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The Best Scooter and Maxi Scooter Tyres

best maxi scooter tyre - The Best Scooter and Maxi Scooter Tyres

You can transform the feel of your scooter by fitting a decent set of tyres.

Manufacturers of motorcycle tyres now produce a wide range of scooter tyres that use very similar technology and compounds used in their best motorcycle tyres.

You don’t need to buy the stickiest, sportiest and most expensive tyre for your scooter but buying a budget tyre is a false economy.

A Cheap Tyre vs a Good Tyre

When comparing a pair of cheap scooter tyres with a quality set, you’ll save probably £30 when compared to a pair of decent tyres.

£30 is not to be sniffed at but the issue with cheap tyres is that generally speaking, they’re made from a harder compound rubber. This means they will take longer to warm up, they won’t have the outright grip that a quality tyre will and they won’t be as good in the wet.

Now you might think ‘to hell with all of that, I just use my scooter to buzz around town’ but a cheap tyre will feel rigid, you won’t have as much confidence on the tyre, even when it’s up to operating temperature.

It might last a little longer than a tyre with a quality compound but you’ll spend a lot of your bikes on your cheap tyres, wondering whether they’re going to get you into trouble, rather than get you out of trouble.

If you are on a 50cc moped, that you only use a few times a year, then sure, buy whatever you like. However, if you use your scooter on a daily basis or you ride a larger, heavier scooter, like a 250cc and above, then you’ll really feel the difference when you fit a better-quality tyre.

You definitely don’t need the most expensive tyres but skimping on the one part of the bike that gives you the most feel and confidence, is a false economy.

Choose Your Tyre Type

Best Maxi Scooter Tyre

michelin max scooter tyres 1024x666 - The Best Scooter and Maxi Scooter Tyres

Two decades ago, there weren’t that many good scooter tyres. It appeared that the criteria was that the tyre had to be black and round – and that’s about it.

But a lot has changed in the past decade. Now the best scooter tyres are pretty much exact replicas of the tyres used on motorcycles. They use very similar compounds and tread patterns and they benefit from all of the Research & Development that the major manufacturers put into developing their new rubber for high-powered motorcycles.

Of course, if you buy a top-end maxi scooter tyre, you’re going to pay more than you would for a budget tyre but you’ll be riding around on a tyre that’s as good as it gets. It will feel completely different from a cheap scooter tyre.

Our picks below showcase the great value for money maxi scooter tyres that offer a great blend of performance and price.

michelin Pilot Road 4 SC scooter tyre 305x305 - The Best Scooter and Maxi Scooter Tyres
Maxi Scooter Pick

Fast warm-up, grippy, long-lasting 

One of the most popular tyres for maxi scooters. The Pilot Road 4 has a motorcycle-like tread pattern and offers high levels of grip. They have a fast warm-up too, meaning you can have confidence in the tyre right from the get-go. They offer good wear rates too and will last a good 5,000 miles, even on a powerful big-engined scooter.

Scooters you’d expect to see running these tyres: Yamaha T-Max 530, Honda SH300i, Piaggio GTS300

The rider’s most likely to be seen: Cruising through traffic, with a pillion for company.

Other great tyres in Maxi Scooter category

We all have a favoured brand, so my pick above might not float your boat. Some riders like to stick to the tyre brand that came with their scooter. Below are two other popular choices for maxi-scooter riders

Continental ContiScoot

Bridgestone SC Scooter

Best Tyre for Scooters 125cc or under

michelin s1 review scooter tyre - The Best Scooter and Maxi Scooter Tyres

Smaller scooters work their tyres differently to maxi-scooters. They are less powerful than their larger-engined counterparts and they also weigh less.

This means that on a 125cc scooter you can use a cheaper tyre, like a cross-ply instead of a radial. These are easier to produce and therefore cheaper. Radial tyres are used on motorcycles and are generally made using higher quality rubber and a more time-consuming production process which is all reflected in the price you’ll pay. Of course, you can fit radial tyres to 125cc scooters but they’re not essential.

bridgestone battlax sc scooter tyre 318x305 - The Best Scooter and Maxi Scooter Tyres
125cc Scooter Pick

The best choice for real-world riding

Bridgestone makes the SC tyre in both cross-ply and radial formats. The cross-ply tyre is a simpler tyre and therefore cheaper but to the everyday rider, especially on a 125cc scooter, a cross-ply tyre is a great choice. The SC is a standard fitment on a lot of scooters, especially Hondas. They are quick to warm up, they offer lots of feel and they last well. You could fit a more expensive tyre to your 125cc scooter but the SC is hard to beat.

Scooters you’d expect to see running these tyres: Honda PCX125, Vespa GTS125, Yamaha N-Max 125

The rider’s most likely to be seen: Nipping through the smallest of gaps on their daily commute or waiting outside a fast-food restaurant ready to scoop up another delivery order.

Other great tyres in the Small Scooter category

The small capacity scooter market is a hotly contested category, with most of the major manufacturers producing scooters in different formats, from classic-looking scooters to workhorses. Similarly, the tyre manufacturers all want a piece of the action and the choice of tyres for small-engined scooters is huge. Here are two other great picks for you to consider:

Dunlop ScootSmart

Anlas Tournee

Scooter tyre speed rating chart

Every scooter tyre has a speed rating. It is a single letter found after the load rating which is a single number. For example 67H or 55P.

The letter is a maximum speed rating, which indicates the maximum speed the tyre can safely reach, with the maximum load when the maximum listed inflation pressure is used.

Symbol, Max Speed (mph)

Symbol, Max Speed (mph)

Symbol, Max Speed (mph)

Symbol, Max Speed (mph)

Symbol, Max Speed (mph)

Symbol, Max Speed (mph)

B, 31mph

C, 37mph

D, 40mph

E, 43mph

F, 49mph

G, 55mph

J, 62mph

K, 68mph

L, 75mph

M, 80mph

N, 86mph

P, 93mph

Q, 100mph

R, 106mph

S, 112mph

T, 118mph

U, 124mph

H, 130mph

V, 149mph

(V), more than 149mph

W, 169mph

(W), more than 169mph

Y, 186mph

ZR, more than 149mph

Scooter tyre FAQs

What Is The Legal Requirement For Tyre Tread Depth?
Here in the UK, the legal requirement is that the tyre tread depth be no less than 1.0mm around the circumference of the middle three quarters of the tyre.

Once your tyre reaches this limit, it must be replaced.  It is advisable though, to replace tyres before they reach their legal limit, as their ability to provide traction will be heavily compromised. 

Many organisations and companies advise changing at 2.5mm tread depth because at lower than this tread depth, you will notice a decline in your motorbike’s handling ability and stopping distance. 

Riding around on tyres with a lower tread depth also makes you more susceptible to punctures, nasty loose nails and other damage to the tyres as they are wearing paper-thin. 

What’s the best scooter tyre for wet weather riding?
There are plenty of options out there. Some of the manufacturers designate their all-weather tyres with ‘Winter’ to signify that they’re designed to work in the rain or when temperatures are low. Bridgestone produces an SC2 Rain, while Michelin produces the City Grip Winter and Anlas the Tournee Winter. 

These tyres all feature a higher percentage of tread grooves across their surface. This increased tread pattern helps channel water away from the tyre and helps the rubber move more, which improves the warm-up time and ensures they maintain their operating temperature, even in cold weather. 

Do they make run-flat tyres for scooters?
In the car world, run-flat tyres have been the mainstay for over a decade. Can you believe that the first ‘run flat tyre’ was introduced by Michelin in 1934? It was designed for military use and also for armoured bank vehicles to lower their risk of being successfully hijacked.

Back in the real world, run-flats are a common fitment to modern cars. Due to the way a scooter tyre needs to work, the development of a true run-flat motorcycle tyre has yet to hit the mainstream. A good alternative is to use a tyre sealant like Slime, which will prevent a tyre from immediately deflating if you get a puncture or a screw or nail in your tyre.

How long will my scooter tyres last?
There’s no set answer for this as all tyres differ. Generally speaking the harder the tyre, the longer it will last but the less grip and feel you’ll get from the tyre during its lifespan. A good estimate is around 5,000 for a pair of scooter tyres before they’ll need replacing.

Do I need to scrub new tyres in?
You always had to scrub your tyres in but have modern methods of tyre production removed the need to do this? In short, no.

However, it’s less about the release agent used to get the tyre out of the mould. That used to be an issue and it could mean the tyre surface wouldn’t grip well until it was worn away. 

However a new tyre fitted to your scooter still needs bedding in for the first few miles. During the fitting process the bead undergoes enormous forces and the first few miles allows it to properly seat on the rim. Going steady for the first few miles also allows the steel belt and aramid fibres to settle-down and start working properly.

How should I store my scooter if it’s not being ridden
Your tyres will lose pressure over time. If you’re storing your scooter for a month or more, it pays to keep it on the centre stand, rather than sat on its tyre on the sidestand.

As the tyre loses pressure, it will deform and can form a flat spot, especially if the floor it is on reaches near-zero temperatures. It can cause this part of the tyre to become brittle.

If you don’t have a centre stand, then pump the tyres up to their maximum pressures and, as silly as it sounds, roll the bike onto some carpet to keep the tyres from being subjected to extremely cold contact.

Do scooter tyres have a sell by date?
All tyres will have a production date on the sidewall. From the moment they’re manufactured, they’re guaranteed for 5 years but they will last around 10 years. So if you fit a pair that are unused but four years old, you’ve got around 6 years of usable life in them. If you don’t get through them in that time, perhaps take up a new hobby?

To see when your tyres were made, look for the final four numbers after the DOT code. The first two numbers designate the week of the year and the second are the year. So a tyre with the code 3419 was made in the thirty-fourth week of 2019.

What pressure do I need to inflate my scooter tyres to?
For the best scooter tyre pressures, see your owner’s manual as every tyre is different. There will be two different pressures listed; one is for a solo rider and the other is for a rider carrying a pillion or luggage.

Remember that your tyre pressures will drop naturally. You should check them every month and re-inflate them to the correct pressures. Expect to lose a couple of psi every month.

Can I repair a puncture in my scooter tyre?

Yes, you can repair it yourself with a motorcycle puncture repair kit or take it to your local motorcycle workshop if they carry out motorcycle puncture repairs.

There is a British Standard when it comes to motorcycle puncture repair BSAU159F. This standard dictates that your motorcycle or scooter tyre can be repaired only if the size of the puncture hole isn’t wider than 3mm in diameter. It also cannot be located in the outer quarter of the tyre. The standard also dictates that a tyre with a speed rating of W or ZR – can’t be repaired. However some workshops will still repair a tyre with these ratings.


Thanks to the following who helped us research and write this guide to the best motorcycle tyres:



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