As every Vespisti knows, the range of tires for the scooter is quite confusing. Although tires play a crucial role in any vehicle, they are often neglected and their importance downplayed. It is very difficult to find your way through the jungle of offers. Therefore, it is obvious to take a closer look at the complex topic of tires.
What criteria should we use to select tires?
- First and foremost is safety
- it is directly dependent on quality
- it results in longevity
We stick to medium-sized companies, which often have sub-companies in the program with optimal price-performance ratio. For example, Michelin has tire brands to start with: BF Goodrich, Uniroyal and Kleber (to name a few).
Caution is advised with so-called budget tires, often made in China. Which is not to say that all tires made in China are bad. In any case, they are roadworthy and safe, which is guaranteed by the labels awarded in Europe after extensive testing (on the basis of which dealers also act).
As the name suggests, these tires are intended for small budgets, for example, for few drivers. As I said, we do not have to make any compromises in terms of safety, but where then?
The cheap tires make concessions re:
- Quality compared to the middle or high-end class.
- Fuel consumption
To put it kindly: Scooter tires of Chinese origin from the budget class definitely have room for improvement. However, the trend of Chinese manufacturers to want to be at the top of the budget retailers is unmistakable.
During our research on the budget class, we came across over 60 brands. Reason enough to leave them out at this point. Who to list, who not? That would be a topic of its own.
ADAC test winner
Based on the scooter tire
- 130 (tire width in mm)
- 60 (ratio of height and width of the tire in percent).
- R 30 (rim size in inches, 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters),
the following is the ranking:
Michelin Power Pure SC 146100, made in France
- particularly suitable for sporty driving
- very good dry and wet grip (thanks to two-component rubber compound)
- price: from approx. 52 € to approx. 97 €
Heidenau K 62, made in Germany
- good everyday tire for all weather
- also available as winter tire K 62 Snowtex
- even in the worst weather conditions good properties
- price: from about 69 € to 82 €
Heidenau attaches importance to the highest standards in manufacturing and quality, wide range of sizes and classes.
Continental Twist, made in Germany
(double winner in the summer test 2023 of the trade magazine Auto, Motor und Sport)
- high mileage
- excellent road grip
- excellent handling, combined with harmonious driving characteristics
- Price from approx. 31 € to approx. 74 €
Continental means unbeatable value for money in scooter tires of all sizes and models. An inexpensive model is the CONTINENTAL ContiTwist 3.50-10 59M TL M/C for front or also rear. Especially popular are his classic tires (also as whitewall) and the Twist series.
Kenda K 701/Winter and K 764/Summer (tubeless), made in Taiwan
- excellent performance on wet roads thanks to modern tread (resembles a V)
- mixture of different types of rubber and carbon black, incredible strength
- wear satisfactory
- Price from about € 43 to just over about € 83
Pirelli (Italy and Turkey, now based in China)
- specific tread pattern with center groove for first-class performance even in wet conditions
- high stability on any road surface, even with max. load of the scooter
- price from approx. 28 € to approx. 40 €
- Attention: 10 inch tires
Classic tire manufacturer, once the original equipment manufacturer of Vespa, SC 30 good alternative in the classic sector.
Dunlop (made in Germany)
- Dry grip excellent, wet grip acceptable (grip tears off earlier, drive more carefully)
- very good wear pattern of the Sportsmart TT
- mileage very good, limited durability under extreme driving conditions
- price from approx. 58 € to 86 €
The brand is one of the most successful manufacturers in the scooter sector, the sporty TT series convinces not only on the racetrack.
Yes even the beloved SIP Scootershop now has its own all-around proven tires. Of course, they can not produce them themselves, because they do not have a factory. They commission tire production from reputable manufacturers, specifically according to SIP’s wishes.
By now, there is a wide range of tires for every size and driving style.
In the end, the choice of tires always comes down to personal requirements and preferences. All permissible tires in Europe are safe from a safety point of view and can therefore be ordered without much headache. The most important thing is that the tires fit the Vespa and the person.
Good to know
Which tires does a Vespa need?
The tire size required for the vehicle is entered in the vehicle documents. Of course, you can also read off the tire mounted on the scooter from its sidewall. Classic models often still have 8 inch tires, although more modern models have now switched to 10 inch. However, this is to be considered depending on the model.
How much does a tire change cost for a Vespa?
Prices can vary depending on the workshop. Costs ranging from 120 euros to 250 euros are not exactly uncommon, depending on which tires are ordered and what else is done. It is often worth ordering the tires yourself and taking them to the workshop if you can’t manage it with your own hands.
How long does a Vespa tire last?
Normally, a rear tire lasts between 5000 and 10000 km depending on driving style and tire type. Of course, it also depends on how well the Vespa is cared for and how carefully you handle the tires in and out of season.