It was 2011.

The MRF rear on my beautiful Pulsar 150 DTSi was punctured once more, and like all squids back then, I really wanted to put in a fat tire. So like all squids back then, I did a burnout to finish the rubber off, and found a shop that promised a 120 section rear.

It was a big shop, owned by a talkative Sardarji. He told me stories of people who had fit 180 section rears, people who had fit car tires, people who had fit tractor tires on their motorcycles. I wasn’t feeling that adventurous, so asked him what he had in 120 that won’t need me hacking off at the swingarm.

“Put this Michelin, it’s great. But I must warn you, this tire will annoy you like a bitch, because like a bitch it’ll never go away. A customer of mine has tried everything from burnouts to slides, the Michelin doesn’t die.” 

It’s been more than 5 years and some 40,000 kms, that Michelin Sirac 120 still looks good as new, even though it spent roughly half of those 5 years sitting around in rain, Sun and hail.

When the Metzeler on my Duke 390 exploded while returning back from Bangalore in probably one of the most dangerous nights of my life, I swore never to go back to it. Metz is a brilliant rubber, the ultimate for track lovers, but for a tourer like me it was completely useless. The tire was so badly damaged that I had no time to look around for options. Went to the nearest shop I could find, and put my trust in a Michelin once again.

I put the Michelin Pilot Street Radial 140/70 17. 140 because the 150 wasn’t available, and I had no time to wait. I have made plenty of stupid decisions in my life, leaving a perfect job for a horrendous one, leaving the horrendous one to be unemployed, and riding at night through the mountains in winter with fog and rain are just some of the mistakes that I’ve made in my life, but putting the Michelin on wasn’t one of them.

There’s nothing I can say to you that’ll give you an idea of how beautiful this black piece of circular rubber is. I don’t think of it as a tire anymore, it’s a friend that has helped me do impossible things, see unreachable places, meet improbable people.

In the course of the 30,000 odd kms I spent with it, it rarely ever punctured, survived a rim-bending event, and was pushed to the limit in every conceivable situation, and yet it lived, and helped me live as well, even though I was never nice to it.

For anyone looking to replace the tires on their bike, there’s nothing like Michelins out there. It’s soft enough for the track, hard enough for off-road, and alive enough for touring. It’s the Da Vinci of tires, and there’s nothing you can do that they can’t handle.

Here’s the only way I can show my love for it, an album of things that it helped me do.

comments (18)

  • Reply

    July 30, 2018

    Hi,
    I am planning to change tyres from MRF Zapper to Michelin or Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2 on my r15 v3. I’m confused to the hell please help me out.
    So the confusion is Michelin has the perfect tire size and the speed rating as my stock tires (recommended) has, pirelli has the rear one perfect but the front portion doesn’t have the recommended size. So will it make any difference if I put 110/60/R17 to my bike as the recommended is 100/80 R17 to my front.
    And also I use it for a daily purpose and for weekend rides who loves to lean on curves.
    So please suggest me on this 🙂

    • Reply

      July 30, 2018

      Michelin is the safe choice, will last long, and has plenty of grip.

  • Reply

    September 14, 2017

    Nice article bro then i think i can do ladakh trip on these tyres, did u struggle in those 2 conditions the mud in the farm land (4th pic) and buthan in sand

  • Reply

    April 4, 2017

    Hello Dear, nice to hear your review on michelin tyres. I am too planning from last month to change on my Hornet 160r bcoz stock tyre MRF Zapper are very poor. When i saw michelin pilot street radial 140/70 R17 in showroom , it doesn’t look that much fat as compared to stock mrf. When saw 150/60/r17 that is really too fat. Please advise 140/70/17 is fat enough for my hornet 160r, after installation & filling this tyre will get fat filling. In your pics that tyre looks fat enough. I am staying in Navi Mumbai.

  • Reply

    May 16, 2016

    Bro , How is the wet grip for Michelin, in touring perspective. Love to hear your experience on that. Planning for a Michelin 150 after my Metz wear out.

  • Reply

    May 14, 2016

    Haha , dude , you almost sound in love!

  • Reply

    May 13, 2016

    my duke 200 did 15k on michelin and 11k on metz , only downside of michelin is warm up time.

    • Reply

      May 13, 2016

      You must ride like there’s no tomorrow. Michelin on Duke 200 must do at least 4 million kilometres.

  • Reply

    May 13, 2016

    I’ve it on my Duke 200 and it’s a pure bliss no matter what terrain you fancy!

  • Reply

    May 13, 2016

    🙂 Interesting chap, the sardarji who fit the tire was even more interesting.

  • Reply

    May 13, 2016

    Fitting a 140 section tire has had any ill-effects on straight line stability or handling?

    • Reply

      May 13, 2016

      Na man, none at all. Was able to do 170 without issues, even ABS surprisingly didn’t cause any trouble.

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