2014-09-25

The Versys gets new shoes

In the spring I replaced the Conti Motion tires that had come from the previous owner with a set of Continental Trail Attack2 tires, thinking that with the more aggressive tread pattern that I would have more traction on gravel, and as they don't make a 160 width rear I opted to go to 170 on the back. It was a good choice, and I got 15,000km out of them before they started to square off. The front scalloped and squared off, and later at 18,000 instead of tipping into a corner, it dumped into it.
Still, I had enough faith to reorder them from Pete's Superbike in early September, only to find that the rear tire wasn't in stock and wouldn't be until late October, so I cancelled the order and instead went with Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires that just got spooned on today at 39,250km on my odometer.
So far, in a 40 km dry run they've been great, although the handling of the bike will take some getting used to again, for the 160 rear likes to turn in quicker than the 170, so I find myself cornering without needing to lean off the bike whatsoever.
I'll report back later to tell you what I think of them in the wet and over the long haul.
The Continental tires are brilliant in both wet and dry, so much so that I inadvertently power wheelied in the wet with them a couple of times. They are confidence inspiring tires to be sure, until they square off... 
2014-10-08
I rode home in a downpour and the Michelin Pilot Road 4s handled it with aplomb. Under acceleration it felt like I was on dry pavement, and while trail braking into a tight right hander, I got a bit of feedback from the front, as I was braking a bit harder than I should have. No discernible slips, just decent traction that I was expecting from these tires. Cold tires, heavy rainfall, and a confident rider. 
They don't handle Prince Edward Island s wet clay roads as well as I'd like, but I've ridden some heavy mud offroad on dirt bikes, and the Versys managed alright, although I aimed for the dry spots by default. The front slid twice, but the rear had enough traction under throttle to poke on through. 

2016-04-02
I just had Pilot Road 4 rear tire taken off the bike, and swapped it out for a fresh Continental Trail Attack2 Rear Tire at 49,400km on the odometer. Sadly the PR4 lasted only 10,000 km so I can't recommend these as sport touring tires. YMMV but it should be noted that you and I probably have different riding styles that may account for variation. 


A fresh PR4

I only got 10,000 km on this rear tire, so I've gone back to Contis for this 2016 season. 

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