Our lucky lady rider Laura managed to fanagle a set of Michelin Power RS for her trusty FZ-09 so she could bring you this long-term review of these tires.
Feature image by CaliPhotography.
Let’s Talk Politics, I Mean Tires
They seem so simple – black, round, maybe some tread here and there. But the reality is, they aren’t that simple. I had no idea how aggressive people get when the subject of tires pops up in a conversation, especially when it comes to track riding. I swear it’s almost like talking politics—people have strong opinions on what brand is the best. They can also come up with many reasons why tire X is better performing than tire Y.
The fact is, tire choice is subjective. What kind of shoes you choose to put on your moto is based on what you’re looking for. Don’t get me wrong, tires are very important, but at the same time, they aren’t that complicated. The top tire brands produce consistently, well-rounded (pun intended) products, and this review covers a brand that’s very well-known, but one that I’ve actually never tried out before. That's why I was pretty stoked when I got the opportunity to try out Michelin’s new Power RS tires.
What the All-New Michelin Power RS are Made Of
Michelin released their all-new Power RS tire to the public in January. According to Michelin, this tire fits the bill for riders who want a sport tire that’s great for dry roads, has a ton of grip, and provides awesome handling. I managed to put the Power RS to the test on my 2015 Yamaha FZ-09 back in December. My bike is completely stock, and even though the power is amazing, the suspension is not. My first time testing them out was at the Femmewalla track day, and I was a bit worried that my FZ’s wouldn’t allow me to get proper feel for the tires. The good news is that I was wrong: I was able to get a good sense of feel from the Power RS tires while out on track.
Photo by CaliPhotography.
The new Michelin’s are made with Advanced Casing Technology (ACT+) which provides stiffer sidewalls and a softer crown. According to the manufacturer, his results in better grip and bike handling all around. Additionally, the rear tire is made with 2CT+ technology, which uses a hard rubber underneath a softer rubber to make the bike more stable under hard acceleration out of corners.
Michelin Power RS On Track
Before taking it out on track, I played with the tire pressures to ensure optimal performance. I started off with 31-psi in front, 23-psi on the rear and took off. It doesn’t take long to get these tires up to temp and I was quickly going at a good pace around Chuckwalla. However, as the day progressed things got a bit interesting. Chuckwalla Valley is known to be very windy, causing intense dust storms.
I was a bit hesitant to go out on track as the wind picked up, but I was told that as long as the sand wasn’t standing, I shouldn’t have any problem with grip—I mean, sand constitutes as dry road conditions, right? Fortunately, the Power RS handled beautifully (sand and all) producing really great front-end feel and confidence, allowing me to easily power in and out of corners with no issues.
Photo by CaliPhotography.
Going back to the pressures, when hot, I settled on 32/26. At these pressures the tires felt good, and after a day laying a bit of rubber down, the tire wear looked even. Chuckwalla wasn’t the only track that I tested these tires on. I also tried the new Michelin’s at another track, Buttonwillow Raceway Park. Before going out, I made sure the tire pressures were set to the numbers provided above. Again, grip and wear looked solid throughout the day.
When it comes to commuting, these tires perform fine; the only downside to these is that they will wear out faster than a touring tire because, well, they are sport-performing tires: These aren’t designed to take on tens of thousands of miles.
Power RS from Point-A to Point-B
Additionally, commuting on these tires meant that I got to test them in both dry and wet weather around the Bay Area. I admit that I was a bit hesitant to take the bike out when it was raining because I didn’t trust the skimpy two-inch tread dents to divert large bodies of water. As it turns out, riding in the rain wasn’t bad at all. I must note that this was straight-line commuting and I definitely didn’t go ripping around off ramps, so if you choose to pick up a set and it occasionally rains where you are, the Power RS can handle a little rain.
Getting advice on a what tire to run for optimal performance can be tricky. There are so many options –and opinions—out there. It’s also hard to spend money on something that you’ve never tried before. But, if you’re a rider that likes to occasional try out different shoes, these are worth looking into if:
- You’re a canyon carver and/or avid track day rider that uses their commuter bike for track days.
- You want to tires that provide good grip and stability.
- You don’t mind that these will wear out sooner than sport touring tires.
- You live in an area that’s predominately dry.
So far, I’ve been impressed with Power RS and am looking forward to my next track day.
Price and Sizes
The Michelin Power RS tires range from $122 to $210. Check out the chart below for available sizes: