Unlike the average car driver, motorbike riders have an intimate relationship with their tyres, and fully understand the need to fit the right tyre for your riding style and intended use. Sometimes lasting less than 2,000 miles, the right tyre can literally mean the difference between a safe ride home in the wet, or a nasty highside resulting in a damaged bike, and potentially worse, a damaged body.
Sadly, as the motorcycle tyre market is smaller than the car market, less money is spent on group testing by the magazines, and a good tyre test is harder to come by. This makes the 2014 Motorrad tyre test very interesting, as being German they've gone into great depth to discover which tyre works best on a Honda CB 1000 R wearing 120/70 ZR 17 and 180/55 ZR 17 tyres.
Sadly, this one has been a little hard to translate, and certain motorbike tyre tests don't fully fit in with the way our tyre database works so we recommend finding a copy of the full article. As usual we've summarised the best we can below.
All dry tests were performed on the road, and the wet tests were on track.
|Dry: The first few meters prove the Michelin is an excellent tyre, with great feedback and good feel in the cold road conditions. As it warms up, the fun begins with the Michelin offering a safe, neutral balance|
Wet: With the best laptime in the wet and the faster speed in the curve, the Michelin excels when there's water on the ground. Overall first, but beaten in braking by the Bridgestone and Dunlop
Overall: In bad weather Michelin riders have always have good cards. The new Road 4 shows, as expected, no weaknesses
|Dry: On the road the new Conti Road Attack 2 EVO proves it's still the best road tyre, convincing even at extreme lean angles with an overall neutral balance and great feedback. Only slight drawback, a little nervous at high speeds|
Wet: 4th overall in the wet, the EVO improves significantly over it's predocessor
Overall: The development step has been good for the RoadAttack EVO. The tyre excels on winding country roads, makes heavy bikes handy, and has closed in on the leaders in the wet
3rd: Pirelli Angel GT
|Dry: The Angel GT shows Pirellis sporting background, convincing even at high speed on the road with excellent stability with high feedback. Not quite as quick to warm up as the Conti or Michelin|
Wet: In the wet the Pirelli shows impressively with plenty of grip in reserve even at high lean angles, almost laping as quickly as the quickest Michelin.
Overall: A touring tire with a sporty character strong in both the dry and wet
|Dry: While the Bridgestone doesn't have the outside speed of the top 3, it does provide a rewarding ride with plenty of balance and a neutral turn. The strength of the Bridgestone is long distance with a heavy load, it wears extremely well.|
Wet: Best wet braking, but lacking clarity on the limit of grip in the wet making a fast time harder.
Overall: The T30 is particularly impressive as an all round balanced and very neutral tyre
5th: Dunlop RoadSmart II
|Dry: The RoadSmart 2 is a very sporty touring tyre and offers high stability during cornering once up to temperature. Little slower to warm up than the top tyres on test, and a little wooden until then.|
Wet: Fantastic wet tyre, offering great traction, cornering and braking. As in the dry, slightly wooden when cold.
Overall: As Roadsmart 2 swings the pendulum towards sportiness - what does that mean? A lot of stability, less maneuverability. And it needs to be brought up to temperature.
|Dry: With an updated carcass construction, the new Z8 Interact works far better with our test bikes. Good feedback and good grip, the Z8 offers strong stability even at speed|
Wet: Similar to the Dunlop in the wet, but slightly worse wet braking
Overall: Unlike the previous versions of the Z8, the new version is lighter, and works in the wet. The benefits are good, but the competition is also strong
7th: Avon Storm 3D XM
|Dry: Stable braking is a highlight where otherwise the Avon struggles with stability in the dry, particularly notable over bumps|
Wet: Longest stopping distance in the wet, and general all round lack of grip when compared to the rest on test
Overall: Under ideal road conditions the Storm 3D can hold its own, but once the goin gets tough, or wet, the Avon is best avoided