Which is the best tyre for fast road-riding through winter? You need a combination of feel, grip and longevity. We grabbed James Whitham, a Ducati 848, a datalogger and a huge pile of tyres to find out...
As a nation of sportsbike fans, pretty much everybody knows which flavour of rubber they like best when it comes to hazy mid-summer riding. We all have an opinion on what works best for us when the time and temperature is right, but what about when it’s absolutely miserable out there? For most riders the easiest option is to slip into the default ‘get you home’ method of riding, the style that involves tensing up, riding bolt upright everywhere and making tiny inputs in a bid to just get back to the safety of home.
It’s all to easy to do tyre tests in some far flung corner of the world, on a track that has the kind of surface you could happily serve a three course dinner straight on to. But do they really represent what goes on in the real world? It’s sometimes debatable.
In a bid to replicate a typical UK mid winter’s day we used the City Course at the Millbrook Testing Facility in Bedfordshire. It’s a combination of sweeping corners and hairpins. Air temperature was steady at 9°, then we soaked the track with thousands of gallons of water. The aim was to find the tyre that gives the best feedback and feel, as well as the best performance. To provide evidence to support our findings, we hooked up our datalogger system and utilised the built-in telemetry system of the Ducati 848. And what Whitham doesn’t know about riding in the wet isn’t worth knowing. So, step forward the best all-weather performance tyres of the moment, you’re about to get properly found-out.
Not even a mention of the Avon Storm 2 Ultras!!!
The biking community widely acknowledge them to be superb tyres in cold, wet conditions!
Posted: 31/10/2010 at 21:14
I think that test was done in 2008 - so some of the tyres have been superseded and aren't even available now.
We did a winter tyre test in 2009 with Whit and a Fireblade - surprised that they didn't use that or at least some results from it - seems rather pointless recommending tyres that are no longer on the market.
Posted: 05/11/2010 at 10:34
Posted: 14/11/2010 at 03:03
The problem is none of these are true winter tyres.They are simply sports touring kit and that's about all you're gonna get. Knobblies work well in snow, some say 50/50s like Distanzias are good all round winter tyres. But....
....winter tyres per se do not exist for motorcycles, and yet they are what keeps vehicles on the road in Scandinavia and the Alps in winter, where there is no gritting. You get your snow ploughs and thats it. You get compacted ice.
Conti make true winter tyres for cars: they are designed to kick in when the ambient temp is below 7 deg C. They are also brilliant in the wet, and they - and tyres like them - are what keeps those guys on the road. Not chains, not knobblies, no big protruding surfacec. Just the right compound. To my knowledge they are not produced for bike fitment. Which is a shame, because they actually work.
Posted: 18/12/2010 at 22:51
Posted: 23/04/2012 at 19:40
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