On Saturday, when I took the FJR in for my 32k-mile service,I saw that the Michelin Pilot Road 2 tires on the bike, which were at 8700 miles, were down to the wear bars. So it was time for a change. Sadly, North County House of Motorcycles had sold the last pair of PR2s earlier in the morning.
Well, I certainly wasn’t interested in going back to the Bridgestone BT-021s. They make the handling of the FJR heavy and unresponsive. But, they did have the new Pirelli Angel ST tire–and at the same price as the Bridgestones. So I decided to take a chance on the Pirellis.
Unlike the BT-021s and the PR2s, the Pirelli Angels are not a multiple-compound tire. Instead, Pirelli uses a single high-silica compound, and depends on both their unique method of wrapping the steel, and the tire profile to provide a wider contact patch when the tire is leaned, in order to provide the greater traction.
Apparently, Pirelli tested the tire life by running them through some sort of insane endurance test:
On March 15th 2009, 15 Journalists and 12 Pirelli Testers set 7 FIM World Duration Records at Nardò Technical Center in Southern Italy. On just one set of Angel ST tyres they covered a distance of 5,135 km at an average speed of 214 km/h in a tough 24H non stop trial which proved the consistency and the performance of the new ANGEL ST.
OK. That sounded…fine. But how would they perform on my bike, compared to the PR2s, which I really liked?
As it turns out, pretty well so far, after about 100 miles.
The handling of the FJR is as good or better with the Angels as with the PR2s. Grip seems pretty solid, even on the new tread, and with wet morning roads. Of course, only 100 miles into the tires, I haven’t been able to stretch the capability of the tires in the twisties, so the jury is still out, to large extent. But so far, I’ve found them equal or superior to the Pilot road 2s.
I’ll keep updating on the performance as they get broken in.