Michelin Pilot Road 3 Sport-Touring Radial Tires
[This Michelin Pilot Road 3 Sport-Touring Radial Tires review was originally published in the September 2011 issue of Rider magazine]
Michelin’s Pilot Road 3 is a new line of sport-touring radial tires for 2011 that is designed to deliver enhanced wet grip, even wear and long tread life. The Road 3s are available for a wide range of bikes and incorporate Michelin’s dual-compound technology that features a softer rubber on the tread shoulders for grip, with a more wear-resistant compound down the center of the tread.
The Road 3s also utilize Michelin’s new “XST” X-Sipe technology with its distinctive tread pattern that is an update of that used on Michelin’s Pilot Road 2. The deep tread grooves, or “sipes,” are designed to evacuate water on the road surface as the edges of the sipe blades flex slightly sideways to generate pressures and break through standing water film.
We mounted a set of the new Pilot Road 3s on a BMW sport tourer and noted during the mounting process that these sport-touring tires were noticeably heavier and stiffer than sport tires tend to be, and have a much more rounded profile. We immediately went on an extended three-day weekend ride during which we were able to acclimate to the tires while carrying luggage one-up, as well as do some spirited riding without luggage. With a little acclimation and break-in we found the Pilot Road 3s very smooth and controlled, though they were still a bit slower reacting to quick transitions at higher speeds.
The Pilot Road 3s initiate turns very well and are extremely comfortable and stable, and as a pure sport-touring tire the Pilot Road 3s are first rate as they provide a very solid feel once in a turn and responded well to fine steering inputs. They are also very comfortable at all cruising speeds as they absorb rough pavement with ease. We did not have the occasion to test long-term wear or traction in wet conditions, but with just over 800 miles on them, there is no evidence of unusual wear patterns and the tires still look almost new. In short, in our limited experience with them, the Pilot Road 3s provide just what you want in a sport-touring radial.
Please note that in the 180/55 ZR-17 rear size the Road 3 is also available in a “B” version that is specifically designed for loaded sport touring or riding two-up.
For more information: See your dealer or visit www.michelinmotorcycle.com