2017 Sport-touring tire test

Dunlop Roadsmart 3 (L) and Michelin Pilot Road 4 (R) rear tires shown. These were among the tires recently tested by Motorrad magazine

Dunlop Roadsmart 3 (L) and Michelin Pilot Road 4 (R) rear tires shown. These were among the tires recently tested by German Motorrad magazine

If you’re a rider who puts in a lot of miles each year, tires are among the most expensive ‘consumables’ you’ll be purchasing.

Just how does one choose new tires?

It depends on your criteria:  Price?  Long wear?  Maximum dry pavement traction?  Best wet weather performance?  Comfort?  Feel?

Most of the motorcyclists I hang out with want maximum mileage.  Many of good riding friends put on 20-30,000 kilometres per year on their bikes, and want to minimize the number of times they have to swap tires.  Of course, most of them are cheapskates, and want the maximum mileage at the lowest possible price.

My priorities are the highest mileage combined with the best wet weather performance.  I am not a knee-dragger, so maximum dry pavement handling performance is a low priority for me.  But I’m safety conscious, so I want the best traction possible when the riding conditions – rain – is worst.

German motorcycle magazine Motorrad recently conducted a test of sport-touring tires:

  • Bridgestone T30 Evo
  • Continental Road Attack 3
  • Dunlop Roadsmart 3
  • Metzeler Roadtec 01
  • Michelin Pilot Road 4
  • Pirelli Angel GT

Motorrad compared the tires under DRY and WET conditions.

Winner

The Metzeler Roadtec 01 scored the highest points in Dry and Wet testing, beating the widely-acclaimed (and the long time ‘benchmark’ and preferred tire of the long distance BMW riding crowd) Michelin Pilot Road 4.

Click here to read the full, detailed Motorrad 2017 tire comparison.

Caveat

Motorrad magazine used a Suzuki GSX-S sport bike for the tire test.   Experienced motorcyclists will know that different tires seem to suit some bikes better than others.  So if you’re looking at Motorrad’s conclusions and trying to apply their results to your BMW R1200RT, Yamaha FJR1300 or Kawasaki Concours 1400 for example, there may be a difference in how the tires perform on a heavier sport-touring machine than a middle weight sports bike.

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