Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Michelin Anakee 3

August 28, 2015 - 119,492 Odometer Miles

Installed a new set of Anakee 3s today with a total of 12,362 miles on the old set.  This includes those ridden in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally.  I'm getting ready to ride to Kingsport TN for the IBA Regional Gathering event.  So, I needed more miles than remained on the old set.

Well, the Anakee 3's did well for me in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally.  I put them on prior to riding to Albuquerque, NM, rode the some 10,390 miles in the Rally than back home to Wimberley, TX.  I'm still riding on the tires and will probably put another 2,000 to 3,000 miles on them before I get a new set.  I'll post the video when I change them out.

During the IBR I had occasions to ride the Anakee 3's down miles of dirt roads.  One was a 45 mile shortcut from Utah to Idaho and the other was in Colorado.  The tires did their job splendidly.

June 15, 2015 -- 107,130 Odometer

I'm riding in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally" at the end of June.  So, I'm mounting a new set of Anakee 3's on the GSA.  Even with riding from home in Texas to the IBR start in Albuquerque, doing the 11,000+ in the rally, I expect to have plenty of tread back home to Texas. The video is of the set I put on back in November.  Since then I have ridden several IBA rides, including The George A. Wyman Memorial Grand Tour, at full rally trim, on that set of tires.  As you can see, with 15,582 miles on them there is still some tread left.  No wear-bars showing and just the normal wear pattern one would expect.  I'm confident I can ride the new set for the entire IBR, baring any road hazard damage.  This time around I have a fully functional Tire Pressure Monitoring System and a backup, to avoid the near catastrophe I experience during the 2013 IBR, see below.

November 7, 2014 -- 91,548 Odometer

I'm having two new Anakee 3's mounted today after a few months of Hard Riding Adventure.  One of those adventures riding to California to have new Wilber shocks installed.  They seemed to help with the front tire wear pattern and rough ride.  But, one might expect new shocks to make the ride a little smoother.  None the less, the wear pattern is still visible after 16,003 miles.  I am still very satisfied with the performance of the Anakee 3 sport touring tire.  I will be using them again in the 2015 Iron Butt Rally.

July 19, 2014 -- 75,545 Odometer Miles

Rear - 14,778 Miles
Front - 14,778 Miles
Just returned from doing the Earth to Moon BunBurner Gold ride.  At the start of the ride I had a little over 11,500 miles on the current set of tires. I wanted to see how they would hold up under BBG riding conditions.  I have a new set in the garage ready to be mounted when the bike goes in for service next week.  Also, I'm replacing the stock ESA shocks absorbers and springs with a set of Wilber's.  It will require me to send the shock assembly out to California so WilbersAmerica can take out the stock BMW Showa absorbers and springs and install the Wilber's with new springs matched to riding weight. Watch Ted Porterdo the Wilber ESA Conversion procedure.  The cost difference between front and rear BMW stock replacement ($4,037 p/l) and Wilber ESA conversion ($1,349 plus shipping) is astounding.  I'm hoping a new set of shocks will have a positive effect on the wear pattern of the front tire, as it was getting a little "knobby" feeling.  As for the rear, well, at almost 15,000 miles I couldn't be happier with the results given how hard I ride.  Almost all of the mileage on this set has been on paved roads of all types.  If you have any questions, feel free to make a comment.  

March 6, 2014 -- 60,767 Odometer Miles

Rear - 11,780 Miles
Front - 11,780 Miles
Yesterday I had a 60,000 mile service at Lone Star BMW.  Today, I had a set of Anakee 3 tires mounted on the GSA.  I replaced the tires earlier than I would have normally.  The current set had only  11,780 miles on them.  But, I'm getting ready to put about 6,000 miles on the bike before the 24th of this month.  I'm riding to Jacksonville FL to attend the annual IBA Dinner meeting then back home.  Then I have to attend a professional development conference put on by Harley-Davidson's Riding Academy, in Las Vegas NV.  As you can see by the pictures below they still had a couple thousand miles left on them.

 August 13, 2013 -- 48,987 Odometer Miles

Had a set of Anakee 3s mounted today.  I have decided to replace front tire every time with a new rear tire from now on.  By the time the rear tire needs replacing the front tire still has lots of miles left on it but the wear pattern is starting to become irregular.  This makes keeping the front tire through another cycle of rear tire problematic.  So, two new tires every time from now on.

I fitted each wheel with a different tire pressure mounting system.  Gone are the TireWatch internal sensors that caused me so much trouble.  They didn't work while I was on the IBR.  I purchased as set of TireGard TPMS.  The sensors mount on the valve stems on the outside of the wheel.  I'm using metal valve stems for added strength and stability.  As it turned out the weight of the metal valve stems and the sensor brought the tire into balance eliminating the need for added balancing weights.  The sensors work good.  No issues there.

The primary function I want a TPMS system to provide me is notification of a sudden drop in tire pressure.  I want a visual alert dramatic enough to get my attention so I can get the bike stopped before I compromise the integrity of the tire.

I am not impressed with the TPMS monitor though.  It is a small devices which looks like it should be attached to ones key chain instead of mounting on a motorcycle.  The low pressure "audible" alarm is impossible to hear when the motorcycle is moving while wearing a full face helmet.  The "vibration" indicator is undetectable if the unit is mounted to the motorcycle.  The "visible" flashing indicator is tiny and difficult to see when starring directly at it and undetectable in ones peripheral vision.  The unit back light does come on when the tire pressure is low but unless it's night, that also is undetectable.  AND, it these none motorcycle friendly attributes weren't enough.....the monitor unit IS NOT WATERPROOF!  But, it's better than nothing.  I'll have to get some experience using the TireGard system.

July 4, 2013 -- End of Leg 1, 2013 Iron Butt Rally

I was so looking forward to riding the Anakee 3s for the entire rally. But it wasn't to be.  During Leg 1, coming out of New York City, on the NJ Turnpike, around 10pm, somewhere, the rear tire got punctured.  With the traffic noise, especially the big truck next to me, and the irregular surface of highway I didn't catch that I had a rear tire problem.  The Anakee 3s have such a stiff sidewall that at 70 MPH I didn't feel the customary shimmy in the rear end that a flat tire usually gives. Oh, what about the tire pressure monitor system?  Hadn't worked since I left home.

At any rate, I got the bike out of the flow of traffic.  Quickly found the puncture sans object.  Plugged it up with a gummy-worm and was on my way.  I was due to start an 8 hour rest bonus so I rode the bike to the eastern end of the PA turnpike and got a room. The next morning I checked the tire pressure, added a couple of pounds and headed down the turnpike to collect the string of bonuses along the way back in time for the 8pm check point just north of Pittsburgh. The rear tire was not right. I must have ridden it too long without enough pressure before getting it plugged up.  It was compromised, out of round and getting worse.  I know I would have to replace it anyway but now I was anxious it would last me back to the check point.  It was Independence Day and nothing was available until after 9:30am Friday morning.  Going over my options to get back on the road for Leg 2, starting at 6am Friday, I was  thinking I would have ride the bike to the BMW dealer a few miles away from the check point and spend the couple of hours to get a new rear tire.
I had just scored the last bonus along the PA turnpike when "POW"....the rear tire blows!  Kevin Lechner was just passing me and he must have heard the tire blow because he pulled over into an opening after the shoulder barriers.  Again, the stiff side walls of the Anakee 3 made getting the motorcycle stopped safely easy work.  I pushed the bike to the open, put it up on the center stand and checked out the rear tire.  Yup, it blew out.  Kevin offered to stay and help but I suggested he head for the check point.  It was just a little after 4pm and I had plenty of time before the 8pm mandatory check point time.  I was 18 miles from the hotel.

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause you can always call Lisa's phone

I called the Rally Master, Lisa Landry, and informed her of my troubles.  She did her magic cause inside of 10 minutes I got a call from some guy wanting my location grid coordinates.  He was bringing me a wheel off of his buddies GSA to get me back to the hotel.  It seems Jeffrey Smith and Scott Aucr, from MI, where hanging out in the parking lot at the hotel taking in all the sights when Tobie Stevens, maybe, I'm not sure, approached them about a rider needing help.  Within the hour I was back on the road heading to the check point.  My spirits began to soar as I could see my way back in the game.  I still faced a significant delay starting Leg 2.  Getting a new rear tire would add about 5 hours to my start if everything went right.

Pulling into the hotel parking lot I see Roger Sinclair waving me down and motioning for me to ride over to the back end of the parking lot.  Roger Sinclair, 4th place 2011 IBR finisher, is one of those mechanical geniuses who instantly see the mechanical solution.  And, Roger is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to know.  But, anyways, he motions for me to park under the EZup where I figure they want to swap out my wheel for the borrowed one I had on the bike.  I dismount, put the GSA up on the center stand and moved to get my tools out to remove the borrowed wheel.  I could hardly get around to the pannier to get them when Roger's buddy, George Uber Alles was removing my wheel.  Just then Roger asked if I had a tire.  I told him no and of my plan to get one from the local BMW dealer in the morning after the start of Leg 3. "Nonsense!", he says as he points to a pile of new tires near George's truck.  "Would a Metzler Tourance be ok?" he asks me.  I instantly gave him my best bear hug as I almost broke into tears.

Inside  of 20 minutes I had a new tire mounted on the my wheel, balanced and back on the bike.  I chatted with Jeffrey and Scott about how fortunate I was that they had rode down from MI to be at the check point for the end of Leg 1.  I thanked them both profusely.  Got their names and addresses so I could buy each of them a subscription to Iron Butt Magazine.   George jotted down the cost of the tire on one of his cards for me.   I had my friends at PayPal send him significantly more money than he was asking for the new tire, as soon as I got back home.

Wow!  I was overwhelmed with gratitude at how my misfortune with a common road hazard had turned into such a positive experience for me.  During Leg 2 I moved up in the standing from 63rd to 30th place. This was only possible because of generosity, sense of urgency and willingness to help a rider, I experience from the LD community.

I publicly and personally thank Lisa Landry, Rally Master, the army of volunteers who got the recovery ball rolling, IBR spectators Jeffery Smith and Scott Aucr who supplied the GSA wheel and brought it to me as I was stranded on the road.  Special thanks to Roger Sinclair and George Uber Alles who took time off from their day jobs to be at the IBR hotel, with all their tools, equipment and spare parts, just in case some stranded IBR rider need them. I am very grateful.  Well done, Comrades!

June 20, 2013 -  35,302 Odometer Miles

Had a new set of Anakee 3s mounted today.  These are the tires I will be using in the Iron Butt Rally.  I will ride the 1,447 miles from my home near Wimberley, TX to Pittsburgh, PA, with an over night stop in Memphis, TN.  I expect to ride about 11,000 to 12,000 miles in the IBR.  So baring any road hazards along the way the Anakees should hold up for the entire rally.  I got 14,000 miles riding from home, the 2011 IBR, and back home on Anakee 2s.  If I experience a road hazard or excessive wear for some unanticipated reason, I'll just pay the price of a tire change on the clock.  Decisions...decisions....it comes with the ride.  At any rate, I'll post what the tires look like after the IBR is completed, 12 July.  

May 25, 2013 -- 35,055 Odometer Miles

Front Tire -- 22,955 miles
After completing an in-state 10/10ths IBA certification ride I now have  22,955 miles on the front Anakee 3 I mounted at 12,100.  As you can see from the high resolution picture there is some irregular ware but not as much as I experienced on the Anakee 2 at around the same point.  There is still lots of tread available for safe riding.  The Anakee 3s are noisy but not as much as the Anakee 2s.  The rear tire has a little over 10,000 miles on it and still has lots of life left.  During the 10/10ths I road over every kind of road and highway available in Texas.  Including lots of rough chipset roads in west Texas not well traveled by the public. 
Rear Tire -- 10,554 miles
The goal of this experiment was to give me confidence I could use the Anakee 3s during the Iron Butt Rally without having to replace the rear tire during the rally.  As of this writing I am confident, absent road hazard damage, I can leave home with a new set, travel to Pittsburgh, and ride the IBR without worrying about a tire change. I got real good mileage out of the Anakee 2 "V" during the 2011 Iron Butt Rally with over 14,000 miles on the rear tire.  So, riding on a set of Anakee 3's works for me.

April 26, 2013 -- 24,579 Odometer Miles 

As of this date I have put 12,479 (24,579 - 12,100) miles on the Anakee 3s.  And, I am very happy with the performance and handling.  I've ridden several times in wet conditions, including during the Cape Fear Rally, and the handling has been great. 

As you can see from the high resolution pictures below there is still plenty of tread and good water channeling grooves throughout the contact patch.  I measured 4/32 (3 mm) on the rear tire in the center at one of the lowest channels I could find.  Judging by the profile of the tire there is not much flatting of the contact patch area.  I would not hesitate to put a couple thousand more miles on the rear tire.  The front tire shows just a little wear as you might expect.  The uneven wear pattern characteristic of the Anakee 2 front tire is not much of an issue on the Anakee 3.  I'm getting ready to do a 10,000 miles in 10 day training ride next week so I'll replace the rear but leave the front on the bike.  I'll post a couple of pictures of the front when I get finished with the ride.   

March 23, 2013 --  19,360 Odometer Miles

I'm back home after a the going to Jacksonville FL for the IBA annual dinner and doing the 100ccc (plan) coast to coast to coast challenge ride.  I really like the Anakee IIIs.  Handling is great and the new tread design seems less noisy and smoother than the Anakee IIs.  Cornering, dry or wet, is rock solid.  And, I did notice better handling in the couple of times I went off pavement into the loose stuff.

After riding in the 100ccc (report) I want to document the wear on the tires.  I rode the 100ccc in full rally trim (weight) to duplicate the stresses on the tires I might encounter while in the IBR.  I have the tire pressure set at 38/44 PSI front/rear and endeavoured to maintain this pressure for the most part.  So, after 7,260 miles (19,360-12,100) this is what the tread on the rear look like.  I measured 6/32 (4.5mm) at the center of the tread. On the front tire there is hardly any noticeable wear.

I'll continue to document the performance of these tires here so check back from time to time.  I plan on riding the current set in the Cape Fear 1K the middle of April.  I'm hoping to put another 7,000 to 8,000 miles on them before the 10/10th I'm planning to ride in May.  Need a fresh set for that training event.  The event will be on a mix of Interstate highways and secondary roads. So, it will be a good workout for them and a closer match to the various pavement surfaces and speeds I'll encounter in the IBR in July.

March 6, 2013 -- 12,100 Odometer Miles

Today I had mounted Michelin Anakee III "V" front and rear tires on the BMW R1200GS Adventure.

I got real good mileage out of the Anakee II "V" during the 2011 Iron Butt Rally with over 14,000 miles on the rear tire.  So, trying a set of Anakee III's seems a no-brainer.

I'm riding to the Iron Butt Association annual dinner in Jacksonville FL the weekend of 15 March.  On Sunday, March 17, I'll depart Jacksonville FL for San Diego CA and back to Jacksonville, FL all in under 100 hours.  This will be a good test of how the tires wear on the Interstates.  All totaled it will be about 7,000 miles back home.  I'll post a video below of the tire wear when I get back around the 22nd.


  1. I've been agonizing about whether to try one of these on the front of my VStrom. You've sold me. Thanks. -- TS on TWT

  2. I've seen all the video's, read endless journalist reports and comments, so tomorrow am having a set of Anakee 3's fitted to my BMW Funduro, they seem to fit my requirements perfectly, 90% x 10%, and extra longevity and feedback, I live in Andalucia, southern Spain, mountain twisties and forest trails(if I am feeling adventurous) got to be a whole lot better than the traiwings I have been experiencing !!....Jim

  3. I fitted Anakee 2 on my V Strom 1000 and they transformed it from knackered Tourance on it when I got it. My Tiger 800 has OEM Pirelli Scorpion trails - they are lethal. Tracking tar lines & grooves and squirming very badly on white lines. Don't go near wet white lines!
    At 3500 miles with lots of wear left they are going in the bin - I'm fitting Anakee 3

  4. I put a pair of Anakee 3's on my 2011 1200GS last summer before a trip to Alaska. I now have about 16k on both the front and the back. Interesting enough the front is just about gone but the rear should last to about 20k. Amazing. They also have been very good in the wet. Almost all the miles on pavement. I will definitely get another set.

  5. Have Anakee 3's on a Super Tenere, wearing well and have pretty good grip. The only issue is they both constantly loose pressure up to 4 - 5 psi per week. No sign of any leaks around valve or puncture so I assume they might not seal as well as other tyres. This has happened since new and I have now done 5000 k's on them.

    Peter S.

  6. They seemed to help with the front tire wear pattern and rough ride. But, one might expect new ... tiresmichelin.blogspot.com

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  9. I have 5,000 on my A3's and am about to head out to Alaska. I am a little nervous, departing with a tire that is about 1/3 worn....but I am just going to bite the bullet and do it. I only need to get to Fairbanks (4,000 miles away), and then Dan at Adventure Cycle Works is going to install a new set of K60 Scouts for the ride on the Dalton Hwy. Follow our progress and our report on the A3 if you want: http://johnaudra2ak.blogspot.com

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  11. Prime the unit before fitting it and check all components before replacing them - if they're old and worn, they too should be replaced. Don't grip the piston rod with pliers or place the unit itself in a vise, you'll damage it.
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