The simple answer is this: it depends where when and how you ride and how much you want to spend!
It seems like an obvious play-off and one that was almost inevitable. You can't have everything. The lasting qualities of long-distance tyres where a rider could expect to get anything between 8,000 -10,000+ miles out of them is a far cry from the sporty performance tyres with life expectancies of less than half that. In fact if you're sporting DOT-race tyres, you'll be lucky to get a thousand miles out of them. Especially the back.
A few things actually, and not just you bombing about the estate like a getaway driver from a cheesy Jason Statham film. Sunlight is one factor. Yes, sunlight and extreme heat can both degrade the tyre. Cracking can occur called 'sun rot' which basically means the integrity of the tyre is compromised and you'd be better replacing them. Not inflating your tyres properly can also speed up the aging process as underinflated tyres create excess heat which can damage the belts in radial tyres. Overinflation can cause uneven wear which could mean that good grip you feel on a left turn may be disasterous on a right. Uneven wear can also be attributed to the actual distance and angle in which turns are made. For UK riders it's common to wear out the right hand side of the tyres quicker due to left turns being quite tight and right turns taking a larger angle. Riding like a knob. Donuts and other 'sick' tricks wears away the rubber. Don't do it. Seriously. Your tyres will naturally detoriorate with age and the mileage you rack up, so the more conservative you are, the better.
Perfect for the street-legal sportbike, the agressive tread pattern and silica content give these amazing straight-line and cornering ability for wet and dry condition. Amazing heat dispersion and yours for around 100 quid a pop
Big bike? No problem! These durable, fat and chunky monkeys from Bridgestone are the perfect accompaniment for any heavy-roller. Long rides, proper tread and stability with water-repelling design make these a worthy addition. They'll set you back about 65 quid a pop.
The best all-rounder and a longstanding name in the game. The Pilot Road 4 ticks all the boxes. The unique tread patter pumps away water, dual-compound rubber extends their life and adds superb grip, while it's counterpart for ADVs and tourers offer an equal level of performance. No brainer.
Ok, while not specifically track tyres, this pick of the pops is best suited to the rider who likes the best of both worlds. The odd spin around the track with the ability to ride home safely afterwards.
Released about 18 months ago by Metzeler, the Racetec RR follows on from the INTERACT and caters specificially for track and race day riders with similar compound options to it's predecessor. It's the new profile options that set it apart with new tread design for better water drainage (yes they're good for the wet). Compounds available: K1, K2, K3 - soft, medium and hard respectively.
A bit more well known are the Continentals (CRAC probably isn't the best anacronym guys). Believe it or not, these are actually considerably cheaper than the others in our shortlist at around 60 quid less than the others. Of course, that depends where you buy them from. Available in soft or medium compounds with the latter being better suited to the rear.
Essentially these are treaded versions of the KR106/108 slicks which have been on every riders wishlist for a while. They're a bit on the pricey side but the technology that supports it is impressive. Their NTEC system, jointless belt construction and jointless tread firmly establishes Dunlop as the king of tyres. Available in 5 compounds but the tyre sizes available for each are a bit of a gamble. You can find out more on their website.