Michelin Anakee Wild: Ongoing performance and tire life review

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#1
First off let's address the mounting issues. Zero drama! Easiest set of motorcycle tires I have ever mounted in my life. Not much harder than a bicycle tire. No UHD tubes, no pinched tubes, no double rim locks, no vice grips. Only took 1/2 oz of weight per wheel to balance. I'm really liking these tubeless tires!! As an added bonus the Super Tenere rims have a super large and deep drop center so I assume even a stiff carcass tire will be no problem to mount.

To be honest the rear wheel removal was the hardest part of the whole deal. My first time doing a wheel removal/install on shaft drive with cush hub. The rubbers fell out and jammed everything up challenging me from removing the wheel. I'll tape it up next time:).

Since this will also be a tire life test the tread depth in the center of new tires are 7.5mm front and 9.5mm rear. I will be running 32psi front/36psi rear everywhere. Michelin does not recommend airing these down. And best of all they are a radial tire!! I don't know of any other radial knobby being produced. I'm not throttle happy so I'll be pleased if I can get 4,000 out of the rear and double that on the front.

How do they perform? Well first off they are the loudest howling knobby I have ever owned. I knew that going in. Even with ear plugs these tires scream and might annoy some. They are so loud you can hear them screeching over the wind noise at 70+mph!

Road performance: At first they were a bit sketchy at low speeds. A slight wobble and a bit tippy. After about 100 miles that goes away. In the corners you would never know these are a knobby tire. Very predictable and outstanding traction. On the freeway in the rain I was cautious so not sure about the grip there. They do do wander slightly and your bike moves around some underneath you. This is no different than any other knobby. Just the nature of the tire.

Off road performance: So far very limited. I only had a chance to do around 10 miles of jeep trail. The weight of the bike came into play way before the tires. The bike went right where I pointed it. Unfortunately I had zero experience off road with a 19" front wheel let alone a 600+ lb bike!! I got in over my head and had to turn back:
https://www.yamahasupertenere.com/i...-report-home-safe-and-sound.26236/post-367092

Braking performance: This is a BIG selling point and one of my arguments to loving this tire. I had no intention being able to review the braking. Well, last week I had a very close call. A pickup truck driver was pissed at me only doing 70mph in the carpool lane. He cut into me and I had to brake HARD!! Nothing short of amazing. Nowhere near having the antilock engaging. I grabbed a handful of brake and felt the rear wheel almost as if it was lifting. THANK YOU JIMMY LEWIS!! My technique was not perfect but I utilized the stiffening of my arms and got back as far as I could. I have been practicing my braking for the last month and it's working. I can't believe the stopping power of this huge knobby on dry pavement!!

Compact bead breaker, dowels for drop center and various mounting tools: IMG-0125.JPG IMG-0129.JPG IMG-0130.JPG
IMG-0119.JPG :
Not a bad looking bike. Kind of a Mad Max look. For now this is the tire I will live with.

IMG-0136.JPG
The intended use for this tire is going to aprox 90%-95% paved and 5%-10% dirt. Reason for going to an extreme off road knobby is for those sections I can get through without turning around. And quite frankly, there is no safer or predictable tire made for in the dirt than a good old knobby. Now I just need to get my "big bike skills" up to par. I have to be careful because I've been primarily an off road rider most of my life. It's the weight of this bike and having a small front wheel that is challenging me. I almost got the Africa Twin. But I already have a nice dual sport bike. So I will continue to learn the limitations of this bike and myself as the miles increase.

I will revert back to this thread and update the performance and tire wear as I peel off the miles. For me, I'm really pleased that Michelin stepped up and designed this tire. I have been using Michelin tires on my street bikes for years. The quality and performance is proving it's worth so far.
 
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Mak10

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#2
Coming from a dirt bike background a new knobby is 100% in the dirt. But a 50% worn knobby isn’t giving you near the performance of a new tire.

On the street it’s not quite as noticeable. A worn street tire still grips well.

It’s hard to Ride a brand new knobby 800 miles of pavement and then expect it to perform in the dirt like it was new.

I was hoping to try the E07 as kinda a compromise.
 
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#3
Coming from a dirt bike background a new knobby is 100% in the dirt. But a 50% worn knobby isn’t giving you near the performance of a new tire.

On the street it’s not quite as noticeable. A worn street tire still grips well.

It’s hard to Ride a brand new knobby 800 miles of pavement and then expect it to perform in the dirt like it was new.

I was hoping to try the E07 as kinda a compromise.
That's pretty much true with any tire. They start losing performance as they wear. But even a knobby at the end of its life will be a lot safer than a new street tire (in the dirt). It's the side knobs that very rarely wear out. And that's the life saver. Even in sand the side knobs are what give you the traction to move forward. The side knobs are also what save you when leaned over.

I'm used to what an off road tire tire feels like as it wears and I'm pretty confident I'll be able to adjust to it just like any other knobby. OTOH, I might be way off base and wrong with my logic. The Super Tenere is not a dirt bike and 600lbs on a worn middle knobs might prove to be spooky.

I'm only hoping I will be able to adapt to it like on my dirt bikes when the middle wears out. Time will tell. This is a whole new experience for me. One of the guys in my dual sport club has the Tenere and runs the TK70's. The same guy does a lot of dual sporting here in Southern CA and knows what dirt roads are a go or no go. I don't have that knowledge. In fact I always seem to be the guy who starts out on a nice trail and a few miles in it's a nasty survival fest!

Heck, I might end up getting a set of E07's myself as I get miles on this bike.
 

Tenman

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#4
I been down some deep wet logging roads that I got into and wondered if I was gonna be in for a long walk out. I left mine laying in on its side for 3days in the freezing rain stuck in the La gumbo. Came back with my buddy and tortured it getting out. Knobbies on a 600 lb der are good for that.
 
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#5
Off road update: I just got off the bike with a solid 14 miles of varied 2 track with some deep ruts and loose rocks. These Wild's are really showing their off road capability. I have nothing but good to say. I reached a point where I was going through loose rocks and felt as if I could take my hands off the bars. No sketchy feel to them such as a "chevron (E07) style" or smooth tire. I felt right at home in the the dirt with these. Of course this is only rough fire roads and not single track. The traction was amazing. I kept it on TC1 and it crawled and clawed through the loose gravel with zero drama. I had to keep reminding myself I'm on an over 600lb motorcycle!! I have to say, so far, these tires are a keeper.

Pavement update: Screaming and howling on the freeway with no earplugs today. Through the canyons you would never know these are a knobby other than the noise they make. It actually has a better feel than my OEM tires did. But they did get very loose in moss covered paved creek crossings even with steady throttling through. The turn in is very precise and predictable. As stated in my first review the hard braking is every bit as good as a street tire when the pavement is dry and traction is good

For anyone who is looking for a safe tire, so far so good!
 
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#6
Wet pavement performance update: Not bad at all!! Did a few panic stops and just a slight step out in the corners, Trail braking is very predictable and able to tighten up/open up the corner with brakes/throttle. I'm getting better at it each time. By no means aggressive. Just trying to find the limit of what I can do on these tires. So far they have no downfalls to a smooth tire other than noise and the normal twitchy feeling you get with a knobby.

On the local horse trails the anti lock brakes are fantastic and of course the Wilds have way shorter and predictable stopping power than a smooth tire or long life hard compound tread. I turned up the traction control to number 2 and it was really fun!! I can actually use a combination of the rear brake and throttle to control the the bike in the dirt. I need a lot more practice though. For such a heavy bike I'm really impressed!!

IMHO, there is really no better performing tire that can go from pavement to the dirt with no ill handling traits. Even my Kenda Big Blocks were not as good as these on dirt or pavement. OTOH the Kenda 761 tires were an excellent road tire but scary and slippery on any kind of dirt road.
 
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#7
This mornings **Aprox 500 mile update** Tire pressures still at 32 F/36 R

Off road performance:
Still fantastic!! I put my soft panniers on and transferred stuff from my 20 liter Kriega top bag into the rear pannier bags. Did the same 14 mile rough jeep trail ride. This time I did the whole 14 miles standing and used mostly the front brake to slow down while pulling in the clutch. Bike stayed in tour mode/traction control 1. ES suspension was set at full stiff preload and soft +3 valving. 2nd gear almost the whole ride.

The tires really behave predictably with gobs of traction with no feeling of front end washing out. I went through one very sketchy section of super loose hardpack/babyhead rocks and shallow ruts with zero drama. I had to force myself to stand and just let the bike move underneath me. I was actually scared. But the tires did their job at keeping me upright. Using the front brake/pulled in clutch to slow down this tank instead of engine braking was strange. OTOH, I have to know how this huge beast is going to react. As long as the wheel is pointed straight it works out really well. When you get aggressive on the front brake the antilock does it's job beautifully!! I cannot imagine wanting to turn the front antilock off in the dirt unless you are racing or being dumb and riding too fast for conditions.

And I can use the rear brake to control the back end to get the bike to change direction. Yamaha did it right. With a combination of aggressive Michelin Wild knobby tires and rear antilock, the bike will still change direction as well as any 600lb bike can in the dirt. Jimmy Lewis drilled into us at the school to respect the weight of these beasts. As soon as the suspension bottoms that's an indicator to slow down.

Toward the end of the dirt I decided to do some dreaded off camber riding. Disclaimer: I don't like off camber at all! I did it in a section that if I slid down I could paddle my way out of it. Just like my dirt bike!! Loaded the outside (downside) peg and the tires grabbed like velcro!! WOWEE!! I'm doing baby steps in the easier stuff to see how well the tires perform. The more I ride with these tires the more I really like them. Very forgiving and confidence inspiring. If your primary goal is dirt then the Anakee Wild is well worth the purchase.

On road twisty's performance:
Sport mode, traction control 1, ES suspension set at full stiff preload and hard +3 valving.

First off I'm more of an off road type of guy. OTOH most all the miles on this tire are going to be pavement. Today was 126 miles paved and 14 miles dirt. I rode for the first time with these tires the infamous 74 Ortega HWY. This is a renowned sport bike heaven. It can also end up hell and crash if you get too aggressive. Lots of fast sweeping and tight turns uphill and downhill.

The tire performed a bit better than the last ride. The squirmy normal feeling you get in the corners is all but gone after getting to the 500 mile mark with these. I'm not a peg dragger but rode at a brisk pace well behind the cars that blazed ahead. Turn in is easier when getting tighter and trail braking to change your line in the corners is very predictable and safe feeling. Hard braking remains good and on road grip is as pretty darn good. Just as good as any smooth street tire for my type of riding and skill on dry pavement.

I am of the opinion the reason traction is so good on all the surfaces is because of the ultra soft compound and it being a radial tire. You can squish the knobs with you fingers. Super soft. And so far no chunking (having it in Traction control one might have a lot to do with it). As an added bonus there is none of that crap having to lower/raise tire pressures when moving from pavement to dirt and back.

These Michelin Anakee Wilds are continuing to impress me as a true do all type of tire. If they continue to perform as good as they have been until they are worn, I'll be getting another set. Today was 10% dirt and 90% paved. I'm not worried about the life of the tire at all. If they only last 2000 miles I'll be happy and buy another set.
 
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#8
This last ride I did something different. It was a short 150 mile mixture of freeway and hard core twisty's. I've never done a group ride before on the street. It was broke up into 2 groups. Fast and slow. Local dealer Berts Mega Mall put together the ride. About 30 riders total.

I set my suspension full stiff preload and hard +3 valving before leaving the dealership. Tires are still set at 32F/36R.

By the time we made it to the canyon entering the mountains the tires were fully warm. I stayed in the slow group and quickly realized they were going too slow. So it was pretty much putt putt in the middle of a group doing around 25mph. After the first break I got in with the fast guys. I rode my ride and ended up in the middle again. Spirited but slow enough to react to road hazards and head ons. I never dragged my pegs but my boots scraped the ground a few times. The fastest kid was mounted on a KTM1290 Super Duke and he knew how to ride it!! He and a few R1's were really ripping it up. The Joker in the deck was a full dresser Gold Wing that I stayed behind. I was amazed at how well that guy handled that huge beast in the corners. Very talented rider!!

In all honesty these tires are nothing short of amazing. No strange handling characteristics and grip every bit as well as my OEM Bridgestone's on dry pavement (for my riding style and ability). As they wear the turn in is slowing up a bit. I imagine it will drop into corners less and less as they square off. Trail braking, changing lines in the middle of corners and a few hard braking drills were zero drama. I hope to never test out them stepping out on me on dry pavement. The rear has stepped out a few times in the dirt but that's just normal. And the bike recovers its grip right away.

I'm really happy I tried these out on this ride. FWIW I have been testing my Super Tenere suspension settings and any new product on this same loop since the bike was new. I'm treating this bike just like my dirt bikes. I have a few loops and riding areas I've used for years when trying out new jetting, tires, suspension settings, etc.

I still keep in mind that these are a full blown knobby with the exception they have a DOT rating that makes them street legal. They are never going to keep up with a smooth street tire (traction wise) in the rain or dragging foot pegs in the corners. And I'm also willing to sacrifice mileage so I can be safe in the dirt. As it is I'm using this as a 95% street/5% dirt tire. And yes they are still very very noisy!! Not so bad off freeway but anything at freeway speed is pretty much unbearable without earplugs.

After all, this is an adventure bike. I'm really liking the ability to peel off and explore a dirt road without the fear and unpredictability of an unsafe smooth tire.

I'm starting to notice the wear. These are going to be a fast wearing tire. I figure the rear will last in between oil changes and 1 front to 2 rears. According to Jimmy Lewis the wear starts to slow when about halfway through the tread. I have to admit it was his review that led me to buy these tires. So far everything he has to say about them is true. You can read his review here:
https://dirtbiketest.com/product-tests/michelin-anakee-wild-tires/#HpErP1s1k64m7Osd.97

New tread depth: 7.5mm front/9.5mm rear

667 miles tread depth: 5.5mm front/5.5mm rear

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