In many parts of the country riding in the rain is one of the cruel realities of motorcycling. But with the right tire, the experience can be safe, and even enjoyable. In this video, we’re discussing the best Z-rated street-legal sport-touring tires for riding in the wet. Here the name of the game is robust tire sipping and silica-infused rubber mixtures— let’s get into it.
Fresh from Japan we’ve got Bridgestone’s new Battlax T31 tire. The T31 replaces the T30 EVO and is claimed to significantly elevate grip and handling, especially on waterlogged streets. The belt and compound formula was tweaked netting a more responsive tire in all conditions. The tread pattern gets a deeper groove arrangement moving more H20 away from the contact patch. The front employs a uniform compound design while the rear is a dual-compound. A heavy-duty GT specification is also available for heavyweight bikes.
Introduced earlier this year, the Road Attack 3 is the third iteration of this German-made sport-touring tire. This time around, engineers honed wet weather grip while simultaneously elevating warm-up time, handling, and outright durability. One of the big changes is to the tread pattern, which is re-arranged to push more water away from the tire’s contact patch. Updated but still uniform compounding features added silica—think sand— further elevating traction on rain-soaked roads. The Road Attacks also sport the most reasonable MSRP.
Dunlop also boasts an updated sport-touring tire this year with its RoadSmart III. Similar to most of the competition, this American-made tire benefits from a dual-compound design at the rear for improved durability without sacrificing grip at lean. It is also compatible with small and big-displacement bikes alike— so there’s no need to purchase a different version. The front, on the other hand, uses a single compound. The cross-groove tread design is also new with better water evacuation. A perennial favorite in terms of all-around performance and value, the RoadSmart III’s are sure to please.
Highlighted by its aggressive tread channels, the Metzeler Roadtec 01 replaces the Roadtec Z8 Interact — a proven contender on deluged surfaces. Similar to its Japanese counterpart, the Roadtec offers a dual-compound design at the rear with silica-infused shoulder compounds and a uniform compound front construction designed to work whether hot or cold. Metzeler also offers a heavy-duty version available for heavyweight machines. On the upper edge of the cost spectrum, these German tires are a solid performer at a premium price.
Michelin’s Pilot Road 4 has been around for a couple of years now but is without a doubt a juggernaut in this category. Sporting perhaps the most intricate array of tread sipes, it’s obvious that this French rubber means business when the going gets tough. It’s the only offering in this category to incorporate multiple compound zones, both front, and rear— giving it a strategic advantage in a wider range of surfaces. Like its German competitor, Michelin offers a GT variation for heavyweight touring bikes. Although they certainly aren’t cheap, if you want one of the best tires for riding in inclement weather, Michelin delivers.
The veteran in this group, Pirelli’s Angel GT is designed for those who value sport performance, even in the wet. And that’s just what you get with these Italian shoes. Like the RS III’s, the Pirelli wears a moderate tread groove arrangement to give it a fair performance balance on most surfaces. Dual compound zones at the rear boost mileage during straight-line rides without sacrificing grip through turns. Like all but the French tire, the front tire features a uniform compound design. Aligning toward the expensive end of the MSRP spectrum, the Angel GT can often be purchased at a discount, and if you buy at the right time, they can be one of the best values in the class. The rear tire is also available in an A-spec version for heavy bikes.
On a rainy day, frowns suddenly turn upside down with any of these tires spooned on your steed. Not planning on riding in the rain? Peruse our Motorcycle Tire page and take a peek at all the options we offer for your motorcycle.