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Ertugrul Bahan, Senior Tyre Expert
By Ertugrul Bahan| Aug 21, 2020

Two Wheels: Adventure or Vitality for Next Decades?

In the Asia-Pacific region 2-wheelers are the main carriers, covering 60% of the world’s total 15 billion USD market and this area will continue to be market driver in near and mid-term period

Why not we all do choose two wheels as our daily routine?  Bikes are not fun and sporty, but somehow mandatory for future generations!

 Two-wheel tyres are a completely different segment in the tyre industry. Bicycles, scooters, motorcycles and many types of classic extreme racing adventure groups cover a wide range of different segments and each have a specific type of tyre. Each group's unique design is therefore a challenge and a school of learning for designers and industry leaders. From a design perspective, one can easily consider that the main rules of cause and effect pairs for "2 wheels" could fall into the concept of conflict, since the truth could have a completely opposite effect on "4 wheels." Therefore, the "two-wheel tyre design" can only be learned in its field, since there are only a few good two-wheelers under extreme conditions.

Two-wheeler users know that their life depends so much on the front and rear wheels and that the tyres still need to be inflated! 

Most of us use bicycles in childhood and later take it as only a weekend fantasy, but it should not be so. Cycling means more breathing, exercise, meditation, stay physically energetic and strong. How long our families are familiar with 2 wheels, are the hometown roads and parking areas convenient, is the area we live flat so that use of two wheels are comfortable play certain roll for our look on bikes. It is very important that, two-wheeler users have a unique practice that they know better with their tyres than average 4-wheel drivers. They all know that their life depends so much on the front and rear wheels and that the tyres still need to be inflated!

If you choose 2 wheels, you have the advantage of being faster and more punctual wherever you want. Otherwise, you will more time, spend more on gas, parking and the motorway. Freedom, adventure opportunities and the pleasure of driving are side effects.

What about the next few years? Who knows that “4 wheels” are not restricted in crowded urban centres? Or, does the fight against viruses end with the cessation of public transport?

Bikes are main and only carriers for most of the population in main portion of the world countries.  When we have a look at overall “2 wheel” tyre market, we easily notice the huge quantities in Asia-Pacific region where 2 wheelers are main carriers and covering 60% of the world total 15 billion USD market of 2020 and this area will continue to be market driver in near and mid-term period. Therefore, Indian JK Tyre, MRF and CEAT are market leaders in quantity with this opportunity.  Latin America and MEA follows in quantities and tube type is the main category in all these countries. However, tubeless is progressive having a 5,8 CAGR in five years. Briefly scooter and including mopeds cover 60% of all market. All above market picture will remain almost same while market size reaches near 30 billion USD in 2030.

The size of the two-wheel tyre market for 2020 is around 400 million tyres per year, mostly biased, and is expected to reach 550 million in 2025. The increased demand for motorcycles for daily commuting mainly leads to a growing demand for less than 300 cc motorcycles. The service market segment of over 800 cc like the GT and GTL racing and road models only affects developed regions. The desire for adventure and fun motivates theme and they have limited travel needs. GS and GLS touring motorcycles over 1000 cc are also the top segment.

Motorcycle tyres have to have an excellent road grip for use in high speed, high acceleration and handling situations as a most important safety parameter.   

Tyre wear

The two-wheel tyres wear life considerably differs from all segments. Tyres wear out quickly and the wear life varies btw 10 to 25 thousand kilometres which is strange with respect to the other tyre groups. Motorcycle tyres have to have an excellent road grip for use in high speed, high acceleration and handling situations as a most important safety parameter. It may be an explanation of quick wear however; rounder tread profile and narrow foot-print band are highly effective. A very good level of tyre dynamic balance and riding comfort are expected at the same time.  Straight going and curving are two end parameters which are to be well balanced for overall rider happiness and safety.

Leaning over a bend is the nice and dangerous part of the bike. The widest possible tilt angle requires more experience and additional tyre grip performance. The narrow, U-shaped profile helps when tilting. Today's high-performance tyres have multicomponent treads and typically consist of three different compound zones. If you move away from the centre of the profile, the second and third zones are softer and have less wear but a high grip property. You can find such specific tyres in OEM applications and in replacement market.

Motorcycle winter tyre segment is a potential area for motorcycle tyre producers to fulfil.  

Cold seasons are not recommended for two-wheelers and it is restricted in many EU countries for safety reasons. Thru zero degrees, tyre adherence to pavement surfaces is getting very limited. So, it is not safe for single-track driving. Motorcycle tyres are more dry and wet performance targeted and winter conditions are neglected assuming less or no rider remains in extreme winter condition. However, this is an empty area for motorcycle tyre producers. The more effort they pay to develop tyres for extreme winter condition, they can prove and direct authorities to accept or loose the regulations for sake of motorcycle use in winter time.

Over the next few decades, mankind will be in trouble and tested by viruses. The more people want to be socially and safely separated, the more they depend on single trip. A further decline in average revenues will also lead to an increased use of "two-wheelers". That means that bikes are not fun and sporty, but somehow mandatory for future generations. All of this sparkles, why not just choose two wheels as your daily routine!

So we say and ask, “2 wheels: adventure or vitality for next decades” ?

END

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