New Michelin Supermotard Tire Info
The first Supermotard (SM) events were held in the 1980s, at the Carlsbad circuit in California, USA. This discipline then gradually spread to Europe, with the creation of national championships and then major classics such as the Mettet SM in Belgium or the Guidon d'Or face in Paris, which pitted champions from the worlds of GP speed biking and off-road racing against one another on the same track. Then, in the 1990s, the discipline received a considerable boost with the launch of a European championship backed by the manufacturers and importers. The new generation of less aggressive 4-stroke engines has enabled riders to increase their speed when sliding on corners. Brands have even set up their own promotional packages (HVA Challenge One , KTM Trophy, Honda SuperCup). 2002 saw the creation of a Supermoto world championship under the auspices of the F.I.M, bringing together the top riders in the discipline on works motorcycles prepared by the manufacturers. This championship highlights and promotes SM motorcycles. Since its creation, sales of this sort of bike have risen steadily.
Michelin has always backed this discipline, as shown by the fact that the leading enduro and speed riders in the 1980s and 1990s always raced on Michelin tIres. which helped them win a number of titles. The tIres used were competition catalogue products: slick, mixed and rain tires originating directly from Grand Prix racing. Since then, SM has been refined and has become more professional with the manufacturers' investments in the world championship. This meant that we had to develop a specific tIre, as the characteristics of the slicks no longer fully match the requirements for SM. Competition catalogue products are tIres derived from the development work for Grands Prix, so they are not always suitable for SM use, even when modified.
During the 2003 world and national championships, we therefore developed a specific Supermotard competition tIre with the riders from the Vertemati, Yamaha and KTM teams. This new Michelin SM tIre is the result of a long process of development work with the specialists in the discipline. It is a universal tIre adapted to all types of Supermotard circuits. It is a competition tIre which is not approved for road use. It is marked “Not For Highway use”, so it can only be used on race circuits. It is included in the Michelin motorcycle competition range catalogue.
SM is a hybrid discipline, a blend of motocross and speed racing.
The races are hotly contested, which delights spectators, and they are affordable for privateer riders.
The race takes place on a circuit divided into two parts, one with a dirt surface and the other asphalted.
The motorcycles used are usually modified enduro or motocross bikes: brakes boosted with a more powerful kit (disk 320 mm in diameter), a specific exhaust line, engine tuning, a suspension kit, etc.
Two types of motorcycles:
· Certain European manufacturers (Vertemati, Vor, Husqvarna, KTM) propose customer Supermotard competition models for circuit use in their catalogues which should be fitted with our products.
· A more road-friendly SM version is also proposed. These motorcycles are approved and fitted with hypersport tIres such as the Pilot Power, Pilot Sport or Pilot Road for road use.
As well as this transformation of the bike, the original rims are replaced: the 21-inch front wheel and the 18- or 19-inch rear wheels are replaced by broader, 17-inch rims. In this way, knobby tires can be replaced by tires from the circuit competition catalogue: slicks, mixed tires, rain tires, etc.!
Supermotard competition is currently growing fast. After the various national championships, the European Championship, the brand-based cups, exceptional and a USA AMA championship, a world championshipGuidon d’orevents like the was set up in 2003 with backing from the manufacturers.
This meant that we had to develop a specific product, as the characteristics of the slicks no longer fully match the requirements for SM. Competition catalogue products are tires derived from the development work for Grands Prix, so they are a long way from SM use, even when modified.
Because of the specific characteristics of the part-dirt, part-asphalt circuits, regrooving of the tires is authorized. The riders create or modify the tire's tread pattern according to the proportions of dirt and asphalt, the weather forecast and the number of left- or right-hand bends.
SIZES CAI TubesRecommended Rims Recommended
Front 12/60 - 17 TL SM F 15A 576469 17 C 3.50
Rear 16/63 - 17 TL SM R 14A 902306 17 CGR 5.00 et 5.50 (*)
(*) Ideal rim width recommended to optimize the potential of the SM tire.
Nearly all SM motorcycles are equipped with tube-type (non-airtight) spoked wheels fitted with tubeless tires combined with inner tubes. This may seem somewhat contradictory, but the motorcycles used are lightweight, competing at relatively low speeds in short races, so it does not matter.
TECHNICAL FEATURES AND BENIFITS
12/60 - 17 TL SM F 15A
The front tire was developed from the S1245A competition slick tire
COMPOUND OF RUBBER:
Identical to 1245A (Medium)
· Suitable for all types of circuits
· Optimized for grip
A new architecture specially designed solely for the requirements of Supermotard racing:
Compared with a speed bike, the lower power of Supermotard motorcycles means that warming up the tire can be a problem. Considerable work was therefore devoted to making the architecture more flexible: to increase the active operation of the product, the tire flexes more easily, thus warming up faster.
The optimization of the architecture has helped to improve the grip when braking, è thus allowing hard braking and banking on corners.
It is specific to Supermotard racing and has a rounder shape because SM does not require a triangular profile like speed racing. è Improves maneuverability and progressive response when cornering.
16/63 - 17 TL SM R 14A
The rear tire was developed from the S1624C (Medium Soft rubber compound), which is a rear slick tire for 250 cc bikes.
In the absence of a specific range, it is also what Supermotard riders have used up to now.
COMPOUND OF RUBBER:
Identical to 1624C , It is versatile and adapts to any temperature.
Like for the front tire, the carcass has been completely redesigned. It is also more flexible than the 1624C slick.
The less rigid architecture enables the rubber to flex more:
· This improves warm-up times.
· Improvement of grip when accelerating and cornering
· Helps to improve the tire's endurance
· Adapts perfectly to surface changes (asphalt, dirt, slides, jumps and humps)
· Äso it allows crazy cornering angles
It is driven only by performance:
technical performance rather than just aesthetic aspects.
It corresponds to the requirements in SM:
slick on the shoulders for grip and transverse grooves to bite into dirt surfaces.
(front & rear)
Link to a better looking page:
Unforutunately the rear tires are only available in the 160 size, for the 5 and 5.5 inch rear Rims, which only come on the certain bikes (KTM, Husaberg) stock. Other bikes like Hondas, etc. have rims which are 4.25 - 4.5, so unless you have upgraded the rim size, you are limited to using a 150 Michelin Pilot Power street tire or a Pirelli Supercorsa Race tire. However, for those doing a true Supermotard Race, with part-Dirt and part-Pavement segments, something to think about as this tire is much better to use than the other options.
Last edited by Racers Edge; 06-07-2006 at 04:06 AM.
These are stock on an 05 Husaberg 450c. There is one at www.adrenalinmotorcycle.com (local shop).