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Tires are far from a sexy, but they are perhaps the most critical wearable component of any motorcycle. Great tires enable can increase a rider's confidence and they can also maximize the machine's performance in a multitude of conditions. These traits are invaluable to anyone who throws a leg over a bike. Especially if you are in need one great set of rubber for your everyday bike. Whether you are commuting, hitting the canyons, or riding to and from the track, an amazing tire is an absolute must.
Michelin has known this for years, and through countless dollars spent and professional trials, they are releasing the successor to the heralded Pilot Road 4 line of tires at the beginning of 2018. Introducing the Road 5.
The Michelin Road 5 is designed specifically for sport touring motorcycles by incorporating patented technologies that provide riders with enhanced grip, comfort, and stability, including in wet conditions.
The Road 5 will vary from the Pilot Road 4 series in a number of ways, but most specifically in its ability to shed water from the tire and road surface as the tire wears. Thanks to the XST siping technology that Michelin introduced with the Pilot Road 3, the tires have a great ability to evacuate water from the tire surface ensuring the rubber connects to the road. As the tire wears down, the grooves in the tires decrease in volume and thus are less effective in evacuating water.
The new Road 5 sipes, now called XST Evo, has been adapted from Michelin’s automotive division. The technology is borrowed from Michelin’s Evergrip tread design which was first introduced in the MICHELIN Premier A/S tire in 2014.
The grooves are larger, deeper, and wider. As the tire wears, the volume of the sipes enables just as much traction and water evacuation as a new tire. Effectively increasing their performance over the life of the tire.
However, though Michelin touts the excellent wet weather conditions of this new tire, the performance element of these tires are not to be dismissed. Also included on the Road 5 is a combination of all-new dual tread compounds and revolutionary adaptive casing technology called Michelin ACT+.
The design of the casing ply, introduced in Michelin Power RS tires, incorporates high angles and overlapping cross plies, which allows for exceptional cornering stability while maintaining the high-flexibility in the crown for straight-line stability.
The new Michelin Road 5 will be available in two front and five rear sizes to fit a wide range of sport touring motorcycles. The tire will go on sale at retail locations nationwide starting Jan. 1, 2018.
The Road 5 replaces Pilot Road 4 and will ultimately replace the Pilot Road 4 GT, and Pilot Road 4 Trail tires in the coming years. Michelin reps say that the Pilot Road 3 will remain in the product line up in limited size options.
We look forward to getting a pair of these new tires and testing them in advance of their launch. With winter coming and a couple thousand miles on the horizon between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, I am eager to push the boundaries of the Road 5 in my travels. I have experienced the Pilot Road 4 on the track and the grip and longevity have been sublime.