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Thread: Dunlop vs Michelin

  1. #1
    Registered User bobsguns's Avatar
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    Dunlop vs Michelin

    I'm starting to shop around for tires. I've used Michelin Road Pilot's in the past but swapped over to Dunlop Roadsmarts on the last set. I have since traded bikes, so this will be a different bike for the either brand.

    Dunlop claims a couple of thousand miles more than the Michelin's, as well as better braking distance in both wet & dry surfaces. Yes, I know there's marketing hype involved but so far I've not seen any rebuttal from Michelin, so AFAIK the Dunlop claims are indeed true.

    My bike is a 2016 RT, so the Road Pilot 4's are not available yet, as per the other thread in here. While I may get caught out in the rain, I strive to NOT ride in the rain at all if I can help it. My biggest concern is mileage, thus the appeal of the Dunlops.

    Does anyone else besides me have any road time on the Dunlops? Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Darrell on this site has gone through about 5 sets of Roadsmart 3s and his rear tire mileage was in the 8,000 to 8,500 mile range.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  3. #3
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    Different bike, but I have a direct comparison between Michelins v. Dunlops. The Michelins ride quieter, don't cup, handle better on wet roads, and last longer (2k to 3k more miles) on my bike, which is admittedly smaller than your RT.

    Good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  4. #4
    Registered User alegerlotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    Different bike, but I have a direct comparison between Michelins v. Dunlops. The Michelins ride quieter, don't cup, handle better on wet roads, and last longer (2k to 3k more miles) on my bike, which is admittedly smaller than your RT.

    Good luck.
    Michelins (both PR3 and PR4) have cupped horribly (the worst of any tires I've tried) on my RT. The motorcycle and the riding style definitely have a lot to do with the longevity and wear characteristics of tires.

    I have not tried the Dunlops, but I have had better luck with the Metzeler Z8 and Roadtec 01 as well as the Continental RoadAttack 3 in terms of cupping and mileage.
    2016 R1200RT
    2007 KTM 450 XC-W (10/17 - 5/18)
    2005 R1200RT (2/2015 - 12/2016)
    1985 Yamaha XJ 700 Maxim (7/1989 - 9/1991)

  5. #5
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsguns View Post

    My bike is a 2016 RT, so the Road Pilot 4's are not available yet,
    Do you mean the Road 5 GT?

    You can still buy the Pilot Road 4 GT but the supply of the front tires is getting thin.

    It's time for new tires on our R1200RSs and the shop I use for tires was not able to get front tires from his three suppliers.
    After many Pilot Roads we're going to try the Roadsmart 3 for our next tires.

    The last set of tires we had were the regular Pilot Road 4 in the back and Road 5 in the front.
    The front tires wore uneven so I'm not interested in trying that combo again.
    Last edited by Lee; 03-20-2019 at 08:03 PM.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  6. #6
    Registered User dlong's Avatar
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    I've been through at least 6 sets of PR4's and more recently as many or more sets of RS3's on a hexhead RT, a K1300GT, and now an 18 RT LC. In my experience, there's not much difference in milage. 7K tops for both front and rear, at which point handling on both is badly deteriorated. I always change both front and rear at the same time. Changing at 6K would be wiser. The RS3's do not cup nearly as bad as the PR4's. The RS3's inspire great confidence in the dry. Can't say much about the wet as I just don't push them hard enough to have an opinion. Handling is excellent when both sets are new, but the RE3's seem to maintain their contour and handling characteristics as they wear. I wear earplugs and never notice tire noise. For reference, I'm at about 240lbs with ATG, rarely ride 2 up, hardly ever take the bike out without seeing triple digits on the speedo, trail brake frequently, and ride very abrasive road surfaces common in Northern AZ. I take advantage of the Dunlop rebate, which varies between 40 and 75 dollars. I see no reason to switch from the Dunlops.

  7. #7
    Registered User gsinnc's Avatar
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    WOW .... I am surprised as the relatively low mileage you guys are seeing. On my '06 RT I consistently got 10-12K on PR3's and PR4's. Only have 14K on my 2016 RT and OEM Metzlers were cupped way badly at 6500 miles and Dunlap had a deal on Road Smarts so I swapped them out. I squealed 8000 miles out of them but they were just OK and cupped pretty badly too. I just mounted a set of PR4's and hoping to get back to 10-12K. That is what I also had gotten on my 1150GS and 1200GSA.
    Ed Apelian
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2018 R1200GS - Light White !
    2016 R1200RT- Platinum Bronze

  8. #8
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    I still have the original Road Pilot 4's on my 2016 RTW with 13,000mi on them, best tires I've ever run. I'm bummed the 5's haven't been released yet. The RP 2's on my 2000RT used to cup badly after 2000mi.

  9. #9
    Registered User darrell's Avatar
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    Tire Mileage

    Everyone is likely aware tire mileage can be a big variation among riders due to pressures used, road surfaces, travel speeds, temperatures, etc so it would be real hard to accurately compare mileage from rider to rider or even same rider on different tires when the many variables change. I've been extremely happy since switching to the Dunlop Roadsmart III tires a few sets ago. The attached information are the tires I have used on a 2016 R1200RS which is used 90% of the time for road trips which have been to the West Coast, Texas Hill Country, Virginia Appalachian Mountains, Key West, Florida, Arkansas Ozarks and many points in between. Tire pressures are checked every other day and run at 38 and 42 psi using a calibrated gauge.

    Tires - Mileage When Installed, Brand, Model, (Mileage When Removed), Cost (Tires, M&B)
    Total Cost $3367.74 / Tires $2187.57 / Mount/Balance/Misc $1180.17
    Cost per mile - $0.048 (including rebates / comp sets)

    0000 miles - Metzeler Roadtec Z8 (7735)
    7735 miles - Metzeler Roadtec 01 (3990) - $380.37 / $164.30 - $60 sold used set
    11725 miles - Michelin PR4 GT (11,063) - $397.47 / $114.40
    22788 miles - Michelin PR4 GT (6252) - $396.40 / $104.12
    29040 miles - Michelin PR4 GT (7906) - $412.43 / $156.50
    36946 miles - Dunlop Roadsmart III (8380) - $308.76 / $154.50 - $100 rebate
    45326 miles - Dunlop Roadsmart III (8186) - $308.76 / $160.91 - $75 rebate
    53512 miles - Dunlop Roadsmart III - (8435) - $000.00 / $161.94 - Comp Set from Dunlop
    61947 miles - Dunlop Roadsmart III (8322) - $318.38 / $163.50 - $100 rebate
    70269 miles - Dunlop Roadsmart III (TBD) -

    Most tires are removed before reaching the wear indicators.
    Darrell

  10. #10
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Being an engineer I love data and you table is great food for thought. You've used 4 different brands over 9 tire changes. All this data proves one thing conclusively: you paid a lot of money for mounting and balancing!

    Kidding of course. Pretty amazing consistency with RIII's. What happened with that one set of Z1's? Bad tires? That was the brand I was going to try next.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by darrell View Post
    Everyone is likely aware tire mileage can be a big variation among riders due to pressures used, road surfaces, travel speeds, temperatures, etc so it would be real hard to accurately compare mileage from rider to rider or even same rider on different tires when the many variables change.
    Indeed. For the first 250,000 miles on her R1100RS Voni used the same brand/model of tire: Bridgestone BT54 Battleaxe tires. That was about 60 tires. She averaged 8,500 miles on each tire, front and rear, not counting tires replaced due to punctures.

    But for rear tires the least life was 6,100 miles and the maximum life was 14,200 miles: same rider, same bike, same brand, same model tire. The difference is most easily explained by the riding environment. In the high mileage case it was commuting to and from work on 55mph back roads in the spring and fall on nice machine-laid asphalt. In the low mileage case it was a trip in western Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas on mostly rough chip sealed roads in the heat of the summer.

    Anybody trying to guess their mileage from somebody else's mileage needs to consider a whole lot of variables before trying to reach conclusions.
    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/

  12. #12
    Registered User darrell's Avatar
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    Mounting and Balancing and the Set of Z1 tires

    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    Being an engineer I love data and you table is great food for thought. You've used 4 different brands over 9 tire changes. All this data proves one thing conclusively: you paid a lot of money for mounting and balancing!

    Kidding of course. Pretty amazing consistency with RIII's. What happened with that one set of Z1's? Bad tires? That was the brand I was going to try next.
    I had my own changer and balancer for 15 years and always changed my own until I got the RS. Reached a point in life where I was able to let someone else do the work and I could just ride the bike. I've not touched one thing on the RS since buying letting the same mechanic do all the work. Life has choices and I made this one.

    On the Z1 absolutely hated. Squared off in 2500 miles, did not like the grip and the tip in was terrible. Was leaving on a trip so had a new set installed then saw a persons ad on Craigs List looking for some tires to use for burnouts he was doing and he offered me a few bucks for them.
    Darrell

  13. #13
    Registered User darrell's Avatar
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    pappy 35, This is for the Engineering and Data Need Side of You

    The comp set of tires is a set Dunlop gave me to do a real world road test with. I rode the 8357 miles in 6 weeks traveling from MN, across NE in to CO spending time there before going in to UT and then returning to MN where I rode the remaining miles. The data is exactly what I sent to Dunlop Marketing and Sales and they forwarded to the Production Plant in Japan where all the RS III were made, at least at that time.

    Dunlop Roadsmart III Tire Information (Set 1)
    Motorcycle - BMW 2016 R1200RS
    Darrell Penning Recording Data

    Tread depth is measured in 4 spots in each of 3 areas around the tire in the order of 1” from left sidewall, center, and 1” from right sidewall. Depths listed may be slightly more than the number listed but less than the whole number above the listed number.

    Tire pressures are check and adjusted if necessary every 2 days regardless of miles rode. Pressures are checked in the morning before riding so tires are cold. Pressures are maintained at psi 38 front and 42 rear. Using a calibrated dial gauge for pressure checks.

    ———————————————————

    SUMMARY
    The Dunlop Roadsmart III are the best tires I have had on the RS. The turn in on corners/curves is the quickest. There was no indication of a flattening of the tread on the rear tire or any cupping on the front tire until 4800 - 5500 mile mark and then minor in nature. They were flawless in the rain. I believe the Dunlop has a stiffer sidewall and has something to do with the surer road surface contact. It has a rounder profile than the Michelin PR4. I never felt these tires losing road contact or drifting slightly in the corners. Tar snakes even in 90 degree weather did not bother these tires. My initial impressions were these tires would be near the TWI before 6000 miles but I was very surprised as they are likely 9500 - 10,000 mile tires based on my riding style. If I was not leaving on another long ride I would feel comfortable riding with these tires another 1000 - 1500 miles. Both the front and rear tires are nearing the center Tread Wear Indicators (TWI). Once the Dunlop's were installed I could immediately recognize the difference in handling on the motorcycle. There was that much of a difference.

    ———————————————————

    Information on Tires Used on RS as of 9/14/17

    MILEAGE WHEN INSTALLED, BRAND, MODEL, (MILEAGE WHEN REMOVED)

    0000 miles - Metzeler Roadtec Z8 (7735)
    7735 miles - Metzeler Roadtec 01 (3990) (a)
    11725 miles - Michelin PR4 GT (11,063)
    22788 miles - Michelin PR4 GT (6302)
    29090 miles - Michelin PR4 GT (7879)
    36969 miles - Dunlop Roadsmart III (8357)
    45326 miles - Dunlop Roadsmart III
    (a) tires removed before trip, could reinstall

    ———————————————————

    Collection of Tire Information

    August 2, 2017
    Installed new tires at Moon Motorsports in Monticello, MN, a Dunlop Pro Dealer
    Mileage at 36,946
    Front - 5.0 mm, 5.0 mm, 5.0 mm
    Rear - 8.0 mm, 9.0 mm, 8.0 mm

    August 7, 2017
    Mileage at 38,086 - Dillion, CO
    1150 miles on tires
    Front - 5.0 mm, 4.0 mm, 5.0 mm
    Rear - 8.0 mm, 7.0 mm, 8.0 mm
    Road conditions - generally flat the initial 800 miles on roads of well worn black top and concrete surfaces. No interstate highways. Remainder of miles on mountain roads in Colorado with lots of sweeping curves.
    Speeds - generally in the 60 and low 70 range during initial 800 miles and 40 - 60 mph the remainder miles.
    Temperature/Weather - ranged from 44 to 78 with the majority of the time in the high 60's. About 100 miles of wet roads due to drizzle and about 60 miles of heavy rain.

    August 11, 2017
    Mileage at 39037 - Monte Vista, CO
    2091 miles on tires
    Front - 5.0 mm, 4.0 mm, 5.0 mm
    Rear - 8.0 mm, 6.0 mm, 8.0 mm
    Road conditions - all miles in the Rocky Mountains on roads that are in excellent condition with most miles on well worn surfaces. Several mountain passes were crossed but for the most part sweeping curves vs tight corners.
    Speeds - range from 35 to 70 but generally in the mid 60's.
    Temperature/Weather - ranged from 42 to 75 with majority of time in the 60's. Another 150 miles of rain; some heavy, with the remainder of the miles on dry roads.

    Darrell's Initial Impressions after 2000 miles
    No slippage on tar snakes like Michelin Pilot Road 4 can exhibit
    Roadsmart III may have a stiffer sidewall then PR4 resulting is surer road contact
    Flawless in the rain as far as grip to road surface and tracking
    No observed flatness of thread as tires remain round across surface
    Average speed today's is 50.1 mph
    Note - I have used around 12 sets of PR4 tires on both my 99 K1200RS and R1150GS Adventures as well as 3 sets on this R1200RS.

    August 16, 2017
    Mileage at 40129 - Moab, UT
    3183 miles on tires
    Front - 5.0 mm, 3.0 mm, 5.0 mm
    Rear - 7.0 mm, 5.0 mm, 7.0 mm
    Road conditions - all miles in mountainous areas of Colorado and a small area of eastern Utah. About 200 miles was on recently seal coated roads so likely more aggressive on tires. All other miles on black top well worn road surface. All the roads had general large sweeping curves vs tight switch back corner.
    Speeds - ranged from 40 - 75 but generally in the mid 60's.
    Temperature/Weather - ranged for 48 - 94 degrees with most of the time averaging in the low 70's. No wet roads or rain during the last 5 days.

    Darrell's comment on front tire wear. The wear may be a result of the engine braking using the Gear Shift Assist to slow down with infrequently use of the brakes to slow down for curves or stops.

    August 20, 2017
    Mileage at 41016 - Beaver, UT
    4070 miles on tires
    Front - 5.0 mm, 3.0 mm, 5.0 mm
    Rear - 7.0 mm, 4.0 mm, 7.0 mm
    Road conditions - all miles in Southern Utah. About 400 miles of new asphalt which had an aggressive surface. Remainder of miles on worn asphalt and a few miles on concrete road surface on interstate highway. Most miles were on long sweeping curves, some shorter straight stretches between these curves and 50 miles of flat interstate.
    Speeds - overall the highest speeds I've run these tires. Ranges from the 62 - 80 mph. Average speed since initial install has been 49.2 mph.
    Temperature/Weather - ranged from 58 - 94 degrees with average probably in the lower 80's. No rain during the 4 days.

    August 25, 2017
    Mileage at 42207 - Steamboat Springs, CO
    5261 miles on tires
    Front - 4.0 mm, 2.0 mm, 4.0 mm
    Rear - 6.0 mm, 4.0 mm, 6.0 mm
    Road conditions - 900 miles in Utah and 300 in WY and CO. About 50% of the miles were on newer paved asphalt, about 120 miles were on interstate highways, most curves were longer sweeping curves with about 150 of the miles on tighter curved corners.
    Speeds - ranges between 60 - 80 mph. The 150 miles of tighter curves was probably in the 30 - 40 mph range
    Temperature/Weather - ranges from 55 - 96 with an average in the lower 80's. About 30 miles of rain in these miles.

    Darrell's comments on tires - these tires remain the best handling tires I've had on the bike for both straight line travel and in the corners. At about 4800 miles the front tire begun to show some cupping on the left side but remains minor at 5200 miles. The rear tire is beginning to show a less rounded profile than when new but not seeing any sharp edges between the center and sides. I attribute this more to the type of curvy roads I'm riding on than what I might experience if riding in the Midwest where the roads have less curves on them. On 7 occasions in the past 21 days I have added about a half pound of air to keep the pressures at 38 and 42. Most of this probably is a result of my checking the pressure every other day and the tiny bit of air that escapes each time. Also increased altitude is adding some pressure to the tires vs riding in the central plains where 1000 ft above sea level is common. I’ve had these tires as high as 14,230 ft in altitude.

    September 1, 2017 - Prior Lake, MN
    Mileage at 43377
    6431 miles on tires
    Front - 4.0 mm, 2.0 mm, 4.0 mm
    Rear - 6.0 mm, 3.0 mm, 6.0 mm
    Road conditions - 300 miles in Colorado on mostly curvy roads all on well worn asphalt, remaining 700 miles on the plains of the central US so generally flat and on well worn pavement and 200 miles of interstate highways.
    Speeds - the last 900 miles were speeds of 65 - 90 mph with most miles in the mid to high 70 mph
    Temperatures - ranges from 70 - 95 the final 900 miles

    September 14, 2017 - Monticello, MN (tires removed and new Dunlop Roadsmart III installed)
    Mileage at 45326
    8357 miles on tires
    Front - 4.0 mm, 2.0 mm, 4.0 mm
    Rear - 5.0 mm, 2.0 mm, 5.0 mm
    Road conditions - all miles in Minnesota and Wisconsin on 60% flatter and 40% curvy roads. All miles on dry asphalt.
    Speeds - ranged from 45 - 70 with most miles in the 55 mph range
    Temperatures - ranged from 55 - 90 with average in the low 70’s
    Darrell

  14. #14

    Tire Mileage - My Experience

    My ‘14 RT just turned over 24000 miles, and I had my 5th set of tires installed today. The first set (Continental Attack) lasted 6012 miles, the second set (Michelin PR3) got 5584 miles, the third set (Michelin PR4) got 6024 miles, and the fourth set (Metzler Roadtec 01) had 6389 miles. The Metzlers still had a couple hundred miles of tread left. The fifth set, installed today, is Dunlop Roadsmart 3.

    I am 72 years old, and I don’t ride aggressively. I always have a topbox and it, along with the panniers, are usually full of stuff. I never have a passenger. I live in east Tennessee, close to the Dragon, so most of the roads are curvy, but about half of my miles are on interstates.

    I am puzzled why my tire mileage is so low, especially after reading posts on here by you guys claiming to get over 10000 miles on a set.
    Last edited by tlcoulter; 03-17-2019 at 06:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Registered User gsinnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlcoulter View Post
    My ‘14 RT just turned over 24000 miles, and I had my 5th set of tires installed today. They first set (Continental Attack) lasted 6012 miles, the second set (Michelin PR3) got 5584 miles, the third set (Michelin PR4) got 6024 miles, and the fourth set (Metzler Roadtec 01) had 6389 miles. The Metzlers still had a couple hundred miles of tread left. The fifth set, installed today, is Dunlop Roadsmart 3.

    I am 72 years old, and I don’t ride aggressively. I always have a topbox and it, along with the panniers, are usually full of stuff. I never have a passenger. I live in east Tennessee, close to the Dragon, so most of the roads are curvy, but about half of my miles are on interstates.

    I am puzzled why my tire mileage is so low, especially after reading posts on here by you guys claiming to get over 10000 miles on a set.
    Yep ... agreed! That is pretty low mileage for an RT. Heck that is the kind of mileage I hear on the K1600 which is known to eat tires.
    Ed Apelian
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2018 R1200GS - Light White !
    2016 R1200RT- Platinum Bronze

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