motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.



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.

Michelin Pilot Road 3 ( Photo Courtesy Michelin)

Michelin Pilot Road 3 (Photo Courtesy Michelin)

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.

Michelin Pilot Road 4 (Photo Courtesy Michelin)

Michelin Pilot Road 4 (Photo Courtesy Michelin)

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 😉



7 responses

  1. Bob

    Michelins are great tires. Been riding the 2’s for a few years now. Just replaced the rear with the PR 3 last week. If it’s anything like the PR 2, I have full confidence in it. Good choice!


    September 17, 2014 at 12:46 AM

    • Never used the PR2’s But I read somewhere that these were the tyre that restored the market for them PR3 and 4 are improvements which has built on that

      Thanks for stopping by


      September 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM

  2. Steve

    If your tread is wearing and you’re getting lips on the edge of your tyre groove it will be your suspension set up. (YouTube Dave Moss Suspension)
    I recently changed from the PR3 to the Angel GT and found them a much quieter tyre and even more confidence inspiring than the PR3. Enjoy your blogs thanks.


    September 17, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    • Thanks Steve.

      The wear was on what they called the SIPS. Michelin was aware of that problem and they changed the design of the pattern to fix it.

      It wasn’t suspension related. But I agree that suspension can play a big part on tyre wear as can tyre pressures..

      Was a tough choice for me to go with Michelin as they had a bad name years ago. it was line ball with the Angle

      Thanks for comenting


      September 17, 2014 at 8:13 AM

  3. Dan

    What an interesting coincidence! I get my S1000R this weekend and I’ve been told it comes with my least favourite tyre – the Pirelli Corsa Rosso. I’ve had bad experiences with them on two different bikes an dammit they now come factory on my new bike. They are MUCH more suited to the track or full sports riding, I rang and tried to get them to upgrade me to PR4s, but to no avail.
    The PR3s were nothing short of fricken excellent on my Hypermotard and my Multistrada and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone who does a bit of crossed up street, commute, tour riding. Good choice Ghosty!


    September 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    • Something I found out with the Dunlops that were on Bluey was that you couldn’t buy them… factory only stock. Might explain why they didn’t last long


      September 17, 2014 at 10:48 AM

  4. I had Dunlop Qualifiers on my Gladius stock from the factory and wasn’t impressed with them.

    Replaced them with Shinkos (very popular in Oregon) just before a 1500 mile trip in 2012 and they’ve been good to me so far even in freezing temps on frost on the roads – not that I plan on riding in that weather again.


    September 18, 2014 at 1:46 AM

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