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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 327 > MICHELIN POWER RS


Game changer; class leader; market beater; the buzzwords were out in force during the presentation of Michelin’s all-new Power RS, which the French brand claimed to be a ‘watershed moment’ in the evolution of sporty, road rubber.

You’ve got to love a bit of fighting talk, and there was plenty to go around as presentation slide followed presentation slide, trouncing the opposition on grip, wet performance and durability. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that agility levels had also been cranked through the ceiling, and knocked seven bells out of all worthy rivals during that ascension. It was a sales pitch Lord Sugar would have approved of, rendering these hoops the most essential of fitments to those looking to blitz along B-roads and nail the odd trackday. Or, at least in theory…

Power to the patent

Under a roasting Qatar sunset we would eventually get the chance to savour the offerings on tap, but not until our brains had been neared to bursting point by an overload of the complex features that had gone into making the next generation rubber so worthy of endless superlatives. Chief among which was a new carcass design called ACT+, which is really much more simple than I’m likely to explain it.

Basically, the carcass ply is single thickness (like any other tyre) in the middle zone of the RS, but the shoulders see the ply doubled back on itself to form a second layer of skin on the edge zones of the hoops. Why bother? Well, by doing so, the tyre has two differing levels of stability. The central zone is suppler and aids hard acceleration, while the shoulders are more rigid, which offers added stability at high lean angles. Makes sense? It seemed such an obvious thing to do when the tech was explained, but Michelin is the first brand to pull off such a design. Of course, not all bikes have the power to warrant the ACT+’s prescience, so for the pea-shooter size bikes out there (like Yamaha’s R3 and KTM’s RC390), the tech isn’t incorporated – which also helps to keep the costs down. Everyone’s a winner.

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Fast Bikes is home to the best sportsbike tests on the planet and is packed with new bike launches, technical insight, hardcore action, masterclasses, racing, reviews and loads more.