2020 Motorcycle Sports Touring Tyre Test

Motorcycle tyre testing is the most difficult type the tyre testing available, and as such we don't get a many good motorbike tyre comparison tests as we do for car and SUV.

Fortunately in 2020 the UK motorcycle magazine MCN managed to test six of the best sports touring motorbike tyres using a BMW R1250RS.

The only objective test included was a 70-0 mph dry braking (below), the rest of the results were taken from a 22 mile road route over many different surfaces, which two riders tested blind and rated the tyres for steering, confidence, stability, ride quality and feel.

Be sure to check out the full test information at the MCN site www.motorcyclenews.com


1st: Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE

Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE
  • 180/55 R17
Dry Braking2nd+0.07 M99.86%
Excellent steering, felt the sportiest of the bunch. They make the bike feel light and nimble with precise steering, excellent levels of confidence, very stable, good levels of grip from cold. Ride quality is a little harsher than some of the other tyres in the test, but lots of feedback and feel. Wonderful tyres.

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2nd: Dunlop RoadSmart III

Dunlop RoadSmart III
  • 180/55 R17
Dry Braking3rd+0.34 M99.33%
Linear and progressive, with a neutral feel. Super accurate with perfect tracking. Not quite as good from cold as the Metzelers, but once there's a tiny bit of heat, they're great. Good over bumps, but quite a firm ride overall.

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3rd: Pirelli Angel GT II

Pirelli Angel GT II
  • 180/55 R17
Dry Braking5th+2.08 M96.05%
These make the bike feel light and accurate, lots of confidence, work really well from cold, and allow you to hold a line nicely through the corners with excellent feel. Also really stable, move around less than others over bumps and don't track in tramlines. Decent ride quality if not a little on the stuff side, feeling harsher over bumps on the motorway.

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4th: Continental ContiRoadAttack 3

Continental ContiRoadAttack 3
  • 180/55 R17
Dry Braking1st100%
Sportiest feeling tyres on test, nimble and accurate, they drop into corners like a sports tyre with high levels of confidence. When pushing hard a little vague on the rear, but for normal riding they're great. Slightly less feel than the other tyres on test.

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5th: Michelin Road 5

Michelin Road 5
  • 180/55 R17
Dry Braking4th+1.4 M97.31%
The Road 5 makes the bike light to steer, nimble and accurate. They make direction changes easy and it feels like you can place the bike anywhere you want, with great confidence even from cold. Very stable at lower speeds but w hen riding quickly they felt a bit overwhelmed by the weight of the BMW.

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6th: Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31

Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T31
  • 180/55 R17
Dry Braking6th+2.09 M96.03%
Steering is good with plenty of feel, however they take longer to warm up than others and felt a bit slithery until then. During faster riding, the TC light came on more with these tyres than others on test, and they tended to tramline more than the others. They feel secure when the bike is lent over in fast corners but the ride quality isn't the best.

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