"Impressive grip levels and great stability under braking"
GTC Motorcycle and I were offered a day's testing at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk to assess Michelin's latest sport tyre range, the Michelin Power Cup Evo. I was really excited as Michelin as a manufacturer have not fared too well against the likes of Pirelli and Dunlop in the last few years mainly due to being ousted out of racing competition in the UK what with Pirelli taking over the BSB Championship. Yes they have won World Endurance Championships but we have not had the chance to see Michelin fight it out against the other big manufacturers here in Blighty..
Well I can tell you that Michelin are definitely back!
Michelins compounded track rubber has been a little confusing in the past with three different compounds A,B and C this is ok if you have a big race truck and stack of tyres just waiting for you and your technicians to fit but like most of us we do not have that choice ( I used to but not anymore ). What I am saying is whether you are a Track day ace smoking around on your pride and joy or a Club/ National racer these could be the kiddies!
How many people have slid their bike up the tarmac thinking - was that the right compound I chose?? Would I have crashed if I chose the A instead of the B ?? Now that's a worry of the past as you have one choice and its all down to Michelins new ACT technology, ACT stands for Adaptive Casing Technology this changes the state of the tyre's rigidity depending on the riders lean angle. It allows riders to run a lower tyre pressure in the rear tyre compared to most other manufacturer's tyres, this gives you a consistent wide contact patch on the side of the tyre at full lean but also allows excellent straight line stability when you are howling down those long straights at full speed.
I tested my classic Yamaha OWO1 Superbike and a later GSXR on the Power Cup Evo tyres on the day, my OW has around 150-160hp with flat side carbs, I can tell you it has very violent power characteristics compared to the later superbikes, ok it has less horsepower but the torque and the way it evolves as you apply power through your right wrist is sometimes quite nasty due to the accelerator pumps in the Mikuni Carbs, an exciting nasty though!! This in turn can upset the way the rear tyre behaves as you exit the turns as it deforms the rear much more than later progressive powered bikes and their up to date fuel injection/traction control systems do. So if the tyre is good then it will show up on the bike that I know so well, I was immediately impressed how the quickly the tyre worked and how soon I was able to start to scratch around the 300 Circuit but what I really felt was the tyres soaking up each and every bump on the Circuit, the chattering feeling that I have been blighted with from the rear of my OW had gone! Grip levels were impressive with lots of feel, the tyre profiles felt just about perfect and breaking stability great. The GSXR fared well too with lots of grip at full lean and excellent feedback properties..
I am testing the old girl and the Power Cup Evo's at Rockingham in a couple of days with Michael Neeves MCN's chief road/race tester, I will update a full report on the GTC site very soon
All the best Terry.