Friction forces of piston rings for a typical SI engine were independently measured while excluding the effects of cylinder pressure, oil starvation and piston secondary motion using a floating liner system. Friction patterns, represented by the measured friction forces, were classified into five frictional modes with regard to the combination of predominant lubrication regimes(boundary, mixed and hydrodynamic lubrication) and stroke regions(mid-stroke and dead centers). The modes were identified on the Stribeck diagram of the dimensionless bearing parameter and friction coefficients which were evaluated at the mid-stroke and at the dead centers. And the frictional modes were estimated to the full operation range. The compressions rings behave in the mode where hydrodynamic lubrication is dominant at the mid-stroke and mixed lubrication is dominant at the dead centers under steady operating conditions. However, the oil control ring behave in the mode where mixed lubrication is dominant throughout the entire stroke.