Friday, July 6, 2012

Michelin Pilot Road 3 Review

Good enough for fast road?
Considering Michelin themselves don't recommend these for a sports bike, they did pretty well - 7,500 km's well in fact.

Yet again, the sides have worn out well before the centres, testament to the harder compound in the middle, but to get that sort of mileage from a GSXR1000 is outstanding!

Pilot Road 3 looking unused in the middle.

Can it hold it's own against stickier alternatives?
In all honesty, I'd put it down to the rider. A few blasts with some quick riders has proved how good they are. Only occasionally spinning up the rear out of a bend, it's incredible how much grip is at hand. The front is much more rounded than modern sports tyres (Power Pure looks almost pointed), and shows in its mellow lean speed. This left me with less confidence - a feeling that got worse the more they wore. 

They can be hustled, but maybe not in the same way as the Power Pures fitted before.

Fast sweeping bends tended to leave me uneasy on a rough road surface - something I'd not noticed so much with previous tyres. The front always gave that vague feeling when tipped right over at high speed. But it's not a sports tyre, was never described as such so the only geezer to blame is me!

GSXR1000K6 with Pilot Road 3's fitted.

And what do you expect from something that lasts nearly twice as long? They don't look as good as an all out sports tyre. in fact they're pretty ugly, but  easily capable of all the knee down fun, stoppies and wheelies you can handle. 

So do the sums and take your choice. If you're quick, and ride a full-on race rep, you'd probably be better off with a sticky, almost smooth, sports tyre. But if you're touring, commuting, and like the odd fast section, then these things are perfect and will last ages!

Would I use them again?
It's time for a change. I don't like the tread pattern and want something slightly more sports orientated. Three of us need tyres at the moment so we're all going to give the Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2's a shot this weekend. 
Again, they're twin compound, but smooth outer edges which should help combat the scalloping effect - the result of rebound problems when leant right over? 
Having just read a review on Visordown, a new ZX10R using the 3's on a race track had exactly the same issue. The grooves are wide and probably not matched well with stiff suspension, leaving you with a smooth, rounded trailing edge and an untouched leading edge. Shame because there was plenty of life left in other parts of the tyre.

Look at the sides and see how the trailing edge is worn down, and the leading edge is sharp.
Time to lay down another $400!
This is going to be a cool test. Three bikes - CBR600R, R6 and my Gixer 1000 - all to be fitted with the same tyres on the same day. No excuses, last to wear them out buys a brew!