These new Michelin Power GP 2 tyres are ideal for sporty summer riding and the odd trackday | MCN review

Michelin Power GP 2 tyes on BMW S1000RR
Michelin Power GP 2 tyes on BMW S1000RR

Michelin have always been masters at creating tyres for motorcycling niches. The only problem for them is their naming convention is confusing, even for rubber geeks like us, making choosing the best tyres tricky.

So, where does the new Michelin Power GP 2 fit in the world? Well, it replaces the Power GP and is designed for riders who’ll spend half of their time on the road and the other half on track. They sit in Michelin’s range between the new Power 6 sports tyre and the Power Cup 2 road-compound trackday tyre.

Tried and tested by Michael Neeves on track and road in and around Jerez, Spain

Price: From £330 per pair


  • Warm up quickly


  • Not great for anything but summer sports riding or tracks
Construction Silica, Carbon Black, Radial-X EVO, and Aramid Shield Technologies
Type Sports
Sizes available 120/70 R17 TL (58W), 160/60 R17 TL (69W), 180/55 R17 TL (73W), 190/50 R17 TL (73W), 100/55 R17 TL (75W), 2000/55 R17 TL (78W)

What’s new?

Using their MotoGP tech, knowhow and materials the Power GP2 is all-new, starting with a new carcass. Front and rear tyres are dual compound with a soft carbon black ‘rubber’ on the shoulders for grip and harder silica in the middle for durability and stability. Its relatively lightly grooved (6.5%) for maximum dry grip, but not as ‘slick’ as the Michelin Power Cup 2. Sizes are limited to middleweight sportsbikes and above. The side wall wording is also embossed to give the tyres a premium feel. Compared to the outgoing Power GP, Michelin claim improvements in wet and dry grip and durability with no loss in warm-up time.

What are the Power GP 2 like on track?

Michelin have invited us to try the new rubber at its world launch, beginning with two spirted sessions around the magnificent Jerez circuit in southern Spain, on a KTM 1390 Super Duke R and BMW S1000RR. Under blue skies their performance on a warm racetrack is excellent with front and rear grip levels more reminiscent of a race tyre than rubber designed for the road.

Crucially, they don’t need tyre warmers, which is a big plus for hassle-free trackdays. It means you can ride to the circuit, won’t need stands, a generator or somewhere to plug in.

Michelin Power GP 2 tyres embossed lettering

From cold they’re good to go after a lap of Jerez on the right side and two laps just to make sure the left is up to temperature. After that it’s just a question of pushing as hard as you dare. There’s lots of feel for what each end is doing, the steering is crisp and there’s masses of grip from the front piling into corners. It’s the same at the rear when you’re hard on the throttle coming out. With so much feel they quickly encourage you to start nuzzling up to their progressive limit and in our two getting-to-know-you sessions the Power GP 2s never misbehaves, as we spin clean, confidence-inspiring laps.

How about on the road?

The same can’t be said out on the road. A cold, early morning ride on dusty, broken tarmac on a BMW S1000R doesn’t show the Michelins off in their best light and riding on the same bike fitted with the more road-focussed Power 6 during our test exposes its flaws. We clearly aren’t generating enough heat to get them working properly, especially front tyre. As a result, the Power GP 2 never quite gives the confidence to flick into corners and feels nervous, exaggerated by its quick, track-focussed steering. They’d be far more at home in hotter conditions and on grippier tarmac. We’ll need to test them again, here in the UK on one of our long term test bikes to fully evaluate their on-road performance and durability.

Michelin Power GP 2 tyres fitted to BMW S1000RR

The MCN verdict

If you’re going to ride your sporty naked or sportsbike only in the summer season and take in some trackdays along the way, the new Power GP 2 will be perfect. But for anything outside of that narrow window of use you’ll be better off with either an all-round sports tyre for colder conditions, or you may as well fit something stickier, if you’re going to spend most of your time on track.

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