Darrell Penning rides a 2016 BMW R 1200 RS. He rides a lot and has tracked the mileage of the tires he’s used from the day the bike was new till now, nearly 120,000 miles later.
After two sets of Metzeler Roadtecs and three sets of Michelin Pilot Road 4s, Penning spooned on a set of Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart IIIs when his odometer was at 36,946 miles. He ran seven sets of Roadsmart IIIs over the course of 70,054 miles, averaging 7,784 miles per set.
With his odometer at 107,000 miles, Penning installed his first set of Roadsmart IV tires. He put 10,245 miles on that one set of tires, and the front still had some life left in it when he mounted a new set of Roadsmart IVs.
Here’s what Penning had to say about his experience:
“As many riders are, I was locked into my favorites. Things like motorcycle brand and style, accessories provider, apparel name and style, or favorite tire brand was planted solidly in my choices.
“In my first 46 years of riding over 700,000 miles on my favorite motorcycle brand wearing my favorite apparel I also had settled in on my favorite tire brand. I based my choice on price, availability, feedback from other riders and my experience with the tires. But I had closed my mind to a couple of brands as I had convinced myself they were only best for American-built bikes and the rubber compound was too hard.
“At a BMW motorcycle rally in 2017, I spent a bit of time with a Dunlop representative talking about tires. His asked if I had ever tried a Dunlop tire on my motorcycle and my immediate response was no, as they really did not have anything I felt would work on my sport-touring model. I was offered an opportunity to try a set of Roadsmart III tires with a discount voucher. I decided at my next tire change to give them a try not expecting much.
“Since 2017 on the same motorcycle I have used nine sets of the Roadsmart III, and I recently installed my second set of the new Roadsmart IV. As most riders experience, the first couple thousand miles on tires are a thrill to ride as the tire performance makes the bike a joy to ride. But after a few thousand miles the fun starts to decrease due to wear characteristics. With the Roadsmart III tires and now on the improved Roadsmart IV tires, I found the same performance lasting through the full life of the tire. The enjoyment of a motorcycle tire producing the same quality of ride at 10,000 miles as it did at 2,000 miles is something I have not experienced with other brands.”
Penning provided feedback during his 10,000-mile test:
“Compared to the Roadsmart III, the Roadsmart IV tires (especially the front) seem more compliant (softer feel) to road surface imperfections such as expansion joints or cracks in the pavement. I sense the bike has a sharper turn in on corners but will comment on this further after I get some time in the Black Hills this week and the Colorado Rockies a few days from now. With the high temps and sun causing warm road surfaces, my initial reaction on tire wear is surprising considering the heat, speed and flatter roads I’ve been riding on.”
“The RSIV tires continue to display a round profile with zero cupping on the front tire. Handling remains as it did the first 2,000 miles, so very positive. With the Roadsmart III, I would wear out the front tire before the rear and I am sensing that will not happen with the RSIV. The next 1,500-2,000 miles over eight to nine days will be spent in the Colorado Rockies so I’ll get a good feel of handling and wear on tighter curves.”
“I remain totally surprised at the wear characteristics of the front tire. There is very minimal cupping developing with no effect on handling. The front tire has maintained a very round profile, which has allowed handling to be as it was when new. The rear tire has started to develop a slightly flatter center profile but not to the point it affects handling in the curves. Probably not unusual considering some the flatter roads I rode at speeds of 70-80 mph across the central U.S. plains.”
“The bike continues to handle well with the tires in their current state of wear. The front tire shows minimal cupping. More on the left side then the right likely due to the crowning of the roads. The back tire has started to show some squaring off on the main traction edges likely due to the straighter roads in the Midwest.”
“The Roadsmart IV handles better, wears longer mileage-wise, has a softer road feel and stays in a corner better than the Roadsmart III. The longevity of the front tire is a pleasant feature. There are probably 2,000 miles left on the front tire, but the rear tire will need to be changed soon.”
For more information about Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart IV tires, visit dunlopmotorcycletires.com