The new Michelin Power Pure motorcycle tire is claimed by Michelin to be "the lightest two-compound sport premium tire ever," based on comparison to the Bridgestone BT-016, Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier II, Metzeler Sportec M3 and Pirelli Diablo Rosso in sizes 120/70ZR17 (front) and 190/50ZR17 (rear).
Michelin started the move to radial tires in 1984 when the first MotoGP equipped with radial tires debuted. By 1987, radial tires for the street became available from Michelin. Five years ago, Michelin was first to offer a motorcycle tire that used different rubber compounds for the crown and the shoulders. Now, both sport and sport-touring motorcycle tires are routinely dual-compound, with better wear along the center and a higher level of traction on the sides for cornering.
Now, the Michelin Power Pure tire is about light weight. According to a Michelin spokesman, "Because it weighs less, Michelin Power Pure tires provide unmatched handling for greater responsiveness and superior riding pleasure." Michelin also claims, "the tires also deliver key benefits in terms of safety and long tread life." According to Michelin, the Power Pure is also a high mileage tire due to thread thickness.
Michelin also claims that "because they lower overall vehicle weight, Michelin Power Pure tires are more fun to ride and above all more efficient." Michelin points out that a two-pound weight reduction is considerable for a motorcycle tire, especially for a sportbike because weight is a key feature in that category.
Michelin claims that "Michelin Power Pure tires reduce tire-related inertia by around 10% and less inertia means improved handling. Finding the right trajectory is easier and changing angles is more natural and requires less effort." Suspension action is also improved, according to Michelin, as the tires are unsprung weight.
A key part of the Power Pure tires is the use of the Michelin-developed Michelin Light Tire Technology and a second-generation Michelin 2CT compound.
Michelin Light Tire Technology focuses on three priorities:
- Beginning in the design stage, the goal of reducing weight while maintaining or improving performance in other areas was clearly defined. Instead of merely combining different technologies, Michelin engineers decided to re-think their tire design methodology. The tire’s structure, profile (i.e. shape) and constituent elements were designed simultaneously rather than in stages.
- Michelin Power Pure tires incorporate advanced materials like aramid fibers, which are used, for example, in the aerospace industry.
- Although the tire is lighter, its tread is just as thick as that of the previous-generation tire.