MCN Biking Britain survey: top 10 grippiest tyres

Published: 16 July 2009

More than 12,000 of you have given us your opinions on the kit you use and the bikes you ride. This week, we’re focusing on the performance of your tyres.

1. Metzeler Racetec
Sizes: Front – 120/70 Rear – 180/55, 190/55
The new Racetec features the latest evolution of the 0 degree steel belt, a lower tension in the crown area to create a larger footprint but with a high steel belt winding tension in the shoulder to ensure maximum and uniform pressure. It’s the latest variation of the Racetec, designed for sport usage.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 3089
Average rear mileage: 2244
Grip: 100%

2. Dunlop Sportmax GP Racer 209
Sizes: Front – 120/70 Rear – 180/55, 190/55
The GP Racer is an extremely track-focused tyre – it’s what they use in the GSX-R Trophy. The tyre has triple compound technology, a lightweight front casing and race profiles for quicker steering. Dunlop claim that the GP Racer warms up so fast that you won’t need to use tyre warmers on a track day, and also state this is an equally friendly road-going tyre, too.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 3850
Average rear mileage: 2500
Grip: 100%

3. Pirelli Diablo Rosso
Sizes: Front – 120/70 Rear – 190/55, 180/55, 190/55
A sports-oriented tyre from Pirelli, with the emphasis on supersport riding. Claimed to improve cornering ability in the wet and improve traction in the dry. The Diablo Rosso is one of the latest Pirelli’s to become available, and features their most recent track and fast road technology.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 4708
Average rear mileage: 3875
Grip: 96.2%
Wet grip: 3.8%

4. Diablo Supercorsa
Sizes: Front – 120/70 Rear – 180/55, 190/55
Pirelli’s World Supersport tyre, the Supercorsa SC, has recently been homologated for road use. This is the same tyre that Cal Crutchlow is using to lead the WSS Championship. As such, they’re approved for speeds of up to 198mph.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 4146
Average rear mileage: 2857
Grip: 94.9%
Last well: 5.1%

 Browse Shop

5. Diablo Corsa III
Sizes: Front – 120/65, 120/70 Rear – 190/50, 180/55, 190/55
Triple-compound sports performance tyre claimed to offer increased confidence on road and track alike. Pirelli say they allow better corner entry while you’re still on the brakes. Like all multi-compound tyres, the rubber gets softer the further to the outside of the tyre.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 4141
Average rear mileage: 2918
Grip: 94.2%
Value: 2%
Last well: 2%
Wet grip: 1.8%

 Browse Shop

6. Michelin Pilot Power 2CT
Sizes: Front 120/60, 120/70  Rear – 160/60, 180/55, 190/50, 190/55
A previous MCN tyre of the year, and claimed by Michelin to give a maximum lean angle of 51.2 degrees. Developed through the firm’s involvement in MotoGP (before Bridgestone became the single tyre supplier to the series).
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 4778
Average rear mileage: 3415
Grip: 92.8%
Value: 1.9%
Last well: 1.5%
Wet grip: 3.8%

7. Metzeler ME880 Marathon
Sizes: Front – 130/60x18, 120/70, 120/70x18, 120/70x19 120/70x21, 130/70, 130/70x24, 130/70x18, 140/70x18, 140/70x21, 120/80, 140/80, 150/80, 150/80x16, 100/90x18, 100/90x19 110/90x18, 110/90x19, 120/90x18, 130/90x16, 80/90x21, 90/90x21 Rear – 210/40x18, 200/50, 200/50x18 210/50, 180/55x18, 160/60x18, 170/60, 180/60x16, 200/60x16, 140/70x18, 150/70x18, 160/70, 180/70x15, 180/70x16, 200/70x15, 140/80, 140/80x15, 150/80x15, 150/80x16, 160/80x15 160/80x16, 170/80x15, 130/90x16, 140/90x15, 140/90x16, 150/90x15
This is Metzeler’s tyre specifically designed for the heavy tourers and custom market. Metzler also do an XXL rear tyre for up to a 300 section rear tyre for the custom boys. The compound is relatively soft to cope with high torque outputs and the carcasses are machine specific to cope with the different loads.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 7333
Average rear mileage: 6800
Grip: 88.2%
Last well: 11.8%

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8. Bridgestone Battlax BT-016
Sizes: Front – 130/70, 110.70, 120/60, 120/70 Rear – 150/60, 160/60, 170/60, 180/55, 190/50, 190/55, 160/60
This will progressively replace the BT-014 over time and for the first time on a road tyre has a quad-compound rear. The front has triple compound like many modern sports tyres, but the rear has a hard middle section, a softer shoulder part and right to the edge is super-sticky stuff.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 4617
Average rear mileage: 2558
Grip: 87.7%
Value: 2.6%
Last well: 2.1%
Wet: 7.6%

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9. Bridgestone Battlax BT-090
Sizes: Front – 110/70, 120/60, 120/70 Rear – 140/70, 150/60, 160/60
The BT090 is aimed at mid-sized machines and the rigidity of the tyre induces better contact feel in corners, especially for slide control during races. The new compound and pattern offer improved grip and handling in both wet and dry conditions, with better high-speed stability and anti-shimmy performance ensuring a smooth ride. The 003RS will fully replace this tyre by this time next year.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 4278
Average rear mileage: 3526
Grip: 85.7%
Last well: 2.4%
Wet grip: 11.9%

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10. Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier RR
Size: Front – 120/70, 120/60 Rear – 160/60, 180/55, 190/50, 190/55
The Qualifier RR is made up of a harder compound in the middle for better tread life and super-sticky rubber on the sides of the tyres for grip improvement at all lean angles. Lightweight casings and sport profiles improve turn-in speed and direction change and the GP-derived groove design is to optimise tread stiffness.
OWNER RATING
Average front mileage: 3964
Average rear mileage: 2982
Grip: 84.7%
Value: 6.1%
Last well: 1.5%
Wet grip: 7.7%

 Buy Now