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Road 5 Wet Grip And Reality

Blog Date - 17 November 2017

I've just come across the following video featuring Michelin's new "Road 5" tyres being lauded (by Michelin) as being super duper great in the wet.

Wow! Great! Just think, with a set of these beauties on my motorcycle I'll be able to almost get my knee down when the road is soaking wet and I'm splashing through puddles. Oooooh I just cannot wait for winter I'm sooooo excited!!

Erm. Yeah. So long as I'm on a closed track. On what looks like quite a warm sunny day after a light shower. 

Tell me, will I still be hanging off the side of my motorcycle at high speed when it's -2 degrees centigrade? Will I be able to shred past cars when there's a diesel slick across my path? How about leaf strewn autumnal lanes? No mention of how well they stick over wet white lines?

I'm sure the Road 5 will be *relatively* excellent in the wet, after all the 4s, 3s and 2s have been very popular with real world owners. It's just marketing nonsense to suggest we can all be thrashing down our favourite twisties at hyperspeed during a British winter deluge. I am starting to understand why American advertising has captions like "Professional rider under controlled conditions".

Oh, they'll still be grippy after a staggering 3,000 miles too according to the blurb at the end of the video. 3,000 miles? I want mine to still be grippy after 13,000 miles not 3,000. I guess I'm not in their target market segment.

Continental ContGo! tyres on a CBF125 wheel
I guess I'll have to stick with ContiGo! DitchFinders for the time being.


Do you sell a tyre that sticks like poop to a blanket at -2°C on diesel spread across ice? Advertise them here on Bikes And Travels. I will buy some - so long as they fit a CBF125. I'm wasting my time aren't I. ren@bikesandtravels.com.

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Reader's Comments

Ian Soady said :-
Bike tyres nowadays are all streets ahead of even the best we used to have (TT100s etc). However, the magazines etc tell us that we need to "warm them up" in order to get them to work properly.

In the real world, this is nonsense. Where you need the grip is exactly those cold, slimy conditions at around 10 degrees C where you have no chance of them getting more than slightly warm. What we need is tyres that have BETTER grip in those conditions not worse.

Of course this won't suit those characters who insist of getting their knees down (why?) or go round parked bikes comparing "chicken strips". So it won't happen.
18/11/2017 13:32:34 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Yeah it's real hard getting tyres up to temperature when stuck in traffic jams and sitting at lights. It's nigh on impossible when it's -3 with wet roads covered in salt.

When I read that I feel a whole lot better about negotiating oil soaked roundabouts at 15mph. It's a blinking miracle we can reach the end of the street.
18/11/2017 19:11:19 UTC
Bob said :-
I've learned about warming tyres up from my green laning activities. I had it several times when out for a ride where I'd just completed a green lane section, returned to the tarmac and ended up pulling up to check if I'd picked up a flat front tyre!
Turns out that what was happening was that on the green lanes the tyres were cooling down and hence the weird feeling when hitting the tarmac again.
I suppose that when setting off from home with cold tyres I don't notice the effect because I'm:
a) Used to the odd feeling, so it becomes normal on those familiar roads near my house.
b) Going very steady as I nurse the engine up to operating temperature.
In any event I have learned to take it steady when when returning to tarmac after a green lane....
21/11/2017 10:39:49 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
I've never really thought about warming tyres up. I guess it's subconscious - if the bike feels weird I instinctively back off, when it feels better I'll pick up the pace a little.

Now after these comments I'm noticing it. When I leave work there's a corner nearby that always feels "loose", I wonder what it would be like to ride if I'd been on the road for a while.

I doubt my tyres ever get properly warm as I'm not riding hard enough save for the occasional summer's day in the sticks. I figure even a sloth like I must put a little temperature in them though. It's funny what you don't notice until you think about it.
22/11/2017 12:06:42 UTC
 

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