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Royal Enfield Meteor 350 with Radial Tires for Motorcycle Touring!

Choose the Best Tires for ALL Road Motorcycle Touring


Enjoy BETTER traction, comfort, durability, and mileage by upgrading your touring motorcycle to TUBELESS RADIAL tires!


It is embarrassing that any motorcycle – especially street models – are still sold with bias ply tires. You haven’t been able to buy a car or truck with bias ply tires for nearly 50 YEARS! In fact, you would REFUSE to buy an auto if every competitive model was supplied with radial tires.

What are the advantages of radial tires?

According to, the advantages of radial tire construction include:


  • Improved comfort. Just about every road bump you’ve ever experienced was minimized thanks to radial tire technology. With plies not extending across and down the entire tire, the tire sidewall is permitted to flex and absorb impact independently without transferring that impact through the entire (interconnected) structure of the tire. (With some exceptions – bias ply tires can be an advantage over particularly rough terrain at slow speeds. For this reason, bias ply tires with tubes are still used on off road motorcycles.

  • Superior heat management and dissipation. The radial tire improves tire tread life due to superior heat management. Tires develop heat while under load/in use, and more heat, as in the case of a bias ply tire means higher tread wear.

  • Excellent tire flexibility and road surface interaction. It’s easy to think of tires as fixed, rigid objects, but in fact, there’s a high degree of ongoing interactivity between the tire and road surface as the tire rolls. Everything from routine vehicle maneuvering to water evacuation on wet roads, to traction in off-road conditions is aided by tire malleability. Bias ply tires were particularly limited in this department because of just how stiff the whole tire structure was.

  • Superior handling. Radial tires create a better, more consistent tread contact patch when cornering and under load. The end result is a more responsive, better-controlled vehicle. Simply put, a vehicle with radial tires is just plain easier to drive and control, especially in the case of emergency maneuvering.

  • Lower rolling resistance. Radial tires achieve superior fuel economy thanks to lower rolling resistance, and again, less heat buildup.


The advantages of radial tires were so overwhelming that radials quickly became the predominant form of tire and grew in popularity in the 1970s. A 1968 Consumer Reports study comprehensively documented the advantages of the radial tire and sealed the deal. In 1970 Ford fitted radial tires as original equipment (OE) for the first time on a production vehicle.


There are NO DOWNSIDES to radial tires. The ONLY reason that motorcycle brands offer bias ply tires is PRICE.


Supplying a street motorcycle with tubeless radial tires would probably add $200 to the MSRP. (Supplying dual sport bikes with tubeless wheels and tires would cost $300 to $500 more – and that is the topic for another rant!) If one brand offered radial tires, the price might not seem competitive – so none make the change. At the same time, the bias ply tires wear faster and are susceptible to more flats – so the dealers sell more tires…


I REFUSE to consider any touring motorcycle that is not supplied with tubeless wheels and tires!


Any street-oriented motorcycle still supplied with inner tubes is a slap to the consumer. The manufacturer is simply unappreciative and greedy. PLEASE shop elsewhere!


But we must face reality – and MOST motorcycles are still sold with bias-ply tires. This is also the case with the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. For best riding comfort and performance, consider the upgrade to tubeless, radial tires.


My choice of tubeless, radial motorcycle tires is Continental TKC70 Dual Sport Tires


I also consider a straight street tire tread to be worthless. There are MORE gravel roads than paved roads in the U.S. I want to be able to ride on ALL roads!

The Continental TKC70 tires balance good on-road behavior and off-road ability. These tires have steel belt construction for superior stability and comfort even at high cruising speeds. The design is perfect larger displacement “adventure” bikes.


Continental TKC70 Features:

80% on-road / 20% off-road balance is equally at home on light trails and the highway.

Provides a high level of grip in all wet and dry conditions.

Excellent mileage for long trips on asphalt.

Quiet high-speed stability due to the central band on the rear tire.

Aggressive siping and self-cleaning grooves add to the all-weather prowess.


Here is a video description of the Continental TKC70 tires by my friends at RevZilla:

For the Royal Enfield Meteor 350, I used the upgrade to the radial tires to also change the tire dimensions. I changed the rear tire to a 140/80 x 17” to provide about ½-inch larger tire diameter for better ground clearance. I changed the front tire to a 110/80 x 19” for slightly more width to improve cornering on and off the pavement. (The change in diameter may impact the accuracy of the speedometer – but ALL motorcycle speedometers are INACCURATE – so pay attention to your GPS!)


Here is a walk-around video of the RE Meteor 350 with the TKC70 radial tires:

Tires are a personal choice for motorcycle riders. But too many riders settle for less than maximum performance and comfort by NOT making the upgrade to radial tires. (If your cycle is equipped with tube tires, you have a larger problem.) For my style of mixed highway and gravel-road riding, the Continental TKC70 tires are a great choice. You may have other tread preferences if you are more or less street oriented.

touring motorcycle tires



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