Pilot Street Bias Ply - Honda CBR 300 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-10-2019, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Pilot Street Bias Ply

Well, here's the thing: at 15,000 km, the Road Winner rear was pretty done. I have never agreed with the IRC haters, at least on the street. I would gladly have just put a new rear on, but the price (in Canada at least) was just too high for what it is. I bought a pair of Pilot Street bias plies for little more than the one rear. Yes, I know the interwebs is full of much hatred for these, but I just had to replace my car, so saving $100+ matters. Having had them on the bike for a little while now, here are my thoughts (also, I rode the bike same day with both sets):


Riding: primarily commuter, little highway time, two lane twisty whether commuting or playing.
Pressure: started at 30F/30R, now at 30F/32R. Changes may yet come.



Immediately, I noticed lighter steering. Much quicker, with less pressure on the bars. When leaned over, the IRCs felt more committed to the turn, but that's not always the best; quick, small corrections feel easier on the Michelins. As for ultimate grip, I never really pushed the limit of the IRCs, Rear grip complaints are very common (see R3 forum) with the Michelins, but I haven't found that to be true yet.


I also soon noticed the difference in harshness; the IRCs were definitely stiffer tires, and sharp edges/coarse pavement feel more "rubbery" now. Less handlebar vibe, too. Also, when riding over crosswalk paint, the IRCs always gave a tiny squirm. Not the Michelins. No big deal, just interesting.


Rain grip is better. The IRCs were OK in the wet, but these are better for sure.


Michelins also lighter than IRCs.



Would I rather have S20 Evos? Of course, I'm not stupid. But for the price paid, and for my purposes, I don't (yet) have any complaints. If they last as long as the IRCs, that's even better.


One thing that made me wonder, though, is tire pressure. On the R3, which weighs close enough to the CBR, the recommendation is 29F (ok) and 36R (really?). For a bike this small, that seems unnecessarily high in the rear, and might explain the "lack of rear grip" problem. Except, of course, that Ari Henning review (radial version) made the same complaint, and I don't think he had the pressure that high. I guess I'll find out eventually...
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-10-2019, 06:32 PM
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I would start with Honda's recommendation 29 front and rear.I have had 3 different sets of tyres and after using different pressures always went back to 29 front and rear,I weigh 60 kg so maybe up to 32 on the rear if you are heavier.
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-10-2019, 07:57 PM
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similar changing irc for pirelli sport demons, incl over road paint [esp wet], similar handling responses from X-ply tyres.. nice feedback, easy turn in, good water dispersal.. esp for general use and value..
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-10-2019, 08:10 PM
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Sounds like I'm looking at about the same mileage out of the IRCs. At 6,400 miles, they're noticeably close to the central wear bars, but still life on the sides. I'm looking forward to a new set and will probably change them out before it's strictly necessary (also, age-wise, they're starting to get long in the tooth on my '15). My local bike shop recommended Michelins... Guessing the "Pilot Street Radials" by their website? Can't recall, believe they were the radials, but the tire dude there said he basically recommends them for this tire/bike size day in and day out and no one has yet complained. I specified something grippier (and I'm willing to sacrifice some longevity).

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purchased 2,390 mi // currently 8.7k+ mi

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post #5 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 03:38 AM
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I was never an IRC hater either, they are a decent OEM tyre. However I did find the Michelins superior and they weren't that much more expensive here in NZ, even for the radial version.
I even did a couple of track days on them with no grip issues.
I ran them at 30F/30R purely cos it was an easier number to read on the gauge than 29. Kawasaki recommend 30/32 for my Ninja but the rear is a 150 and it feels about right. I agree 36 in the rear of an R3 would be too much for best grip.
Good to hear you are enjoying the new rubber.

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 07:21 AM
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I'll be going with GPR300 front and S20 Evo rear after this season. I'm at 5k miles. I came to this conclusion last year so there might be a better/lighter combo now. S21 or S22 maybe?

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi rider View Post
I was never an IRC hater either, they are a decent OEM tyre. However I did find the Michelins superior and they weren't that much more expensive here in NZ, even for the radial version.
I even did a couple of track days on them with no grip issues.
I ran them at 30F/30R purely cos it was an easier number to read on the gauge than 29. Kawasaki recommend 30/32 for my Ninja but the rear is a 150 and it feels about right. I agree 36 in the rear of an R3 would be too much for best grip.
Good to hear you are enjoying the new rubber.

I also used 30/30 with the IRCs for easy gauge reading. Actually, I forgot to tell the shop what pressure I wanted, and when I picked them up, they told me they always set to 30 if not otherwise specified, then ask the customer when picking up what to adjust to. Worked for me. As I said, I bumped the rear to 32, but I can't really feel a difference. I would think that if the carcass is softer than the IRC (also mentioned in Ari Henning's comparo), then slightly higher pressure would be required to maintain the same shape/profile, but not much. Also, if I wanted to split hairs, I'm 6'5" and long in the torso, which probably makes a noticeable difference in forward weight bias compared to less mutant humans. If nothing happens to make me question my choice, I think 32/30 is it.


Note: my first proper street bike was a Honda VT500 Ascot. I have never ridden a motorcycle so fussy about tire pressure. Could have been the tires, too. I only ever used the tires it came with, which IIRC were some kind of Dunlop Elite-ish things. Lose more than a pound in the front, and it handled like a pig.
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 11:28 AM
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When I got my CBR300R it was shod with S20 evos. I changed them to Mich Pilot Street Radials and never looked back. I used Pilot Road 3s and 4s on my Deauville and that used to stick like sh*t to a blanket, even in the wet. I find the same with the Pilot Streets. Michelin make their tyres differently from most and they give a much better ride. This info is from a Deauville forum member who worked for Michelin.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Irrelevant manufacturing note: the front tire has a ring of flash from the moulding (all the way 'round the centre of the tread) that looks like what you'd find on a cheap model car kit. I can't wait for that to wear off (the nubblies are almost all gone), but it's still there, mocking me.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-11-2019, 07:47 PM
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