Wide vs thin motorcycle tires: Detail Overview with Pros and Cons

Wide vs thin motorcycle tire with pros and cons
Wide vs thin motorcycle tire with pros and cons

There has been a lot of confusion created among the riders about the tires. There are two types of tires Wide and thin. Both tires have their purpose and have advantages and disadvantages of their own. Thus, in this post, we are going to give you a detailed overview of both wide and thin motorcycle tires.

So, What’s the basic difference between wide vs thin motorcycle tires? Wide tires provide a larger grip on the road and can handle higher horsepower. Wide tires last longer than thin tires because of extra materials. Whereas Narrower tires are lighter and thus better for performance. Although, thin tires are not stable at high-speed.

One of the most important things to know is that wide tires and thin tires are made to be used in specific motorcycles. You can’t simply add wide tires to a low cc motorcycle that can’t even handle the weight of it.

Thus, the thing we have to know is that wider tires are generally found on higher CC motorcycles to handle and provide better stability while at high speed. These higher cc machines are made to be equipped with wide tires. Also, in most cases, only rear tires are found to be wide while the front tire remains the same size.

While lower cc motorcycles are made to run with thin tires. As these are lightweight and provide several other benefits. So, we should be aware that both the tires have their purpose. Both tires are made to be used in specific types and engine CC of motorcycles.

The major difference between wide vs thin motorcycle tires are these:-

In this section, I have discussed the major differences between wide and thin motorcycle tires that will help you to improve your existing knowledge.

Traction control / Road Grip

Wide tires have a larger surface area that provides better traction control which means enhanced grip with the road. The grip of the wide tire with the road is more that’s the reason the motorcycle remains stable at high-speed. So, even at high-speed, you will get stable performance because of wide tires. Apart from this, not only wide tires provide better traction control on normal surfaces (road). But, it improves the grip or stability on wet, slippery surfaces also.

While thin tires have a smaller surface area means less grip on the road. Thus, in most case, the grip of thinner tires are found to be less effective than the 

Handling & Cornering

Handling is generally better in both tire types whether it be wide or thin. But with a thin tire, you are on a bit advantage. As thinner tires are lighter making the maneuver through the traffic easier while with a wider tire you will need to put some effort. Wider tires are generally found in heavier motorcycles thus it makes the steering and manuvering a little harder.

These differences are generally because of the weight differences in them. Because of the larger surface area, wide tires require a larger radius to corner. But, with thin tires, you can corner easily.

Rolling Resistance of tires

As wide tires come with a larger surface area, the contact of tires road is also more which results in increase resistance. The rolling resistance of the wide tires is comparatively greater than the thin tires. 

A motorcycle with wide tires uses more power than a thin tire. As with more power required to move the motorcycle the fuel consumption will be also more. Therefore, the mileage of the motorcycle reduces.

Thus generally, the mileage of the motorcycle will be less for wide tires than the thin tires.

While with thin tires the contact of the tires with the road is comparatively smaller than the wide tires. Thus, with thin tires, the rolling resistance is less resulting in better mileage and less fuel consumption of the motorcycle. 

Engine capacity

You must have noticed that some motorcycle comes equipped with thin tire while some come with wide tires. So, how do manufacturers decide which type of tire will be used in which motorcycle?

Generally, the engine capacity of the motorcycle decides the type of tire it will be equipped with. The power and torque a motorcycle produces decide the type of tire it will be equipped with. 

So, motorcycles with higher CCs are generally equipped with wider tires. As we all know higher cc motorcycle produces more horsepower and torque than a lower cc engine. So, a higher CC engine means more speed and in speed, stability is required. That’s the reason expensive motorcycles are generally equipped with wider tires.

While motorcycles equipped with lower CCs engines are usually equipped with narrower (thin) tires. Thus, thin tires are fitted in these motorcycles to provide better fuel economy and performance.

Cost of the tires

If we talk about the cost then wide tires cost more than thin tires. That’s the reason entry-level budget motorcycle doesn’t come equipped with thin tires.

In most cases, the wide tires come equipped with higher CCs motorcycle-like super sports, cruiser, bobber, etc. Generally, to handle the speed and weight of the motorcycle wide tires are used in them.

And, if I talk about lower cc motorcycles below 300cc, these machines are lightweight and come with thin tires. It helps in saving some expenses apart from this, normally (thin) tires will be suitable for these motorcycles.

Stability on different Road Conditions

Wide tires provide more stability on the road than thin(narrower) tires because it has a larger contact patch with the road.

So, due to the larger surface area of the wide tires, it has a larger contact patch with the road which helps it to withstand any environmental conditions also.

Whether the roads are slippery, wet, dry, sandy,  etc, the stability will be maintained. If you ride in high-speed with wide tires, you will be completely stable no grip loosening.

Road conditions play an important role while riding a motorcycle. Fat tires are suitable to ride in any road condition because of the larger surface area having a larger contact patch. It gives you the stability of ride even if there are bumps or damage to the road. 

While with thin tires, the surface area is lesser than the wide tires. Thus, if you ride your motorcycle at high-speed the grip of the tire with the road starts to loosen. So, the stability is lower with the thin tires. Compared to wide tires, thin tires don’t perform well in slippery or wet conditions. Thin tires don’t provide that much stability at bumps or at bad road conditions.

Pros and Cons of Wide and thin motorcycle tires:-

As I have already discussed that both tires wide and thin have their advantages and disadvantages. Both the tires have their different purpose. As, wide tires are made to provide stability, traction control, and better grip on the road even at high-speed. So, we will be discussing the pros and cons of a “Wide” motorcycle tire first.

Pros and Cons of Wide motorcycle tires

Pros of Wide motorcycle tiresCons of Wide motorcycle tires
Wide tires provide better traction because of the larger surface area contact with the road or ground.As wide tires have a larger area this also increases the resistance with the road.
It provides improved stability in road conditions like slippery, wet, etc.Because of the increased resistance, the horsepower required will be more.
Wide tires are good for cornering also because of that extra area.Wide tires are heavier than lighter thus affecting the top speed.
Wide tires enhance your riding experience by giving you a smoother ride.Wide tires are expensive than thin tires.
Wide tires have the ability to be stable even at high-speed.
Because of the larger area, the wide tires excel at absorbing pumps on the roads.
Pros and Cons of Wide motorcycle tires

Pros and Cons of thin (narrow) motorcycle tire

Pros of thin motorcycle tiresCons of thin motorcycle tires
Thin tires have less rolling resistance because of lesser surface area.It has less contact area with the road resulting in less stability.
Thin tires are lighter thus enhancing the top speed.The motorcycle feels less stable at high speed.
Because of less rolling resistance, you will get improved mileage.Thin tires can’t absorb the bumps, etc on the road effectively.
Thin tires are generally cheaper than wide tires
With a thin tire, fuel consumption will be less.
Pros and Cons of thin (narrow) motorcycle tire

Thus, as for now, we have discussed the pros and cons for both wide and thin tires separately. Now, you can easily decide which one you need to buy.


As of now, we have discussed most of the required points about the wide and thin tires. I hope you have got your answer and choice for your motorcycle. Both the tires are made for specific purposes and are used in specific motorcycles. To handle more horsepower wide tires are mostly used while for lower cc motorcycle thin tires are used. Even now, If you have any other questions regarding this topic, you can email me the question. 


Are wide motorcycle tires better?

Wide motorcycle tires are better than narrower motorcycle tires in some aspects. Both the tires are made to use in different motorcycles. So, wide tires perform better with a high-performance motorcycle while thin tire works well with a lower CC commuting motorcycle.

Thus, wide tires are better only with a motorcycle that is compatible with them. Otherwise, it will be a waste of money and time to fit a wide tire in the non-compatible motorcycle.

Can you put a wide tire on your motorcycle?

If the tire fits your motorcycle without messing with the rim and physical structure then you can put it in your motorcycle. But, if you put the tire which is not designed for your motorcycle then it will affect its handling and make the motorcycle harder to run because of the larger contact area.

Apart from this, in order to fit wide tires in a motorcycle that is not designed for it. You will need to buy a separate rim with the tire which will cost you extra money..

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