Review: Michelin Anakee Wild Tires

Aug 18, 2016 View Comments by

Michelin has upped the ante with a new tire designed for 50/50 use by all you dual-sport and adventure bike addicts! This knobby radial tire is designed for big “trailies” such as the BMW R 1200 GS, KTM 1190 Adventure and 1290 Super Adventure, Yamaha 1200 Super Ténéré, and other large adventure bikes that use 110/80-19 or 120/70-19 front tires and 150/70-17 or 170/60-17 rears. These four sizes are the only ones available initially, but more sizes are said to be coming later.

Michelin Anakee WildClearly a shot across the bow of Continental’s TKC 80 tire line, the Anakee Wild could be a game changer for Michelin in the dual-sport and adventure-touring tire segment. The main goals during development were on-road stability and comfort, resistance to wear and overheating, and improved wet and off-road traction. One of the features the Wild gets is a distinctive curved four/five alternating knob pattern inspired by Michelin’s Paris-Dakar rally tires and designed to increase stability and grip.

I tested the tires on a Triumph Tiger 800 XC from Newbury Park, CA, to the Ballinger Canyon OHV (off-highway vehicle) area in Los Padres National Forest and back, with a break for a hearty BBQ lunch at the very motorcycle-friendly Songdog Ranch.

This event gave me the opportunity to ride in a wide variety of conditions, from hectic So-Cal freeways with rain-grooved concrete, to smooth and rough asphalt surfaces, and dirt, sand, gravel, and mud. Jim, owner of Songdog Ranch, set up a large mud pit for riders to tackle. It was soft enough to sink big heavy adventure bikes up to the axles, but amazingly quite a few made it through thanks to the Anakee Wild’s open tread.

In adjacent Ballinger Canyon I rode up and down some steep hills and sandy dirt roads and trails. The Anakee Wilds took all this in stride, providing good grip for confident handling on all surfaces. I was very pleased with the on- and off-road performance of the tires. On pavement they allow normal cornering and don’t feel squirrely like some knobby tires do on the street. There’s a noticeable amount of tire hum from the aggressive treads, and under hard braking a bit of squirm—both of which are to be expected—but that’s about it. On dirt they hook up well and provide a feel that’s not much less grippy than a full knobby. They got me up hills and through sand and loose dirt like a champ. That’s an excellent compromise for a dual-purpose tire that’s this aggressive.

Michelin Anakee Wild Tires
Front and rear: $256.95 and up


Photography: Michelin

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