Friday, July 15, 2011

Iron Butt Rally Tire Performance

During the run up to the IBR there was a lot of discussion on the IBA Forum about which tires performed well and how each rider was going to deal with a possible tire change during the rally.  I took a different approach.  I selected a tire that I thought would give me full rally performance and durability.  I selected the Michelin Anakee 2 "V" compound tire for my BMW R1200GS Adventure.  These tires were recommended to me by the owner of BeemerWurks near Blanco, TX.  Steve has been servicing the tire needs of the local BMW riding community for quite some time so he's pretty familiar with which tires last and which don't fare so well.

I put on a fresh set of Anakee 2's at Big Twin BMW dealership in Boise ID on my way to the Seattle WA starting point of the rally.  Boise is about 500 miles away from Seattle so the tires were sufficiently scuffed up by the time the IBR started.   During the rally I check the tires to see how well they were holding up.  I took a good look at them at the end of Leg 2 in Jacksonville, FL as that was an opportunity to get a fresh rear if necessary.  The rear was in great shape still and I had only about 3,000 miles left to the finish in Ontario, CA.  I had already arranged a service at the San Diego BMW dealership and fully expected to replace the rear tire.  Front tires typically last through two rear tires.  When I got to the San Diego BMW dealership I inspected the rear and found it in good enough shape to ride all the way back home to Wimberley, TX.  Check out this video I did when I got back home.

I put a total of over 14,000 hard miles on this tire during the Iron Butt Rally.  The motorcycle was at about 85% GVWR and the tires pressure was set to cold front/rear 38/44 PSI.  I use "Tire Watch" pressure monitoring system and the hot PSI runs about 42/50 in the hottest weather.  Remember, I'm using the higher temperature rated "V" compound so there were no performance issues.