Are you thinking of fitting directional tires to your bike? If so, there are a few things you must know first.

For starters, they must be fitted the right way. 

In this blog post, you’ll discover:

  • What a directional tire is
  • The difference between directional vs. asymmetrical tires
  • Why it’s so crucial that your directional tires are fitted the right way

Prefer to get this information in podcast form? Listen to the 30 Minute Motorcycling Podcast episode about directional tires:

What is a Directional Tire?

A directional tire is a particular tire type that is particularly good at handling high speeds while reducing the risk of hydroplaning.  And it’s all possible thanks to the tire’s unique tread pattern, which has a shape similar to the letter “V.” In addition, the most significant telltale sign of a directional tire is the word “Rotation” or “Directional” stamped on the side wall, next to a small arrow, which looks something like this:
image of rotation tire direction arrow
When you fit a new directional tire, this arrow must follow the tire’s rotation.

Directional vs. asymmetrical tires

Unlike directional tires, asymmetrical tires don’t have an intended direction. Instead, they’ll have an outside that you must fit so that it faces away from the motorcycle or scooter’s wheel hub. Aside from that, an asymmetrical tire has an “OUTSIDE” stamp on the tire sidewall.

What Happens If Directional Tires Are Fitted The Wrong Way?

As mentioned earlier, directional tires are great for high-speed handling and reducing the risk of hydroplaning. Of course, that’s assuming that you fit them the right way.  If you don’t, your traction will suffer, while your risk of hydroplaning increases if you ride through a puddle after (or even during) a rainstorm. That’s bad enough, but a directional tire fitted the wrong way will also wear down faster.

Are you in the UK?

If you are, you must pay close attention – you could set yourself up for even more trouble if you fit a directional tire the wrong way. But what’s worse than a drop in traction and an increased risk of hydroplaning or aquaplaning? Failing your MOT inspection. Yes, an incorrectly fitted directional tyre is enough to fail your annual MOT inspection and make it illegal for your to ride your motorcycle or scooter until you’ve solved the problem.

Want to know more about:

  • What the MOT inspection is?
  • Which MOT classes are relevant to motorcyclists and scooter riders?
  • How to find a garage in your local area that does?

Read the blog post about it here on The Dual Wheel Journey.


How can I make sure my directional tires are fitted correctly?

So now that we’ve established the importance of fitting your directional tires correctly, how can you ensure they’re on the right path? Here’s where the unique “V-shaped” tire tread pattern comes in. If the tires are fitted correctly, you’ll be able to see the V-pattern when you look directly at the tire tread itself.