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What are Chicken Strips on Motorcycle Tires?

What are Chicken Strips on Motorcycle Tires?

Sep 18, 2019

Chicken strips on motorcycle tires have always been a point of discussion among both experienced riders and enthusiastic beginners. When you have a new set of tires or a new bike, there are small strips of unscathed rubber that usually protrude from the outer edges of both tires. They’re easily noticeable on new tires and are referred to as “chicken strips” among bikers.

Now, there’s a common belief among biking communities that riders with chicken strips on their tires are somewhat afraid to ride their bike to its full limitations. The assumption is that leaning into corners effectively removes chicken strips from new tires, and achieving this makes you a “pro”.

To understand what chicken strips on motorcycle tires are, we’re going to look at the difference in the wheels, what riding different types of bikes means, and how to delete chicken strips safely if you still feel that you need to.

Setting the Record Straight

Despite all the debate about chicken strips, it’s important to understand that you should never feel ashamed about having chicken strips on your tires. Always ride safely and within your comfort limits - that is what matters most. If anybody mentions your chicken strips in a derogatory way, simply ignore them and enjoy the wind.

There’s a Big Difference in Chicken Strips

Chicken strips vary a lot on both the front and rear motorcycle tires. Even the bravest and most experienced riders with no chicken strips on their rear tires can still have chicken strips on the front tires and vice versa. In fact, chicken strips are just a testament to the riding style of a biker. If you have no strips on the back but have them on the front, it means you’re a rider who brakes early, turns late, and gets on the gas while the motorcycle is still leaned over.

Riders with no strips on the front tire but with strips on the rear tire often go hard into corners and get on the gas later when the motorcycle in upright again. There are different riding dynamics that also determine the wear on your tires. Riding speed, quality of road surface, and suspension type could also play a role in the development of chicken strips on motorcycle tires.

It Can Depend on Your Bike and Tires

Some motorcycles like cruisers easily run out of cornering clearance due to low footpegs, side/center stands,  exhaust, and other hard parts. Therefore, cruiser bikes can never use their full width of the tread. Adventure bikes may have higher ground clearance but rarely need to take corners in sharp leaning angles. Their chicken strips can, however, be deleted by running the tires down to the tread edge over time.

Tire profiles may also affect chicken strips. Low and wide tires on sports bikes and some cruisers provide a flat characteristic to the tire that makes it even easier to use the full width of the tread. Taller, narrower adventure and touring tires have a rounder cross-section that makes it harder to use the full-width tread, so the chicken strips on the motorcycle tires remain.

How to Delete Those Chicken Strips


If you’re obsessed about deleting those chicken strips on your tires, head to a track where you can safely explore the tread limit easier. Chicken strips are usually slippery as the tire tread has not yet been broken in, so be cautious. Break-in your tires the entire width by going on a long-distance high-speed highway ride. After that, you can try leaning a bit more to delete your chicken strips.

Get New Tires for Your Bike

Whether you decide to delete your chicken strips or not, your safety comes first. If you ride on the track frequently, it means that your tires won’t last as much as a rider who does regular rides on the highway. Despite what you think about chicken strips on motorcycle tires, it’s always advisable to check your tires before riding.

If you’re looking for  new tires for your ride, shop by brand at West End Motorsports. Call us to place orders now.