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Tyre Review: Michelin Power Supersport Evo

Michelin Power Supersport Evo, approx. £215 a pair mail order

What’s new?
Michelin’s new Power Supersport Evo is the replacement for the French firm’s two-year-old Power Supersport sports tyre, and is designed for 50/50 road/track use. Michelin has a great reputation for producing sports touring and full-on racing motorcycle tyres, but they admit they’ve struggled to compete with their rivals lately when it comes to sports and trackday rubber. They hope to change all that with this new Power Supersports Evo. The new rubber still uses Michelin’s ‘2CT’ and ‘2CT+’ dual-compound technology in the front and rear tyre, for increased tyre life and edge grip in the wet and dry and a new ‘Michelin ACT’ (Adaptive Casing Technology) construction. This basically means the tyre construction is soft in the middle for stability and stiff on the shoulders to give you the confidence to carry high corner speeds. The rear carcass also lets you reduce the pressure significantly for more grip on track. Michelin claims the Power Supersport Evo is two seconds faster than the old rubber in the dry during tests at Cartagena and Issoire circuits.

What are they like?
We tested the new Power Supersport Evo on a 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RF and a BMW HP4 at the magnificent Mugello circuit in Italy. The track was dry with air temperature around 20°C. This is more of a fast road tyre than full-on track rubber, so it was always a big ask to get it to handle two of the world’s most powerful, sharpest-handling superbikes around a wickedly quick MotoGP circuit. Riding the R1, the power and grunt of its 189bhp crossplane crank engine is enough to unstick the rear tyre quite easily when you lift the bike off its side to accelerate, making the electronics work overtime to control it. Turning the bike side-to-side is relatively slow and the front tyre doesn’t give confidence to let off the brakes early and stuff the bike into the corner at speed. But the Power Supersport Evos were more confidence-inspiring on the HP4, with its softer-set electronic suspension that’s designed to maximise grip. There’s more feel from the front and better grip from the rear, but a lot of instability under hard acceleration, especially along Mugello’s flat-in-sixth-gear start/finish straight, but that’s more than likely down to the BMW’s soft suspension set-up taking weight too much off the front end. That said, these tyres are really meant for the road, but can safely handle the odd trackday, like a Dunlop SportSmart 2, Pirelli Diablo Rosso II, Metzeler M7 Sportec RR, Bridgestone S20 Evo and Conti SportAttack 2. We reckon the Michelins would suit a lighter, lower-powered machine, like an 899 Panigale, GSX-R750, Daytona 675 or supersports bike.

For which bikes: Supersport, superbike and super naked.

Sizes available: 120/70 x 17, 180/55 x 17, 180/60 x 17, 190/50 x 17, 190/55 x 17, 200/55 x 17

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