What Are Chicken Strips On Motorcycle Tires? Causes & Fixes

“Chicken strips” do not refer to the strips of chicken breasts in a family meal. Rather, they are the unused outer edges of a motorbike tire, used as slang to embarrass new riders/beginners for acting like a “chicken,” hence the name. 

My insightful guide will dig deeper into the chicken strips on motorcycle tires and ways to help fear-stricken beginners get over them. Keep scrolling!

What Are Chicken Strips Motorcycle Tires

“Chicken strips” describe the tire’s outer edge that is not frequently used, thereby still showing clear tread patterns. They suggest the riders are too “chickened” to let their motorcycles learn far, only sticking to upright riding position and rarely taking sharp turns.

Aside from body positioning, other factors like suspension types and the tire’s profile/size also play a role in forming chicken strips. In certain cases, riding surfaces should be taken into the picture, as well.

Chicken Strips on tire
Chicken Strips on tire

Most chicken strip metrics depend on the tire’s appearance: for instance, the rubber on the chicken strips looks newer than other parts of the road tires.

Plus, the more deteriorated your center tire tread is (meaning most pressure is pooled on the center), the larger these chicken strips will turn out.

As such, comparing chicken strip sizes has become a popular habit of professional riders. Big chicken strips are often associated with “bad learners” or “cowards,” always frowned upon and laughed at. 

What Causes Chicken Strips Tires?

Low lean angles are often associated with chicken strips, but there are more. Rugged road surfaces, stiff suspension, and low riding speed also play a critical role in the big picture. 

Riding Comfort

As mentioned above, novices tend to feel inferior in their cornering ability. Hence, they try to avoid aggressive leaning, resulting in wider strips.

Riding Speed

Lower-speed ridings keep the bike uptight most of the time, resulting in much smaller contact patches (especially on the tire’s outer edges). Thus, it should be no surprise that the outer edges are not as worn as the center, paving the way for chicken strips.

Suspension Type

Another factor to consider is the suspension. Specifically, stiffer suspension designs offer less lean range than average, limiting the biker’s capability to tilt into corners. No wonder wide chicken strips are littered on the tire’s outermost edges.

On the contrary, bikes with better, more responsive suspensions allow broader lean angles and improved weight distributions. The risks of huge chicken strips are significantly reduced as a result.

Road Surface

One should not skim over the road conditions and surfaces, either.

Riders on well-maintained, smooth roads can obviously achieve much better lean angles (and with great confidence, too!), which helps reduce the widths of the tire’s unused outer portions. 

Slippery or uneven surfaces, on the other hand, force riders – especially beginners – to exert more caution. As they refrain from propelling the motorbikes to their limits, chicken strips are to be expected.

What Types of Chicken Strips on Motorcycle Tires Are Considered Acceptable? 

Sadly, many motorcycle rider communities only consider your tires acceptable if there are NO chicken strips at all. However, others do go easy on amateur riders and accept strips of 1.5 inches in diameter (maximum) and roughly 35 to 45 degrees of lean angles.

If you are that afraid of being made fun of, the best bet is to confirm the issue with other members or check their forums/social media discussions. 

What If I Have Chicken Strips on The Front Tires?

Chicken Strips on The Front Tires
Chicken Strips on The Front Tires

Here’s some great news: chicken strips on the front tires are considered perfectly normal and never judged by anyone in your biker community. Aside from sports bikes, chicken strips are a regular presence in almost every type of motorcycle out there.

The breakdown and definition of chicken strips above mostly apply to the rear tires. Keep in mind this important difference! 

Should I Feel Embarrassed About Chicken Strips?

No. “Chicken strips” are a term invented by jerks who want to make fun of others’ insecurity, and you should never let yourself become their victim. What is wrong with staying safe and going slow to keep yourself from accidents?

If you are only surrounded by the most toxic people in the biker community, do not hesitate to pull away from that mess. Quit that group and find another healthier, more open-minded community for peace of mind.

How to Get Rid of Chicken Strips

If you still insist on removing the chicken strips to wow other experienced riders, then one of the best ways to do so is to lean your motorcycle lower during turns. 

Do not just sit upright throughout the entire endeavor: dragging the knees down or even getting up from your seat is a great idea.

You may also consider having the suspension properly tuned by mechanics. That way, the baseline settings will be updated to accommodate riskier angles and riding styles. 


My guide has summed up several ways to erase the tire’s chicken strips – although, in all honesty, you should never feel compelled to do so. 

Would you rather be laughed at by some skilled riders (who you can choose to never meet again) or get yourself into fatal accidents? I think you know which is the better answer.

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Daniel Barker


Daniel Barker was introduced to racing in 2006 when he experienced his first track day on his Suzuki sv650. With more than 15 years of experience on his track. Daniel is known as for his high-energy riding, drifting, precision stoppies and technical riding ability on virtually any motorcycle.

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