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Michelin Road 5 road tire test

We were waiting for him around the corner, the Michelin Road 5. With such a well-established pedigree in the hearts of French bikers, the latest road tire – I know, today we say sport touring – from the Auvergne manufacturer had a lot of work to do to get a good place in the list of the most popular rubbers. Even more so with competitors as sharp as the Metzeler Roadtec 01, the Dunlop Roadsmart 3 or the Pirelli Angel GT.

So to find out what the new Road 5 has in the body, I gave it a few thousand kilometers. Enough to get a good impression of an average biker's behavior. And I will not fail to edit this paper to keep you informed of the evolution of things at the end of his life, as well as the total mileage that he was able to collect!

A stiffer tire than the Pilot Road 4

Premier observation with the mechanic in charge of assembling the Road 5, even before driving. Concretely, when you take the tire in your hands and press with your thumbs on the tread, it sinks significantly less than on the Pilot Road 4 (which remains in the catalog).

The carcass of the Michelin Road 5 is therefore much stiffer than those of the PR4, which will undeniably affect behavior. And probably also on wear, which we can expect to be more regular than in the past (a fault of the Pilot Road 4). At Michelin , this change in philosophy in the design of road tires has a name: it is ACT+ technology, for Adaptive casing technology. An additional ply is inserted on the edges of the tire to strengthen its stability. A technology derived from the brand's sports tires.

The Michelin Road 5s make the bike lighter

Tires fitted, break-in done! From the first turns, I find the Michelin Road 5 much more lively than my previous ride, Metzeler Roadtec 01. I put it down to the novelty first. You must have noticed this too: new tires change the behavior of the motorcycle, often for the better.

It wasn't just a fantasy. It is clear after 4,000 kilometers of driving with these tires that i always feel a great lightness of the bike on rapid changes of angle. Very pleasant in sequences of tight turns where there is no need to struggle to go from one angle to another. In this, the feeling offered by the Road 5 reminds me of that of the Dunlop Roadsmart 3, who had marked me with this character trait.

The corner shot for everyone

Beyond this liveliness, I really appreciated the ease of putting the motorcycle on the corner. Behavior in tight curves is more natural than ever. The motorcycle registers with its fingers in its nose, helped by the tires which operate in complete progressiveness, in a transparent manner. I remember that it took me a little practice to find the maximum angle with the Roadtec 01, well with the Michelin Road 5, it’s done without forcing.

What grip in the dry!

And then in all areas, we feel that we are far from the limit. The tire easily supports the 107 horsepower of my BMW R 1200 R… Braking on corners, acceleration from the apex, bursts of speed in a straight line: the Michelin Road 5 never fails. What's more, they seem to be warm right out of the garage, magical.

The choice of rubber confirms that Michelin intended to make it sportier than the competition. Admire the pretty smooth strip on the shoulders (the edges) at the back. This area of ​​the tire uses 100% “carbon black” rubber, a compound that offers excellent grip in the dry. It is found on sportier tires. And it holds up, I confirm.

If you fear premature wear in this area, don't worry: I who mainly use roads with curves, its wear is homogeneous with the rest of the tire, at least to date. Its surface is simply more “grainy” than the central band. I will keep you informed at the end of the tires' life. Unless one of you has already blown a Road 5 train and can tell us! We are all waiting for your comments 😉

“Wet is in the head”, they said…

Michelin wants to reassure us in the wet. The Clermontoise brand explains that you never take enough angle when it rains to test the grip of the smooth shoulders. Ok, on wet roads, the ride is smoother. However, as far as I am concerned, the psychological barrier is there: there is an angle that must not be crossed, but what angle? You'll laugh, but it cooled me down a bit on rainy days. And I must admit that I had the opportunity to practice in the wet with a very moldy start to spring where I live!

However, I never had the opportunity to confront said limit. Alas, my leek instinct often took over with the fear of taking too many angles! In this matter, the Pirelli angel gt, THE RS3, THE Roadtec 01 or even the PR4s appear, in my opinion, to be much safer. Moreover, I clearly took more angles on wet roads with them, without fear. Too bad, because for the rest, the behavior of the Michelin Road 5 proved to be impeccable in the rain. Even at 3°C, with snow on the side of the road. To look for loss of grip, you have to go like a madman!

“Evolving slats”, to be tested over time

Especially since Michelin promises lasting performance on wet roads, especially thanks to the evolving XST Evo sipes. The sipes, these grooves made in the treads to evacuate water, have here a shape that flares when we approach the wear limit. With the aim of allowing drainage to be as effective as ever over thousands of kilometers. Imagine the technology that must be deployed to mold a tire like that!

Evil tongues will argue that it was probably enough to dig wider sipes from the surface of the tire. Who can do more can do less! Anyway, we'll talk about it again when I have some perspective on the matter, that is to say when the tire has given up its last millimeter of rubber. I will add that the imposing water reservoirs dug into the tire have no impact on its behavior.

Sports tires, what for?

Once again, I doubt that for most motorcyclists, fitting sportier tires for exclusively road use is worth the investment. Even when driving dynamically on a tempting mountain pass, it seems impossible for me to reach the limit of the Michelin Road 5. A limit which seems to me to be beyond that of my BM, itself beyond my own limits.

In short, we, ordinary bikers, have a lot of room ahead of us with the Michelin Road 5! So unless you ride a bike with more than 150 horsepower or you keep your mount for a little outing on the circuit from time to time, there is no doubt that the Road 5 will satisfy you!

NB: There is a specific variation for trails of the Michelin Road 5!

Still not sure which tire fitment to choose for your motorcycle? Have a look on our guide to motorcycle road tires !

Grips in the dry5
Grip in the wet3.8
Heating time5

My opinion: An easy and safe motorcycle tire

The Michelin Road 5 is a sort of sports tire to which we have provided a secure grip in the wet, a progressiveness which makes it accessible to all and a much longer lifespan. In short, it offers the dream versatility for those who want to mix everyday road with weekend travel and adventures on small twisty roads. In my opinion, only the psychological barrier of smooth shoulders can destabilize when you start to angle on a wet road. You just need to adopt reasonable behavior to avoid this, which is the recommended posture when it rains!

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Editor and tester for Motoblouz , I am an unconditional fan of roads with bends. For me, the motorcycle is a means of escape as well as a means of transport.


Add yours
  1. E-53e & Emile October 22, 2018 at 10:12 p.m. Answer

    I just finished a train: 7600km
    Nickel wear, not really tested in the wet, but in the dry it sticks pretty well!
    heats up quickly! It slips slightly when going around the corner, but it's really going hard! And it is a very light and reassuring phenomenon.

  2. Nicholas C September 26, 2018 at 1:44 p.m. Answer

    Good morning,
    My opinion on a Road 5 mounted at the rear on a 1200 VFR for around 500 km, replacing the PR4.
    Stability level, nothing to complain about. On the other hand, in terms of liveliness, it's a big disappointment compared to the PR4, which was very progressive and which required little effort to lay the bike down and quickly pass from one angle to the other. The Road 5 requires a lot of effort to put it on the corner. Then the motorcycle suddenly falls. No problems with stability once on the corner, but this behavior is not very reassuring, especially at low speed. Personally, I am a little disappointed and I would not recommend this tire.

  3. Louisd June 26, 2018 at 12:17 Answer

    Hello and thank you for this test.

    I started with the excellent roadtec 01 from metzeler for my ninja 650 and after understanding the tire, I simply loved it. A progressive tire with a firm seat on the angle which gives a rail effect when cornering.
    But I switched to the sportec m7rr wanting a bit more agility and to mistreat it a little.
    Well I'm having a hard time getting used to it, certainly it's agile and I can go through turns faster but I don't have that pleasant feeling about the angle, I feel nothing, no rail.
    So I regret and I will put my roadtec 01 back on. And as I never drive in the rain with my ninja, my ideal tire would be the roadtec 01 without tread strip on the side…

    And this is where road 5 appeals to me. You think that I will have the same sensations of firm seating on the angle with the road 5. Since you have tested both tires..



    • Loic June 26, 2018 at 12:51 Answer

      Hello @disqus_paNY7Dk0VF:disqus,

      Thank you for your comment. Considering what you are looking for, I would tend to recommend that you take the Metzeler Roadtec 01. I also appreciated with them this feeling of stability on the angle which, I think, is less pronounced with the Michelin Road 5. On the other hand, the Road 5 amazed me with their ease in reaching the maximum angle without apprehension, smoothly.

      Moral: you can't have everything 😉

      V – Loïc

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