Today, Michelin announced a new sport-touring tire, the Michelin Road 5. Although the Road 5 supersedes the Pilot Road 4, the Pilot has been dropped from the name in an effort to differentiate Michelin’s road-going offerings from the more hard-core sporting Power line. The primary change between the Pilot Road 4 and the Road 5 takes place in the tread’s siping and the incorporation of ACT+ technology seen earlier this year on the Michelin Power RS.

Michelin Power RS Review

Riders on Road 5s will notice the biggest improvements in wet performance, particularly when the tires are worn where, according to Michelin, they will outperform all other entries in the sport-touring tire segment. The company claims that Road 5 tires with 3,000 miles on them offer the same wet-road stopping power as brand new Pilot Road 4 tires. This is thanks to the XST Evo (X Sipe Technology), the third generation of XST found on Michelin motorcycle tires. (XST was introduced with the Pilot Road 3 and XST+ with the Pilot Road 4.) XST Evo sipes feature a patented teardrop shape as they get closer to the carcass of the tire. To understand why, we need to look at what a sipe does.

Michelin Road 5

The inverted V-shaped sipes are where the new technology comes into play. While uniformly narrow at the surface of the tread, they widen with depth to displace more water – even when worn.

Sipes offer a place for water to go as the contact patch rolls over a wet road. When tires are new, they can, not surprisingly, displace more water because the sipes themselves are deeper. However, as the tread wears away, the sipes get shallower, limiting the amount of water they can displace. The enlarged inner depths of the XST Evo sipes in Road 5 tires can, according to Michelin, hold as much water as new Pilot Road 4 tires – even after 3,000 miles of use. This translates into comparable performance for the used Road 5 tires and brand new Pilot Road 4 tires. If this is confusing, take a look at the photo and video below.

Michelin Road 5

The blocks in the diagram above represent a XST+ sipe on a new tire tread (top) versus on a worn one (bottom). Without the enlarged inner section the water would completely fill the sipe on the bottom.

While this is new technology for motorcycles, Michelin first introduced XST Evo’s technology in its Evergrip™ tread design in 2014 in the Michelin Premier A/S automobile tire which introduced the maintaining of wet-braking performance as the tire wears.

Michelin is very proud of this accomplishment, and when we met with them yesterday, their primary purpose for getting together was to show off the new Road 5. We always expect hyperbole from PR people, and we remember the Power RS being called the “perfect tire” at its introduction in Qatar. However, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Michelin is very confident in the Road 5’s performance, and they say they have the independent test data to back it up. The photo below shows the independently verified results from wet weather track testing. To summarize, it shows the best lap times on the Road 5 compared to the Metzeler Roadtec 01, Pirelli Angel GT, Continental ContiRoad Attack 3, Bridgestone Battlax T30 EVO, and Dunlop Roadsmart III, and the numbers are impressive. Now, more than ever, we can’t wait to sample these new tires and find out for ourselves.

Michelin Road 5’s wet track lap time comparison to its competitors are impressive and independently verified.

However, the Road 5 isn’t just about wet-weather conditions. Dry performance also gets a boost, thanks to the inclusion of ACT+ (Adaptive Casing Technology). Michelin first released the ACT+ in the Michelin Power RS, and now, it makes the move to sport-touring tire. The key characteristic of ACT+ is its ability to create a softer crown while maintaining a stiff sidewall. The tire’s 90° casing maintains the tread’s suppleness in the center for a stable straight-line ride. This same 90° casing wraps around the bead and doubles over on itself, giving the sidewall the stiffness necessary to handle cornering forces. ACT+ allows for Michelin to tune in the correct amount of sidewall stiffness for a tire’s intended purpose by adjusting the amount of overlap of the sidewall casing.

Additionally, the tread’s 2CT (Two Compound Technology) allows for a harder, more wear-resistant compound to be run in the center of the tires, with softer-grippier rubber on the shoulders. For the Road 5, the rear tire also gets the 2CT+, which has the harder rubber compound running under the soft compound. This helps the tire to better withstand the forces of acceleration while leaned over and results in more stability while still delivering the better mechanical grip of the softer compound. The combination of the 2CT and ACT tread technologies results in dry grip performance that Michelin claims is superior to the Pilot Road 4

Michelin says that the Road 5’s wet-weather performance will exceed that of all of its competitors – even after 3,000 miles of use.

Beginning on January 1, 2018 the Michelin Road 5 will go on sale nationwide – and Michelin told us they were serious about this date and will be preloading the tires to major distributors for release on that date. The two front sizes and five rear sizes will fit a wide variety of sport -touring motorcycles. Prices have not been set at press time, but expect them to be comparable to those of the Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires they replace.

Here are several Michelin videos about the Road 5:

Begin Press Release:

Michelin Sets New Standard in Wet and Dry Performance with the MICHELIN® Road 5 Motorcycle Tire

GREENVILLE, S.C., Nov. 2, 2017 – Michelin today announced the MICHELIN® Road 5, its newest motorcycle tire, designed specifically for sport touring motorcycles with patented technologies that provide riders with enhanced grip, comfort, and stability, particularly in wet conditions.

Available in January, the MICHELIN Road 5 incorporates patented XST Evo siping and ACT+ technology to add a new dimension of confidence in wet and dry conditions over the life of the tire. Even after 3,000 miles, a MICHELIN Road 5 tire stops as short as a new MICHELIN Pilot® Road 4 tire when braking in wet conditions.

“The MICHELIN Road 5 tire represents a breakthrough in motorcycle tire technology,” said Ross Shields, vice president of Two Wheel, Michelin North America. “With design and technology DNA incorporated from Michelin’s leading research and development team, we are able to set a new benchmark for the effects of tire wear and performance over time.”

The MICHELIN Road 5 tire builds on the innovative designs of two distinct predecessors, the MICHELIN Pilot Road 4, and Michelin’s leading automobile tire, the MICHELIN® Premier® A/S.

Superior Wet Grip

The wet grip of a worn MICHELIN Road 5 tire is as good as a new MICHELIN Pilot Road 4 tire thanks to Michelin’s revolutionary patented MICHELIN XST Evo water drop sipes, which grow wider mile after mile.

In 2011, Michelin revolutionized motorcycle tire design with the patented MICHELIN XST sipe design which was enhanced again in 2014 with XST+ siping technology found in the MICHELIN Pilot Road 4. Designed to evacuate water efficiently, which helps increase confidence during wet conditions, this technology now leads the segment for wet grip performance.

The MICHELIN XST Evo represents a new iteration of siping in the MICHELIN Road 5 tires. This technology is borrowed from the tiremaker’s Evergrip™ tread design, first introduced in the MICHELIN Premier A/S tire in 2014. The Premier A/S for passenger cars introduced the breakthrough concept of maintaining wet-braking performance as the tire wears.

Impeccable Dry Grip, Stability and Agility

In addition to optimizing wet grip, the MICHELIN® Road 5 tire is designed to ensure outstanding grip on dry roads and superior stability compared with its predecessor, thanks to a combination of all new tread compounds and revolutionary adaptive casing technology called MICHELIN ACT+.

The design of the casing ply, introduced in MICHELIN Power RS tires, incorporates high angles and overlapping cross plies, which allows for exceptional cornering stability while maintaining the high-flexibility in the crown for straight-line stability.

The new MICHELIN® Road 5 will be available in two front and five rear sizes to fit a wide range of sport touring motorcycles. The tire will go on sale at retail locations nationwide starting Jan. 1, 2018.

Based on internal wet lap times comparing MICHELIN® Road 5 tires with METZELER® Roadtec 01 tires, DUNLOP® ROADSMART III tires, CONTINENTAL® ContiRoadAttack 3 tires, PIRELLI® Angel GT tires, BRIDGESTONE® T30 EVO tires, and MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 4 tires in dimensions 120/70 ZR17 (front) and 180/55/ZR17 (rear) on a 2013 Suzuki® Bandit 1250, conducted in Ladoux, France. Actual results may vary.

Based on internal wet braking testing comparing new MICHELIN® Pilot® Road 4 tires and worn (3,502 miles) MICHELIN Road 5 tires  in tire sizes 120/70 ZR 17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17 (rear) on a 2013 Suzuki® 1250 Bandit S, conducted in 2016 in Ladoux, France. Actual results may vary.

Based on third party commissioned tests comparing MICHELIN® Road 5 tires with MICHELIN Pilot® Road 4 tires in tire sizes 120/70 ZR 17 (front) and 180/55 ZR17 (rear) using a 2017 Kawasaki® Z900 conducted by MTE Test Center in Stuttgart, Germany. Actual results may vary.

About Michelin North America

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks and motorcycles. The company has earned a long-standing reputation for building innovative premium tires.  In addition to tires, the company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America ( employs about 22,700 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants.

  • HazardtoMyself

    I have been running pilot road 2, 3 and 4s for years now. For everyday street riding, there never seemed to be a huge difference in wet performance between each model.

    What I did notice though is that tire life and worn performance seems to have gotten worse with each model. Brand new 4s are a little better than 2s, but it doesn’t seem to last very long. I still prefer the 2s over the 3s or 4s.

    On the most recent tire change I was so disappointed with the the last set of 4s, I switched to roadsmart 3s. About 5k in and so far they do seem to be meeting the claim that performance doesn’t degrade with wear like others.

    Hoping they found a way to improve life and worn performance on the 5s.

    • Born to Ride

      I had the opposite experience, the pr2s would last me about 8k on my s2r1000 and wore out evenly but I never had 100% confidence in the rear grip after 2 or 3 huge spin ups on corner exit. The pr4s only step out when I’m riding like a jackass and trying to steer with the rear. Plus the last set I had on the S2R lasted me 10k. I went thru 3 sets of PR4s on my Sprint ST in heavy commuter duty and got 10k per set wearing out evenly, well, I only got 6k out of the last set before I sold it. Two sets of pr4s on my multistrada and I got 8k out of the rears and 12k out of the front. In my opinion, the PR4s were a step up in longevity and a huge step up in performance, BUT I just got the new Dunlop on the rear of the Multi, and it kicks the crap out of the PR4 as far as grip goes. Even with total jackass throttle inputs they have not spun up on me yet. I mean if I literally tried to highside I’m sure I could, but the point is at the anger threshold that causes the PR4s to give in, the RS3 hooks up. Really impressed so far.

      • HazardtoMyself

        It’s amazing how different tires can effect different bikes. I do have to admit, my comparison is different bikes on different road types, in different states with different weather.

        The PR2s, gripped like crazy and I had one set almost last 20k, but that was on rubberized asphalt. The 3s and 4s have been on concrete or standard asphalt but the best I got out of either has been 7-9k. Both would step out if heavy on throttle exiting a corner.

        The Dunlops so far I am happy with but am only 5K in. Haven’t really decided what I like better yet. Will see as the miles go on.

  • Buzz

    I”ve been running the PR4s on my K1600.

    I like them better than the stock Metzelers.

    I’ll keep these in mind when it’s time to “spoon on a new set of sticky buns.”

    • Born to Ride

      I just switched to Dunlop and am genuinely impressed so far. If they last as long as promised, I will be buying them again. Cheaper and stickier than the PR4s.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Definitely do feel stickier. But my pr4’s look like theyll make 10-12k miles atm and for me, thats outstanding.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Im definitely enjoying the feel of the Dunlop

  • Max Wellian

    They’ll be great in the wet as long as you’re straight up and down. Heal it over a little and it’s a friggin slick!
    I’ll stick with my Roadsmart III’s.

    • Evans Brasfield

      We asked the Michelin reps about the sipe coverage, and they said that the sipes cover the lean angles that people use in the wet and that further coverage wasn’t needed.

      • DickRuble

        The lowest denominator answer.. Most people use this much, therefore you don’t need anything more than that. Comcast once send me a note showing me that my internet usage was more than the average in my immediate neighborhood… Even though I had a contract for unlimited data..

        • Gabriel Owens

          The dunlop road 3’s had a $100 mail in rebate so they were basically 190 for the set. You shoulda got in on that deal dickie.

          • DickRuble

            I’ll stick with Metzlers from now on, pun intended.

          • Steve T

            The Z6’s are great tires. Sticky as anything and wear ok. Last set was marked China. But they were good, a little harder than my German set, but good quality.

  • allworld

    It’s no surprise that motorcycle tires don’t go far, compared to auto tires, but it really hits home when the manufacture brags about, how even after 3000 miles they are still performing like new…….
    In reality I generally get a puncher before I see the ware bars.

    • Campisi

      Same boat here. Which is better, after six or so thousand miles: a fancy tyre with two plugs in it, or a brand new cheapo spooned on the day before?

      • Gabriel Owens

        Revzilla has a set of shinkos for 160. And ive seen people claim 9k miles. Idk.

        • Philip Morrill

          I got around 8000 on the rear and 13000 on the front with my Shinko Ravens. Felt fine to me but I do still have small chicken strips so real racers don’t listen to my opinions. LOL

          • Gabriel Owens

            Cool man.

    • Born to Ride

      I’ve been really lucky with punctures on my bikes. I’ve had 3 total in 8 years, one on a brand new Bt016r on my sv650 after reading rave reviews of the tire lol, one in pr2 on my Monster, and one on a nearly worn out PR4 a month or two ago.

      • Gabriel Owens

        Running pr4’s on the fjr. Im at 7k miles atm and they got some left in em. Trying the new dunlop 3’s on the cb1000r.

        • Born to Ride

          That CB1000r is a nice bike, wish Honda kept it classic styled tho and I’d probably have bought one years ago. I’ve got 1000 miles on my RS3 and I’m loving it so far. We’ll see if it holds up as it wears like the PR4 does.

          • Gabriel Owens

            No, i really love the styling of this bike. I get people of all ages, sexes, and backgrounds stop me and comment on it.

    • Born to Ride

      Also, my buddy only gets 5000 miles per set on his wrx. But he flogs the hell out of that car.

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  • MrOrangeVest

    I hated the PR2, skipped the PR3, tried the PR4 and was again disappointed, though they were better than the PR2 in the dry. I’ll likely try the PR5 at some point, but in the meantime, I have liked the Pirelli Angel GT and the Bridgestone T30 Evo more for better dry performance, and comparable wet performance and mileage.

  • kenneth_moore

    I’m on my 2ond set of PRs ( now just “Rs?”) 4s. They’ve done well for me. I’m considering the new Continentals MO wrote up a while back. Conti claimed a pretty big mileage advantage over Michelin with equal or better performance.

  • Steve

    Wore down that far in only 3000 miles ? – big whoop !

  • FB

    Will they come in a 160/60×18 ??? Or does Michelin once again feel that if you’re one of the thousands who have 80,000, 120,000 or 150,000 miles on a a 1994 – 2002 BMW, they no longer want your business?

  • Patriot159

    Doncha’ love tire wars, keeps giving us better and better rubber. I rarely ride in the rain so being able to lap a race track one second faster when wet over another brand is moot and all the latest premium ST tires are very capable in the dry. Since any of the top brands are good tires, longevity and ride compliance are paramount for me on my FJR1300.

  • Andrew Thomson

    Hopefully there’ll be a GT version? Love the 4’s, especially in the wet. My Connie loves Michelins 🙂