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Thread: 2005 R1200RT: Michelin Pilot Road 3 - to "B" or not to "B"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Northern Virginia, USA

    2005 R1200RT: Michelin Pilot Road 3 - to "B" or not to "B"

    Shopping for new tires, the dealer said I should spend another $35 to get the Michelin Pilot Road 3 "B" instead of the regular Pilot Road. He claimed it's for the heavier bikes and two-up.

    If it's more, it must be better, right?

    So I called Michelin and asked to talk with Bibendum. He was busy but their staffer said it has a stiffer sidewall for two-up riding. The stiffer sidewall keeps the tire from deforming as much on bumps and curves. He said they both have the same load rating and should last the same number of miles. I asked if the R1200RT is heavy enough to need it riding solo and he replied no.

    I ride solo so I figure I should get the regular tire. Why would I want the tires to be more stifff?

    So you solo R1200RT riders out there - is it better to "B" or not to "B?"
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Although I ride a Montauk R1200C, I have some friends who had recently opted to Michelin Pilots tires on a GT and an RT.

    I have RT rider solo and with 2-up. This guy was very happy how it managed on steep twisty turns anywhere between 90 to 180 deg turns along the edges of the moutain at reasonably higher speed than posted. The comments I got ... "well, my Pilot was able to keep up with me" and he was very happy person.

  3. #3

    Not to B

    My 06 RT1200 wears Pilot Road 2's. I don't ride much in the rain so no need for the 3's. I have tried some other brands. The Dunlop road smarts were terrible, they gave me no feel or feed back from the road and never felt planted to the pavement, no confidence at full lean. Plus they were shredded in under 5000 miles. Went back to the PR 2's and they are the best tire I have had on the bike. I run them about 8-10 Psi. over the recomended pressure with awesome results, 10-12 thousand miles with no flat spotting in the center. I found when I ran recommended air pressure my miles droped to 6-8 thousand miles and had that flat centre.
    Just my 02.

  4. #4
    Registered User Bullett's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Southern Oregon coast.
    My husband and I run the non-B version of the PR2 and/or 3 on our 2007 R1200RT's.
    '07 R1200RT (my favorite!); '12 Yamaha Super Tenere (El Gordo); '07 Suzuki DR650SE (!);
    '59 R 26 (my first)

  5. #5
    Are we there yet? tonyfr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SAT - LAX - LAS
    I'm a one-up rider and I have the non "B" version PR3. I had a "B" PR2 before, but didn't like it. You can feel the stiffer sidewall on a corner.
    2009 K1300 GT
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750-E1 Turbo
    1990 Kawasaki ZX600R
    2005 R1200 RT - gone

  6. #6
    I ride solo on my 2010 RT. The Michelin rep I spoke to at the Bloomsburg MOA rally said I did not the need the B version of the PR3's. I've been happy with that decision for the last 6,000 miles on these tires. It looks like I have many more to go as well.

  7. #7
    I run the "B" version on mine.
    Just done about 750km on it and so far I am happy with it.
    As I take my daughter with me on occasions and usually have stuff always in my Panniers, it seemed to be a cheap precaution.
    For the once that always ride solo and aren't inclined to load up their bike too often, the normal version would be a sensible way to go.
    Last edited by Alfred02; 07-22-2012 at 07:21 AM.
    Australia N,S,W
    Mid North Coast
    2014 R1200RT LC/SE

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    The rated load capacity is the same for both. However, the B allows higher max speeds with a full load on the bike- but you'd be way above US speed limits at that point.

    However, there is a slight handling difference. If you are preceptive about tire differences you will note that the B provides a bit more linear turn in and is slightly more stable under load at speed. But the difference is small. If you can't tell if your tires are 3-4 lbs low on pressure without a tire gauge you will never notice it but if you can tell such differences (as any experienced competitor or racer can) than you might have a preference one way or the other...

    I end up doing a fair number of trips with a top case and load though solo and find I prefer the B tire slightly. If I couldn't get it, I wouldn't stress over it though...

  9. #9

    Time For New Tires

    Time for new tires on my '04 1150 RT. The last two sets have been Metzeler ME880 Marathons and have given incredible mileage. I recently read reviews of both the Michelin Pilot Road 2's and 3's that seemed to indicate better performance with the same long mileage. So now the question........Me880's again or PR2 or PR3? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Bob Ridenour

    '04 1150 RT

    '07 650 GS (sold)

  10. #10
    Insatiable Cruiser rtwiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Chicago Suburbs
    Quote Originally Posted by ridenrd View Post
    Time for new tires on my '04 1150 RT. The last two sets have been Metzeler ME880 Marathons and have given incredible mileage. I recently read reviews of both the Michelin Pilot Road 2's and 3's that seemed to indicate better performance with the same long mileage. So now the question........Me880's again or PR2 or PR3? Your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Bob Ridenour

    '04 1150 RT

    '07 650 GS (sold)

    No question the Pilots will stick better and feel better than ME880s on your RT.

    I ride an 05 R1200RT with 70K miles on it. It's my 3rd RT. I've had an 1100 and an 1150 before this bike. I've tried many different brands of tires on these bikes. I've learned a few things, but some of this information may be a bit obsolete since some of the tires I've used aren't even around anymore.

    I got almost 11,000 miles on a rear Pilot Road 2 two summers ago. Fronts lasted longer than that. I was headed out on a trip to Nashville and wanted to put new tires on the bike, but the dealer didn't have them in stock so I took off with about 10K miles on the set that was on the bike. I needed to go to Nashville for a seminar and just wanted to take the bike this trip.

    When I stopped at the hotel in Nashville, the rear was showing some cord. I looked up the BMW dealer in Nashville...Closed on Monday, so I ended up at a Suzuki shop. Since I'd ordered new tires at my home dealer, I didn't want to buy a new set down here. I bought a Chien Chen Chinese sport bike tire in my size for the rear. (one big advantage over older RTs is that the 1200 uses sport bike size rear tires, so you can always find replacements.) The Chinese tire worked fine and got me home for cheap but didn't last long, which was expected. When it was worn, I put two new PR 2s on that I'd ordered from my dealer.

    Metzler Z6 would be my choice if I just tooled around in the hills all the time, but living on the Great Plains, I need something that will tolerate straight line hot weather riding without becoming oddly shaped and, more important, without giving me an odd handling motorcycle to ride.

    The Metzler Z4 and Z6 seem to not be great at working well after a long bit of straight line driving. I think the tire construction makes them really nice for hard turning when they are new. That same construction really makes them a handful when the rear becomes squared off. Bridgestones 020 and 021 seem a lot more forgiving of a square rear tire than Metzler Z4/Z6. Even when square, Bridgestone seems to flex more or something so the handling stays decent.

    So far for me, the Pilot Road tires have lasted the longest and stayed fun to ride the longest of any tire I've tried. They have nice feel to them and seem to be worth the extra cost.

    If my friend has good luck with his Z8s on his K1200RS, I may try a set of those but the jury is still out on them. We both put new tires on prior to a Colorado trip this summer. I know my RT is harder on tires than his K12RS, but it will be interesting to see how these two sets of tires wear on the two bikes. He's liking the feel of his Z8s. Think they feel like Z6 and that's a good thing. His rear tire still looked great after our trip.

    In the meantime, you won't go too wrong with Pilot Roads. Great tires.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    pilot road 3

    I did not think metzeler made me880 for the rt.I have a 2011 1200rt and could not find them,always liked the 880 for the mileage I got out of them.just put Michelin Pilot Road 3 on not many miles on them,will see how they do.wise someone could tell me were to get 880 for my bike,

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    New Rochelle, New York

    2005 r1200RT: Michelin Pilot Road 3- to "B"mor not to "B"

    I just bought pr3's (B) about a week ago and with 300+ miles consider them broken-in. They are my first (to me) brand new tire on my '96 r1100rt. Like riding on air. If you have seen them in comparison to pr2's the striking difference to the 3's visibly is they have a weird looking horizontal tire pattern cut into the tire that extends slightly around and to the sides. Like something a racer would do at the track. By force of habit I usually sandpaper the bottom sides of new tires slightly. With sandpaper in hand I just stared at the new tires and thought "don't have to do it". I can feel more cornering control even with a full load than I did before. I'm not sure if this is for rain riding or overall performance. But a fantastic sport-touring tire none the less.

    They are replacing a pair of pr2's that were past their prime to the point that the rear was cupping so it's hard for me to say one model is superior to the other.

    BMW dealer had both 2's & 3's but was phasing 2's out of their stock. Could only special order them going forward.

    I have Metzler 880's on my Softail and they are far superior to the stock Dunlop's offered by Harley. A great tire.

    mike wex
    '96 r1100rt

  13. #13
    Just switched out a set of Pilot Road 3's (15,342 miles with B rear) yesterday for another identical set. Great overall tire (run 40/42psi) one or two up all the time .


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