Review: Michelin Pilot Road 4 tyres

Review: Michelin Pilot Road 4 tyres

Confidence-inspiring and long-lasting

No laughing at my chicken strips!

There’s not much wrong the standard Dunlop Sportmax tyres that the SV650S leaves the factory with but I’d heard good things about the Michelin Pilot Road 4, and they perform well on Yamaha’s MT-07, so when the time came for renewal I thought I’d try them.

I’ve used them for about 11 months and 3,000 miles, purely commuting in town and on the motorway. Hence the corwardy-custard unworn edges.

I think they have performed slightly better than the old ones. With no fancy traction control, it’s quite possible to accidentally spin and slide the rear on the SV at a moderate lean angle, on a damp slip road entering the motorway for example.

I haven’t experienced that on these Michelins though. In fact in those nine months and 3,000 miles, in all sorts of conditions, they have never caused me a moment of doubt.

Most of the miles have been winter, because during the summer months I’ve been using my long-term test bike (a new SV650). On frosty mornings, or in heavy rain, they’ve always inspired confidence – you know they’re not going anywhere unless you do something stupid.

I don’t think the Dunlops inspired as much faith. Although they never let me down, the sensation of traction, especially in the wet, seemed vague in comparison.

They rear also had a slightly weird profile, with the tread curving round at the edges to nearly vertical, or certainly more so than on the Michelins. You might be able to make out what I mean in this picture of my SV with the old rubber still on. The result seems to be a more progressive feel to increasing lean angle on the Michelins.

What’s really surprised me about them though is longevity. They feel quite soft to the touch. With their reputation for good levels of grip, I didn’t expect them to last nearly as long as the original ones, which managed about 6,000 miles.

I suppose I’m not often nailing it on my ride to work, but I enjoy opening the throttle when appropriate, if I find myself stopped at some lights next to a twatty salesman in an M5, say.

Yet that’s 3,000 miles of wear you’re looking at in the pictures. The rear looks like it’s got another couple of thousand in it; the front more.  

At about £115 plus fitting for a rear and £90 for the front, I think I’d get them again.