1. Michelin Road 5
Michelin is a well-known and respected name in the tire industry. The company has been making tires for more than a century and has a reputation for quality and innovation. The Michelin Road 5 Touring Radial Tire is one of the latest additions to the company's lineup of tires. The Road 5 is an all-season tire that is designed for touring motorcycles. It is available in both bias ply and radial versions.
We had the opportunity to test drive the Road 5 on our Harley-Davidson Softail. The first thing we noticed was the low noise levels. The Road 5 is one of the quietest tires we have ever ridden on. This is a big plus for daily commuters looking for a tire that doesn't make much noise. In terms of performance, the Road 5 did very well in wet conditions. It has excellent traction and performed better than some of the other all-season tires I have tried.
The Michelin Road 5 has been completely redesigned and now offers better wet traction, a smoother ride, and improved handling over the Pilot 4. Michelin appears to be on the right track, owing to modifications in rubber compounds. The use of ACT+ (Adaptive Casing Technology) to improve carcass stiffness and the recently developed XST Evo progressive sipes (X-Sipe Evo technology) aims to improve wet riding performance. This is an important feature for riders who ride in both wet and dry situations.
The Road 5 has a lot of feedback when cornering in the wet, which any rider can take advantage of—even during trail braking. The feedback is quite noticeable when hard braking from 70 mph or more, allowing riders to make emergency stops with confidence while maintaining traction. Commuters who travel in all types of weather will benefit greatly from the increased wet grip.
This means that as long as the tire is inflated to appropriate levels, it can be used throughout the summer. To make this clear, Michelin claims that a set of Road 5 with 3100 miles on them has the same wet braking performance as a fresh pair of Pilot Road 4 tires.
Furthermore, the Michelin Road 5 comes with a treadwear warranty of 10,000 miles. This is a huge benefit for those who do a lot of touring and need a tire that can handle the long haul.
The only downside to the Road 5 is its lack of winter performance. When temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the tire's grooves fill with snow, and it becomes difficult to keep traction. This isn't a problem if you only ride your bike radial version of the Road 5.
The Michelin Road 5 comes in various sizes, including 120/60-17, 120/70-17 for front tires, and 160/70-17, 160/60-17 for rear tires.
All in all, the Michelin Road 5 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an all-season touring motorcycle tire. It offers superior wet grip and handling while maintaining a quiet ride. The treadwear warranty is also a nice bonus. We highly recommend this tire to anyone looking for an upgrade.
- Superior wet grip
- Quiet ride
- Improved handling over the Pilot 4
- Treadwear warranty 10,000 miles
- Lack of winter performance
- A significant drop off in performance at low temperatures
2. Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 tire is the latest iteration of the company's Supercorsa line of tires and is designed as a high-performance street tire for sportbikes. It builds on the success of the previous Diablo Supercorsa tires but with a redesigned tread pattern and compound that offers even better grip and stability on wet and dry roads.
The Supercorsa SPs have a minimal tread pattern, with Pirelli claiming that the rear tire has nearly 25 percent more of its shoulder area slick than the previous Diablo Supercorsa. The rear Supercorsa is a two-compound tire with a harder rubber center and a softer rubber shoulder, giving it a better grip. According to Pirelli, the Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 offers "exceptional grip and stability" thanks to its revised tread pattern and construction.
The new tire also features "Pirelli Enhanced Patch Technology" (EPT), which is said to improve traction and braking performance. The tire's EPT avoids overheating and blistering by distributing the heat more evenly due to a larger and denser patch (area) of rubber in contact with the road.
The downside, however, is that these tires don't come cheap. As we all know, the Pirellis are considerably more expensive than many other street tires. If you have the cash available, these are absolutely the tires to get; but if your budget is limited, you may want to think about other options on this list.
The Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 is DOT approved for highway use, meaning they can be used as an everyday rider for those looking for decent life from their tires. However, Pirelli has made this tire speed-oriented first and foremost, which means it tends to wear quickly on the street. If you're not careful, you can easily go through a set of tires in under 3000 miles.
Designed for use on sportbikes, the Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 is available in a variety of sizes to fit a wide range of motorcycles, including 120/70 ZR 17, 120/60 ZR 17, 190/55 ZR 17, 180/55ZR 17, 200/50 ZR17 for front tires and 190 / 50Z R 17, 200 / 45Z R 17 for rear tires.
All things considered, the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 is a great choice for riders looking for a high-performance street tire that can handle different conditions well. It offers good grip and stability, especially when leaned over, and does not wear down as quickly as some competitors do. We highly recommend this tire to anyone looking for an edge in street riding.
- Excellent grip and stability on wet and dry roads
- Exceptional traction and braking performance via EPT technology
- Available in a variety of sizes to fit most sportbikes
- Higher price tag than many other street tires
- Wears quickly on the street (if not careful)
3. Shinko Classic 240
Shinko is renowned for its tires, especially the classic series. Many people that are into vintage bikes love them for their classic aesthetics that can give a bike that classy or traditional look better than any other aftermarket tire. Here is an example of one such classic-looking tire with the Shinko Classic 240.
Designed to provide you with excellent handling performance for your street bike, the 240 Classic comes with a full tread pattern that helps you get grip when needed without compromising mileage. The rubber compound makes this tire stickier than average which means it can provide better traction on both dry and wet surfaces than tires that only have a minimal tread pattern.
What really makes this tire stand out from others is its sidewall. It's not made of rubber but rather a fabric - Kevlar to be exact, the same material used by bulletproof vests. This makes it strong and resistant to punctures. It also means that you can run these tires at very low pressure without risking sidewall damage or air leaks.
The Shinko Classic 240 is also available in the Whitewall version. The main factor that may push some people toward the Whitewall version is aesthetics. If you are looking for tires with more classic looks, the Shinkos are your best bet as they feature sidewall designs reminiscent of 50's-60's American motorcycles. But make no mistake; the all-black look only adds to this tire's vintage feel instead of adding any level of functionality or performance benefits.
Durability-wise, the Shinko 240 Classic is not the best option on this list. It will wear down quickly if you're not careful, so we recommend that only experienced riders use this tire. That said, for the price you pay, it's a great choice for those who are looking for a cheap replacement or backup street tire.
This tire is typically mounted on 17-inch rims because that's what it's labeled as, but Shinko has included markings indicating safe fitment on 16" rims, so there shouldn't be any issues, especially if your rim size falls within Shinko's recommendations. Valve stems are metalcore with plastic caps, which is nice because they don't break off easily as other types do.
The bottom line is that these tires are an excellent value for the money. Not only do they look great, but they also perform very well, making them a great choice for anyone who wants a classic look without sacrificing ride quality or safety.
- Excellent value for money
- Beautiful design reminiscent of vintage motorcycles
- Short tread life; wears out quickly
- Lack of available sizes
4. Dunlop RoadSport 2
The Dunlop RoadSport 2 is another great street tire option for riders looking for good grip and handling. It's been specifically designed to provide you with the best performance on the street by using a unique tread pattern and compound.
The RoadSport 2 has a directional tread pattern that offers stability and grip when cornering, even at high speeds. The center of the tire features a more traditional tread design that provides good traction on dry roads, while the shoulder blocks are specially angled to provide extra grip in wet conditions. Overall, this tire gives you very predictable handling that makes it easy to control your bike no matter what the road surface is like.
The RoadSport 2 also uses Dunlop's own Advanced Penetration Technology (APT) compound. This compound is specially formulated to provide good grip and wear resistance, making the RoadSport 2 a great choice for those who do a lot of street riding. This shouldn't be a problem for most riders, though.
Furthermore, this tire warms up quickly, so you'll be able to get up to speed faster. And once you're there, the RoadSport 2 will keep you glued to the road.
The RoadSport 2, according to Dunlop, boasts two primary improvements over the GPR-300. Dunlop claims that the RoadSport 2 provides more stability under brakes and enhances wet and dry grip.
The Dunlop RoadSport 2 is available in one width (front), two profiles, and two lengths. However, you can get a 120 front with a 60 profile or a 70 profile with a 120 front.
There are five versions of the Dunlop Roadsport 2 available in the back: 160, 170, 180, 190, and 200. The lowest RoadSport 2 rear tire profile is 190/50, with the highest-profile version being the 160/60. The 190 is only available in two profiles. There's also a 180/55 but no 170 option.
If you're looking for a good street tire that offers great grip and handling, the Dunlop RoadSport 2 is a great choice. It may not last as long as some of the other options on this list, but it's well worth the price considering how well it performs.
- Great grip and handling
- Unique tread pattern and compound
- Not the longest lasting tire option available (but decent nevertheless)
5. Metzeler Cruistec
We have always had a lot of alternatives in the sports bike and naked-bike categories, but cruiser riders have had to compromise on tires that were designed for comfort, range, or even looks.
Enter the Metzeler Cruistec, a tire designed for the specific task of taking cruisers and touring bikes on long trips. The Cruisetec tires are covered in tread blocks spaced closely together to give you great mileage.
The CRUISE TEC tire is a high silica content tire with a performance-oriented profile that has a considerably steeper curvature than a regular cruiser tire. The tire is shaped like a triangle, with a square section in the rear. It has an excellent ROADTEC, SPORTEC M3, or even M5 Interact-style feel to it.
But that's not all.
The Metzeler also features an interlocking design with excellent cornering stability at any speed. Its carcass is made from carbon-black rubber compound, which means it'll hold up well over time without sacrificing grip or comfort, even after thousands of miles of use. More importantly for cruiser riders, this tire looks great! The black sidewalls look sharp when paired with custom paint jobs, especially chrome rims.
Although most modern sportbikes come stock with radials, Metzeler recommends that cruiser and bagger owners stick with bias or belted varieties. This goes back to how cruiser and bagger motorcycles are used. Cruisers spend most of their time on the road at low speeds, while heavy cruisers require a softer compound under load to absorb vibration from the big engine.
The only two downsides of these tires are that they don't corner very quickly on dry pavement and aren't the best for icy conditions.
The Metzeler Cruisetec is available in different sizes, including 130/90B16, 150/80B16, 160-70B17, 180/60B16, and 180/70B16.
Overall, the Metzeler Cruisetec is a great option for cruiser riders looking for a tire that'll offer comfort, good mileage, and great looks over the long haul. It is also one of the highest-rated tires on Revzilla.
- Good mileage
- Excellent traction and grip
- Looks great on cruisers
- Consistently performs in all weather conditions, except for ice
- Can be sluggish when cornering on dry pavement
- Not great for icy or snowy conditions
6. Bridgestone Exedra Max
Bridgestone's popular tire option for sportbikes is the Exedra Max, which is designed to provide excellent handling and stability on the street. The tires come with Bridgestone's "Dual Compound Technology" (DCT) that combines two rubber compounds: a harder compound in the middle of the tire and a softer compound on the sides. This technology helps extend tread life while increasing traction and grip performance.
The Bridgestone Exedra Max comes in various sizes, including 120/70 ZR 17, 180/55 ZR 17, 190/50ZR17, and many other options. The tires are made from Bridgestone's "3D computer modeling" called APT technology, which uses 3-D from testing to adjust production processes and improve the quality of its tires.
The Exedra Max is considered a touring tire and is not specifically designed for sportbikes. That said, it still offers good handling and stability on the street, making it a good option for those looking for an all-around tire. The downside is that it doesn't wear as well as some other options on this list and isn't as great in wet conditions. It's also not the best option for racers looking to put in consistently fast laps.
Overall, the Exedra Max is a great tire for street riding that offers good grip and stability when leaned over while providing decent longevity on the road. It may not be one of our top picks, but it's still worth considering if you're looking for an all-around sportbike tire for streets.
- Offers excellent handling and stability on wet roads
- Longer tread life than competitors with DCT technology
- Available in several sizes to fit most motorcycles
- Not the best option for racers looking for a consistent fast lap time
- Not as good in wet conditions as some other options on this list
7. Dunlop Elite 3 Radial
The Dunlop Elite 3 is currently the only tire on this list made from a three-layer compound. The rubber compounds are composed of different materials in layers, including one soft layer for responsiveness, one medium layer for wear resistance and grip, and one hard layer for durability. This combination helps provide riders with the perfect blend of comfort and cornering performance. Whether you're commuting on the streets or riding on the track, it's important to be able to put your bike where you want when you want without sacrificing ride quality.
Since this tire was built to offer excellent handling even at high speeds, it comes as no surprise that it offers very good cornering stability. It also has a decent road feel and feedback to make quick adjustments when needed.
The Elite 3 is available in a few different sizes, including 120/70R21, 150/80R17, 180/70R16, and 200/50R18. It also has a tread pattern that's designed to evacuate water quickly from the contact patch so you can maintain traction in wet conditions.
One downside of the Elite 3 is that it doesn't wear as well as some of the other options on this list and may not be the best for long-distance riding. It's also not great in icy conditions.
Overall, the Dunlop Elite 3 is a great street motorcycle tire that offers a good blend of comfort, cornering stability, and road feel.
- Good cornering stability even at high speeds
- Good road feel and feedback to help make quick adjustments if needed
- Comes as a radial or bias-ply construction option (depending on the size)
- Doesn't wear as well as other motorcycle tires on this list
- Not great in icy conditions
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley