Went for a good 300+km ride to test out the new rubber on Saturday as part of a group ride.
Off note, Interesting group ride… 8 in total, 5 sports bikes, 2 nakeds, 1 adventure-touring of which was the group leader. The first 100km we were led to a good mountain playground, except we were led the boring heavy vehicle pass to the top, up to a coffee shop were the leader didn’t want to stop chatting. Eventually I rallied us to get on the road again, but the leader started heading on a route I know as long, straight country roads that head back towards the City; so a mate and I over took and signalled for the group to pull over. 3 others in the group as well as myself had only just fitted new tyres in the week and wanted to give them a run in some twisty stuff. My absolute favourite section of road wasn’t too far away so recommended to the others we head there, none had been on it before so was pretty much a unanimous decision. I don’t think the group leader was overly happy with me taking over and continued on his way home, but everyone else was keen to get their lean on. So after a quick fuel stop for big bikes in the group (god I love the fuel efficiency of these 500s) we hit the good road.
So anyway, these Dunlop Sportsmax Q3 tyres… Wow! I reckon I’ve found my new favourite rubber! Soooo.muuuuch.GRIP :-D
, the only time the front would lock up was intentionally jamming on that lever quick and hard. Any other brake application though, I couldn’t for the life of me get the front locking up; the back would get so light I swear the rear wheel was lifting. Difference in braking distance from a marked line between the original fitted Dunlop D222 versus previously fitted Michelin Pilot Power 3 vs versus these newly fitted Q3’s, showed good results. From 80km/h The PP3s would pull up ~2.5m ahead of the D222, the Q3s though are almost a full 5m shorter. Who needs ABS!
I just couldn’t get the Q3s to brake traction, even at over 50* lean, mid-corner full-throttle power on, you have to be ready to shift your weight in more to keep your line, because it’ll just bite in and accelerate hard. In similar situations with the PP3s the rear would often skip a little and on some particularly smooth corners would be enough to get a baby drift happening – note, dropping some pressure from the rear PP3 to <38psi alleviated that.
, well these bikes don’t really have enough power for this test to yield any conclusive result, so will leave at, “they all work”.
Wet weather traction
the D222 still takes the cake for this aspect. The PP3s were commendable too for their grip, specifically they felt better than the D222 when leaned over, but were outdone in braking and acceleration when wet. I can’t yet comment on the Q3 wet riding performance as I’m yet to ride with them in those conditions. And though I did traverse a few damp corners in the mountain run, I was being cautious with riding style being new rubber.
On tyre life
, my current personal riding habit is about 50% general, 20%highway, 30% canyon carving; I’m aiming towards more track days and thought the Q3 would be a good progression. The D222 saw ~12,000km before the rears got to the indicators. The PP3 netted ~14,000km, I may have changed either of those tyres at different levels of wear, so I’d take the difference between the two as +/-1000kms. I’m expecting a bit less from the Q3 given they are quite a softer tyre than the other two.
The D222 is a good factory fitted tyre, good for commuting and excels in wet weather.
The PP3 would be suited for someone who still does a bit of commuting but needs that extra bit of grip for the weekend canyon’ing.
The Q3 is best for the rider who places superior grip as top priority.