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Discussion Starter #1
All of my daily rideable bikes are due for tires. Seemingly, all 3 came due at the same time. My 996 is shod with Dunlop Q3s as is my little GSXR. My Aprilia wears Michelin Pilot Road 3s.

The Q3s on my 996 are worn out. The wear bars are showing at roughly the 1/3 lean angle bars and its close at the next outer row of bars. The middle is almost bald.

The GSXR and Aprilia are a whole different story. Those tires have been on since at least 2012. That makes them around 8 years old give or take a few months.

What's amazing to me is, the PR3s on my Aprilia still have really good grip but are showing a typical wear pattern for a dual compound tire. The center is still fairly good but the softer compound on either side of the center strip is beveled. This gives the tire profile a very triangular appearance.

Feels like it too, as tipping in to a corner, the bike feels like it wants to fall in either direction. Once at the appropriate lean angle, it feels dead stable.

The Q3s on the GSXR are pretty sad really. That bike doesn't get ridden much so the tires are nearly new in appearance. The grip level has gone off significantly though. At least when cold. Once heated up,grip is still significant.

All that said, it is time for new shoes. I did some research and decided I'd go with Michelins. Not because that's what MotoGp uses now, but because I've been thoroughly impressed with the PR3s. 8 years and 10K miles with no discernable loss of grip is amazing to me.

I went through the various new models of Michelin and tried to figure out what would work best. Price had to be considered also as I am outfitting 3 motorcycles at the same time.

I really wanted to go with PR4s or PR5s for the Aprilia while I knew I wanted some Power RSs for the my 996. Turns out, the Power RS is being discontinued, just as the Power Pure was. The good news is, the new Power 5 replaces the Power RS. It's also around $50 less per set.

There is a racier tire available called the Power GP which Michelin propaganda states is a "50/50" street/track tire. No reviews as yet though. Further, there are two others that are full on treaded DOT race compound tires. I took one look, read the propaganda and promptly decided they were too much for the riding I do.

Race compounds don't get ridden hard enough on the street to heat up to the point they stick like on the race track. Making that mistake could land one on their head. So, after discussion with my CFO, we decided to just buy all the same tires for the three bikes. Power 5s it is. First set should be here soon and I'll give a ride report once I take the Aprilia out and compare the Power 5s to the PR3s they are replacing.

The GSXR is actually next in line as the 996 will be down for a bit as I take care of the routine maintenence it needs. More later.........sean
 

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I preferred Michelin on my FJR1300. I did try some Bridgestone tyres but they wore out quickly. The Michelin PR4 tyres seemed just as grippy and lasted longer.
Once the tyre had worn on the edges the handling became unpredictable, just as you describe, and it was time to renew or fall off.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've used pretty much every major brand of tire and different models of those brands. I've never run any of the budget tires though, nor Pirelli.

Pirelli are made in the same factory in Germany that Metzeler are. Pirelli bought Metzeler a long time ago......1986 in fact.

Anyway, I've run Metzeler on a few bikes and didn't much care for the grip offered. Don't get me wrong. It was fine back when no one really had any grip. It was later, in the late 90s and early 2Ks that they fell behind.

Once Pirelli became sole tire supplier to WSBK, there was marked improvement. I digress though. I switched out from Metzeler to Bridgestone and then Dunlop before a buddy recommended Michelin to me.

He found he was getting upwards of 14K out of Pilot Roads so I decided to give them a try in 2011 or so. I wound up really liking the feel and feed back initially. Then came to appreciate the longevity and continued available grip.

Another thing I found with them was that the carcass was lighter than almost everyone else's by alot. Also, they seemed to balance easier as well as mount easier. All pluses in my book.

Once again, I'll report back with my observations once I get the set mounted for my Aprilia. It is a generally neutral handling bike and what works on it, generally will work on my other bikes. The only question mark resides with my 996 as I don't really have a direct comparison, tire wise with the Aprilia.

Last Dunlops I mounted for it were Q2s at the recommend of a former forum member. I've had the Michelins on since well before I got the 996. My gut feeling is, it would work much better with the Michelins but that remains to be proven.

The GSXR on the other hand, got it's Dunlops because I really like how the Q2 worked on the Aprilia. It handles well with the Q3s so I'm confident it will respond similarly to the switch to Michelins as the Aprilia.

More to follow.......sean
 

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Discussion Starter #4
While I was researching which tires I wanted, I found there were two other DOT/race tires that would work for what I want to mount on my 996. One, the Power GP is my current prime candidate.....though I'm leaning more towards the Power 5s as they replace the Power RS.

Anyway, there is another that is more race than road and is intended for "cup racing" called the Power Cup 2. Conveniently, while I was surfing youtube today, I found that Dave Moss did a test on them and posted this video:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Also, I got two packages in the mail this week. #1 was the Marc Parnes upgrade to my Harbor Freight balancer. I'd been contemplating that upgrade for some time. Turns out, after I placed my order, I found that he is located in the LA area. I had to call to confirm which set of cones I required as there wasn't a spot for me to enter that information on the website. I sent an email through the site but read that he doesn't always get those. Anyway, that arrived on Monday.

Then today, my brand spankin' new Michelin Power 5s arrived. I can report that just from initial impressions, they are STICKY. My hand will not slide across the contact area without sticking. And that isn't even with them up to temp.

So now with all the elements for the tire swap here, I will be installing them tomorrow once I clear the bikes and stored parts from in front of and upon my No-Mar. If I get them done relatively early, I may go out on a test ride and see how they feel..........sean
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Completed my tire install of the new Michelin Pilot Power 5s today. Spent all day in the garage as there was some other maintenance that needed to be done on the Aprilia.

Also, got to use my Marc Parnes Harbor Freight upgrade when I balanced the wheels after the install. More on that later.

Got out there early today, not wanting to deal with the heat of the day. Turned out, that wasn't an issue today. Temps were mostly mild....upper 70s-low 80s.

Got the Suzuki out of the way first, and then the parts rack and all the parts out of the way. Then I couldn't find my core remover. Funny.....I have a magnetic strip on the side of my tool box where I hang all my routine use tools to keep them handy.

Turned out, the core tool got knocked off and was laying on the roll cart below my top box. Not where I thought to look.....for 30 minutes. Anyway, once I couldn't find it, I went ahead and got the heavy duty bolt breaking done first. Then I got it up on the front and rear stands.

Took the front brake calipers off, then loosed the pinch bolts and removed the front axle. Got the front wheel up on the No Mar and spent another 10 minutes looking for my core tool. After that, it went like clock work. Old tire off, new tire on. Straight on the new balancer and got the tire balanced up. Took a bit more weight than I was expecting.

While working on the balance, I noted a slightly notchy feeling front wheel bearing. More on that in a minute. Got the rear wheel out and, having left the rear tire out in the sun, that process went rather quickly. Honestly, I don't think there's an easier 190 section rear to spoon on than any Michelin.

Got the rear balanced rather easily too. As it took a short time to do that, I tried a small experiment. I used the Marc Parnes balancer and got the wheel balanced. Then I removed the Marc Parnes balancer and inserted the Harbor Freight axle and cones just to see if it gave a different result.

It did not. The results were exactly the same. Given that the Marc Parnes balancer is more precise, that isn't really a surprise. However, I think that's the rub. Balancing a wheel and tire isn't rocket science. I bought my Marc Parnes specifically for my 996 as I needed the cones for the single sided swing arm wheel.

The Marc Parnes kit includes a new axle and a set of cones that can be used for both the front and rear wheel on the 996. So, the front wheel on the Aprilia is the same as the Ducati in regards to axle and bearing diameters. Just so happens that the Aprilia rear wheel axle and bearing are only slightly larger than the front. For me, that cost is easily accepted as the 996 needs new tires too.

Onward. The front wheel bearings on one side were fine. Smooth and no notchiness or looseness/play. The other side though, had a bit of notchiness. I drove out both bearings and popped out the rubber seals. I wiped out the old grease and packed in some nice new synthetic bearing grease.

Once back together it felt really good spun on the axle. No notchiness and no vibration through the axle. Important as vibes from the bearings transmit through the axle and up through the fork tubes to the clip on bars.

Front and rear wheels installed, I got into the clutch master cylinder as it's been kind of a intermittent issue over the years. The bike is now 20 years old so it was about time to take care of some of this stuff.

Anyway, clutch master rebuilt and bled, I topped off the oil and buttoned up the fairings. Took a quick spin around my neighborhood to make sure everything was good. Then went for a test ride around the block. Not my immediate neighborhood but the larger block that my development is in.

Feed back from that short a ride is, the Power 5s are STICKY. Immediately so. I didn't have to wait to scrub them in before chucking them over like they were. I scrubbed them edge to edge on the rear in just that short a ride. They felt immediately communicative and there was zero drama getting tipped in to the 90 degree right on my street.

After the left at the end, that was it. It was good. Seriously. I was able to corner with confidence like I'd been up to the lake for the last hour. I rode back to my house and put the bike in the garage. Pics in a bit. ......sean
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Discussion Starter #7
Rode to work yesterday. OMG. The new Power 5s are the business. If you own a bike that will take the available sizes, try them on your next tire change. They're amazing.

Tip in is far quicker than the Road 3s. Far and away quicker. Grip is just phenomenal. Stick from the moment you hit the first turn. They're little spendy.....120/70 with a 180/55 goes for right at $300. A bit more for the 190 I am running. It's like having a new bike to be honest. The difference is that great.
 

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Q3+'s just arrived off the brown truck for the ZX10. 190/55 120/70 combo from Rocky Mountain. The three previous sets that have been on it have been fantastic. Been on the Q's for a long time with ZERO complaints.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I swapped from Qs about 8 years ago when the set on my Aprilia had zero grip after 2 years but only 4K miles. Not that I had issue with the Qs when they were good.

They only lasted as long as the Bridgestones they replaced though. Same story with them. Rubber went off after 2 years.

Got 7 years and some out of the last Michelins. They still had a good bit of grip too. Just started wearing funny. Thus, only going with Michelins for the next round of tire changes.
 
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