Michelin Power One Race Tires
From Paris with Traction
Words: Ari Henning
The Ducati, Suzuki and Triumph all come fitted with track-worthy tires, but to eliminate traction as a limiting factor in our track testing, we outfitted the bikes with race rubber. Dale Keiffer of Racer's Edge Performance (www.racersedgeperformance.com) is Michelin's West Coast distributor, and fitted our bikes with the French firm's Power One Race tires.
Although identical in appearance, the Power One Race tires are distinctly different from the standard dual-compound Power One road/track rubber. To start with, the race tires have additional carcass plies and come in various compounds (A, B and V front; A, B and C rear) to meet the needs of different circuits, conditions and preferences. We selected the "C" (medium) rears and the "V" fronts, the latter having an even more pointed profile than the road/track tire or the normal race tire.
The aggressive "V" fronts served to sharpen all the bikes' handling, quickening turn-in while providing good stability at full lean. Few front-end slides were experienced, and those that were proved to be rider-induced and inconsequential. The Power One Race tires are competition-grade and thus designed to offer optimum traction for one 20-minute sprint, yet they endured all-day abuse and remained remarkably consistent. Traction was outstanding, feedback plentiful and slide behavior predictable and manageable.
The Power One Race tires are fairly pricey, ringing in at $170 for fronts and $230-$240 for rears, but you get what you pay for. For greater durability and similar handling, the standard Power Ones are an excellent alternative for track days and spirited street riding.