Banish Those Winter Blues

I’ve been having an increasing number of dirty thoughts lately, and now I’m turning them into actions! The weather has turned wetter and cooler, and it’s time to get out into the dirt more. While some choose to sit indoors gazing wistfully out at the grey skies and lamenting the passing of summer, I banish the winter blues by hauling my enduro bike through, over and round the countryside at every opportunity.

Michelin have just released a brand new enduro tyre range and after seeing the big steps forward that they’ve made with sports bike tyres with the Power RS, they’re raising the enduro bar now. The previous range certainly stood the test of time, the Enduro Comp III has been around since the 90’s and is still winning races and championships year on year, it’s a firm favourite with pros and amateurs alike. They’re being replaced by the Enduro Medium rear and a choice of Enduro Medium front, or an Enduro Hard front for harder, dustier conditions. There’s no bewildering array of compounds or alternatives, these tyres will do it all.

The carcass has new polyester plies and is more flexible for better cushioning; this is especially noticeable at slower speeds. Some of the grip improvement is down to the new tread pattern, but it’s helped by the pliable casing, which gives a lengthened contact patch at tube preserving pressures. Radiused tread blocks help to prevent chunking, not that the old ranges suffered from this, but any feature that preserves the life of the tyre has to be welcome. And a warm welcome to Silica mix tread compounds for the off road world, a first for Michelin. The benefits off road mirror the road tyre benefits of silica compounds, wet grip immediately improves across the board and so does tyre life, a 15% improvement in life over the Comp III, a tyre already praised for its endurance. A directional rear tread pattern gives the very best performance, but the tyres are also reversible. Once those sharp, fresh tread block edges have rounded off and the grip starts to reduce, turning the tyre on the rim offers up new sharp edges to cut into the ground again.

Ride wise, the front tracks well, turns quickly and confidently and cuts across ruts well, drifts are controllable and the grip from both ends is hugely welcome on tough climbs and slick grass and roots. There’s a choice of two front sizes, a narrow tyre to cut through the crud and give really fast precise turning in the traditional 90/90-21, alternatively the 90/100-21 soaks up the rough stuff and makes for less tiring rides, with a huge flat footprint when hard on the front brake. Although they are pure off road and F.I.M. approved tyres, they are road legal and will give trail riders a heck of an advantage when it gets gnarly. Go get dirty!