I pulled the back wheel out of the ZX14 yesterday and had a new Michelin Pilot Road 4GT fitted. The GT is an interesting evolution of the Michelin Pilot Road (sport- touring) series in that it is specifically designed for heavy motorcycles and has a combination of bias ply and radial ply in its construction. There’s some more info on the Michelin site HERE
It has a hard center. At 75% circumference hard, I think that a greater percentage of the center is hard compound compared with the PR3 it’s replacing. The edges are medium compound. Mind you, feeling the center section (OK, I’m resorting to American English in this post just to appease my spell checker!) of tread it actually feels VERY soft to touch – so ‘hard’ is a relative term in this case .
This was my first ride for a few weeks after a burst of wet winter weather and being away on holidays, so I was keen to ride. I took a familiar route inland from Geelong to Forrest to visit the Red Dog (pictured previously in this post), have a hot chocolate and a friendly chat with the owner, Emma. Did I mention that it was pretty damn cold this morning?
From here I took to the twisties to Apollo Bay, confident that the new tire was scrubbed in. From Apollo Bay I ran the inland section of the Great Ocean Road to Lavers Hill, then Gellibrand then down to Colac. This route offers the best combination of fast open sweepers and tight hairpin curves, though care is needed this time of year.
After a stop at the Gellibrand store for another hot drink, I continued on to Colac and dropped in a Steve’s place on the off chance that he was home. Fortunately he was and we had a great catch up and a look at the progress of his most recent Norton model 18 restoration. Steve’s just had a crack at his first paint job – pretty impressive I think. Well done mate! I wish I had your skills.
The ZX14 felt great now that it has a pair of PR4′s on it. However, realistically it’s too early pass judgement on the PR4 GT. I’ve been caught before with a new concept tire that felt great at first but after a few thousand kilometers was terrible on my specific bike.