One of the most asked questions about the MotoGP tires is how much a set costs. The answer is simple: The tires have no price. With Michelin being the sole supplier to MotoGP, the company is at the events to develop winning tires for the best riders in the world and then take the technology developed and transfer it to street rubber. So, the cost is part of the company’s R&D budget. Since the tires are never sold, no cost-per-unit is calculated. Rather the cost per event consists of the tires, the technicians, mounting, balancing, monitoring, and transporting the tires to and from the venue. Additionally, every race has a chemist and an engineer in attendance to gather information. Over the course of a season, the tire tests at various tracks are also a part of the development cost. While the company certainly must track those expenses, no data is publicly available.

  • Jim

    Tire science might not be the career choice for everyone, but it is pretty interesting how subtle changes can affect the outcome of a race. Would you say tire selection is as important as rider skill and engine/suspension set up?

  • You want WHAT

    I’ve got 2 Harley’s. I use Michelin Commander II only. It’s a down right freaky wobbling feeling changing lanes or riding in pouring down rain with the other Tire Brands Harley sales.

    In the Rain All Harley Riders Not using Michelin Commander II on the Interstate have to slow down because of the Factory Tires.

    On vacation a guy on a Big FLH passed me doing 80mph. Up ahead you could see the Wall of Rain he was about to go into. I saw him Hit the rain, his rear end wobbled and then his brake lights came on. When I hit that rain my tires where like they were on dry pavement! I past him doing 80mph and I bet He was only doing 50mph. He looked at me like How can you Ride that fast in this Rain.

    Only the High Mileage Michelin Commander II for My Bikes and I hope they never stop making them. I tell Every Harley Rider about them… They are that Good!

  • halfkidding

    World Superbikes use Pirelli spec tires which do not require the extreme temperature control of MotoGP tires and I think in general end up being less crucial to race outcomes because they are perhaps longer wearing. I’m not a close fan of either series but don’t recall reading any stories about WSBK that even mentions tires while tires always enter Moto GP stories. The thing is that WSBK lap times are incredibly close to Moto GP times now. I am thinking having tires that are less bleeding edge of performance would enhance Moto GP as it might reduce tire performance and longevity as a determinant of race outcomes and put it more on riders and bikes, where it belongs. I would be happy to be corrected on all this.

  • JMDGT

    Very interesting. I am fascinated with tire technology and what goes into its development. Modern tires are just one of the components that make this the best of times.

  • Old MOron

    Wait, you went to Losail last week?! Thank you for this interesting coverage of Michelin’s program. It’s good information. Since we actually had a MOron in the paddock, you’re going to be forthcoming with more info, right?

    • Evans Brasfield

      I was there to test the Michelin Power RS. The review should be live soon.

  • kenneth_moore

    The article mentions the volatile chemicals used in tires. Did Michelin say what the shelf-life of the tires is? For example, if they manufactured rain tires at the start of the season, but there were no wet races until the end of the season, would they still be good?

    • Evans Brasfield

      Great question, and no, they didn’t give me that information. Sorry.

  • kenneth_moore

    Did Michelin mention a “shelf life” for the tires?