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Michelin Road 5 Motorcycle Tyre
The Michelin Road 5 is a tire that aims to meet the needs of a demanding segment of motorcycle riders, namely those in the sport-touring category. The good news is that it succeeds in doing so, with a tire model that offers exemplary performance in various road conditions.
For those of you who don’t know, the Pilot Road series (today simply known as the Road series) was first introduced in 1996 by Michelin. The concept was to offer both mileage and performance, as well as all-weather capabilities. While this was not something easy to achieve, you’ll see for yourself the result if you decide to try the Road 5 on your motorcycle.
This model was completely redesigned to get its abilities to the next level, and changes were made in terms of rubber compounds, as well as in the carcass stiffness. If you add the XST Evo progressive sipes that ensure outstanding performance on wet pavement, it’s clear that Michelin is definitely on the right track.
What makes the Road 5 stand out is exactly the fact that it delivers superior performance in pretty much all conditions, but when it comes to wet riding, you can rest assured that the tire is going to provide the necessary assistance for the rider’s full control and safety.
The Road 5 is definitely a tire that you want to try out on your own, but you should know that depending on your riding style, it might wear out rather quickly. If you are into aggressive riding with a lot of braking and difficult situations, the Road 5 is going to provide excellent performance.
On the other hand, the compound will wear out way faster than if you adapt your riding style to a more relaxed approach, so keep this in mind as you are seeing everything that the Road 5 has to offer.
Main features explained
Before we get into the more technical aspects, it’s important to understand something first. Michelin has a long history when it comes to tire-making, and one of its most popular models is the Power RS, a tire that’s focused on occasional track day use and mainly on performance street riding.
The Road 5, on the other hand, uses some of these approaches, but it’s designed for everyday riding, in both wet and dry conditions. This is important to keep in mind as you keep reading, to understand the brand’s approach when it designed this product. We’ll get to the part about its performance in wet weather in a bit, but it’s good to know that the brand updated the sipes that were previously used on the Pilot Road 4 series.
The Road 5 features what is known as the Adaptive Casing Technology given that, as the brand points out, it’s important for the tire’s crown to be supple in order to maintain the vehicle’s straight-line stability. The result is that Michelin uses a casing that features almost 90° cords, which in turn achieve the desired softness for the Road 5 model.
It’s also true that the sidewalls do need to be extra stiff if they are to withstand cornering forces, and the brand’s solution to this matter is to use the casing and the tire bead, by wrapping the former around the tire bead and then onto itself. The cords are not exactly at 90°, which means that in this process they overlap instead of remaining parallel, which then ensures extra rigidity.
You can expect the Road 5 to surprise you in terms of overall performance and, just as you’ve probably imagined, the first stop is the tire’s interior, in order to ensure these great results.
The next part of the tire-making process includes rubber compounds. It’s good to point out that Michelin uses two different approaches when it comes to the front and rear tires. The front one uses the brand’s 2CT (Two-Compound Technology), which means that two blends of silica compounds are used. The result is that the center part of the tread uses a harder compound, while the two sides use a softer one.
Of course, the result is that the harder compound wears less when the bike is ridden in a straight line, while the compound on the sides comes with enhanced adherence that comes in handy when the rider is leaning over around corners. With this being said, it’s important to understand the differences compared to the rear tire.
The rear tire uses what is called the 2CT+ approach, which is basically an enhanced version of the previous one. The center part of the tire uses 66% silica (as compared to the 44% included in the center part of the front tire), which ensures even more resistance to wear. This also means that the rear tire can better respond to additional forces obtained from propelling the motorcycle.
The rear tire’s sides, however, are the interesting part. The tread is made of a carbon black compound that ensures additional grip when reaching the final 17% before the edge. The silica compound actually runs under the softer carbon black part, thus ensuring extra stiffness to the carcass, which enables the tire to handle forces when the rider accelerates at extreme angles.
Both the front and rear Road 5 tires feature sections that come into play only when the motorcycle is leaned more than 35°, and given that this happens on dry pavement, this means that the tires are slick only when at maximum lean. The result is that the Road 5 ensures a much better grip during intense riding.
This model’s performance in wet conditions is one of the main reasons for which many users are truly excited about it. Michelin managed to obtain impressive results, and this tire truly shines over the previous model when it comes to this aspect. The XST Evo siping technology effectively displaces water, thus allowing the right contact between the tire and the pavement.
The result on the user’s part is enhanced feedback, as well as improved confidence when riding in wet conditions. Given that most riders need to tackle both types of road conditions, this characteristic proves to be extremely valuable, and it’s one of the reasons for which the Road 5 is such a popular choice.
If you are going to try this tire on your own, you’ll see that it ensures a great amount of feedback in wet conditions, which is something that any rider can certainly benefit from. Surely, there’s the exciting part of the intense riding style, but this characteristic is, of course, an invaluable safety aspect as well, so that’s also something to consider.
What makes the Road 5 pretty great is the fact that the rear tire ensures optimal results even when trail braking. The improved feedback is noticeable when riders need to make emergency stops, and this tire allows this to be done with confidence, while also maintaining traction. It’s in these situations that the enhanced wet traction is very much noticeable.
If you commute daily and you are riding in crowded areas, then you can easily see why this improved wet grip is an excellent addition to your vehicle’s overall performance. In the end, you may never know what you are going to encounter on the road, so being able to stop in safe conditions is something that you can greatly benefit from.
There’s another aspect worth noting about the Road 5, namely the fact that it includes the 3D Additive Metal Manufacturing technology, and you’ll see why in these next lines. First of all, it’s good to keep in mind that a tire does lose performance and grip over time, given that the rubber is known to wear down, and the sipes also lose their quality and ability to effectively displace water, as they become too shallow.
However, Michelin has decided to tackle this issue as well and used 3D Additive Metal Manufacturing to alleviate this otherwise normal degradation. This enabled its engineers to create dynamic and complex models that led to the production of the XST Evo tread.
The unique molds, which are pretty impossible to reproduce with standard means of production, come with chambers that are trapezoid-shaped at the base. This means that they can displace the same amount of water, no matter how worn down a tire becomes. Thus, for a tire to be able to maintain the same level of performance as at the point of purchase is very impressive.
Furthermore, this also means that the tire tread has a similar flex even when prolonged wear starts to settle in. Michelin proved this capability of the Road 5 by testing the wet braking performance of a used tire against that of the new set of Road 4 series. As you can expect, the results were impressive, so the Road 5 is a choice that you can rely on even after plenty of miles.
Michelin managed to create a tire that meets a lot of very different needs, so for any kind of sport touring, this is the tire you should keep in mind. If you have not had the chance to test it yet, you should do this and see how it feels on your own.Buy from Amazon.com