According to the Met Office, it’s important to thoroughly check your pipes, weatherproof your home, and get yourself a flu jab to prepare for the winter months ahead. Of course, if you’re a bike owner, that’s not all you need to do to prepare; you need to think about your tyres too.

As the days get shorter and the cold weather begins to creep in, this is the time to start preparing your bike for winter. In this blog, we are going to be taking a look at some of the best winter motorcycle tyres on the market right now, ready to take on even the harshest of weather and road conditions…

How to prepare your motorcycle for winter

When it comes to riding in winter, extra precautions must be taken to protect you and your bike and ensure you are prepared for whatever the UK weather will throw at you.

We have previously discussed how you can prepare your motorbike for winter in depth in another article. However, here are a few quick tips that you can follow such as:

  • Keep your battery connected to a trickle charger when it’s not in use
  • Check the oil and fluid levels
  • Make sure to clean down your bike as frequently as possible
  • If you haven’t got one already, install a windscreen
  • Invest in some heated gloves or heated handlebar grips
  • Pack a spare set of waterproofs, gloves, and socks
  • Change your tyres to wet weather specific ones

Top 10 Best Motorcycle Tyres designed for winter

Here in the UK, we rarely get the kind of weather that legally requires winter tyres. However, different countries across the globe will have varied requirements, so it is always worth checking to see whether your bike is road-legal in that specific country.

That said, winter and wet weather tyres are fantastic when providing extra grip and traction in testing weather conditions. It is advised that you look out for ‘M+S’. The ‘M’ and the ‘S’ stand for ‘Mud’ and, you guessed it, ‘Snow’. Whilst in the UK we don’t see much of the white stuff, there most certainly is an abundance of mud and wet, especially for those bikers who enjoy long countryside rides.

We’ve rounded up some of the best on/off-road motorcycle tyres to suit the season and all budgets across the two-wheeled spectrum. So, whichever type of tyre you decide on, make sure you know exactly how to look after them.

Before we get started it is worth noting that some tyres will only come in specific sizes, so it always worth checking that before you purchase a pair of tyres they fit your motorcycle first. With that out the way, in no particular order - let’s get into the top 10 sets of winter tyres perfect for tackling the UK weather...

10. Michelin Road 5

Formally known as the Pilot Road 5 Tyre, the new Road 5 is an evolution of Michelin’s most popular road tyre. Thanks to their fast warm-up time and Water evergrip technology 3D progressive sipes, these tyres provide maximum safety as well as improved braking on wet roads.

On the other hand, if you have a slightly heavier or touring-style bike, we’d recommend you take a look at the Road 5 GT’s.

9. Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE

Next up on our list today is the Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE!

This sport touring tyre is ideal for riders seeking adventure, or anyone who doesn’t want to worry about a sudden downpour. These are wet weather performance tyres, featuring a tread design that offers consistent water drainage. Of course, this makes it a great tyre for riding in better weather conditions as well.

Similar to the Continental TKC Rocks (we’ll speak about these in-depth a little further on), these tyres utilise silica technology. As a result, they have excellent tear resistance and traction properties. Perfect for those who want to ride longer and ride further.

And if you do like the Roadtec 01s, you'll be pleased to know that the all-new 2024 Metzeler Roadtec 02 tyres perfect for hyperspots touring, are due to come out later this year - so keep your eyes peeled!

8. Metzeler Roadtec Z6

In addition to the Metzeler Roadtecs we have mentioned above, I thought it was worth mentioning another pair of Metzelers, the ROADTEC™ Z6 tyres. These bad boys also perform well in terms of precise corner entry and lean angles. In other words, these tyres will ensure a smooth ride.

A technically driven tyre, it is responsive and has excellent contact feeling too - even in wet weather. As such you can feel even more confident on the road during those cold, crisp winter days.

7. Continental TKC Rocks

Moving onto number seven on our list today - we have the Continental TKC Rocks tyres, perfect for both on and off the UK roads!

A favourite brand among many riders, Continental have developed the TKC Rocks for improved traction and enhanced wet-weather performance. It has agile handling on both country and city roads, making it ideal for commutes or weekend getaways. 

These tyres also use the silica technology we have spoken about previously in this list, helping to navigate winter roads. Silica has long been used in tyres due to its excellent tear resistance. Unsurprisingly, it is often used in heavy duty tyre treads and on larger vehicles such as buses, because its compounds reduce lag without losing out on traction. An excellent feature for a motorcycle winter tyre!

6. Dunlop RoadSmart lll

In at number six on the list, are the Dunlop RoadSmart lll.

Whether you’re riding long-haul or on a demanding road, these tyres have the traction and grip you need. This rigorously tested tyre was part of an independent wet weather handling test conducted by Germany’s highly respected Motorrad magazine.

According to Motorrad, the Dunlop RoadSmart III can be “steered neatly and neutrally through a thicket of curves”. Making this a great tyre for riders travelling longer distances or those traversing winding roads.

And if you’re fed up with having to purchase new tyres every 4,000 miles, these tyres might be your solution. This is because they maintain optimum performance for 40% longer compared to their predecessor, the RoadSmart II. And this makes riding in wet weather less of a challenge too, as you can take corners seamlessly and with confidence.

5. Bridgestone Battlax T31

Coming in at fifth spot has got to be the Bridgestone Battlax T31s…

A tyre that handles turns and corners well, a quality often associated with Bridgestone. And it’s easy to see why. The T31 has excellent wet weather performance, with improved braking and grip, allowing riders to push their limits safely.

Their durability will ensure you get good mileage out of these tyres too. Similar to the Michelin Road 5s, this tyre has a dual compound design, blending hard and soft compositions. With the harder rubber in the centre improving wear and the softer edges ensure increased grip. In addition, these are Gran Turismo (GT) tyres, meaning they have optimal stability and solidity.

And because these are specialist GT tyres, the T31 is reinforced and sportier than most. As a result, they are well suited to heavier bike models. Thus, those riders with larger, heavier sports tourers will find they make for a more agile ride.

Alternatively, if you're looking for an ideal set of winter tyres for a sportsbike, we'd recommend that you take a look at the brand new Bridgestone BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S23 tyres that are due to be available from later on this month!

4. Anlas Winter Grip Plus

A great option for an all-season rider, here we have the Anlas Winter Grip Plus.

The usage of the newest polymer and overall material technology combined with ‘Zero Degree Radial‘ technology, makes it possible to produce a safe and well-performing tyre under the worst weather conditions, allowing you to stay riding whatever the weather!

These tyres are also mud and snow rated, which if you plan to travel via motorbike abroad, is considered a legal requirement in some countries during the winter months.

3. Kenda K784 Big Block

Kickstarting our top three today has got to be the Kenda K784 Big Blocks.

This is an adventure bike tyre that can compete with even the biggest brands like Continental. Suitable for both on- and off-road, Kenda’s K784 Big Blocks offer riders versatile performance at a relatively low cost.

Handling extremely well on the wet tarmac, these tyres are perfectly suitable for those rainy seasons and winter months. However, this is hardly surprising, given that they were built to perform on even the roughest of terrains (including dirt, mud and even sand). They are also puncture-resistant too due to their bias-belt casing and, true to their name, their large tread blocks give them excellent wear.

These tyres can handle high speeds too, making them great for more experienced riders who love to stretch and test their limits.

2. Avon Trailrider

Taking the second spot on our list today has got to be the Avon Trailriders - an all-weather tyre built specifically for adventure riders!

Starting production in 1904, Avon is arguably one of the oldest and most established tyre brands out there, making tyres suitable for both road and track use.

Again, similar to both the Metzeler ROADTEC™ and Continental TKC Rocks, this tyre is made with a silica compound ensuring that it retains grip and handles well in wet weather conditions. Alongside this, these tyres also have 3D sipes that help improve performance on wet roads while cutting through water effortlessly.

With its mixed-compound treads, this tyre’s durability and longevity make it an affordable choice for the more financially minded riders.

1. Pirelli Angel GT II

Finalising our top ten today has got to be the Pirelli Angel GT IIs’.

I think it is fair to say that Pirelli tyres have earned a reputation for being one of the best motorcycle tyres on the market, especially within the sports touring sector. The Angel GT IIs build on the strength of the original Angel GTs, however, they come equipped with far better handling, longer-lasting wear characteristics as well as improved grip in wet and icy conditions thanks to the race-inspired tread pattern.

These beauties also utilise your modern motorcycle's pre-existing electric aids to help provide you with the ultimate performance and response, instilling further riding confidence during the winter months!

The Last Stop!

So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed my rundown of ten of the best sets of tyres ready for winter riding.

Last but not least, if you have a motorcycle you need to insure to get you on the roads in the next few months, make sure to get a motorcycle insurance quotation direct with Lexham!