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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've commented here that the stock Michelin Pilto Street tires were an acceptable tire on the R3. Now that the weather is warmer, I have had time to push harder in corners, that previous 40-45F degree weather did not encourage. I assumed that the lack of feel and harsh ride were temperature related. However they also tended to get hot in the middle only, leaving the shoulders cold, which is not great.

That said, a couple of good long runs in 67F weather encouraged me to push a little harder. What I discovered was that the Pilot Street bias ply tires are not up to aggressive riding demands. Mine were particularly bad, as they are 6 years old by date code. The bike had only 300 miles on it in November 2021, so I suspect they were not properly stored by the P O., which made them harder still. Going into corners was never an issue, they were quick enough and solid there. It was corner exits that caused a lack of confidence for me, mainly with the front washing out. In long fast sweeping turns, all was good, until lean angles approached 35 to 40 degrees, when both front and rear began to feel precarious, sapping confidence in them. Sharp bumps like railroad track crossings and frost heaves caused the rear to bounce uncomfortably, leading me to feel they are just too stiff and hard for such a light bike. The bias construction makes them very round compared to radials, which have a more triangular shape (to increase contact at higher lean angles), which makes using their edges a bit uncomfortable. It was time for a change.

Based on reading and watching 1,343,271 reviews (estimated number, was probably more) on sports tires My short list came down to:

Dunlop GPR300 - $173 per set
Michelin Road 5 - $370 per set
Pirelli Diablo 3 - $244 per set
Bridgestone Battleax S22 - $233 per set (special price quote).

All have reviewed well, and perform very closely to one another in tests, with the S22 frequently at the top.

I decided that for the majority of the riding I do, a sports focused tire was my target, vs. Sport touring, so I set aside the Road 5's. Also not wild about how proud Michelin is of them (price).

I have never had great luck with Dunlop tires in general, so decided to set them aside, although they are a great tire for the price, and felt good on the '19 R3 I rode last year while searching for my bike.

The Pirelli's are also an excellent option, so it was them or the S22's. I like Pirelli, so they were my top choice at one point.

I had S20 Evos on my Aprilia Falco and I really liked them, which is the foundation of the S22, Further the S22 is one of the highest rated sports/street bike tire, winning its share of shootouts, while suffered few bad reviews over many years and evolutionary steps. Wear has been the target dig at them, and that mostly on liter bikes, with far more power and weight than the R3 presents.

So, this is how I came to the Battleax S22's as my final choice, which were mounted today. I will get them scuffed in between now and Sunday, then add my thoughts in a follow up, as well as one at 1000 miles later this summer.

Note: Te short list above was nit comparing apples to apples across the board. The S22 would cross more directly against:

Pirelli Rosso Corsa 2 - not available in proper sizes
Michelin Power R5 - not available in proper sizes
Dunlop Sportsmart Mk3- not available in proper sizes

The tires sizes available creates a need to compare products that are not specifically equal, but similar.
 

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I'm running Pilot street radials on mine, mostly because they're reasonably priced but also last a long time. The last rear had about 18K KM before I changed it because it was getting a bit squared off but it still had a good 3mm of tread left in the center. The front lasted about 16K but I never balanced the wheel so that likely wore it out a bit too quickly.

Traction hasn't been an issue for me dry or wet but I ride a bit conservative due to the roads not being in the best condition. I do find if your a bit too aggressive with it from a stop/slow speed on an incline the rear does like to get a bit loose.
 

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I'm running Road 5s on both my bikes. I've found that they're perfectly fine for track days at the pace that I ride.

I fitted them as originally my R3 was a commuter bike. However, I've since ended up working from home, so the R3 has ended up being my spirited ride and track bike instead. So far, I haven't had any issues with the Road 5s with those use cases. They're certainly not lacking in edge grip.

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Impression from first 93 miles on S22's today:

Standard 29F 36R tire pressures, ambient 61F.

I had no idea just how bad the aged Michelins Pilot Street Bias Ply tires I was nursing were, until now. The ride quality of the Bridgestone's is so superior, it makes the entire suspension work significantly better. They appear to be very well matched to the '19 rear shock (revised spring rate and damping profile). They are not disturbed by sharp transitions, railroad tracks, frost heaves or patches. They just track straight and smooth, with an overall feeling if stability the Pilots lacked. While the steering response is slower, the change is a positive.

Even new, the level of grip from the S22's is so much higher, it defies description. In aggressive cornering, they just dug in and flow. The Pilots required constant adjustments j in fast corners, then the front washed out in sharp low speed corners. The S22's have none of these issues. The front is stuck, period. The shape of the rear makes the transition into corners immediate and solid. Lean in, give it some coal, and the tires just work, no adjustments or fidgety feel, and no confidence sapping wishy washy feel when pushed. Under hard braking, the strange grinding noise and vibration from the tires is gone. The tires require less counter steer going into corners, and exit with minimal input. Cross winds do not cause the bike to drift as much as the old tires either - a very pleasant surprise. Braking on the S22 is outstanding.

Interestingly, when shifting down, the additional traction creates more abrupt engine braking, which is easy enough to adjust to. Under WFO acceleration, the grip actually makes the upshifts sharper as well.

These Bridgestone's simply out-class the Michelin's in every way. While the old tires might last more than 10,000 miles, I cannot see living with them for that long. In my case, due to their poor condition from age and storage, and construction, continuing to ride on them would have eventually led to an accident. They were just sliding around more than I feel comfortable with on public roads. The S22's seem to resolve this concern. I will be satisfied to get 6-8,000 miles from these tires. Grip is a priority over mileage for me.

For anyone who still rolls on the Pilot Street bias ply tires (OEM on '15 thru '18 US market bikes) that are 5+ years old (2015 - 2017 date codes, could be on bikes as new as 2018), I suggest that you will be presently surprised at how much better the bike feels on any if the 4 tires I noted on my short list, and thrilled by the feeling of added grip the Bridgestone S22's produce on street surfaces.

Now... We'll see how this initial improvement lasts as I put miles into them. More to cone... Down the road.
 

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I transitioned from the stock Pilots to the S20 Evo early last year and never looked back. As should be expected, they were a bit squirrely during scrub in. But once they had a couple hundred miles on them, they stick like taffy on a hot day. As you stated, night and day...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh, I hated the stock Dunlops from the first mile. I like Michelins and got the radial Pilot Road III.
Good tire.
There is a little cross comparison on my own list between sports and sports touring tires. I was specifically targeting sports tires, while others, like the Pilot Road "X" tires, Pirelli Diablos, and Dunlop are sports touring. I considered the Pilot Road derivatives, but decided on the S22's after thinking about what my intentions were for riding and potentially at least one track day at some point. I;ve heard both good and bad on the Dunlops, so set them aside. The S22's get pretty consistent raving reviews, for the most part, as sports tires, while the Pilot Roads get solid responses of their own. Good choice.
 

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I've run S21s and Road 5s. I can't speak for S22s, but the biggest difference I found between those tyres, other than the Road 5s wet weather advantage, was that the Road 5s seem to handle things like tar snakes with minimal fuss whereas the S21s would feel very skitterish when going over such surfaces.

I have no experience with the S22s, but that previous experience was one of the reasons why I went with the Road 5s this time.

You can't really go wrong with either tyre though. I've also heard lots of good things about the Diablo Rosso IIIs, but I have no experience of those tyres at all.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've run S21s and Road 5s. I can't speak for S22s, but the biggest difference I found between those tyres, other than the Road 5s wet weather advantage, was that the Road 5s seem to handle things like tar snakes with minimal fuss whereas the S21s would feel very skitterish when going over such surfaces.

I have no experience with the S22s, but that previous experience was one of the reasons why I went with the Road 5s this time.

You can't really go wrong with either tyre though. I've also heard lots of good things about the Diablo Rosso IIIs, but I have no experience of those tyres at all.

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Have not had the S22's act squirly anywhere. What I have found is that I'm cranking the bike over far more than I had before, and feeling perfectly at ease doing it. Really allows me to ride the R3 for all it has to offer. They are supposedly much improved over the S21's, but I wouldn't know. They are a lot better than the S20e's I had before, that I loved on the Aprilia. Could not compare side by side, as the Aprilia was a tire shredder - 419 pounds, V65 1000cc 118HP Rotax Twin (135 in fully goofed configuration) 120F, 180R, is quite a bit different from the R3. The Falco would have been great on a set of Road 5's today. I regret getting rid of it now...but at the time it was just one too many toys in the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just finished another 500 miles. Temps from 40 to 83F. Tires are perfect, and bike behaves exceptionally well on them. Radials are by far a better tire for the R3 than the bias ply Pilots. Can really push the S22's, even on poor paving. Also found them solid on wet roads, with no hint of sliding around. No wear to report at this juncture. When pushed, they warm up quickly and stabilize, grip is amazing.
 
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