Michelin Power One DOT Race Tires
As per our usual testing regimen at the track, we outfitted all the contestants with the same sticky DOT tire to keep everyone on equal footing. In this case, that meant Michelin's superb Power One DOT race rubber (note that these are not the Power One "Road/Track" tires that look outwardly identical, but use entirely different construction and compounds). Utilizing the same 2CT multi-compound technology pioneered by the company's Pilot Power series, the Michelin Power One tire features the usual taller profile that not only offers easier directional changes, but also results in a 15 percent larger contact patch at various lean angles for improved cornering grip. In order to handle the increased power and speed of today's sportbikes, the Power One uses five plies in the front and four belts in the rear.
There are three different versions available (A, B, and C for varying weather/track conditions), with all using 100 percent synthetic compounds for quicker warmup and better wear characteristics. You can find the recommended version specific for your bike (although the list does need to be updated to 2010 models) by logging onto www.michelinpowerone.com, where the interactive site allows you to input the type of riding, weather, track type, and pavement condition to select the proper tire.
We used the "Version A" compound in the front and "Version B" compound in the rear, although the weather conditions became warmer than we'd planned, with ambient temps nearing 100 degrees F. Nonetheless, the Michelins performed amazingly well, warming up quickly and providing fantastic grip along with superb handling characteristics. Steering habits were very precise, and stability through Buttonwillow's fast, bumpy turns was exemplary. Even more impressive was the durability; despite being on the outer edge of temperature recommendations for the Version A and B compounds, the wear rates were barely moderate, and overall grip levels remained high for the majority of the day.