC Components, we understand how intimidating it can be to shop for your own motorcycle drag wheels. With all of the different tire makes and models available, you could end up purchasing the wrong set of tires for your ride unless you understand some of the basic motorcycle terminology. Our motorcycle experts have come together to explain some popular motorcycle technology so you can be well-prepared when it comes time to purchase a new set of wheels.

Technical Details of the Motorcycle Tire

When you start to shop for a new set of racing wheels, you’ll come across hundreds of product descriptions. Within these descriptions, you may come across terms such as tread pattern, profile, and rubber mix. Unless you know what these terms mean, you could end purchasing a tire that doesn’t fit your unique needs or your budget. Luckily, the experts at RC Components are here to clear things up!

Tread Pattern

Motorcycle and car tires are designed with different types of tread, and each type is meant for different road conditions and driving styles. There are four common types of tire tread: directional, symmetrical, asymmetrical, and directional/asymmetrical.

Directional Tire Tread

A directional tire tread is a pattern that is designed to roll in only one direction. This type of tread incorporates lateral grooves on both sides of the tire’s centerline that point in the same direction, resulting in v-shaped tread blocks. These tire grooves can actually enhance hydroplaning resistance at high speeds by pumping water at a more efficient rate through the tread pattern.

Symmetrical Tire Tread

This type of tire tread is the most common pattern you’ll find on non-high-performance passenger vehicles because it is very quiet and long lasting. This tread features continuous grooves and/or independent lugs that covers the whole tire. These tires can be rotated in many different ways, which can help to prolong the life of the tires as well.

Asymmetrical Tire Tread

Asymmetrical tire tread is commonly found on sports cars. This tread can be found in a variety of tread patterns to achieve maximum grip on both wet and dry roads. In most cases, the inside and middle parts of this tire will be designed for wet weather and winter traction. The outside of the tire typically has large tread blocks for a maximum cornering capability on dry surfaces.

If you’re interested in purchasing a new set of wheels for your race car or motorcycle, browse RC Components large inventory online today!

Directional/Asymmetrical Tire Tread

This type of tire tread is among the best because it offers the best of both worlds. Directional/symmetrical tire tread features the v-shaped pattern of the directional tread. This is used for discharging water away from the tire, while offering the dry level traction of the asymmetrical tread.

Rubber Mix

This is your motorcycle or car tire’s chemical makeup. The rubber that tires are composed of helps to determine their durability and grip. While a softer rubber compound promotes cornering grip and traction on the road, a harder rubber compound will excel in wet conditions.

Tread Area

The tread area of your tire is the only point of contact between your motorcycle and the ground. The unique rubber mix in this area of the tire is often different from that on the tire’s sidewalls. The tread area is not only used to help absorb bumps for a more comfortable ride, it is the part of the tire that is the most resistant to wear.

The Basic Function of A Tire

Your motorcycle tire must perform multiple tasks including steering, absorbing road shock, and more. Before you start looking for a new set of tires for your ride, make sure you understand the many purposes a tire serves. If you need assistance choosing the best tires for your motorcycle, contact the experts at RC Components today!


In order for your motorcycle to ride without interruption, your tires must steer in a predictable manner, regardless of the road or current weather conditions. Your motorcycle’s entire trajectory depends on the strength and stability of your tires. Proper tires will transmit your steering inputs correctly for a safe and enjoyable ride. It’s important to note that every bike has a specific recommended tire pressure for each tire. By taking the time to adjust the air pressure in both the front and rear tire, it can improve your steering stability and overall precision.

Shock Absorbing

When you ride your motorcycle off-road, your tires roll over various obstacles. From rocks to twigs and speed bumps, your tires act as an amazing shock absorber. The elasticity of the air inside of your tires helps to absorb shock from obstacles and road irregularities. They ensure your bike ride is not only comfortable but well protected.

Load Carrying

In addition to their steering capabilities, your motorcycle tires must be successful at supporting your bike and a standstill and while in motion. Your tires must also withstand considerable load transfers during both acceleration and braking.

RC Components is proud to be recognized as the premier manufacturer of motorcycle wheels for both the aftermarket and custom bike builder. With more than 10,000 dealers worldwide in 36 countries, you’re sure to find the wheels and drag wheels you need to take your riding to the next level. Browse our large wheel selection online today or check out our product videos to see our wheels in action!

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