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Thread: Dunlop RoadSmart III review

  1. #1
    Addicted to windshields Realshelby's Avatar
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    Dunlop RoadSmart III review

    I hate taking perfectly good tires off the bike just so I can fit a new one that will make a trip. I often take 3-4,000 mile trips. Wouldn't it be nice for a rear tire to make two trips with no worries! I have been running Bridgestone T-30 EVO's for several sets now. At $225 per set they are a very good price which takes some sting out of removing a rear tire with 2000 mile left in it. I like them, but wanted to try something to see if the rear mileage could be increased. The Pirelli Angel GT was high on my list. The RoadSmart III has some really impressive propaganda put out by Dunlop. So I fell for that and ordered a set. Just got back from a trip that was a good test and enough miles to form some facts about these new tires.

    These tires have just over 4100 miles. This trip had more back roads and a LOT more mountainous terrain than I normally would get. Which should allow longer tire wear? Most of the trip the tire pressures were 38.5 front and 42 rear. New the front tire came with 4/32" tread depth. It is now at 3/32" tread depth. Rear tire came with what I called 7 3/4 /32" tread depth. It is now at 4/32". For comparison, the Bridgestone T-30 EVO's I just took off had 3/32" at 5000 miles on the front, and 4/32" on the rear at 4,300 miles. Considering the RoadSmart III started with more tread depth than the T-30, then measuring and judging mileage by tread depth means the RoadSmart III won't deliver any more mileage than the T-30, maybe not as many miles. I figure if I ever ran a T-30 to the wear bars they are a 7,500-8,000 mile tire on the rear. I wanted a tire that would go further, that is why I tried the RoadSmart III.

    Wet Roads: I had several hundred miles of wet roads. The RoadSmart III gave me zero surprises in those conditions. Just like the other tires I have been running.

    Handling: These are simply the BEST tires I have run for hard cornering! They roll into the turn without needing a correction like some tires, yet are willing to change a line with little effort. When leaned over hard they do not wiggle or squirm, feel very much like they have plenty of traction left. I left with pressures of 37 front and 41 rear, at just over 1500 miles I thought the front might be feathering/scalloping a bit more than I wanted so I bumped tire pressure to 38.5 front and 42 rear. This took just a bit of the really good feel out of them when leaned over, but still a very good feel.

    Noise: Around 1600 miles I started hearing a noise. Could be a bearing or a tire? It is the tires. In a straight line on back roads the noise is quite obvious. Not as noticeable at 75 mph on interstates, it is there but the ambient noise is high. Lean it over and it is very noisy. Getting louder as miles go by. I don't like this, but it would not keep me from buying them if other attributes were good.

    Straight line stability: Going down different road surfaces can cause quite a bit of "hunting" on certain front tires. The Continentals my RT came with were the absolute worst at this I have ever seen. These started out good, maybe the equal to the Bridgestone T-30, but seem to have gotten more nervous as miles pile up.

    Ride quality: These ride very good! They are only available in the standard version, I was using the "A" spec T-30 with stiffer sidewall. So, these should and do ride better. I am wondering why I was buying the heavier sidewall tire now, they an NO additional load bearing capability and ride is not nearly as compliant.

    To summarize these tires do NOT deliver mileage claimed by the manufacturer. Which does not surprise me as they won't guarantee mileage. Propaganda by manufacturers is just that, a sales gimmick. I like the handling, wet manners, looks, and have no really bad things so far to say. Just at the price these will not get more miles than the much less expensive Bridgestone T-30 EVO. Unless they start not wearing much at all, which isn't likely, this will be the last set I buy. The noise, everything else being equal, is enough to keep me away.

    Rear:

    Front:

  2. #2
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Thanks for going out on a limb with these tires. Propaganda is what it is and only real world testing will reveal reality.
    My brother and I have different OEM tires on our '17 RT's and will find out which one will win out for us on the rough surface our roads have in S.Fl.. Metzeler and Michelin is what we have so we'll see what is up as the miles roll on.
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

  3. #3
    Registered User frenchnew's Avatar
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    I installed them on my K1600Gt this spring to replace the worn Michelin PR4GT with 11,318Km (7,073 miles). now with almost 5,000Km done, I like them better than the PR4GT which the front tire behave like it was always under inflated @ 42psi when negotiating slow speed curves, the Dunlop does not do this. Had a chance to ride them for a few miles in a downpour and from my point of view they are as good as the PR4GT.

    Pricewise, I paid $512CDN las year for a set of PR4GT and the RoadSmart III costed me $333.31CDN for a set this spring. Dunlop was running a promotion from May until June 30 in Canada and there is a $40 cash back rebate - I bought a second set and with the rebate the cost will be $293.31CDN

    Robert
    2016 K1600GT Cosmic Blue , ABS, ASC, ESAII, TPMS & Alarm, Radio, Sat, GPS Nav V
    Skene IQ150-TS front and IQ 160-TS rear

  4. #4
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    Dunlop sucked me in when the first gen RoadSmarts came out. I put a set on a K1100RS I was running and got far less mileage than expected. The rear got me about 7500 miles, but the front was shot by 5000. Turns out the dual compound tread they were bragging about was only applied to the rear. Fronts were single compound. I swore off Dunlops at that point and have run Michelin's Pilot Roads, happily, ever since.

    FWIW, one set of those PRs, this time on a K12RS, was newly installed just prior to 2000 mile rally round trip. I too noticed some new singing on the interslab, and wrote it off to the new tires' tread pattern. My rear drive's bearing failed within 50 miles of my returning home.

    I may have missed it, but I didn't notice what bike you were using in your evaluation.

  5. #5
    Addicted to windshields Realshelby's Avatar
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    2014 R 1200 RT. Currently at 32K miles.

    I tried to be as subjective as possible. I wanted these to be a high mileage tire. I was surprised at the handling, but equally surprised at the noise.

    Bottom line is that these are in a price point around the Pirelli Angel GT, less in price than the Michelin PR4 series. I was going to buy a set of Angel GT's as they seem to be getting good reviews. The "rebate" caused me to try the RoadSmart III. I have not had the PR4 on this bike, but have had those and the PR3 on my V Strom. I do NOT like the feel of the PR4 under hard braking or at higher lean angles. I did not get exceptional mileage out of them. So, I guess I was already running the best tire for me before this. Bridgestone T-30 EVO. $225 per set for the "A" spec. I will try the standard T-30 next time. Probably ride as good as the Roadsmart, and I wonder if it might actually feel better than the "A" spec when leaned over?

  6. #6
    I would like to know the route of that 4100 mile trip, at least generally. The chip sealed roads of west Texas and New Mexico, for example, eat tires a lot faster than machine asphalt in Oklahoma and Kansas.

    Voni, on her R1100RS with Bridgestone BT54 tires had a low of 6,100 miles and a high of just over 14,000 miles with an average of 8,400 miles over about 30 tires: same tire make and model, same rider, same bike. The difference being where she rode and in what weather conditions. So the trip routing does matter.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  7. #7
    Addicted to windshields Realshelby's Avatar
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    Yes, the road surface and speeds do matter. But maybe not so much as some believe. I have made this trip, more or less, before. The route was Houston, Texas using 59 north to Livingston, then running back roads East through Lousiana toward Alexandria then turning north just before Natchez. That put me on I-20 which I took to I-55 north. Stayed on that to Memphis then took I-40 to Nashville then I 65 north to the Parkway. Run that to I-64 at Lexington. Run that into Charleston, WV and then north on I-79 to Buckhannon. I stayed there a few days and ran local back roads, most all were two lane. Then East over the mountains on 33 to Franklin, South on 220 to Monterey Virginia, then East on 250 to Staunton Virginia. I ran I-81 south to I-26 to Asheville then 74 to Fontana Village Resort which is near the Fontana Dam and Tail of the Dragon. Stayed there a few days and then made my way east over 129 to I-75 south to I-59 south to I-12 then I-10 west back to Houston.

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    Registered User mikesved's Avatar
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    Thanks for the honest and thorough review on the RS III. I know we discussed these tires on another forum. I have yet to get any distance on my Avon's, just 200-400 mile days here and there. I will have to bring them to work and get some measuring done. I have placed about 1k on the bike since I got it.

  9. #9
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    RealShelby,

    I was wandering if you have tried anything since using the RS IIIs. If not, what is the longest lasting tire you have found so far?

    FYI... I drive an R1100RT and currently run Angel GTs. So far I have gotten 6K on my first rear (Took it off early due to a planned trip to Canada of approx. 4K). And on my second rear tire I currently have about 5K and looks to be just over half used up. I hope to see how far the second tire lasts before I replace it for my trip to Canada in May. The front tire has about 11k on it and has started to cup but still has tread on it.

    As to my style of driving, I live in the middle of the MS Delta, which means a lot of straight flat boring roads before I even make it to the hills or areas I am headed. - The closest curvy roads are over an hour away. For someone as impatient as me that means a lot of high-speed driving. That and the fact that I weight about 235lbs could lead to higher than usual wear. Once I get to populated areas with curvy roads and nice scenery I slow down and enjoy the ride, but until then....


    The 18-inch tire limits my choices and I really like the Angel GTs, but I like to change things up and am considering a 80/20 Adventure Tire. However, if I can't decide which way I want to go I will probably end up with the Angel GTs again.
    Last edited by FD59; 01-29-2018 at 04:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Addicted to windshields Realshelby's Avatar
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    I have not put many miles on the RT since my last update. Been on the V STrom more lately.

    Still not "unhappy" with the Dunlops, but to say I would consider purchasing them again, I cannot.

    I have been on a hunt for years to find a tire that would give me 8-10,000 miles out of the rear. Beyond the Metzeler 880's I ran on the Oilhead RT, I have not had one break 8000 miles. I might have gotten to 8000 if I had run a couple to the absolute end of the tread life, but I tend to pull off a tire and replace it before a long trip.

    Since I have not found a tire with a large enough mileage edge over another ( price not being a factor ), I now look at what feels good on the bike. Then cost. I can install a new set of Bridgestone T-30's and get near as many miles as I can with higher priced tires. Then buy another new rear tire and still have less money than buying a set of Michelins to start with. That gives me about 14,000 total miles for the rear two tires and the front seems to last two rears comfortably.

    Too much attention/promotion is given to "wet" traction. I cannot say that I have had any brand tire that I was uncomfortable with in the rain. I do slow down in the wet. We ride such a small percentage of the time in wet conditions that I don't see what the reason behind ALL the brands fuss over wet traction is. Put that engineering into tread life improvements without giving up what wet traction we have now.....

  11. #11
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    Too much attention/promotion is given to "wet" traction. I cannot say that I have had any brand tire that I was uncomfortable with in the rain. I do slow down in the wet. We ride such a small percentage of the time in wet conditions that I don't see what the reason behind ALL the brands fuss over wet traction is. Put that engineering into tread life improvements without giving up what wet traction we have now.....[/QUOTE]

    I wholeheartedly agree. Living in Tucson, AZ, rain isn't a common occurrence except for the the afternoon summer storms that can develop rapidly.

  12. #12
    Registered User rip0357's Avatar
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    New to BMW (RT)... I appreciate reading the discussion and insight.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by 107536 View Post
    Too much attention/promotion is given to "wet" traction. I cannot say that I have had any brand tire that I was uncomfortable with in the rain. I do slow down in the wet. We ride such a small percentage of the time in wet conditions that I don't see what the reason behind ALL the brands fuss over wet traction is. Put that engineering into tread life improvements without giving up what wet traction we have now.....
    I wholeheartedly agree. Living in Tucson, AZ, rain isn't a common occurrence except for the the afternoon summer storms that can develop rapidly.
    I suspect that the folks who live in the Pacific Northwet and ride frequently in the rain might have a different perspective. Manufacturers emphasize wet traction on sport touring tires because it is a safety issue that helps sell their tires.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 02-20-2018 at 04:54 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  14. #14
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Realshelby View Post
    I have been on a hunt for years to find a tire that would give me 8-10,000 miles out of the rear.
    On my wethead R1200GS I've got 12.5K miles on my rear tire, an Anakee III (Michelin), and counting... I tend to stick to the speed limits, or close to it, and will ride under the speed limit on those western 80 mph roads...72 mph is my standard traveling speed on those higher speed limit roads.
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  15. #15
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Currently at 8500 miles on my PR4GT's... It looks like the rear tire will make 10K easily and I'm hoping for 12K. The roads in Florida are flat and lack curves..
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, ‘17 R1200RT

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