Here at Rider we’re always on the road, often on sport-touring machines. Like you, our goal is to find a tire designed for sport-touring motorcycles that delivers long tread life with great grip, ride comfort and enhanced handling. The Storm 3D X-M tire from Avon is so new that, late last summer, we got one of the first sets off the boat from England where they’re made. The Storm 3D X-M is a radial of the “cut-slick” design and includes interlocking three-dimensional points in the tread grooves designed to improve stability, warm-up time and grip while limiting tire flex. The jointless belt carcass design includes both single- and multi-compound super rich silica (SRS) for enhanced tread life, and enhanced performance and grip in both wet and dry conditions. According to Avon, the new Storm 3D X-M will deliver 15 to 20 percent additional tread mileage when compared with its current Storm range.
Avon designed the Storm 3D X-M for big sport-touring bikes such as the Yamaha FJR1300, BMW K 1600 GT, Honda ST1300 and Kawasaki Concours 14, as well as such sportbikes as the Kawasaki ZX-14R, Suzuki Hayabusa and Yamaha YZF-R1. I mounted a set on my aging BMW R1100RS, and took this show on the road. The tires were relatively easy to mount, as their carcasses were not overly stiff. I noted that while the front tire offered a fairly rounded profile, the rear’s profile was flatter, which on the road translated to the fact that the pair initiated a turn well, but then the bike quickly settled into a stable lean that was easy to fine-tune, but that required additional effort to push further. Thus, they were oriented more toward stability over quickness in steering, which is what I want in a sport-touring tire. Whether riding in a sporting manner in the mountains with my friends, or two-up and loaded on tour, the tires impressed me with their stability.
The tires are also protected by a road hazard warranty that states that if one experiences a puncture within the first year of use and first millimeter of wear, it will be replaced at no charge beyond refitting, rebalancing and a new valve. Certain limitations apply, of course.
To date, I have more than 2,500 miles on the set, and expect the rear tire to go about another 2,500 before its wear bars indicate that it’s time for a change. The front tire may go even farther, which is unusual in my experience. I tend to do a lot of sporty riding with my buddies up our favorite racer road, which tends to wear out front tires at an above-average rate. However, the new Avons seem to be much more resistant to wear on the fronts. Overall I am very impressed with the Avons’ stability, grip and handling characteristics. The Storm 3D X-M is now available in six popular 17- to 19-inch sizes for the front, and 10 popular 16- to 18-inch sizes for the rear.
For more information: See your dealer or visit avonmoto.com.
(This Gearlab review was published in the May 2015 issue of Rider magazine.)