Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Left of the Left Coast
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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...