We’ve compiled a list of each major tire manufacturer’s dirt bike offerings to provide a comprehensive guide to off-road motorcycle tires. This week, we’re looking at the Michelin dirt bike tires lineup.
Michelin is the world’s second largest tire manufacturer behind Bridgestone. The company was founded in 1889 by French brothers Édouard and André Michelin. Though Michelin didn’t invent the radial tire, it was the first company to develop and commercialize the technology.
Many of Michelin’s off-road tires can use the company’s Bib Mousse foam tubes. Named for the company mascot, Bibendum (a.k.a. the Michelin Man), the Bib Mousse is a foam ring insert used instead of an air-filled tube. Because bib mousse inserts are not inflated, there’s no worry about developing a flat. The sponge-like material also does a good job of soaking up heavy impacts. The downside is that the Bib Mousse needs to be kept lubricated and need to be replaced every six months. Bib Mousse inserts are also restricted to a top speed of 80 mph and are not for highway. They also provide an equivalent tire pressure as a tube with 13 psi; if your riding demands require a higher or lower tire pressure, then the Bib Mousse is not an option.
Michelin Anakee Wild
The Anakee Wild is Michelin’s adventure-touring tire. With a tread pattern inspired by its Dakar-winning Desert Race tires, the Anakee Wild is designed to be a 50/50 tire, equally suitable for on- and off-road use. The rear tire offers large, cup-shaped blocks designed for off-road traction. Teeth lines on the blocks help prevent mud and stones from getting stuck. The shoulder blocks are in a staggered in-and-out pattern to prevent mud build-up, with the “out” knobs making use of Michelin’s signature “M-Block” design.
Michelin opted for a radial-construction carcass instead of bias-ply construction used on competitor adventure tires such as the Continental TKCs. The radial carcass better dissipates heat and offer a more flexible sidewall for a softer ride.
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||170/60 R17 72R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||150/70 R17 69R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||130/80 -17 65R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||140/80 -17 69R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||150/70 R18 70R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||110/80 -18 58S|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||120/80 -18 62S|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||130/80 -18 66S|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Rear||140/80 -18 70R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Front||120/70 R19 60R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Front||110/80 R19 59R|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Front||80/90 -21 48S|
|Michelin Anakee Wild Front||90/90 -21 54R|
The Michelin AC10 is a multi-purpose tire, capable of motocross and enduro use while still being street legal. The rear tire has three tread patterns for the center knobs, alternating between a large, wide knob for soft terrain, a four-knob row for intermediate surfaces and a three-knob row bookended by shoulder knobs for hard terrain.
The AC10 tires are reversible, so that when the leading edges get warn down, you can turn the tire around to use fresher edges while still keeping the same tread pattern and performance.
When riding strictly off-road, the AC10s can also equip Michelin’s Bib Mousse foam insert instead of a conventional air-filled tube.
|Michelin AC10 Rear||120/90 -18 65R|
|Michelin AC10 Rear||100/100 -18 59R|
|Michelin AC10 Rear||110/100 -18 64R|
|Michelin AC10 Front||100/90 -19 57R|
|Michelin AC10 Front||110/90 -19 62R|
|Michelin AC10 Front||80/100 -21 51R|
Michelin Desert Race
The Michelin Desert Race is a race-proven tire, helping extend the company’s undefeated streak in the Dakar Rally (and its predecessor, the Paris-Dakar Rally) to an astounding 35 years. Needless to say, the Desert Race tires are designed to handle a variety of terrain – mud, sand, rocks, and any combination in between. The tires are also DOT approved for street use.
The rubber compound is extremely durable, especially at high temperatures. The downside is the Desert Race tires weigh more and can be more expensive. Michelin used to offer a tire with a similar tread pattern but in a softer compound called the T63, but that tire was phased out with the introduction of the Anakee Wild.
|Michelin Desert Race Rear||140/80 -18 70R|
|Michelin Desert Race Front||90/90 -21 54R|
Michelin Trial Light/X-Light Competition
The Michelin Trial Light bias-ply tire is designed for trail competition, but it’s also a serviceable enduro tire. It’s also available in a radial version called the Trial X-Light. The “Light” in their names refers to the claimed 6% smaller weight compared to Michelin’s previous Trial tire.
The blocks are larged and packed close together for a large contact patch. The tread is very flexible, adapting itself to grip different obstacles.
Michelin’s Trial tires are also compatible with its Bib Mousse foam tube.
|Michelin Trial Rear||4.00 R18 64L|
|Michelin Trial Rear||120/100 R18 68M|
|Michelin Trial Front||2.75 -21 45L|
|Michelin Trial Front||80/100 -21 51M|
Michelin Starcross 5 Sand
The Sand version of Michelin’s Starcross 5 line of motocross tires is designed for very loose terrain and track conditions. The rear tire features large center lugs for digging into sand, with a pair of smaller, aggressive paddles for better cornering performance. The front tire is designed to improve cornering traction and braking performance.
The tire casing is made from a high-density material for strength and durability while weighing about 15% less than the previous generation of Starcross tires.
The Sandcross 5 Sand tires are also compatible with its Bib Mousse foam tube.
|Michelin Starcross 5 Sand Rear||100/90 -19 57M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Sand Rear||110/90 -19 62M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Sand Front||80/100 -21 51M|
Michelin Starcross 5 Soft
For soft and mixed terrain, Michelin offers the Starcross 5 Soft tire. Like the rest of the Starcross 5 line, the higher-density material made for a lighter tire than the previous generation without sacrificing strength or durability. The 5s make use of what Michelin calls Comfort Casing technology for better shock absorption, reducing rider fatigue.
The bars on the central knobs are designed to help shed mud and dirt. On the rear tire, the Starcross 5 Soft alternates from two bars and a single center bar to further break up dirt and prevent it from collecting. The shoulder knobs on the front tire are tall, with the outer knobs aligned with the center blocks and stagger inner knobs that are rotated at a 45-degree angle.
The Starcross 5 Soft tires can be used with Michelin’s Bib Mousse foam insert.
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Rear||120/90 -18 65M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Rear||100/100 -18 59M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Rear||110/100 -18 64M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Rear||120/80 -19 63M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Rear||100/90 -19 57M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Rear||110/90 -19 62M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Front||80/100 -21 51M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Soft Front||90/100 -21 57M|
Michelin Starcross 5 Medium
The Medium Starcross 5 tires are designed to handle a broad range of terrain conditions. The staggered tread pattern is designed to improve traction and feedback through different lean angles.
Horizontal lines on the tread between the knobs help to shed dirt, but the blocks don’t make use of the mud-phobic double lines found on the Soft tires, making use of a single groove. Both the front and rear tires offer a similar tread pattern, with a pair of closely-placed center knobs and alternating knobs on the shoulders.
Like the other Starcross tires, the Mediums are compatible with Michelin’s Bib Mousse foam insert.
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Rear||120/90 -18 65M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Rear||100/100 -18 59M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Rear||110/100 -18 64M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Rear||120/80 -19 63M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Rear||100/90 -19 57M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Rear||110/90 -19 62M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Front||80/100 -21 51M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Medium Front||90/100 -21 57M|
Michelin Starcross 5 Hard
The Starcross 5 Hard tires are suitable for the hard, densely packed terrain typically found on supercross tracks. The tread pattern is designed to produce a consistent contact patch, no matter the lean angle for progressive handling in corners. The surface of the tread blocks have small gaps to create a suction effect for better grip on hard surfaces.
Like the Soft and Medium Starcross 5 tires, the Hard tires use fine lines on the tread between the knobs to release soil build-up. The Starcross 5 Hard tires can also be fitted with Michelin’s Bib Mousse insert.
|Michelin Starcross 5 Hard Rear||110/90 -19 62M|
|Michelin Starcross 5 Hard Front||90/100 -21 57M|
Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior
For smaller dirt bikes, Michelin offers the MS3 Junior and MH3 Junior tires. The MS3 Juniors are for soft terrain, with both front and rear tires offering a large central block and staggered shoulder knobs. The tires are reversible, with the M-shaped groove on the center blocks serving as a tire wear indicator; when the M disappears, the tires can be reversed to offer a fresh leading edge for digging into the soil.
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Rear||2.75 -10 37J|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Rear||80/100 -12 41M|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Rear||90/100 -14 49M|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Rear||90/100 -16 51M|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Front||2.50 -10 33J|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Front||2.50 -12 36J|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Front||60/100 -14 30M|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Front||70/100 -17 40M|
|Michelin Starcross MS3 Junior Front||70/100 -19 42M|
Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior
Suitable for 50cc, 65cc and 80cc motocross bikes and pit bikes, Michelin offers the Starcross MH3 Junior for hard or intermediate terrain. The center blocks on the rear are thicker but not as wide as on the MS3 Junior, while the front tire uses a pair of smaller knobs down the middle.
Like the MS3 Juniors, the MH3 Junior tires are reversible, with the “M” cut into the blocks acting as a tire wear indicator.
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Rear||2.75 -10 37J|
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Rear||80/100 -12 41M|
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Rear||90/100 -14 49M|
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Rear||90/100 -16 51M|
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Front||2.50 -12 36J|
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Front||60/100 -14 30M|
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Front||70/100 -17 40M|
|Michelin Starcross MH3 Junior Front||70/100 -19 42M|
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