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Michelin Anakee Wild Reviews

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Baylisstic Seventyone

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

So I threw them on my 15 1200 GSA and pulled them off and swapped them for TKC 70s. Both the TKC70s and the Wilds are new tires for me. I pulled the Wilds for two reasons: 1: first the noise off the front tire on the road cannot be overstated enough....it's obnoxious (and I have ear plugs in too). 2: It's a knobby tire and unlike the author, I did not feel as comfortable with the grip on the road....the TKC 70s and another tire I have more experience with, the Metzler Karoo 3s are much better performers on road. The Wilds are admirable off road, but I need the confidence on the road too and did not have that confidence with the Wilds on road as I do with the TKC 70s or Karoo 3s. I will save the Wilds for more challenging off road terrain trips, but I would not buy another pair of Wilds in their current iteration.

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Michelin Anakee Wild - Wildly Aggressive 

8 months and 9,000 miles later, my R1200GSA seems to be liking the new tires even more than I do! When I was approached by Michelin and was offered to test-ride the new Michelin Anakee Wild for the water-cooled R1200 GS’s, I was quite skeptical. “A new 40/60” I originally thought. Never having seen the tire before, I did a quick research to find out that the tread design was not like the competitors’. The tire initially looks like an oversized true knobby tire, almost like the ones we use on our single-cylinder bikes. And apparently, that was not too far from truth!

Before we begin, let’s talk about some technical details. When BMW announced the specs of the 2013 water-cooled GS, many of us wondered if they made a typo in the press release with the tire sizes. Unfortunately, the first reviews confirmed the not so common 120/70 R19 front and 170/60 R17 rear. We knew immediately that our choices would be limited for off-road or mixed-use tires. And for riders like myself, who like “getting dirty” our options were even less. In fact, at that time there was only one manufacturer who would offer tires which can be considered suitable for a little bit more… aggressive off-road use. The only alternative would be leaving the manufacturers recommended sizes or even replace the wheels. And then comes Michelin.
To add to this, the Anakee Wild tires are radials. Yes, you read that right. Not a surprise from the inventor of the radial tire technology from back in 1946. In short, a radial tire will allow the sidewall and the tread to function as two autonomous features of the tire. While a bias tire consists of multiple rubber plies which over lapping each other.  The crown and sidewalls are also interdependent. Thus the overlapped plies form a thick layer that is less flexible and more sensitive to overheating. There are numerous well-put articles by professionals who explain in great detail the pros of a radial tire.
Back to our test, I received the Anakee Wild set in July 2015, right before the GS Gypsy Tour and the MOA Rally. What a better test-ride than 3,500 miles of mixed highway and off-road single tracks and ATV trails! Since I already had a little bit of thread on my existing tires, I decided to try and change them mid-trip using nothing but the tools we carry on the bike. This was going to be a real-time test!

When it was time to fit the tires, I made sure they stayed under the mild July Colorado sun for the entire day. Undeniably, this helped a lot since the tires where extremely easy to fit. I even had to break and seal the bead on the rear twice, due to a… user error. I had no problems either breaking or sealing the bead with the trail tools. As I managed to create a small audience everyone’s reaction was identical to my first: “These do not look like 40/60 tires”. “My point exactly” I would always reply. The tires, especially when placed side by side to the competition, are clearly more aggressive with more spread out knobs and quite aggressive on the edges. Features which would make some riders skeptical regarding the stability of the tire on pavement. Remember, this is supposed to be a dual-sport purpose tire. I could not wait to try them out now that they were on my bike!
Since I was at the campground, my first test was on paved road. And unfortunately, my initial reaction was not positive. The tires are noisy. Very noisy. To the point that a long trip would be unbearable without earplugs. But on the other hand, I consider this to be a knobby tire and consequently a certain level of noise is expected. On the following day, I had the opportunity to try the tires on the twisty Colorado roads. Having decided that the earplugs were necessary and the noise unavoidable, I concentrated on the grip and performance of the tires.
The Anakee Wild tires will have absolutely no problem holding you on the road on the tight Colorado turns. Not even once, I felt any loss of traction. Having my bike fully loaded with the side aluminum cases, the only reason I would not scrape the pegs was because the paniers would find the road first. Of course, this is not a tire to put on the track but after over 20,000 miles with nothing but the competition 40/60 tires, it was nice to remember how it feels to have great grip using a dual-sport tire again. While still on paved road, the Anakee Wilds will perform equally great on the wet surface as well. Brake times were not significantly longer than with a 70/30 tire such as the Anakee III. Generally, the tire will perform absolutely great in almost any situation on paved roads.
Interestingly enough, Michelin is promoting the new Anakee Wild tires as 50/50. I personally do not agree with this ratio and I base my assumption on the tires’ amazing performance on the off-road challenges. The Colorado rocky trails provided a great opportunity to test the tire’s performance. The rubber compound is as almost as soft as it is required for hard packed terrain. But in some cases, it was too soft. After 3,500 miles on fist-sized sharp rocky single-tracks, we noticed that the knobs are taking a huge hit and pieces of rubber are tearing apart from the tire. But this is expected as a harder tire would not perform as good in such conditions.
However the biggest advantage the Anakee Wild has to offer is riding in soft sand. For the first time on a 600 lb bike, I actually felt a grip. The tire was equally great on the deep, sticky South Carolina mud. The tire’s more spread out knobs will allow sand and mud to evacuate from the tread faster. Also the more aggressive design on the edges allows the tire to grip in soft ground all the way through turns.
As for the durability, I am currently at 2,500 miles on my second set and there is still about 40% thread left on the rear. Now, remember that I ride aggressively. I usually change 3 rear tires for every front. Speaking of, the front still looks like new! I think I have found the tire that suits my needs best.
The tire overall meets and exceeds my expectations. I wanted an aggressive tire which can be safely used in paved road and I found it. Although the noise becomes an issue, the performance off-road is making up for the inconvenience. In my opinion, Michelin could easily promote this as a 30 on / 70 off tire. Easily. And although I feel confident enough to follow the single-cylinder bikes on the track with my 1200GSA, it is still not a dirt bike.
The tires are now available and I already called my dealer and I will be getting the first two sets!

Surprisingly good traction on paved dry and/or wet roads
Extremely great in hard packed rocky terrain
Unmatched performance on soft sand and mud
Superior durability over the competition
Very noisy on the paved road
A little bit too soft for very sharp rocky roads


Who am I?
Well, glad you asked! I'm Dimitri and I live in Lafayette, CO. I have over 120 hours of off-road training in the last 18 months on his 2014 R1200GSA. I competed for a place in the BMW GS Trophy finishing 9th and 5th overall. My training grounds are the rocky trails of Boulder, Grand and Larimer Counties and the sandy dunes of the North Sand Hills Special Recreation Management Area near Walden, Colorado. And no, I do not work for Michelin.
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