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Dunlop Roadsmart III vs. Michelin PR4GT - Longevity Test


moshe_levy

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Hi All

 

In its latest ad campaign, Dunlop claims its Sportmax Roadsmart III tires last substantially longer than Michelin's Pilot Road 4GT. I ran them both on my commuting cycle to verify - tune in to find out the results!

-MKL

 

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Excellent comparison within similar confines.  This is probably the most informative comparison of tires that I have seen.

 

My first set of RSIII's went 9k, back to a set of PR4's, which went 8k on front, 10k on rear, back to RSIII's for 9k on front, rear is still too good at 7k.

 

I ride the exact same roads near daily, 100 mile round trip half interstate, half back roads.

 

My concern with the Dunlops is the growl in the turns (minor concern, I know), but adjusting the pressure seems to quiet them down a bit.  But, since the Dunlops are less expensive, it makes better sense for me to go with them.  I've just replaced the front with a Dunlop Sportmax Q3 that I got from shopgoodwill for $42 (couldn't pass that deal up), so I'll see how that rides.  I have the matching rear I got from Amazon, just waiting for the replacement time.

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Great report!  The only thing I can add is that with some tires, the Dunlops often have a stiffer sidewall than competing brands.  That has a plus of giving the rider more feedback regarding road conditions.  It also has the drawback of making the Dunlops a bit harder to mount, if you change your own tires.  If you don't, that's no big deal.  

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2 minutes ago, Antimatter said:

Great report!  The only thing I can add is that with some tires, the Dunlops often have a stiffer sidewall than competing brands.  That has a plus of giving the rider more feedback regarding road conditions.  It also has the drawback of making the Dunlops a bit harder to mount, if you change your own tires.  If you don't, that's no big deal.  

 

Heat.  In the summer, I lay my tires on the concrete and let them heat up.  In the winter-winter, either by a heater or a fireplace.  Makes mounting quite easy and both front and rear can be completed in under 30 minutes.

 

 

image.png.4e317287b29c13acf5756a4248ec0520.png

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55 minutes ago, Rider1260 said:

OK now do the Pirelli Angel GT II next :) 

Killer review 

Thanks. I already replace my Dunlops with another set, so remind me in about 18,000 miles and we can throw a different brand / model on to see how it holds up.

 

-MKL

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This is one of the few tire reviews....that actually have real world information!  I am not a Michelin man simply because I had learned quite a while back exactly what this review shows.

 

For commuters, tire cost can be a big factor. Especially like me when I was commuting and getting 6-7,000 miles on a rear. 

 

That is one reason I am running the Bridgestones. Could see NO loss of performance, either wet or dry. Mileage on the T-31 is higher than any other tire I have run. $230 a set! I ran a set of these Roadsmart III's and while the rear wore fairly well ( nothing like the mileage Moshe got ) the front was toast before the rear. That raises costs for me, as I can get two rears of the T-31 while on the first front T-31. 

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2 hours ago, RandyShields said:

Moshe, you really hit on a hot spot with your tire review.  For 2020, do oil, seats or windscreens and you can blow up the site!

Thanks.

 

I stay away from oil because it's just a minefield of bullshit. I've done seats:

 

I've done windshields too, but only in print http://mklsportster.com/Articles/bmwmoa-werks.pdf - I suppose I could make a video out of this, since I still have the stock shield lying around.

 

-MKL

 

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Moshe thanks for your great product review!  It matches my own experiences for the most part.  I too was a Michelin guy on the PR series and got the best mileage on the PR3's like you did as well.  Furthermore the handling didn't drop off much with the PR3's either at that higher mileage.  The PR4's were a great disappoint for me as the handling really got unsettling in well under 4k miles.  Then I took the plunge to the Roadsmart III's and have been really pleased so far.  Not only the tires are wearing well, so too the handling feel is going the miles too.  I will replace my Dunlop Roadsmart III's with the same when the time comes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I only wish a set of PR GT 4's only cost $365.  While on a trip, but not an emergency, I paid $287 front and $224 rear for a set of PR GT 4's.  Additionally there was a $120 to mount and balance at Big Sky Motorsports in Missoula, MT in Aug of 2018.  Either their price has dropped since then or I may be feeling the need to have my hemorrhoids checked.

Edited by Red
I can't stand spelling errors!
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I won't be paying that for Michelin tires. Unless it is an emergency, then I will pay it and be on my way. 

 

Seriously, that is a big part of why I run Bridgestones. I do not think I lose any performance. But at $230 a SET, I can put a new rear tire on for a trip even though the current rear might have a lot of tread. Just not that much loss of money to have the piece of mind of a new tire. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

I wish I could get that kind of mileage.  I've never gotten more than 5,500 miles out of a sport touring rear tire.  Angel GT, PR3, PR4, Continental RA, Metz Z6 or Z8 all seem to be at the wear bars around 5k-5500.  

But I don't commute.  Most of my riding is twisty back roads, which means higher tire temps and faster wear.

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Warren Dean
On 11/11/2019 at 8:48 AM, Rougarou said:

 

Heat.  In the summer, I lay my tires on the concrete and let them heat up.  In the winter-winter, either by a heater or a fireplace.  Makes mounting quite easy and both front and rear can be completed in under 30 minutes.

 

 

image.png.4e317287b29c13acf5756a4248ec0520.png

 true scooter trash in that picture...  :4322:

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moshe_levy
1 hour ago, Sonor said:

Moshe - You Da Man!!

Great review and very much appreciated.  Any thoughts on Metzler?

Thank you. I used to use Metz on my Oilhead RT and had great results with them, but they, too, don't approach the longevity I've hit with the Dunlops. I'm making an educated guess here since I'm comparing mileage on my Oilhead vs. Wethead.

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Thanks for the reply - When i purchased my 05 used in 2010, it had PR 2s.  The worst handling tires I ever had. I felt like I "flopped" into corners and no control.  Went back to Metzlers and have been there since.  Just the price gets to me sometimes so I keep my eyes out for interesting reviews like yours.

Thanks again for the review.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks so much Moshe, I just switched to the Dunlops after seeing your report. They are fantastic. The ride is noticeably smoother and the handling is much improved as well as compared to my previous sets of Michelin tires. Even if they don't wear as long the change was well worth it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I just just mounted a set of RS3s.  My experience is not so positive.  Here is the review I posted...

 

"I installed a set of these on my BMW R1200R before a 5 day trip to Deal's Gap.  I've gone through many sets of ST tires (Conti RA, Angel GT, PR 2 3 4, Metz Z6 Z8, etc), I decided to give the RS3 a try.  I ran them at the manufacturers recommended  PSI, just like every other tire.

 

First thing I noticed is that it doesn't take much lean angle to reach the edge of the rear tire.  When you do it slips...thankfully I have traction control.  The other ST tires I've used are capable of more lean angle.

 

Dry traction for the rear tire is not acceptable for spirited riding.  On corner exits with some lean angle, it's REALLY EASY to spin up the RS3.  First time it happened the rear slid way out before TC engaged.  After that I began to test the grip...On smoother road surfaces I could make make it spin in almost every 2nd or 3rd gear corner.  I went back to check some corners to make sure there was no gravel or sand...there wasn't...just black marks from the tire spinning.  I've never seen a tire that would lose grip so easily :(

 

I kept lowering the PSI trying to find more grip.  It helped a little but not enough.

 

The Good:  
Wet traction is pretty good
Would be a decent tire for commuting.
It seems to be wearing OK
The front tire was fine, it didn't slip like the rear tire. 

 

Verdict:
I've already spoken to a Dunlop tire tech.
After 2,500 miles (1 trip) these are going in the garbage before they wreck me."

 

 

 

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Thanks for report....similar issue for me on the Continentals my bike came with.  Took them off at 2000 miles as were just scary.  What are you going back with??

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realshelby

Interesting report on the RS3's. I ran them and found them to stick very well. Full throttle second gear corner exits at near peg dragging lean levels...and they stuck. Never felt them break loose, but I know they were moving as any tire does under that condition. They would feather ever so slightly. These were the best handling tires I have had on the RT, but I didn't care for the front tire wear at all. 

 

I suspect your set was not properly cured or something? 

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10 hours ago, realshelby said:

 

I suspect your set was not properly cured or something? 

Kinda what I was wondering.  I spoke to Dunlop, the feedback from the engineer wasn't particularly helpful.

 

I've resigned to riding in Rain Mode until I get a new set.  In the mean time I might wear out the TC light.

 

I'm going back to Angel GTs.

 

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duckbubbles

I ran a set of RSIII on my R1200RS for 6500 miles.  I took them off early with at least 1000-1500 miles left in them.  No problems with traction dry or wet.  Liked the steering of the front.  My biggest objection was their reaction to tar snakes (my local roads are infested with them).  Cornering in the dry they slipped enough to make you clinch and in the damp/wet they were downright alarming.  I've been running Michelins before and after (PR4/R5) and they don't seem to notice the snakes much at all.

 

Frank

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I think the RS3 is a decent tire for many riders, but not if you are the type of rider that uses the edge of the tire for spirited riding.

There are several ST options that offer better traction, and allow for more lean angle. 

If I was a commuter looking for max mileage, the RS3 might be a good choice.  But it's a bad fit for my intended use and riding style.

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On 7/1/2020 at 6:32 PM, Tpoppa said:

 

I'm going back to Angel GTs.

 

 

Have you tried the Continental Road Attack 3 GT yet?

I think they handled better on an 18 R12RTLC then the Angel GT.

After 2 pairs of the RA3GT, I am currently on a set of Michelin PR5GT and I like them a lot better then the old PR4GT tires.

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3 minutes ago, Bernie said:

 

Have you tried the Continental Road Attack 3 GT yet?

I think they handled better on an 18 R12RTLC then the Angel GT.

After 2 pairs of the RA3GT, I am currently on a set of Michelin PR5GT and I like them a lot better then the old PR4GT tires.

I liked previous RAs but haven't tried the RA3.  I was considering that but ultimately went with RS3.  I've probably been through 8-10 sets of Angel GTs.  They fit my riding style, and I know what to expect.  I thought the PR4 felt a little squirmy in high speed corners.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update:

 

I replaced the RS3 rear with an Angel GT and the wheel spin problem is gone.  Not to mention quicker turn in due to the Pirelli's sharper profile.

 

If you're curious, the build date on the Dunlop RS3 was May 2018.  So not the freshest, but not too old.  The build date on my motorcycle is Dec 2014, so the original Metzeler Z8 was at least that old, and still had more grip than the Dunlop.

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43 minutes ago, realshelby said:

There had to be something not right about that tire. Cannot say what it would be beyond either improper curing or a batch of bad rubber?

 

Probably, but I'm not sure.

 

I rode with the bike in Rain Mode for the last 2,500 miles and the TC light was on a lot (couldn't get it swapped out before a WV trip).  Luckily the BMW TC is excellent.    

 

I spoke to a Dunlop Motorcycle Tire Tech, and he was less than helpful.  His only suggestions was "The Q3 is meant for sporty riding, and the recommended pressure for those are 34f/32r...so maybe try that on your RS3s"   :4317: I politely ended the conversation after that.

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RecentConvert

I've ridden all three of the mentioned tires on my RT.  I didn't care for the Pirelli, it had definite wear patterns and I took it off before it was worn out.  The PR4GT was a long time ago and I didn't like it well enough to replace it.  The RS3 is my favorite tire.  If they were all the same price, that would be my choice.  Since they aren't, I am riding T31 GT Bridgestones.  I like the RS3 better, but money does talk and the T31 hasn't done anything wrong to take them out of the picture.

 

I too think you got a bad one from Dunlop.   Nobody is perfect.  Perhaps I got a bad Angel GT "A" spec.  

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So as I look at those prices, without getting into a specific size, they seem about the same, certainly not worth choosing a tire on price over the tire that performed better. Maybe if it was $100 difference, but I would not choose to save $25 for a tire I don't like as well as the other.

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If you do look at prices before ordering......Where you buy makes a lot of difference. Today Revzilla has the T-31's for the RT for $312 a set. Rocky Mountain ATV has the same tires for $240 a set......both including delivery and less any rebates if they are still available. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I actually have the first set of IVs available to the press. They've been sitting in my garage since the spring. Bad timing because my current RSIII tires are practically new since I haven't ridden much during COVID. So it's going to be  a year or more before I wear them out and put the IVs on. 

 

-MKL

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I amazed at the mileage you're getting. I love the Road Smart IIIs, but could only get 6,000 to 7,000 miles out of a rear tire on my 2014 R1200RT and my current R1250RS.

 

Interesting, I checked out the RoadSmart IVs on the Dunlop website and they said they don't fit the RT or the RS...

 

I think I'll try the Michelin Road 5s on the RS next.

 

Mike

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Mileage comparo between different riders in different areas on different bikes is null (I spent a portion of the video on that very topic.)

I'm certain the RS-IV fit the RT as I have one of the first sets made. Haven't tried them out yet, but the size is like the RS-III.

 

-MKL

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On 8/31/2020 at 2:39 PM, moshe_levy said:

Mileage comparo between different riders in different areas on different bikes is null

-MKL

 

I agree. But that doesn't reduce my amazement that you got 18K miles out of a set of RSIIIs. And then almost 13K on a set of PR4s, compared to my 8K. My hat's off to you. Salute!

 

Mike

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  • 3 months later...

Great review. I too am amazed at your mileage,  however I think the highway miles are easier on tires than aggressive twisty riding. I've been a big Michelin fan for years on my RT. For me it was the rain traction. Many rainy days on mountain twisties. Start out very tentative,  then after a while realizing that I'm riding as if its  bone dry. Never had that much confidence in the rain before.

This last year was different for me as I didnt get my long trips in, but I had a track day at Road America and needed tires

 Had to get the Metzler road tech 01's.  Was real impressed with the ride quality and tracking on the ride to the track ( about 100 miles ).

Tore around the track like a mad man with total confidence in the grip.

So far didnt have a chance to experience hard riding in the rain,  but haven't  noticed any issues with wet  roads. Milage. Not sure about yet, although they do seem to be holding up a little better than the Michelin which best I've ever got on them was 8500 miles, but like I said, my riding has been a little more subdued. 

Great review 

 

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8 hours ago, joeb said:

Great review. I too am amazed at your mileage,  however I think the highway miles are easier on tires than aggressive twisty riding. I've been a big Michelin fan for years on my RT. For me it was the rain traction. Many rainy days on mountain twisties. Start out very tentative,  then after a while realizing that I'm riding as if its  bone dry. Never had that much confidence in the rain before.

This last year was different for me as I didnt get my long trips in, but I had a track day at Road America and needed tires

 Had to get the Metzler road tech 01's.  Was real impressed with the ride quality and tracking on the ride to the track ( about 100 miles ).

Tore around the track like a mad man with total confidence in the grip.

So far didnt have a chance to experience hard riding in the rain,  but haven't  noticed any issues with wet  roads. Milage. Not sure about yet, although they do seem to be holding up a little better than the Michelin which best I've ever got on them was 8500 miles, but like I said, my riding has been a little more subdued. 

Great review 

 

Thank you. I'm not a particularly aggressive rider, especially in the rain, but the object of the review was to try to eliminate as many variables as possible to show relative ratios of wear between tires. Next up I'll have to do RS-IV vs. PR-V, but I've moved since that video and my commute is now 14 miles instead of 107, so it's going to be awhile!

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On 12/10/2020 at 9:08 PM, joeb said:

I've been a big Michelin fan for years on my RT. For me it was the rain traction. Many rainy days on mountain twisties. Start out very tentative,  then after a while realizing that I'm riding as if its  bone dry. Never had that much confidence in the rain before.

I did that several years back on the way to North Meets South, on PR4s.  I was so impressed with the wet traction!  Right up until I hit some slippery spot I didn't/couldn't see in mid-corner, that caused the front end to step sideways and the bars to waggle.  And after that I was spooked, and rode like a granny the rest of the way.  I just couldn't get my mind to try trusting the traction again.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...
On 11/13/2019 at 7:10 AM, realshelby said:

This is one of the few tire reviews....that actually have real world information!  I am not a Michelin man simply because I had learned quite a while back exactly what this review shows.

 

For commuters, tire cost can be a big factor. Especially like me when I was commuting and getting 6-7,000 miles on a rear. 

 

That is one reason I am running the Bridgestones. Could see NO loss of performance, either wet or dry. Mileage on the T-31 is higher than any other tire I have run. $230 a set! I ran a set of these Roadsmart III's and while the rear wore fairly well ( nothing like the mileage Moshe got ) the front was toast before the rear. That raises costs for me, as I can get two rears of the T-31 while on the first front T-31. 

Thanks for input, .my concern is wet traction ( 1 ) milage/ cost (2 )

You noticed no performance drop.

  How do you you ride in rain ? Are you at all aggressive or do you not push ?

  Thanks

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realshelby

I slow down some in the rain on curvy roads or city/suburb riding. But not too much on interstates for instance. I always try to break tires loose in hard braking and lower gear acceleration to get a feel for how they connect on wet pavement. Never had a Michelin surprise me on wet surfaces, which is exactly what I can say for these T-31's also. 

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For my latest set of tires, I used the Dunlop RS3 on the rear, and a T31 on the front.  I pulled them off after 5500 miles when the rear tire was past the wear bars, but with some tread still visible.  The front T31 was still "legal" and actually had some significant life remaining -- maybe another 1000 miles.  

 

The actual miles are irrelevant -- but what I am going to take away is that the T31 front outlasted the RS3 rear.  Previously, when using T31's on both front and rear, they wore out at the same time.  I have mounted my last set of T31's front and rear.  And I ordered a set of T32's for the next go.  

 

Like Terry, I have never experienced a situation during which the traction of the T31 was the limiting factor in my choice of how to ride.

 

Cap 

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