Tires – French tires more competitive than ever! – Clermont-Ferrand Haute Couture

French tires more competitive than ever !

Tires - French tires more competitive than ever! - Clermont-Ferrand Haute Couture

It was on the sublime Portimao track in Portugal that Michelin presented its latest motorcycle tire to the international press: the Michelin Power One. Or rather its latest tires because behind the same name actually hide 27 models ! Test.

Clermont Haute Couture

In front of the 50 international journalists invited to this prestigious launch, the Michelin team naturally speaks in English. But to qualify its brand new range of sports tires, nothing beats the elegance of the French language: "This is "Haute Couture"", immediately proclaim the Clermont officials.

What’s more beautiful, more refined – and more expensive? – in terms of tires, Haute Couture "Made in France" – or "Spain" it depends – but who wants to be "accessible to everyone"via a plethora of products: 27 tire models, 16 rubber formulations and 10 different sizes !

"We wanted to put as much technology as possible in these new tires (notably from MotoGP) and to offer the widest possible range in order to meet all needs.", insists Éric Leyval, responsible for the development of motorcycle tires in Clermont-Ferrand, headquarters of the group.

The development of Power One is…

  • 3 years of development

  • 35,000 laps on the circuit

  • 130,000 kilometers

  • 350 tire versions evaluated

  • 116 tests by T ° from 3 ° C to 54 ° C, on dry or wet ground

  • more than 30 circuits around the world

  • more than 130 different pilots

  • production motorcycles or prototypes over 200 hp

  • 2958 used tires
  • However, in the field of sports tires, succeeding in convincing all users is not easy … "Ten years ago we launched the Pilot Race, a very satisfying tire in competition but considered too elitist by leisure practitioners.", admits Eric Leyval.

    In 2005, the Power Race was met with reverse criticism: "its orientation was more leisure, it is like that, we go a blow to the right, a blow to the left !", continues the French engineer.

    Thus, Michelin has decided for 2009 to articulate its entire "Power One" racing range in two sub-categories: on the one hand, the 17-inch sculpted range made up of 20 models offered in 8 sizes – and 9 different compounds – approved for the road, and on the other hand the 16.5 inch slick and rain range, available in 7 versions with 2 sizes and 11 compounds, developed for exclusive use on the track.

    All this gets even more complicated when we learn that within the first sub-category – the sculpted ones – there are still two other sub-categories hidden !

    "The first is a "circuit / road" version which will be appreciated by bikers participating in track days but also driving on the road.", explains Éric Leyval:"this Power One will also be of interest to driving schools looking for high-performance tires but accessible to beginners".

    On the other hand, the second version of the 17-inch sculpted Power One, although approved for the road as well, is entirely dedicated to the track … "Be careful, although they look the same as two drops of water, they are completely different", French officials point out !

    At the very least, four different tire types make up the new Michelin Power One range. Due to lack of rain, Site was able to test three of them on the tortuous but oh so pleasant route of Portimao, in the south of Portugal. Discovery…

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