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As experienced on a Yamaha FJR1300

I have completed 100,000km touring Japan on my 2014 Yamaha FJR1300 and used a number of tyres over that period.

It has been a few years since I last posted my tyre comparison so here is a quick refresh.

The tyres used are as follows: Metzeler Z8, Bridgestone BT-023 GT, Pirelli Angel GT, Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT, Dunlop Road Smart 2, Bridgestone T-31 GT, Dunlop Road Smart 4 GT.

Tyre Lifespan

Sorry forgot to add GT to the PR4 label on these charts.

The RS2 were literally bald at 5000km. The Angel GT’s bald at 6000km.

The Pilot Road’s were a disappointment, the front tyre scalloped quickly despite proper pressure then I had a premature failure of the tyre carcus. This 2nd time I have had Michelin Pilot Road tyres fail on me. No more.

The T31 GT tyres look the winner except I can usually buy BT023 GT for half the price and thus have used a few pairs of those instead.

The RS4 offers similar distance to the BT023 and price wise they sit between the T31 and the BT023. Actually the RS4 rear was still ok at 9K but the front wore out faster.

I have used both GT and non GT versions of the BT-023 and the difference is very slight, the GT versions wear a little more even but not longer.

The life of these tyres might surprise given you see people on the FJR owner groups claiming 32,000km. Tyre life discussions usually slide into a pissing competition on touring bike groups, the day will arrive someone claims to have done 50,000km. Facebook is full of liars and idiots.

Wet Roads Grip

I would not say any are poor on wet roads, not compared to some of the crap tyres I have used on rental bikes but the difference in feel between the lower scored to higher scored tyres is noticeable.

The Angel GT and RoadSmart 2 have a decent feel on wet roads but that drops sharply off as they wear. The Pilot Road 4 and RoadSmart feel planted, especially the RS4. I often forgot I was riding on wet roads.

The T31 GT and BT023 GT (and non GT variant) and Z8 move about a fair bit on properly wet roads and make you tippy toe around corners.

Dry roads feel

All have good grip but some have different feel.

The tyres I have scored 3 all seem to squirm a little on corner entry or change of direction but actually they have ample grip and I do not ride hard enough to actually make them move so I think this is just the way the tyres are constructed and how their belts or sidewalls feel with my heavy bike.

The tyres I scored 4 do not give that feeling of slight squirming and are much more confidence inspiring.

The tyres I scored 5 offer very confident turn in and change of direction and edge grip on long radius corners. The RS2 feels like a sport tyre and wears out just as fast. The RS4 nearly feels as good as the RS2 except for cold roads where you know it is a touring compound.

Turn in speed is also important on my heavy bike. The FJR feels lightest with the T31 or RS4 tyres, followed by the Angel GT then there is a slow down with the BT023 or Z8 and last place is the PR4 the slowest steering tyres of this group.


The winner overall so far is the Road Smart 4 which is a surprise as I have never been a Dunlop fan. Their particular contact radius or construction lets them turn in nice and light. They wear evenly not becoming tapered or scalloping. Their grip is excellent wet or dry and the life span is close to the best.

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