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Staff Blog:Tyres changed after 2500 miles in five days

By Andy Downes -

First rides & tests

 21 May 2013 15:07

The mobile tyre fitter has just left having swopped the worn out tyres on the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring which had been reduced to near illegal wear depth following my trip to the Ducati factory last week; a 2500 mile round trip.

You’ll be able to read a full account of my trip to Bologna in a forthcoming issue of MCN so I won’t be going into details online just yet.

The new tyres are a set of Michelin Pilot Power 3 which replace the previous set of Bridgestone T30s – these in turn had replaced the original fitment Pirelli Scorpion Trail way before the Pirellis were barely more than scrubbed in with just 500 miles on them. I have saved them for later in the year when the bike goes back to Ducati as I would never waste a set of tyres like that.

The Pirellis were pretty good in the 500 miles I rode on them and give plenty of grip in both wet and dry but the compromise they have because of their “off-road” ability means they feel heavy in comparison to the Bridgestone T30s.

Bridgestone were so anxious for us to try the then not for sale T30s they shipped us a set directly from the factory in Japan in January. Since then they have done wet, cold, snow, ice, cold, cold and some more cold before miraculously, winter ended. And then it started raining.

Overall the Bridgestones are very, very good. Like many of the latest modern sports touring and sporty road tyres they are quite possibly all the tyre you need on the road.

I cannot think of a single reason (beyond image) why anyone would fit track-based rubber on a road bike over something like this.

Even on a full-blown 1000cc sportsbike it makes little sense because the sports touring and sporty road rubber is so good in the wet and still more than capable in the dry at road speeds.

More track-oriented tyres clearly make sense on track but I would leave them there as I like to ride whatever the weather and sports touring (along with the more sporty end of road tyres) are so good at everything.

The Bridgestones heat up quickly, give huge confidence-boosting grip in the wet, cut through standing water (even when squared off) have lasted 5000 miles and could probably go for another 500 to 750 miles if needed which on a 150bhp bike which just went to Italy and back fully loaded, really is pretty good.

The only reason I am replacing them a little early is because the long motorway miles have squared them off to such an extent they are now altering the handling.

The Bridgestones came into their own in the Alps where dry, warm roads with stunning curves beckoned. Switching the Multistrada to Sport from Touring brought the bike to life and it was an incredible 70-odd miles with a belting backdrop.

Despite being loaded up with panniers and a Touratech topbox the bike still handled beautifully and tonnes of grip and braking feel.

The shiny new Michelins are now fitted and I am looking forward to trying out what are brand new tyres on the roads of Britain. Oh, and it just started spitting with rain just in time for my ride home. Lovely!

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