My friend Hal mounted a new set of Michelin Pilot Road 2's on my FJR.

I had been running a set of PR3's, and was generally happy with them. They had 11,500 miles on them, and could probably have gone another 1,500 to 2,000 miles more, but I have a long one-day ride coming up in the Team Lyle event in a couple of weeks, and it's not a good idea to do a long, high-speed ride on the last miles of your tires.

I had some choices for the new set. The bike came with a set of Bridgestones, which I disliked so much I pulled them off at only 3,800 miles. Since then, I've run only Michelin's — first the Pilot Roads, and then the Pilot Road 2's. While there's other tire brands that have good reputations for long-distance motorcycling use, I'm sold on Michelin, so the choices were to stay with the Pilot Road 3, try the new Pilot Road 4, or go back to the Pilot Road 2.

While I was happy enough with the PR3's, they had their quirks. I was also spooked by the catastrophic failures of PR3's on two different FJR1300s at last year's Team Lyle Nevada Stampede. Both bikes had PR3's with less than 2,000 miles on them, and both were down to the bare cords along the center line. One of the riders was stranded in the middle of the night on the ET Highway in Central Nevada, and had to walk 6+ miles just to reach a cell signal — without a single vehicle driving by the entire time.

The PR4's are getting generally good reviews, but they've only been out for a few months, so there's not a lot to go by just yet.

I've run PR2's for 60,000 miles, and I know them really well. They have some quirks — we all do, right? — but I've used them in all kinds of conditions, from long, high-speed runs to gravel and chip seal, and even the occasional dirt road, and they've never let me down. When they're done, they go to junk pretty quickly, and they're useless for high-speed riding, but if you keep it to 5 over the posted limit, they'll get you home.

I've got about 80 miles on the new set so far, and they feel really, really good.

Hal got the bike all setup for the rest of the riding season, and other than an oil change I should be good to go for 12,000 miles from here.