I decided to test out another brand. Michelin, very much like Goodyear, has been supplying tires to the F1 race cars. So, they shouldn't be very much difference with regards to quality. Biggest differences i would say is the "Made in XXX" mark on both Goodyear and Michelin. All Goodyear tires less than 15inch in size are made in Malaysia. Michelin are mostly "imported" from Thailand with the higher range coming in from Europe.
I initially wanted the just launched (in July) XM2, which promises more improvement from the already acclaimed best seller XM1. But because the size i wanted wasn't available, i had to settle for XM1. Perhaps it is a good start so i would appreciate the higher/better range in the next tire change?
Having said all the above, i always know nothing is as important to know how to read the tire's "birthday". All tires has storage life of up to 5 years, with some claimed up to 10 years IF properly stored and cared. In our tropical temperature, the lifespan of the tires could be less. I would like to mark them as TWO years at most, as a benchmark.
Most car manufacturer equates "powerful" car with larger tires and using "stability" as a marketing plot to shod cars with insanely sized car tires size. Even some 1.3liter cars now has 14inches tires shod, compared to 13inch as standard many years ago.
At this point of review, the tires has been driven around for about 6000km. A decent mileage to judge on the claimed fuel saving, comfort, noise, harshness the manufacturer rated for this tire.
It is obvious that there is four distinct grove as well to channel water out. Important as Malaysia is a tropical country that has it's fair share of heavy rainfall.
The tire is quiet as claimed. But after a while, once the ears get accustomed to the tire, you will hear rolling noise. I believe this attribute is "heard" in all new tires, especially so when the old tires has worn out and creates more noise than usual. What would be interesting is to see if this noise stays about the same as the tires wears off over the kilometers to come.
It has this technology that Michelin call Radial XSE which claims to improve grip, resist wear and improve on fuel economy. It has a Green X technology that sort of confirmed Michelin's commitment to energy efficiency and thus, lending good fuel economy.
Speaking of fuel economy, it is very subjective. It is often driven (no pun intended) by the driving style, maintainance of the vehicle and of course, the road condition (hilly terrain, flat road etc). Most cars are bench marked at 90km/h for comparable fuel efficiency or consumption. Driving around for the past 6000km, i would say my good fuel efficiency is because i am aware of the car capability and also good driving habit. Not really sure if the tire aid with this, but the numbers are no different from my old sets of tires.
By the way, i pump 40psi for my tires. It is way higher than the usual 30psi and definitely higher than "recommended" pressure. Bear in mind that these tires can take up to 50psi and usually, no one would pump it up to 50psi, or close. 40, through my experiment, gives the best compromise on comfort and superb gas mileage. However, inflate at your own peril and risk. I will not be responsible for any mishap you encounter from doing this to your own vehicle.
The tire perform as it should with no drama moments so far. It stops as it should though the manufacturer claimed it will reduce stopping distance by up to 7%. I am yet to test that out and no intention to do that. Always keep the front car (moving) about 15seconds away and you can safely steer away from any trouble. If you are a tailgater, no tires can save you from rear-ending the car in front by the way.
Performance on the dry and wet condition does not differ much and i would say that this tire perform (for now) as claimed. Perhaps, when i change my tires in 2 years time, i will be able to add in a final verdict like i did on the Goodyear Duraplus in the beginning of this article.
|at 40psi, rear right tire. Wear rate is consistent.|