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A tale of two tires: Pilot Roads and Z-6's


Chrish1234

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Howdy, everyone. Haven't been around for a bit, so I thought I'd pop in.

 

 

Last year I had the shop put a new set of Michelin Pilot Roads on my 1150 RT. At the same time, they installed a new Ohlin shock up front. When I picked the bike up it seemed to handle very heavy at low speeds, turn in to the corners in a cumbersome fashion, and wallow over the bumps while cornering.

 

I thought it was the new suspension and spent a bunch of time trying to dial it in. I took many notes, tried several combinations, and did many test rides. I never could seem to come to a happy medium for the way the bike handled. At some point I kind of gave up and learned to ride around the problems. After about 7000 miles I had wore out the front tire so I decided to put 2 new tires on.

 

In the meantime, I had picked up my own tire changer so I decided to go with a softer compound in the Metzler Roadtec Z6's. Frequent changes won't be a problem now so I get to enjoy a softer tire for just a bit more $$ per mile thumbsup.gif I never had a traction issue with the Pilot Roads, they seemed to stick well enough, but I'd heard many good reviews from my friends on the Z6's.

 

When the tires arrived, I was struck by the much more narrow profile of the rear Metzler. The fronts were pretty similar, but I actually had to double check the rear's size a couple of times to be sure I'd ordered the correct tire. The Metzler is a full inch thinner than the Michelins I took off. Both tires are 170/60 VR17's so I was suprised that they could be so different.

 

The Z6's still need a couple of heat cycles before I start to push them, but as of now I have far more confidence in the RT than I've had in a long time. The low speed handling is crisp and predictable vs heavy and clunky. Turn in is light, intuitive, and stays put without additional input. The Michelins were heavy on turn in, seemed to upset the suspension, and required constant pushing on the bars to maintain the turn frown.gif Mid-corner bumps no longer seem to upset the bike so violently, instead they're soaked up by the suspension as intended.

 

I can't lay this off to any other factor than the difference in tires. The wider profile of the Michelins seems to be the culprit to me, but perhaps there are sidewall and tread stiffness differences as well confused.gif Either way, I'm pleased as punch right now and I'd suggest that anyone running Michelin Pilot Roads on the 1150RT try something with a thinner profile. As with my bike, your's may take on a whole new personality clap.gif

 

Regards,

Chris

 

Mods: I put this in oilheads because it seem like a bike specific review. If I'm mistaken, please move. Thanks.

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I found that the downside to the sensitivity of the Z6 front is the ability to track straight in truck turbulance and quartering gusty winds. I'm a conservative touring rider so I prefer the stability of the Pilot Roads.

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I read somewhere recently that some Michelin Pilots were recalled due to possible delamination of the tread. Can't recall which models, but it may have been European stock only.

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I read somewhere recently that some Michelin Pilots were recalled due to possible delamination of the tread. Can't recall which models, but it may have been European stock only.

 

The recall was for the Pilot Power model, not the Pilot Road model. It was for one size only, and they were made in Spain (I think). There was a thread on the board about that a few months ago.

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I have the Pilot Roads on my '04 RT and have been very pleased. I will not speak against the Z-6 since I haven't had a set. But I will say that I ride my pilot's pretty aggressively and they handle great. Had a little issue at first with wear but after playint with the pressures I dialed it in and they are wearing beautifully. I've got about 4,000 miles and there is still plenty of tread life left. Even last night riding home in the rain I felt no slide or looseness in the corners (even the couple I took way to fast for the conditions). I have been tempted to try the Z-6 and the avon storms but I have been so pleased with the pilots I am a little hesitant to mess with a good thing.

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I have had 2 sets of Pilot Roads on my Yamaha FZ1. They seem to track ther same as the Pilot Powers, and once hot, seem to have the same traction, but last longer out on the hi-way. I have not tried them on my RT, but rather decided to give the new Avon Storms a try. Traction is good, but handling around center is not as good as the BT020s I took off. So many choices!

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My Pilots howled like a freight train. Back to the Z6 last two changes and find them great in every way except longevity.

 

Ride safe,

 

Bob

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