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PRoductreviews


which are true DOT knobs with lim- ited pavement capabilities. There is a lot of innovative technology on the Anakee Wilds, starting with the com- plex shapes found in the molding of the tread. The trapezoidal shape of the knobs is complemented by their reverse orientation between front and rear, an arrangement that improves the transfer of longitudinal forces to the ground. Complex sentence, I


know, so more simply stated: the tread shape and pattern digs in better under acceleration, braking and steering than a tire with square knobs arranged in a grid. Further, there are features molded into the sides of the knobs and a curved intersection as the knobs meet the tire’s carcass that enhance the tires’ self-cleaning ability by ejecting mud and gravel chunks as the tire rolls and the tread compresses. And the staggered pattern of the knobs along the


tire’s edges works exceptionally well when transiting a muddy sidehill, slippery tree roots or climbing out of deep ruts. Another piece of technology that I think


makes a difference both on road and off is radial construction, which provides signifi- cant flexibility in the tire’s sidewall. The result is a tire with superior traction because it conforms more completely to the ground surface and its irregularities. The tires rode noticeably more smoothly over big, sharp- edged rocks and road objects like railroad tracks, cattle crossings and potholes. On the highway, they tracked true and ignored rain grooves. And while Michelin officially rec- ommends the motorcycle manufacturer’s street pressure specification, I found the radial construction meant they performed even better in challenging off-road sections with inflation in the 25psi range. No, you’re not supposed to do that, so this is not my recommendation either! Two important traits that I did not get to


test are longevity and wet pavement perfor- mance. Across the internet, longevity claims range from a high of over 6k miles to a low of 2. Of course, this number varies according to rider weight, luggage weight, surface characteristics, speed and accelera- tion rates. Two friends who have tested these tires in the rain or at least on wet pavement have reported satisfactory results. What else? Well, they’re premium-priced,


like all Michelin tires. But considering their handling and longevity, it’s money well spent. To me, speaking as an adventure tourist, the Michelin Anakee Wild’s best benefit is the ability they give me to ride on a long trip, taking on all kinds of terrain, all on one set of tires.


PROS


• Radial construction • Innovative features in the tread pattern • Longer wear than competitive tires (YMMV)


CONS


• Rolling noise on pavement (wear earplugs) • Premium price (but they last longer)


Test riders in the SoCal high desert found superior traction in all conditions, a true do-it-all tire.


26


BMW OWNERS NEWS June 2016


member tested


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