Michelin Pilot Road 3 road test review

by Jeff on April 1, 2011

Part two of a multi-part series on the Michelin Pilot Road 3 sport-touring tires – plus exclusive answers straight from Michelin’s tire engineers.

By Jeff Cobb
Motorcycle Safety News

After spending some time with Michelin’s Pilot Road 3s, as promised, we have first-hand feedback to give on their ride and performance.

As we wrote about previously, Michelin touts its Pilot Road 3 tire as improved, dual-compound rubber suitable for big, powerful sport tourers.

Their cornering grip is enhanced by a softer compound tread on the outer parts of the tread. In the middle section is a higher durometer tread for longer life as those highway miles pile up.

‘Sport-touring,’ not ‘sport’

Before we go too far, Michelin motorcycle tires come in excellent sporting versions, but we need to clarify some misconceptions about the Pilot Road 3s that have been floating around the Internet.

Since the Pilot Road 3s come in sizes to fit popular sportbikes, some have thought to slap them on a GSXR-1000 or the like, and have the best of all worlds.

Sounds great, right? Potential durability like a Gold Wing’s tire, but grip like, perhaps a Michelin Pilot Power in the corners.

But not so fast. This is not what the Pilot Road 3 tires are for, which we learned after a series of back-and forth talks with Michelin.

“Someone who puts these on his Hayabusa will not be a happy camper,” said Michelin Two-Wheel Public Relations Manager, Dan Passe.

Reality check

First off, you take a chance with any tires, as you only have two small contact patches holding you and your bike to the pavement.

Even a track-day worthy Michelin Pilot Power 2CT or racing slick can let you down if you’re not careful, and sometimes even when you are. Everyone knows this, but it bears repeating. You pay your money, and take your chances.

So, the question is: Could you put a Pilot Road 3 on a Yamaha R6, for example, and take a chance?

Short answer: Yes.

Is it a good idea? Probably not, but it is not illegal.

In fact, we’ll note not long ago a UK sportbike mag did a wet track test with an expert rider on PR3s, and reported he could consistently drag a knee.

Those online articles from January have mysteriously disappeared. Did Michelin’s media department request that? We don’t know, but would not be surprised.

It’s a huge liability, and like the saying goes, “use the right tool for the job.”

This said, if you ride at 7/10ths pace, and never crank the bike over too hard on your sedate ride to school or work, or you’ve converted your CBR1000RR to sport-touring duty, you may think about Pilot Road 3s.

But only do it if you are also an excellent rider who can consistently take a bike up to the edge, and know when its tires are starting to break loose.

Otherwise, forget about it. Stick with purpose-made sport tires for your sportbike.

Questions and answers

To further qualify exactly what Michelin did have in mind with the Pilot Road 3s, we sent Dan a few questions, and one of Michelin’s engineers answered them.

Notice how every time we try to gauge the Pilot Road 3s as possible sport rubber, Michelin steers us back on topic: They are only sport-touring tires, Michelin says.

1. Compared to the Pilot Power 2CT how “soft” is the outer tread for the Pilot Road 3s?

The outer tread of Pilot Road 3 is not as soft as the outer tread for Pilot Power 2CT – both compounds, the outer and inner, are different.

2. Compared to the Power Pure 2CT how “soft” is the outer tread for the Pilot Road 3s?

Again the Pure and the Pilot Road 3 tires are different compound-wise as well as relative to each other.

3. Other than merely describing the cornering section of the Pilot Road 3s’ tread as “soft,” how much more info can you give?

Other than the information that you received previously [standard press release info], I cannot give durometer readings or other measures at this time.

4. I know they are road tires, but how “grippy” are they?

From a relative standpoint, the Pilot Road 3 provides a great combination of dry grip and longevity, appropriate for the Sport Touring motorcycle segment. The Power One is our “grippiest” tire but does not feature the same longevity numbers as the Pilot Road 3, but the tires are meant for different types of motorcycles and riding styles.

5. How well do they slide and handle aggressive riding?

The Pilot Road 3 is a great choice for Sport Touring motorcycles and are meant for that application and appropriate riding styles. Michelin offers a variety of motorcycle tires, including the Pilot Pure and Power One, for more performance-oriented riding, appropriate for “hypersport” motorcycles. Michelin encourages safe riding practices on the street, with true performance riding to take place in a track environment.

6. How temperature sensitive are they, particularly the softer cornering tread?

The Pilot Road 3 tire is appropriate for all Sport Touring riding applications and has excellent warm-up properties.

7. How quickly do they get up to temp in warm and colder conditions?

The Pilot Road 3 tire has excellent warm-up properties and a wide window of usage in terms of ambient temperature as low as the 40-degree range to the 120-degree range.

8. How much longer mileage are they expected to give than the Pilot Power 2CT, Power Pure 2CT?

As individual riders and motorcycles do vary, this is a difficult answer. However if all conditions were equal, the Pilot Road 3 would last more than 30 percent longer than a Power Pure, but do keep in mind that there is a scale with compounds, “stickiness” and other factors that go into each tire.

9. Do they have silica in the tread? What more can you tell me about how you achieved good grip and wear together without giving away corporate secrets?

Yes, the Pilot Road 3 tread compound is nearly 100% silica based. With the correct composition and balance of materials, the right design and characteristics, the Pilot Road 3 is an un-compromised tire in the Sport Touring Radial Tire segment, offering the best wet grip and mileage in comparison to other tires in this segment. Due to numerous patents and trade secrets, that is what we can reveal, but this tire cannot be reproduced by another manufacturer.

Road test

Our test rider used his own Ducati Monster to test these tires, so he is very familiar with nuances in the bike’s behavior and capabilities.

We dismounted a set of single-compound Michelin Pilot Power sport tires which have been a fantastic and reasonably priced tire.

In following up from our Q&A session, Michelin said the Pilot Road 3s do not use the same compound in the cornering section as the Pilot Powers either. Each is its own unique blend.

Riding in freezing temperatures and just above freezing and wet conditions put the Pilot Road 3s to the test. After a fairly short ride, stopping, hopping off and placing one’s hand on the front and rear tread shows Michelin is correct about a reasonable warm-up time.

The company makes no claims that we know of for sub-freezing weather, but rates them into the 40-degree F ambient temperature range. Below that, you are on your own.

We took them below 40 degrees anyway, and noted the extensive front and rear siping really seems to do the job. No hydroplaning was felt through puddles around town, even on cool, wet roads.

Low-speed wheelies indicated the rear tire really hooks up, even in the wet. Dry traction, naturally, is even better.

Michelin says the center tread on the dual-compound front tire uses the exact same compound as the cornering tread of the rear, and an even softer compound is used for the front tire’s cornering section.

This means the front is altogether softer and grippier. This is to enhance braking and front cornering grip for the narrower front tire.

Michelin Pilot Road 3. (Image courtesy of Michelin.)

As a rule of thumb, you are safer with as-good-as or better grip up front – to a point – because if the bike is going to slide, you’d rather the rear break loose first. Losing the front has put many a rider down, but a rear slip is less unnerving, and generally, easier to save.

Overall, the tires feel controlled, and confidence inspiring. Rolling into sweeping corners at all legal speeds, their profiles makes handling feel neutral, and grip feels good, encouraging a rider to try for more.

The Pilot Road 3s are no doubt ready for long miles, in a wide variety of conditions. Michelin says they’ll handle up to 120-degree heat, thus making them an around-the-world capable tire.

Riding in the rain, and cold nevertheless does require a smooth technique. If you go out and ride without care, they will break loose. If you work up to it progressively, they are pretty impressive.

In the dry, the Pilot Road 3s make the bike feel all-the-more controllable, which is about as much as you could ask for.


Michelin’s Pilot Road 2s were well regarded, and Michelin makes specific claims that its replacements, the Pilot Road 3s, are measurably better.

At this point, we have no reason to doubt it. They are a sport-touring tire however. We don’t recommend putting them on a sportbike and hoping they will work just as well as a pure sport tire.

They are also available in a high-load rated design for two-up riding, and are recommended as replacement rubber for all sport touring applications.

Michelin Pilot Road 3: MSRP: Front: $220.29 – $233.85; Rear: $264.36 – $346.85.

{ 4 trackbacks }

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{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken 05.10.11 at 1:05 am

Hi, I ride a 2010 ZX14, should I fit the new PR3 or should I use the Pilot Pure 2ct. I am not a hard core rider, and would give up long before the bike does. I like the high speed take offs and as a result pay for it in excess tire ware. Please advise.


Jeff 05.10.11 at 7:42 am

Hi Ken,

Officially, the answer the Michelin rep gave about the Hayabusa would apply for you too – he said you won’t be a “happy camper.” However, if you are saying you are mostly a straight-line runner, and never take corners hard, you may chance it under advisement. Your call. Be careful though. The ZX14 weighs much more than a ZX-10R so it has more weight pushing the edges while cornering – all the more reason to stay with sticky tires if you plan on cornering. Also, if you do go with the PR3, keep in mind it is not a miracle tire or any such thing with regards to better wear. It is simply a few clicks better. As a “sport” – “touring” tire, it is still softer than a full-on touring tire. You can still wear it out early with a ZX14 if you do frequent hole shots or burnouts.

Personally, I never compromise on my tires. A lot of this depends on your ability to self-assess, and never cross the line if you decide to essentially treat your ZX14 like a sport tourer.

Your call.

Best Regards,


Geir 05.11.11 at 7:06 pm

First off I would thank you for a very good article.

I am riding KTM Superduke with Pirelli Diablo Corsa III. I am never on a track with it so it’s basically riding on the terrible roads to NYC on my daily commute and more speedy, recreational rides in the weekends.

My experience with the Pirellis is that they are don’t deal with wet and/or cold weather very well.
So after considering the Pirelli Angel ST, Bridgestone Battlax BT-023 and the Pilot Road 3, I was ready to pull the trigger on the Pilot Road 3.

Do I read the article right, that this might not be the right tires for a Superduke?

Thank you

Jeff 05.11.11 at 7:46 pm

Glad you liked the article, thanks.

The Pilot Road 3s are not ideally a tire for a sportbike, which the Superduke essentially is. I think you will lose some dry grip compared to the Corsa IIIs.

If you are willing to do that, the Pilot Road 3s ought to handle the wet and cold better. As you are probably aware, it’s a compromise and a judgment call.

I’m at a loss what else to recommend off the bat for you if you want more dry grip and wet too. A grooved rain slick? Even then you’d still probably have poor cold weather traction.

My test rider is still riding the Pilot Road 3s on his Monster 1000 S2R. He likes them, but won’t do a track day on them. OK for plodding back and forth to work, and not radical lean angles – but they are respectable.

A good rider can bank them pretty far (as the saying goes, the word “sport” does come before “touring” in sport-touring.) — You’d be able to lean farther and faster still in the dry on the Corsa IIIs however.

Ken 05.16.11 at 6:23 am

Thanks Jeff,

I think I will keep the the Pilot Pure for now. Great article thanks for keeping us informed.


Twig 05.21.11 at 6:03 pm

I have an 06′ 1K RR, and have been riding the road 2 rear/pilot power front, but my riding styles change from weekday highway commuting to weekend twisties and that road 2 has been really good for me so far in the twisties. Its getting time for a new rear an have been thinking of the road 3 for both front an rear this time. Not that I drag knee, (i doubt i even get that far over) but im not babying the corners either do you feel like I should stay with the road 2 or give the 3 a shot?

Jeff 05.22.11 at 7:33 am

If you’re already using the 2, I would think the 3 is worth a shot. I have not ridden the 2s back to back, but Michelin says the 3s are better, and they do not make these claims lightly.

Carl B. 05.31.11 at 2:08 am

I have 2 Busa’s. I want an agressive tire for over here in Germany. What do you recommend? I normally ride alone but the wife does occasionally ride with me through the Taunus mountains and on the Bergs… Please let me know what I should buy for a good “sport” tire for the Busa…. I know that sport and touring are combined but I rather have grip before mileage…


Jeff 05.31.11 at 7:44 am

Opinions on tires are going to be like opinions on oil. Lots of them. For what it is worth, I’ve used a few sets of Michelin Pilot Powers. Mine were the 2CT (dual compound). You could probably get away with single compound too.
I found them very sticky for my R1, and your bigger heavier more powerful bike could use them as well. I do not know how long they will last compared to a harder compound, but if you say “aggressive,” I’m not about to recommend an ST tire for a Busa.

Another one I’d like to try is the Dunlop Sportmax Q2. I hear great things about this tire’s grip. I’m told Reg Pridmore uses them in his track school. Again, not sure of durability, but good grip.

There are others too, but these are two that come to mind.

Tony 06.17.11 at 11:25 am

Hi! I ride a Triumph Tiger 1050 abs and its time to chance my tires. I was thinking about Dunlop Roadsmart. Now that i have read this article i cannot take a decision. Which one fits better? Because i am mostly riding on “terrible” roads i would prefer better grip (wet and dry) than mileage.

Thanks in advance

Jeff 06.17.11 at 6:18 pm

That is a tough call, and not one I could really make. We did not test these back to back. Both are better that original replacement ST tires. I do like the heavy sipes on the Michelins for water dispersion off the front, but can’t be sure it’s actually better. The Michelins are a newer design I believe, so if we assume Michelin is competitive (it is), it surely attempted to best all known benchmarks (like the Dunlop). You are on the right track in that both are excellent choices.

Scott 06.18.11 at 9:00 am

i ride a 2010 Kawi Concours14 with the new PR3 installed. I noticed that they do have better turn in and road feel however at high speed ( 150mph+), they felt a bit squirmish. Almost the same as you would feel on full on race bike with slicks. I am currently running about 39psi in both tires. The battalax standard equipment that these replaced did not have any uneasy feeling to them at high speed with same tire pressure, even when worn down to the bar. I am currently adjusting tire pressures to see if that makes a difference. Your input will be appreciated.

Rob 06.19.11 at 7:08 am

I am currently “Testing” the Road3`s on a 98 zx9r. One of the local shops here got a set in and no one around here (midwest) had any information on them except for the awards and “Speculation” on how they preform.

Took off my 016`s and mounted up the Road 3`s so far I love them, sure they are not a track tire, but there were a couple times on our roads that I could have had a knee down. The front seems to take a bit more time to warm up then the rear. Under very very very hard panic stop simulations I was able to slide the front wheel. All in all, I am in the middle of pushing the hell out of these tires to see exactly where they stack up for the SPORT side of things. I really like them now.

Shawn 06.19.11 at 9:51 am

I currently have a 01 Suzuki Katana 600. I am wondering if these tires would be good for me?

sean 06.20.11 at 7:26 am

I have a suzuki sv1000s and what a treat the tyres have been the grip is very acceptable much more than that of the bridgestone bt23′s my last set of rubber . My mate even had a set fitted to he’s gixxer k7 1000 and loves them and he rides hard regulary often riding at 160mph+ overall they are perfect for my applications and haven’t given me an inch of trouble just looking forward to the rain now !!!!!!!:)

Jack 06.20.11 at 11:56 am

Yesterday I rode my 675 Daytona with PR3′s two-up with my daughter on the back, up to Estes Park, CO. Going from 5000′ elevation to over 9000′, we saw everything from dry roads and sunshine to heavy rain and even a little hail. (It is Colorado, after all.) The Road 3′s handled it all without any issues. Though they don’t fall into turns as quickly as a true sport tire, the trade-off is that they’re exceptionally stable in fast, sweeping corners. I can’t say I’ve ridden those same roads in the wet with other tires, so I can’t make a direct comparison, but the grip of the PR3′s was quite good in conditions ranging from dry to damp to very wet. I’m pleased.

Mason Rickert 06.22.11 at 8:30 am

GREAT article. I got really excited when I read you were testing them on a Monster as I’ve converted my 95 M900 to a sport”y” tourer. I mostly commute but LOVE twisty roads on weekend overnights and found the riding position and handling of the Monster perfectly suited to my needs.

That being said, I’m no Valentino Rossi size wise and with top case and soft bags, I put a load on the tires. I’ve been able to get about 5k on my Power 2CT’s and have loved the handling but I’m not excited about the 4k before a flat spot started on the rear. That’s why I’m thinking about the PR3′s.

I was bummed to not get more info specifically about how they were on the test Monster. It’s not a “hyper-sport” bike but it’s not really a sport tourer either. Can you elaborate on the PR3 in relation to the Monster? I’d really appreciate it.

Thank you!

Dave 06.23.11 at 8:22 am

Hello Mason – I am the owner of the PR3 test bed S2R1000. To date I have over 1500 miles on the tires, the wear is almost immeasurable, and tire performance stellar. Sounds good, but you need to know my riding experience, nature and conditions to determine if my PR3 experience will be helpful.

I have been back on street bikes consistently for the past 10 years riding about 4000 miles per year mostly in a commuting capacity. I have owned several bikes, mostly Japanese and Italian sport bikes (Brutale 910s being my favorite), but I am no kneedragger on the street. That said, I am no puss, love to lift the front wheel of the Monster (low speeds, fun factor 10.0), and love a good lean in the corners when conditions are right.
I recently added hard-case luggage hanging off the tail, and frequently ride my daughters around town on short trips.

When the tires were first installed, early spring 2011, it was rainy and cold here in the burbs of Philly, and on a few wet riding occasions, when attempting to break the rear tire loose, I was surprised to see the front wheel lift. This was not always the case, but it did convince me that I should expect some excellent grip in foul weather when not testing the grip. As for the high end, I don’t travel north of 110 very often, though these tires have seen 125ish with no change in feeling.

(As for the Concourse 14 rider above… chill bro. 150+ = track.)

In conclusion, I would not hesitate to purchase these tires again, especially if I get over 7500 miles on them. If you can relate to my riding nature and don’t push much past, I think you will have a great experience with these tires. Peace and ride safely.

Ferenc 06.26.11 at 4:37 pm

hi, what does it mean for a tire to be better????
better (than) what?
better than the pr2, or brand x?
better as in cheaper? more duable? better cold weather traction? better wet weather traction? better hot wether traction? better because marketing says so?

please clarify?
i have pr2 now and am looking for new tires for my 91 vx800.

Jeff 06.26.11 at 7:31 pm

@Ferenc –

Not sure who you are talking to, or which reference to the word “better” you are quoting. The word “better” has been used in several comments in different contexts.

So, just as you say someone is not being specific, neither are you.

To try and guess what you are asking, I will say we did not test this tire back to back against any tires.

The review says that clearly. People are still asking me to make comparisons, and I hedge as good an answer I can, qualifying I cannot make an unqualified statement about which is the right tire for them.

Michelin does say this tire is “better” than the PR2 in all measurable criteria (except price, naturally). The PR3 could be better than earlier competitive aftermarket ST tires as Michelin will characteristically aim to beat competitors if it can in its R&D.

If you have PR2s now and they work, and you can get fresh new (not old stock clearance – tires start to dry in the warehouse, so watch out for older tires), then you can stick with them. If you jump to the PR3, and liked the PR2, you probably will like the PR3.

Stoffe 07.08.11 at 4:40 am

Hi! i have a 2002 GsxR 600 and have riden with the Pilot power 2ct and thinking off trying the PR3. Is this somthing to recomend? Sorry if my english sucks! I live in the country with all the good looking blonds! (sweden) ;)

Jeff 07.09.11 at 11:27 am


Always wanted to visit Sweden. Have heard about the blonds. Sounds like a winning proposition for you.

As for tires, the PR3s – as has been pointed out by other commenters and in the article – will work for sportriders but it ALL depends on your skills and how aggressive you are.

If you lean the 2CTs over hard, and get them hot, and want to push the corners and use them to near full capacity, do NOT expect the same performance from the PR3s. Stick with the Pilot Powers.

The Pilot Power 2CTs are track ready. I have gone through a couple sets. They grip well.

So the question is what do you want to compromise? — do you want ultimate grip, or do you want more wear, and longer life from the tires?

The PR3s grip well, and heat up well in cooler temperature, but they are not in any way the same as the Pilot Power 2CT.

Go back and read the exchange I had with Michelin. I asked them pretty much the same questions you are asking me, and answered them in the article …

Alain 07.28.11 at 3:54 am

Is this tyre advisable for someone who drives a BMW 1600 GT with quite an aggressive driving style? 200+ km/hour driving, heavy braking and fast cornering since it has a low point of gravity?
with kind regards,

Jeff 07.28.11 at 6:36 am


I believe this may be within limits. Michelin say it is a tire for powerful sport tourers. As you know, you must ride within limits and learn the characteristics and limits of what ever tire you have. Any new tire is a learning process to be approached with caution. Cannot vouch for how long it will last if you are really gassing it. Check also with Michelin and your BMW dealer to see if they have any conflict.



Bjarne 08.18.11 at 3:21 am

Hi Jeff. Great article – I learn something new all the time, and since I have to trust my life to the tires – the more the better.
I live and work in Vietnam, I am riding a Honda Hornet CB600F4. At the moment I have Pilot Power 2CT , and they are about to be replaced. But with what? My biggest problem is the huge amount of dust on the roads. When its raining it’s like mud and when dry, if I don’t control my right hand, rear tire slips. I am not driving extreme sporty, but sometimes you have to maneuver quickly and very cornering to avoid others on the road (goats-cows-dogs-extreme big holes in the road-the other drivers (with and without driver license etc.) will the 3 work better for me?

Jeff 08.18.11 at 9:58 am

Hi Bjarne. The conditions you are describing sound like you would be better off with a Kawasaki KLR650 or some kind of BMW GS. Sounds like almost a dual sport would be better with even more aggressive tires. Do you ever get to clean roads to ride the CB600F4? That bike is meant for clean roads, ideally.

That said, like I have said to others, I cannot unequivocally tell you this tire would work better. Yes it handles water better. Not sure about the dust/mud that’s so thick you spin the tire. Probably it would to a point.

In those conditions you are not sport riding, you are just getting through.

As is the case with any tire, a motorcyclist is ultimately his own tire tester. I say this because you need to be able to sense the grip, and able to smoothly ride up to the limits of the tire.

Just because someone says the new XYZ tire is great does not mean you can run right out there and throw it into a corner without working up to that level.

If you decide to do it, you will still want to take great care, and learn the new tires progressively.

It’s a risky business. One thing Keith Code recommended in his book, A Twist of the Wrist, is to challenge yourself to ride the problem spots until you develop greater proficiency. The flip side is it is more risky, but then risk is what motorcyclists are facing in the first place by riding high-horsepower two-wheeled, single-track vehicles that are inherently unstable, will fall down, and have no real rider protection to speak of as autos do.

So, teaching yourself at your own pace, carefully is a needed skill. Pushing back the limits takes time. Getting better and less afraid of what now may unnerve you comes by facing it repeatedly, but again take care.

You might take a chance on the PR3s, but maybe you might have more fun on a dual sport? I don’t know enough to tell you more than this.

Matt 09.15.11 at 3:20 am


just to mix things up, on this Australian Michelin website; http://motorcycle.michelin.com.au/twproduct/findProduct/getProductList/1/2 the Pilot road 3 is in the category of sport/racing NOT touring/street.

To be honest I don’t know if the answers Michelin rep gave you had a lot of weight to dismiss sport credibility of the PR3. Seemed very legally safe general answers from one individual. But I do understand is considered as sports tourer tire and not saying your wrong.

Graeme 09.22.11 at 2:18 am

Thanks for the article.
Tyres are a bit of a confusion to me at times.
I have a BMW K1200S. I have a Pilot Power on the front and a Pilot Road 2 on the back…its time for new tyres and my thought was to go for a set of Pilot Road 3. Now I’m not sure…(I’m not Casey Stoner but I like to push it along a bit in the twisties when the urge takes me)…maybe a more ‘sport’ orientated tyre would be better? Then today I rang my local shop and the guy threw another spanner at me by saying I should be fitting Metzeler M5 on my Beemer…the other factor being the Metzelers are considerably cheaper. Any comments?

Jeff 09.25.11 at 3:08 am


I request the right to make the same hemming and hawing disclaimers for you that I do for anyone when asked these kinds of questions.

Tires are critical, and it is as much the rider’s ability to be in tune with his bike as anything.

The Metzeler M5 Sportecs, I believe are sport tires, are they not? All around, wet, dry, but sport. So it’s not an apples to apples comparo.

The Michelins can be used in pretty aggressive maneuvers too, but I’ve not tried them both back to back.

Personally, I tend to “err” on the safe side and go for more stick than less. I am willing to sacrifice durability for grip, but cannot speak to these specific tires.

Odds are if you’re seeing lots of rain, the Michelins would be a bit better. In dry, I would guess – and it’s only a guess – the Metzelers ought to be.

As far as the shop guy goes, he may have a small point, but not an unequivocal one. It’s true OEs develop bikes around specific tires, and sticking with them cannot hurt, being the most conservative option. Then again, if an aftermarket (or upgraded version from same maker) tire is outright superior to the “officially recommended” tire, I say don’t worry about what “should” go on the bike.

I’ve seen counter-examples to this too. For example, what ever Bridgestone/Dunlop comes stock on the CBR1000RR in the U.S., I would have no hesitation ditching in favor of superior replacements.

Metzeler is typically a different matter. BMW does not go second rate like Honda does with OE fitments, so their recommended choices are worth considering a bit more .

Also, what you are thinking about doing, it appears, is retrofitting a whole different class of tire – sport touring – in place of sport tires. That is a much more qualified decision. Not a definite no-no, but more so than, say, fitting a competitive same-type replacement to the Metzeler (assuming as you say, they are recommended by BMW).

Both are good, so it’s not likely you’ll be very disappointed either way.

Just remember the usual drill: Take it easy and work your way up on a variety of different pavement conditions until you are sure you know what to expect.


Gabe 10.03.11 at 2:26 pm

Hi Jeff,
Let me start by thanking you for the great article;
Now, like “Geir”, I ride to and from work in NYC and my riding style change from highway to weekend twisties…no knee-dragging but I’m not going in turns slow either.
I ride a BMW K1200R and like “Graeme” beside Michelin PR3 I am contemplating Metzeler M5 and Metzler Z8…what do you think?
Thank you in for taking the time to answer to all the questions.

Daniel Muñoz 10.04.11 at 8:12 am

Hi, i have a Ducati Multistrada 1100 – 2008, does this tires work for my bike? I’am between PR´3 and brigstones BT 16 pro.

Jeff 10.05.11 at 8:59 pm

Hi Gabe,

Thanks, much appreciated.

I’ve not tested the Z8 sport touring tire, but Metzeler typically does a great job. I’d defer to their product description between that and the M5, but odds are the M5 grips better in dry. Not sure how much more.

Linked is an article from a friend who wrote this for Motorcycle.com

Sounds like the Z8 is a great all-rounder. Since I have not ridden it back-to-back against the PR3, it’s a toss up.

I wish I could give you a better answer. These are all premium tires and should give you a good margin even for your weekend rides.

Jeff 10.05.11 at 9:00 pm


Yes, they should work for your bike.


Don Bir 10.15.11 at 5:22 pm

I ride a KTM 950 with 17″, 19″ tubeless wheel setup and have been using Metzler Z6s’ . These have worked great for me. The front tire turns in really well and has never ceased to amaze me. I ride this bike very aggressively and have never pushed the front despite constantly braking late and deep into corners, and that includes track days. The only reason I’m changing is because I can no longer get 19″ fronts in the Metzlers. My best choices seem to be Conti Attacks or Pilot 3s’ in 19″ fronts. What do you think?



Jeff 10.15.11 at 6:47 pm

Hi Don,

As I’ve said in previous replies, I’m hesitant to make a recommendation for a tire I’ve not ridden – speaking here of the Continentals.

The Contis for dual sports look alright. That tread pattern looks biased for non-rain, though no doubt the rubber compound has some grip on wet tarmac all by itself. I’d guess they would grip well especially in dry, but in the rain won’t be as capable as the heavily grooved and sipped PR3s from Michelin (which also use excellent rubber).

If planning to do track days I’d probably go with the Contis just because they have more rubber on the cornering sections, and assuming the compound is as good as they say. If riding in all conditions including rain, the PR3s ought to work.

I’ve heard of PR3s being used by sportbikes, and even seeing track duty, but they would not be my tire of choice for that.

I wish I could be of more help, but won’t venture any unequivocal statements about what I’ve not tested as that would be a disservice to you.

Both are first rate tires, so what ever you do, it probably won’t be a disaster. Just remember to take your time finding the limits.


Mark Elsdon 12.01.11 at 2:19 pm

Great article. Probably going over old ground here but what the heck!
Trying to decide what to put on my trusty old zzr1100 D4 (sorry that’s a zx1100 D to you folks stateside:) ). I’ve been running on pilot power 2ct’s and absolutely love ‘em, BUT at 4500 miles a go they’re pricey. I know she’s not meant for hard cornering but I do throw her over on the roads and the 2ct’s have never let me down. She’s used all year round at all speeds but I’m getting fed up with changing tyres every 6 months because there’s no centre tread left.
With such a hefty beast (514lbs dry weight) am I likely to see little extra benefit in added mileage compared to the extra grey hairs acquired through hanging out on the tyre edge and wondering if she’ll let go?
As a rider who’s probably not great in tread conservation type riding do you reckon I’d see many more miles out of the PR3′s, and if not Michelin’s any ideas on other brands?

mini dirt bikes 12.20.11 at 6:57 am

great information on staying safe. more people need to pay attention to articles like this.

Jarques Barnard 01.09.12 at 8:29 am

Hi Jeff

Great article!having said that,i feel a bit unsure.i just got back from the dealer after fitting pr3′s.the guy said that its latest technology and that i will b satisfied with the pr3′s.so right there and then i fitted them without any doubt in my mind.thats when i got home and decided to google the tires,just for interest sake.wish i googled before i fitted them.anyway,i ride a 08 fireblade and was running power pure.now,after reading ur guys article and the q&a u had with michelin,im starting to think the dealer just wanted to make money out of me.thats neither here nor there.im not an aggresive rider,we do the occasional track here in sunny and hot south africa.im convinced by the manufacturer that its for sport touring,period.should i be more cautious with my riding,like i said im not aggresive,no wheelies,no burnout or stunts and should i rely on my good old “slow into,fast out”corner capabilities, whether on track or road.or should i make room for improvement with the pr3′s? any help would be highly appreciated!

Many thanx


Jeff 01.10.12 at 4:44 am

Hi Jarques,

When these tires were first coming out I contacted Michelin, which you saw, and told them I was seeing them billed for sport riders. They were dead set against that, said they were not engineered for high perf/trackday.

I have Power Pures on the R1 I ride and they are grippier.

The PR3s are pretty high performance street tires. They’re meant to prevent some guy on his BMW or VFR (or what have you) from skidding out of control if he gets a bit rambunctious whacking the bike over, as he scoots through the twisties.

You definitely want to learn the limits with care on any unfamiliar tire. It’s not so much the wheelies or burnouts, but braking and especially cornering where a big mistake could cost you.

You need to be able to read the pavement too. I’ve initiated front tire skids with my Pures on off camber farm roads which is a recipe for losing it quick. No ABS, just a hand that let go quick enough when I sensed loss of traction.

I’ve been told guys do mount the PR3s on sportbikes and they don’t take it too easy, so you may be alright, I cannot say.

Be smooth and work up to limits. Feel free to write back after you get some more time with them. Stay safe.



Jarques Barnard 01.10.12 at 6:04 am

Hi Jeff

Thanx for your reply and the advice.we’re going riding on sunday,so ill report back to you after the first ride with the pr3′s.

Keep Well


Jeff 01.10.12 at 5:57 pm

OK thanks Jarques.



David Harmon 01.12.12 at 12:14 pm

I own a CBR600RR i have used Pilot Pure 2CT, great tyres, but after 1000 miles the front turned to chewing gum on the sides, after the 1000 miles in warm weather the front would slide in bone dry conditions, would not buy again! I have used a few sets of Pilot Power 2CT, great tyres but the rear will wear out in 2700 miles. I tried some Pilot Road 3′s the turn in was heavy, but i quickly got used to them, I have ridden very hard in the wet and dry, in the dry i have taken them to the edges, and cannot break them loose, they grip perfect, after 4400 miles the rear still looks great, the edges are showing signs of wear but have been worked hard, as i am a fan of tight and twisty mountain roads, i will certainly buy these again. If you see a wet patch in the road mid corner don’t worry about it, they will grip.

Peter 01.14.12 at 3:50 am

As above great article,

I have the PR3′s fitted to my 99 Daytona 955i so far I cannot fault them in wet conditions, being able to weave left and right like you would in dry conditions. Road home from Dover 150 miles down the back roads in the pitch black and horrendous weather conditions, tyres were superb!

My only bug bear is grip when cornering (fast or slow) for the first 3-4 miles on any journey the tyres give the sensation of slipping which is quite off putting. Once warmed up your all the way to edge confidently.

I’ll definately be getting another set. Tyres before we’re battlax 023 which were also very good.


Paul 02.04.12 at 9:51 am

Hey Jeff,
Your article really helped. I have been trying to decide between 5 choices of tires… I believe I have narrowed down to this one for my Kawi 1600 Mean Steak. I was glad to hear you tested the tire in temps below 40F. In Nova Scotia, I have ridden close to it being 32F. I also enjoy extended touring and pleased to now the tire wear is reliable and not too expensive on my pocket book.

Keep the rubber side down,

Bob 02.07.12 at 4:50 am

Hi Jeff,
i have just read 90% of this thread wondering why no one is reporting the problem that i am having on my PR3s until reading second to last comment from Peter above saying that he notices a feeling of slipping when cornering. I have the PR3s on a GSX650F which I ride very sportily. I never had issues with the PR3s until the weather went sub 5 degrees celsius here in London. It is a whole new and bad experience… I do not enjoy the tyres anymore as i constantly feel the slipping especially when accelerating out of a curve. Perhaps the problem is accentuated because i weigh 105 kilos and the bike is 217kg so we are a heavy combo. I am hoping for warmer weather soon to see if the feeling goes but i am not a happy camper at the moment.

Gregg P 02.10.12 at 12:54 am

Hi Jeff

I read your article with interest especially regarding the comments about the PR3 and sports bikes. I find it interesting that Michelin are adamant that the PR3 is not for sports bikes, re the Busa comment, however, Bridgestone on the other hand specifically advertise their Sport Touring tyre the BT-023 as being suitable for sports bikes and good for track use, which is a distinct contrast to the Michelin advertising. Check out bridgestonebikersclub.co.uk and the BT023 is being marketed by Ron Haslam for his race school.

On the basis of this I would be more inclined to put the Bridgestones on my RR and steer clear of the Michelins.

What are your thoughts on this?


Jeff 02.11.12 at 8:05 am

Hi Gregg,

I’ll see if I can get an answer from Michelin.



Phil 03.19.12 at 8:41 am

Hi Jeff

I have a GSXR 750 K8 and put the tyres on my bike after they were recommended by the garage that serviced my bike this weekend. I mentioned to them that i do a few track days a year and have Germany/ France touring plans and they said the tyres are fine for touring and tracking.

Reading your article makes me very nervous about getting my knee down though and i wish i stayed away from these tyres.



Richael 03.19.12 at 10:08 pm

Hello, I was wondering about a good tire for a TLR. I live in Michigan so roads are rough and mostly straight but I do find the occasional corners. I’m interested in the pr3 for the longer lasting because of cummuting 30 miles 1 way for work. Would this be a good tire? or what is your opinion on one?

Thank you

TomS 03.27.12 at 3:53 pm

I am having a set installed on my Ducati MTS 1100 in a few days. I will report back after I have a few miles. Per the techs at the shop this is the right tire for my bike and my riding style.

Tom S/Denver Co USA

Lionel Wood 04.05.12 at 5:48 am

Hi, I have a Honda CBR600F (not RR model) which I use for daily commuting, weekend rides in the twisties plus an occasional track day here in sunny South Africa. I need to replace its OEM Bridgestone rear tyre which only lasted 7000kms and I have been thinking of replacing it with a Michelin Pilot Road 3 due to its high mileage and wet grip ability however I am concerned as at my last trackday a rider had a major crash when his rear tyre lost grip and slid out going through a fast (180+kph) sweep. The bike was a Kawasaki ZX-10R 1000 Ninja, fitted with new Michelin Pilot Road 3s! Is the Road 3 suitable to fit for the riding I do and the type of bike that the CBR600F is?

Ben Spies is Awesome 04.19.12 at 2:58 pm

Lovely article. Surprises me as I’ve seen Pr2′s fitted to many a sportsbike, but hey, Michelin have got to have a reason to keep the rest of their range going. I fitted a PR3 rear (190/55) to a 05′ Z1000 the other day – still have a power 2ct on the front that’s done 5500 miles. I have to say I’ve been impressed with this tyre already. I am not a hard rider – I save my thrashing for when I have a cage around me – and whilst the bike is not an out and out sportsbike, it’s still pretty powerful to say the least. I’ve found the rear warms up fast, feels stable and grippy and suits the British weather. Impressed enough that I’ve bought a set of PR3′s to keep whilst michelin still have the cashback deal. Dunno when I’ll fit the new front – probably in another 2500 miles or so as I can easily see the 2ct front lasting till then. Although I’ve got a pair of pr3′s to go on, a pr3 rear and power 2ct gets a thumbs up as combo (if you ride like me), it appears to work very well – and the bonus is you’d probably see about the same mileage from both.

mike shea 04.22.12 at 9:48 pm

last August i put a set of PR3s on my 2009 cbr 1000rr abs. i rode them from maryland to california and back 7000 miles in 10 days including a 3 day stop in indianapolis in for motogp. i rode through rain, sandstorm, hail and never had a traction problem. unfortunately i ran over a nail shortly after being home so i replaced the rear tire. i have had these tires up to 186mph with no wiggle or anything. i currently have 19500 miles on the front tire and just hit the wear marker. best tires i have ever had. i used them in 15 degree weather this winter and 100+ weather riding through death valley. i push these tires just as hard as the dunlops that came stock. full lean, knee dragging no problems. i have pictures of all of this if anyone wants proof. -mike

Pete 04.30.12 at 5:15 am

I ride a 1998 R1 and am going to on a Spain and Portugal tour in a couple of months, 3 – 4,000 mile round trip. I was considering putting on a set of Dunlop Roadsmart 2′s or Mitchelin Pilot Road 3′s for the trip, but after reading your article am now unsure.

What would you recommend? – Pete

Jeff 04.30.12 at 10:36 am

I ride a ’98 R1 also, and have Michelin Pilot Pures on as all-around tires.

They might go the distance. They are track worthy 2CTs and grip well, especially when they get racetrack hot, which they don’t get to be on the street.

They grip well especially in dry, though they’re OK in wet because of a good rubber compound, but with less siping to channel heavy water.

If I were contemplating a lot of mixed weather, I’d consider the PR3s. I’ve gotten enough feedback from hard charging sport riders they work for them also. I heard from someone also that Reg Pridmore uses them for his track school (though not completely sure of all the details).

It’s your call. Do you like to crank the bike over hard in twisting sections? Are you good at gauging traction when you are at the limits of slipping? Are you a smooth rider who eases into these curves, or do you just slam the bike over hoping it will hold?

You’ll have more margin for error with sport tires, but the PR3s grip pretty well, so you should be OK if you are actually intending to “sport tour.” They are sport touring tires, and meant to work at all normal street riding temperatures with loaded bikes heavier than yours.

Kelly Williams 05.09.12 at 1:24 am

I own a GSX1400, which is a heavy naked bike with a lot of torque.
I have worn out several sets of PR2s, usually getting 12-14,000km, depending on the odd track day. I found these tyres could match or better any well ridden sports bike with so called track-day rubber. They typically wear out to a round profile without square-off. I could not get them to let go on the track, right out on the edges.
Then I was persuaded to try a set of Power 2CTs. For sure, you can get away with some really lunatic riding on them, but only marginally more lunatic than the PR2s, I reckon. The trouble is, they only went half the distance of the PR2s. So this makes them twice the cost of the PR2s in real terms, for a small margin in traction, and they are more inclined to slide in damp spots or spin-up on shiny spots in heavy rain at higher speeds. Twice the cost for the small margin is not worth it, to me.
I am fitting a set of PR3s next, and I expect them to exceed the PR2s in all respects.
Observing two guys on Busas, and another on a Kawa1400at a track day the other day, in mild weather, who all had newish PR3s fitted, I was told that they can start to slide a little earlier than the pilot power, with wide-open throttle, but predictably, never letting go.

Reading the thread above, I really think Michelin are being super conservative, wary of bad press from hard testers trying to prove the PR3 is a track tyre, and wanting to leave room for hard chargers to keep buying the sport and track day tyres at the top of the range.
My observation is that barely 10% of riders EVER approach the limit of what their chosen tyre will do, on the street, even up in the canyons (we call this a gorge down here in New Zealand). I have seen R1 owners who insist they need a Power or Pure, who run a 1″ chicken strip on their tyres. I can’t figure that out.

Phil 05.30.12 at 4:29 am


i ride a gixer 750 and was worried after putting these tyres on. Did a track day yesterday and i have to say they felt very good and stable. I had my knee down no problem so don’t be concerned like i was about tracking with these tyres

Neil 06.14.12 at 2:11 pm


My compliments on a very informative article. I have been pricing new tyres for my R1, i’ve riden with michelin for years so wanted to change the dunlops i inherited with the bike – as the tread level wasnt legal in Germany, where i’m heading in a week or so.

The tyre retailer / fitter actually tried to stear me towards fitting the pr3′s, following your article i’ll go with the 2CT’s.

Many thanks

Brad Thompson 06.21.12 at 7:27 pm

I have a set on my 06 ZX636. I have put over 3500 miles on them in last year in South Lake Tahoe – Carson City,NV area. I ride in the winter and summer and try to keep my riding when temps are above 25 degrees. It is damn cold below that with no electric clothes…I have ridden on wet roads, and very cold weather – no issues. I have taken these down to the cornering edge about 1/8″ great grip. I think it is a matter of perspective…
My first bike was a basically new 1988 ZX600. I have ridden other bikes and my last bike was a Honda CBR900RR. I can say these tires are in another league compared to the stock skins of the 06 ZX636 or the other bikes. Cold I can break them loose easily but once warmed up I have pulled wheelies out of low and mid speed corners a few times (leaned over). I rode up in SLT in March in snow melt roads wet/dry at a real good clip and they performed awesome. I do not ride like Casey Stoner or Carlos Checa on the street.
I used to slide my old 600 front and rear when in big bear,ca around those roads consistently. Terrible traction quality of the stock OEM tires. If you have more than a few years experience on a bike with good abilities you can drag parts that are not necessary on the street with ease.
I am really not sure about what they are talking about when they state these tires are a liability on a sport bike. Seriously, this is the best tire I have ever encountered on a sport bike. Great grip and so far 3500+ miles and still have lots of life left in them. I am smooth on my controls and I am able to pick up the front tire coming out of a corner still partially leaned over.
Now this article makes me wonder what kind of grip a set of Power ones would provide? I can say I do not ride hard in cold temps – think that is just common sense.
I am looking to take these out on the track in Fernley this summer. I have an extra set of wheels with a damaged front rim that if I get fixed would like to throw some real track tires on it and see what the difference is between the two. Will see.
If you have experience ridding 80′s-90′s technology tires then running a set of these will be like the difference between a bias ply tire and some newer sticky radials…. Just saying – not all of us ride in the top 5 lap times…..

Stefano 07.11.12 at 10:47 am

Hi guys,

great article Jeff!

I didn’t saw someone that run an Honda ST 1100 in the comments… I want to ask you if someone had tested these tyres on the Honda ST 1100 bike.
I usually have the Bridgestone Battlax BT023 on my bike and I’m very happy with the sport performances of these tyres, but I’m not very happy with the distance I can run with (up to 5’000 miles).
If a owner of a Honda ST 1000 (Pan European) has some experience with the Michelin Pilot Road 3 tyres I’ll be happy to read her/his comments. Thank you

Daniel 07.29.12 at 12:37 pm

I ride a K6 Busa. Pr2′s was good, average 11000k’s per set but was a bit shaky on the rain and sometimes in the corners it felt twitchy. It wear off to a flat surface in the middle of the tire. Speed at 300 (on the clock) have to be shorter than 8 k’s or the tyres overheated and start making gum balls on the surface. The PR3′s gave me 17000k’s, nice and steady in the rain, wear down to the round shape of the tyre with a faint flat part in the middle. Grip around the corners are very good. On a hot day last year (40°C) I did a 200k stretch and only came below 260 twice. When I stopped for fuel there were no gumballs on the tyres. I am not a professional rider but do ride like a hooligan in the mountain pass every weekend and twice a year I take nice long trips (5000k’s plus) with two duffle bags on at the back. My longest strecth was 1440 k’s in 11.5 hrs that included 6 petrol stops, 2×30 min stops for food and lubricating the chain and 11 stop and go’s due to road works. I enjoy my riding.
The PR3′s is the tyre for the Busa, which reminds me, I have to replace it next week.

Frugal 09.28.12 at 3:44 pm

Let me help out here I ride a street triple with pr3s you need to ask yourself two questions before you buy other than what can I afford to spend and how often etc etc because as already covered you get stupidly good miles from these tyres:

1) do I own a sport bike and demand that stupidly good feedback that really soft sticky sports tyres give you? Yes? – don’t buy pr3 the feedback is limited because it just grips and grips but I would not want to ride at 100% on a track with these on, I ride very quickly and aggressively in twistys and there is enough grip to not be concerned with feedback but they do not heat up for beans and have little to say, do if this is you go buy sporty rubber

2) do I use a bike all year round, come rain or shine with a mix of roads and weather ? Do I ride quick but sensibly ( not grinding pegs and hating on your machine ) if yes – these could be for you!! Pr3s are light nimble tyres that make town riding quite and easy no problems in the rain as previously mentioned, they eat motorways and let you ride as spirited as you like and don’t complain,

Hope that helps, these tyres are good on naked a and larger bikes but would not work on something like a ninja r6 cbr I like them and think they are great and work really well all be it a little hard and they dont talk well but that’s no problem at all as they work so darn well you can trust them all day everyday!

Last note if you haven’t spotted this already, pr3s are NOT a sport tyre just solid high mileage All rounders!! Bt016 etc for sport pr3s for B roads and motorway..

Achid 10.02.12 at 9:35 pm

Hi fellow Michelin users!

Just to share my experience riding sport-touring bikes thru the years. I live in Malaysia. Here, in the tropics, a tyre’s wet weather performance is of equal importance as its grip and mileage.

I rode a 1990 Honda CBR1000F from 1991 until 2003. I rode pillion and I’m a daily rider. I rode on long distance journeys during the holidays and I rode rain or shine. Thru the 11 years, I primarily used Metzeler’s famed ME33 Laser fronts and ME55 Metronic rears. Until such time when they were unavailable did I reluctantly tried Bridgestone’s BT 021. I did try using Michelin’s Macadam but it does give me the feedback that I require. The Bridgestone BT 021 was somehow, doing a good job but my heart still longed for the discontinued Metzelers.

I sold the Honda in January 2003 and bought a brand new 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200. This is a truly dedicated sport-tourer of its time and has Bridgestone BT 020 fitted as OEMs. When it wore out, I fitted Bridgestone BT 021 for the next few sets. Then Michelin introduced its Pilot Road 2 tyres. I fitted them and I immediately fell in love with its superb wet weather capability. It handled well in the dry and gave superb feedback in the wet. For your information, I am riding pillion and have a complete set of Givi trunk(52 liters) and pannier boxes(42 liters each) and we are both very “chubby” riders! Imagine the load on the tyres while carrying the full load at an average cruising speed of around 200 kph on a dry midday and sometimes during the rain at midnight! Since then, I have a huge respect for the Michelin Pilot Road 2!

So, it was no surprises in 2010 when I sold my Kawasaki ZZR1200 for a brand new 2010 Kawasaki ZZR1400ABS, I immediately requested that the bike’s OEM Bridgestone BT 016 tyres be replaced with Michelin Pilot Road 2(even had to pay extra)! Also, I fitted a complete set of Givi trunk(55 liters) and pannier boxes(35 liters each), higher windscreen and raised handlebars to give it a sports-tourer feel. Just to prove to myself, I raced the bike up to 280 kph on the highway(sans luggage) just to experience its high speed characteristics and was impressed and I believe that it can hit at least 300 kph in favourable conditions. We still ride a lot of long distance trips and also still rode pillion to work daily. In February this year, we rode to Thailand, Myanmar and Laos(about 6,000 km round trip) on the new Michelin Pilot Road 3. Needless to say, Michelin’s claim of the Pilot Road 3 is very true indeed. It did handle better in the wet and road holding is slightly better in the dry. The tyres are wearing-off very nicely. We plan to ride to Cambodia next. I have friends riding Kawasaki’s GTR 1400 and using the Bridgestone BT 023 and they cannot say the same about their tyres. Even managed to convince one to switch to the Michelin Pilot Road 3 and boy, was he happy he made the switch!

My personal experience with the Michelin Pilot Road 3 is that it is a highly versatile tyre designed to carry the load required for 2-up high–speed touring, handles very well in the wet, stable at very high speeds and has superb mileage range, all which is what I look for in a sport-touring tyre. I wonder what will Michelin think of for the future Pilot Road 4? Keep up the good work Michelin!

Tania Burger 11.12.12 at 12:07 am

Hello there

I have a Gladius SFV650 which I use to ride to work and around the traps and short day trips. I have only been riding for 2 years and I am not heavy on the throttle and don’t do too much cornering work, but want to change that as my confidence is growing .

I have had Dunlop Sportsmax tyres which need replacing at 12 000km’s. I have been considering the PR3′s and wondered what the thoughts were on this.

Mike 11.24.12 at 9:00 pm

Hi Jeff,
I appreciate your expertise about the Pilot Road 3′s, and I would like your advice. I just switched bikes from a 2003 Suzuki SV650S to a 2005 Honda VFR800. My VFR had only 1600 miles on when I bought it in Dallas, TX. I road the bike home to San Jose, CA. The VFR came with a fairly hard compoung pair of Mezler tires. These tires are old (2003) and quite hard. Would you recommend that I upgrade to the Pilot Road 3′s or to the Pilot Powers, which I road on my SV650S. Also, the Mezler tires feel noticably hard while riding. Will the Road 3′s feel more plush than these, despite the fact that they, too, are a Sport-Touring tire? Finally, I bought the VFR as a more comfortable bike to go on weekend trips with my wife. I want to get a set of tires that will last long, grip well, and provide the most comfortable and safe ride possible for when I ride double with my wife on the back.

Rob 02.08.13 at 4:53 pm

The most important thing in that article is don’t push the limit on a touring tire. Yes you can rip hard on them…but mentioned above….you better know the limit on them when doing so. Touring Tires are the way to go unless you are dragging knees and railing corners. Touring tires can Rip a lot harder than the average rider can. Give them a shot.

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Brunofssky 03.31.13 at 4:06 am

Thank you for this great article!

I’ve got an R1100gs on tourance exp. No gravel or mud for me!

Due to your information i concluded that this is the right stuff, trail version.

Best regards

daz54 04.20.13 at 8:53 am

I owned a 1999 Kawasaki ZZR1100 (or ZX11 Ninja) D7 for 11 years, always used Bridgestones mostly BT020s. A dog head-butted the fairing and the insurance company wrote it off. So I’m now riding a 2004 GSX-R750. Bought privately, it had a Battlax BT45 front and an Avon Storm rear. The Avon worked well on the rear but the BT45 wasn’t a good match so when the Avon wore out, even though the BT45 was only about 2/3 worn, I recently replaced both. Still learning the PR3s but so far they seem to be a big improvement, more confidence-inspiring.

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Shawn 05.24.13 at 8:24 am

I’ve been running Pilot Road 2′s on GSX-R1000′s, Honda Superhawks, and now a TL1000R. I’m as aggressive as they come with fast starts, and I lean to the shoulders in the corners. I also gas it pretty hard coming out of corners while still at a good lean. I ride year long and average 15-20k miles per year. Wet/Dry/105F/27F I’ve done it all.

That being said, i’ve never had a traction issue that wasn’t called for.

I am willing to bet that the Michelin rep you questioned wouldn’t recommend the Pilot Road 3′s for sportbikes because Michelin wants us sportbikers to ride their sticky tires and wear them out every 2-3k miles so that we buy more tires. If we all started riding their awesome Pilot Roads, they’d lose money.

I recommend the Pilot Road 2 or 3 for any street bike. By the way, look closely, the Pilot Road 3 has the exact same tread pattern as the Pilot Road 2…it just has more grooves cut in it.

Sonia 07.30.13 at 1:00 am

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stephen 02.12.14 at 5:26 pm

Hi, I’ve just had pilot road 3′s in the 50 profile put on the bike. I ride a Ninja1000 sports tourer… I’m not happy with the new tyres, as I’m all over the road and run wide coming out off bends…I don’t feel confident on them, they aren’t as sticky and don’t hold there line at speed in corners…bike shop has just told me to play with tyre pressures ???

Paul 03.12.14 at 5:28 pm

Well after reading all of this the last comment by Shawn, well what can I say I’m with him the tread pattern is the same just a few extra cut outs so I’m going for the P’3 for me cbr 1000 rr and put them to the test what have I got to loose.

Josh 04.30.14 at 2:18 pm

This is an awesome article. Even more info in the connects section.

I’m a new rider on a 07′ CBR 600RR. I’ll be using my bike for commuting on weekdays and touring in a group. No track days. No scrapping knees on pavements. Riding within the legal speed limits.

Tire choices:
Mich Pilot Power rear and front
Mich Pilot Power 3s rear and front
Mich Pilot Road 3s rear and front.

Which one would be best for me.

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