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Motorcycle tires are not made only of rubber. Underneath that visible layer of grippy rubber, you have various components holding it all together. While different types of tires may vary marginally in construction and materials, the basic construction of a tire is consistent.
Tread: You see different shapes and knobs on tires? That’s the tread. The ridge-like pattern that you see on the rubber that meets the road isn’t just meant for aesthetic purposes - these varied tread patterns offer enhanced grip and control in different riding conditions. Each tire model has its own unique tread pattern, and a manufacturer-recommended minimum tread depth. The tread depth of an in-use tire is the first indicator of its health and road worthiness.
Carcass: No, it’s not some dead body hidden in the tire. However, you can refer to it as the skeleton of the tire. Like the human skeleton gives structure to the human body, the carcass gives structure to the tire. The carcass is mostly made up of materials like steel, nylon fibre, polyester, fibreglass, etc. These materials give the tires their structural strength. The pattern and formation of the carcass depends on the type of tire.
Bead: The bead refers to the part of the tire that tucks under the rim of the wheel. It has a steel wire construction to give it structural strength. The bead tightly fits into the rim so that there is no chance of air escaping, especially in tubeless tires. It also keeps the tire from slipping from the rim when the wheel is in motion.
Sidewall: The sidewall, as the name suggests is the side of the tire. It lies between the tread and the bead. The sidewalls can be of different widths depending on the purpose of the tire. The sidewall gives the tire its handling cred. The tightness of the sidewall also impacts the ride quality.