When I bought Bluey, she was shod with factory fitted Dunlop Sportmax front and rear.
I never liked the factory rubber and if I’m honest the Dunlops never inspired a lot of confidence, factory rubber can be like that. The Dunlops seemed to wallow through corners and occasionally the rear would step out. This is fine riding alone, fun even, but scared the tripe out of The Pillion.
At first I thought I had the pressures or suspension settings all messed up, but after weeks of fiddling there was little if any improvement. I managed to pull 5000km (3100 miles) from those tyres before replacing them.
Before I changed them up, I did a bit of research through forums and online articles. Everything pointed to either the Pirelli Angel GT or the Michelin Pilot Road 3. Both boasted impressive figures for performance, grip and mileage. The opinion was split on which was the better tyre.
I’d never run either Pirelli or Michelin before. Previously I’d run either Bridgstone or Yokohama. Both are good tyres but are more suited to sports bikes than sports touring.
In the end I fitted Pilot Road 3’s.
The first thing I noticed after the initial scrub in period was that the bike no longer wallowed or stepped out mid corner. The second thing I noticed was that dry, and particularly wet weather grip, was much improved. No doubt you have heard or read about other benefits too, so I wont rehash them here.
Suffice to say the PR3 is an excellent tyre
One of the complaints with the PR3 was that under aggressive riding and braking, the treads would cup or wear on the edges. I didn’t notice this until the tyre was nearing end of usefulness. It manifested itself as a type of knobbly tyre effect like you get on dirt bikes. Not as severe but noticeable at low speeds and on smooth surfaces like you’d find in shopping centre undercover car parks.
A couple of weeks ago I replaced the front tyre after 21,500 km (13, 350 miles). Again I went for the Michelin. I was given the choice to go for the Pilot Road 3 again, or upgrade to the Pilot Road 4.
I decided on the Pilot Road 4.
The first thing I noticed was that the tread pattern has changed. I have no clue what difference it makes other than the claims made by Michelin that it has reduced or eliminated the cupping the PR3’s suffered, that there is a 20% increase in tyre life and an improvement in overall grip.
After 1000km (600 miles) I can say the PR4 is no worse than the PR3. Turn-in is neutral, and the tyre certainly makes the bike feel planted, which in turn allows me to ride confidently. The only thing I have noticed is the tyre is noisier than its predecessor. This may change as it wears. We’ll see.
I haven’t replace the rear as yet ,and don’t expect to until late October (at a guess). If it pans out that way, the rear will have done around 24,000km (15,000 miles) give or take a bit.
Not bad for a set of tyres that do 50-50 city/ country duty in all conditions…. except snow 😉