Tyres are one of the most underrated parts of a vehicle that also happen to be one of the most important ones. Tyres have to go through a lot of abuse as they are the ones who are in contact with the road. In India, we have bumpy roads with bad patches and a lot of potholes. Naturally, tyres go through a lot in such conditions. Motorcycles must have a good set of tyres as they are the only contact patches that the rider has with the road. Motorcycle tyres are of two types: Radial tyres and Bias Ply tyres. Almost all motorcycles in this day and age use radial tyres because they are a lot more modern. The ply cords in the radial tyre run at 90 degrees to the bead. Due to this construction, radial tyres are more flexible, allowing them to take bumps more easily and provide a more comfortable ride quality. They also provide better grip in wet; they are lighter, have more tread life, and go faster. Now, let's look at the various parts of tyres Sipes Sipes are very small slits that are on the outermost part of the tyre. They help in improving traction. Sipes also help in letting out heat if the tyre is running super hot. Not all motorcycle tyres come with sipes - they're limited to high-performance motorcycles. Tyre wear indicators Every tyre comes with wear indicators. Usually, it is a bar built in the treads of a tyre. When the tyre is new, these bars are barely visible, but as the tyre gets worn out, they become visible, indicating that it is time to change your tyres. Tyre manufacturers could use different types of indicators, so it is better to ask the seller how you can identify if the tyres have worn out. Directional Indicators Some tyres come with directional indicators on them. They are meant to go in a specific direction only. So check out for the arrow moulded on the sidewall and the tread shoulder. Tyre markings You must have noticed that some numbers and alphabets are written on the sidewall of tyres. Well, they are there for a reason. They come in handy when you have to replace your tyres. For instance, let's assume that your motorcycle's tyre's marking reads 180 or 60 R 17. The first number, i.e., 180 depicts the width of the tyre in millimetres. It is measured from one sidewall to the other. The number 60 is the tyre's aspect ratio. In layman's terms, it is the height of the tyre from the outer rim. Then there is R, which tells us that the tyre is a radial one. If it says 'B', it means that it is a Bias-ply tyre. Then there is the 17, which tells us the diameter of the wheel rim in inches. Tyres also have 'TUBELESS' written on them depicting that the tyre is tubeless. Some tyres have 'TUBE TYPE' written on them, which means you would need to use the tyre with a tube inside. Inflating the tyre Tyres run on air or nitrogen in some cases. The air pressure should be what the manufacturer suggests. If a tyre is overinflated or underinflated, it will wear out faster. Also, when a tyre is overinflated, the size of the contact patch decreases, leading to a decrease in grip. If the tire pressure is too low, then the contact patch increases, leading to sluggish performance, more wear and tear, and overheating. Overheating can be catastrophic as it can lead to a tyre blowing out. Running in a tyre Just like an engine, a tyre also needs to "run in". When they're new, tyres should be ridden at moderate speeds so that the rider can get used to the grip and performance of the tyre. The ride should be gentle with gradual acceleration and deceleration. Also, new tyres come with lubricants and other substances. The first run-in period will help remove all those unwanted substances and prepare them for the road. So, this is all you need to know about your motorcycle's tyres.