The tires are loaned to the teams and remain the property of Michelin. Each tire has a barcode which is scanned the moment it is pulled from the rack. The tires are also scanned while in the pit box and scanned again when returned – either new or used – to Michelin. According to the Michelin rep, “We know at every moment where every tire is and who’s using it.” If the tires get mixed up, riders could be disqualified. While the tires are with the teams, information is catered about the number of laps, tire temp, tire pressure, times, and other information by the technicians in the pits.

In the photo above, the tire markings show: the cross at top means it is cannot be reused, next is the rider number, and finally the serial number for easy viewing on the tire rack. All tires go back to the Michelin technology center where they are analyzed. Once all of the tires have been looked at, they are destroyed.

  • 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?