Tyre Review: Michelin Power Cup Evo

Michelin Power Cup Evo, approx. £260 a pair mail order

What’s new?
Michelin’s new Power Cup Evo is a road compound trackday tyre, produced to rival the Bridgestone RS10, Conti RaceAttack Comp Endurance, Dunlop D211 GP Racer E, Metzeler Racetec RR K3 and Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP. The Power Cup Evo has a new compound designed to work in a wide operating temperature window so there’s no need to produce soft, medium and hard compounds. The Evos are built using Michelin’s new ‘Adaptive Casing Technology’. The first ply is laid at 70° and the second at 90°, which allows the crown of the tyre to flex, which is intended to give increased straight-line stability and maintain rigidity on the edges to cope with cornering stresses. There’s also a slick version, called the Power Slick Evo, which has a racier profile for quicker steering, but the same durable compound, which handles multiple heat cycles better than a racing slick and won’t require the use of tyre warmers. On top of that there’s also a new Power Cup Ultimate and Power Slick Ultimate, which are full-on race compound tyres available via Michelin Motorsport outlets.

What are they like?
We tested the new Michelin Cup Evos on a 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RF at Mugello and both front and rear rubber offered lots of grip and confidence. Agility and feel was impressive, but there was some movement from the front tyre turning-in, which is a trademark Michelin feel. But the Cup Evos let you push the Aprilia hard through the corners, but the faster they let you go, the more you need to stiffen the bike’s suspension to suit them. By the end of our riding session the V4-powered superbike was weaving and pumping out of the slower corners and wobbling along Mugello’s straight (and the bike’s clutch gave up the ghost, with the lever swaying in the breeze by the time we’d entered the pits). Again, because of the Aprilia’s soft suspension set-up as standard the tyres showed a lot of wear after a few sessions. Michelin trackday tyres have always struggled to warm up in cold conditions, so they’re not the first choice for early or late-year UK trackdays, but the French firm say they’ve improved the Cup Evo’s warm-up time with new compounds and construction. They were good to go after a couple of laps, but the temperature at Mugello was above 20°C so there was ambient heat already. We also got to test Michelin’s full race Power Slick Ultimate on a Yamaha R1, which is the tyre used in domestic superbike championships where there’s no single tyre rule. They grip like ‘you-know-what’ to a ‘you-know-what’ and you’d need a properly set up racing superbike to even begin to scratch the surface of what they’re capable of.

For which bikes: Supersport and superbike.

Sizes available: 120/70 x 17, 180/55 x 17, 190/55 x 17, 200/55 x 17

More info: http://moto.michelin.co.uk/tyres/michelin-power-cup-evo

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