My, what a long winter it was in the Pacific Northwest. Made all the longer as I awaited the chance to spoon on and evaluate the latest “sticky bun” offering from Michelin. Released in January to the buying public at a cost comparable to, if not lower than, other tires in this category, the Power RS touts several tweaks to an already impressive line of tires. I felt my old school ’05 Kawasaki ZX-10R, without all the latest intervening electronic technology, would be a good test of the tires’ true potential and feedback they send to the rider and chassis.
Grip level is listed as “Revolutionary,” something the French know a little about, I suppose. No punches are pulled stating these are for “dry weather grip and agility,” made plainer by the near slick-level ratio of rubber to groove. Using reformulated compounds with Michelin’s patented ACT carcass technology, these hoops are said to provide exceptional stability under hard cornering and a more even wear pattern. Adapted straight from lessons learned in racing, the Power RS combo looks the business and would be at home at any track day or club race.
Tallish with a sharp profile, the RS tires made the bike feel lighter and more nimble from the get-go, noticeably increasing the steering response up front. The initial feeling is a soft and compliant tire; warm-up seems acceptable and once there they tenaciously resist any sliding notions from brake or throttle application. How does planted sound?
Right out of the box it’s obvious these are gripping tools; the rear picks up loose debris like a tack cloth and the taller profile had it rubbing the inside of my hugger, but not for too long.
After two hours of back and forth attacks launched on some of my favorite apexes, the Power RS rear was beginning to look only slightly scuffed in. The front’s contact patch testified to my reluctance to explore all of the lean angle this tire will deliver, but I must save some for another day when the temps break into the 70s.
The Michelin website is rife with information on the RS now that they have been out for half a year: track pressure settings, optimal tire warmer temperatures, etc. Available in all sizes for today’s, and some of yesterday’s, popular hypersport machines, surely customer feedback will grow. I will report later this year on real-world longevity, but initial impressions say these Michelin Power RS tires should be right in line with other tires in the sport street tire category, and starting at $184.95, they’re priced competitively. How can one really put a price on traction?
For more information, see your dealer or visit motorcycle.michelinman.com.