Testing the Anakee 3 motorcycle tire Part 1

I am ready for a new rear tire on the V-Strom, but decided to wait until Spring. That turned out to be a fortunate decision.

A couple of weeks ago, Glen from Sport Tour called to say their Michelin rep is looking for someone who could write a review for a new motorcycle tire they have developed for the adventure bike market—like the V-Strom. Would I be interested in testing a set of tires? Tell me more, I said. What are the conditions?


Turns out, Michelin is looking for an honest and fair review of this new tire, and so I agreed to write a review and also produce a couple of You Tube videos.

In that first phone conversation, Glen said, “They look different.” Yes. They are quite different looking from the typical adventure tire. But, that seems to be part of Michelin’s research and design. Most adventure bike miles are on paved roads, so it appears there is a sport tire component to the design. The deep tread appears to be for the unpaved roads, and the interesting part of the tread are those little bevels and wedge cuts. Michelin says the tire is designed to release mud and gravel and give the tire more bite in the dirt. Interesting. This could truly be an adventure.

After agreeing to write the reviews, the tires were mounted on the wheels, and I installed them on the bike.

Here’s Part 1 of the video review:

Testing Michelin’s new Anakee 3 motorcycle tire


After producing that video, I had the opportunity to take the bike out for a few more miles. I purposefully chose a couple of local roads that have a twisting, up/down hill component with an off camber surface. I wanted to see how these tires were going to grip, and attempt to compare them to tires I am comfortable with—the Metzeler Tourance.

I was quite surprised. These tires have a very good trip on the twisties. I found myself leaning through the curves at a higher than my usual pace. And, the bike just tracked where it was pointed. Secondly, and this one is very hard to quantify, I think these tires are actually quieter on the road than the Tourance.

Granted, this is just a first impression, but it is a very positive one. The real test of these tires is yet to come, and how many miles will I get out of them. The Michelin rep wants them tested “all the way to the end.”

Look for more review of these tires in the upcoming riding season.

See you on the highway.



23 Replies to “Testing the Anakee 3 motorcycle tire Part 1”

  1. Those are some interesting looking tires, Brent. I’ve ridden on the Anakees–good tire–and these look even better.

    Good review. Follow up on long-term wear later.


  2. The new Anakee 3 is available in a few sizes of 19″ and 21″ for the front, and 17″ for the rear. That suggests that Michelin has truly designed this tire for dual sports like the V-Strom, the KLR 650, and BMW GS models. –Brent

  3. Brent:

    I have the Anakee2 installed on my Vstrom. They were put on last spring before my trip to Hell’s Canyon, Oregon. I am not an aggressive rider but they feel like there is less rolling resistance and quieter than what was supplied from the factory. I also installed Michellin Pilot Road2’s on my BMW R1200R and I like them too. The PR3’s seemed a bit overkill for me as I don’t like to challenge the speed limit

    you are so lucky as you needed tires anyway. Maybe see you this year in your territory . . .

    Riding the Wet Coast

  4. Great review, looking for the follow-ups! Great opportunity, testing new tires on the West Coast! Here in Europe we’re kind of in the middle of the winter right now.. dreaming about our next adventures this year (=hibernating).

    I´ve got a Honda Transalp (allroad bike, I’d say), and I am thinking to buy Anakee 3´s as well. I´ve got good experience with Anakee 2 and Tourance (23.000+ km), now looking for something that goes a bit longer and without the loss of trust that I got from the Tourances in corners during the last 5.000 km or so (due to cupping perhaps). I intend riding 10000+kms during a long trip this summer, out of which ~300km would be offroad (and packed), meaning grevel paths and sometimes bad mountain roads (sometimes partly flushed by rivers, etc). From your experience, would you recommend buying this new tire? Or do you have any other alternatives which you think are better?

    Second: do you think these new tires would be slightly better for offroad, compared to Tourance or Anakee 2? The thread would profile say so, at least..

    Kind regards,

  5. Michael, I am in the Midwest. It’s 62 degrees today. It will be 22 tomorrow. That’s Ohio weather.

    My first impression: These Anakee 3 tires are great on the paved roads. The tread suggests they will be okay on the gravel and dirt roads. Will they be better than the Anakee 2 or Tourance? That’s what I hope to find out. Will I buy a set when these Anakee 3 tires are used up? I intend to determine that, too.

    Stay tuned. –Brent

  6. Brent…I am making a trip to Alaska and would be very interested in your findings on the Anakee 3. I have used the Anakee 2 on several long trips and have been completely satisfied, not counting the cupping of the front tire after 6000 miles. I have good experience in the muddy roads of Vietnam with the Anakee 2, but if the Anakee 3 is a longer mileage with the same preformance…..I’m in. Please keep me posted and send an email if you have time. Mike Mathews (Globerider2002)

  7. Mike, will do. I am anxious to see what kind of miles I will be getting out of the Anakee 3. Will they go the same distance as my Tourance rear–17,000? What I need now, is some good weather to put more miles on these tires. I plan several updates through the life of the tires. –Brent

  8. Brent,
    I am also waiting anxiously to hear the gravel part of the story… I’m ready to shop for tires and interested in these new Anakees for my DL650 but I definitely need to hear how they do on gravel.
    Thanks for your review, and get out there and thrash those tires!

  9. Brad, I’m just as anxious as you to learn how these tires are going to do on gravel. But alas, it’s mid-February here in Cincinnati. Freezing rain tonight! The weather will improve soon, and I’ll find that gravel. –Brent

  10. Hi Brent!
    I am from Hungary. My name is János. (My english is not the best.)
    I have a dl650 and I need to change my tires soon. How was the anake 3?

  11. Hi Janos! It’s nice to hear from the international audience. Yes, i can recommend the Anakee 3 tires. I was quite impressed with them on the pavement and especially in the rain. I think it’s a stretch to call them a dual sport tire, but if all your riding is on the pavement, you’ll love them. –Brent

  12. Thank you Brent!
    I’m glad that I found you.
    How was it off road?
    I had a continental trail attack 2. I loved id.
    What do you think? Is the Anakee 3 is better than trail attack?


  13. What kind of dirt? Single track? Gravel roads? Fire trails? I think the Anakee 3 will be okay on maintained gravel roads. I have had several sets of Metzeler Tourance and love them. On gravel roads, I would prefer the Tourance. On pavement, it’s going to be tough to beat the Anakee 3. The Tourance are a very clear 80/20 tire. Michelin will not suggest a rating for the Anakee 3–I’d give it at best a 90/10. I don’t have any experience with the Continental Trail Attack, so I can’t really comment on that comparison. –Brent

  14. Okay!
    That was a good recommendation! I’ll take the anakee 3. 😉

    Thank you Grant!

  15. I was at the BMW MOA Rally last year in Oregon and sat in on a Michelin Motorcycle Tire presentation. They advised that the Anakee 3 is a 90/10 tire. Not so good in the mud but decent on gravel, packed dirt and very good on the asphalt.

  16. Hey Brent,

    Thank you for the initial review, I am writing from Bogotá (Colombia), and I just arrived from a trip to Ecuador ( 4000 + Km) a couple of weeks ago with a pair of very worn out Trourance EXP tires which I am going to change in a couple of hours to the Anakee III (I read your review and saw the video and it was very helpfull). I have always been very happy with metzeler and giving another brand a try has been a decision in itself. I will be participating next month in a small amateur “regularity rally” up in the Andes mountains organized by Triumph (I ride an explorer XC) and will be hiting loads of dirt roads, fire roads, gravel (nothing too off-roadish) and proper tarmac (60% asphalt 40 Gravel and other light off-road)… so I think I´ll be able to give you guys some feed back.

  17. Jorge, if you are really going to be riding 60/40 pavements, then I cannot recommend the Anakee 3. It is fantastic on hard surface and incredible in the rain, but on unpaved roads … not so good. At best, I would give them a 90/10. They are a great tire on the paved highway. I prefer my Metzeler Tourance (not the EXP) for mixed surface riding. –Brent

  18. Hi
    Just fit a set of anakee 3 to my 2009 700 honda transalp . What can I say only brilliant , took the old trail wings off and fit the Michelins and it’s transformed the bike. No more steering wobble at low speed, and cornering is brilliant,
    Money well spent.
    Regards peter.

  19. 21/9/14 – Have a F650GS with the 800cc engine fitted new Anakee 3’s front and rear 12/6/16. Just checked tread and find I’m down to 2.5mm on BOTH wheels – Still legal of course but after 5624 miles on them they are wearing much faster than my previous Tourances expected 8k back and 12k front (had some 7 full sets on F650GS (single) – Vstrom (650) and two F650GS (800 model)

  20. Very interesting, Colin. I have a little more than 7,000 miles on these Anakee 3s now, and they look like they are barely half way. I too am a fan of the Tourance, but I have gotten quite a bit better mileage than you report. You don’t say where you are located. I have found that some regions of the country do road maintenance quite a bit differently–like chip and seal. These roads are terrible on tires. Of course, rider technique also has an impact. When these tires are done, I don’t know what I will put on. The Anakee 3 is a great road tire, not so good as a dual sport. –Brent

  21. Hi Brent!
    Thank you for your job and big review for Anakee 3

    So I have my BMW1200GS and last 2 seasons use Metz Tourance (not Exp). My Tourance gave me 21000 km motolife(!!!) and now its time to PITstop and change tires.
    So I like Tourance and for real allroad exept liquid mud and hard offroad and also they longlife! On good road at hot days I put my GS till boots in corners! Its Tourance!;)
    I never used Micheline before and think about Tourance Next.. But Next looks like “asphalt only” but I want more lite offroad.
    The manufacturer say that both tires Torance Next and Anakee3 is 90/10 use.
    But for me Anakee3 looks more offroad than Tourance Next..
    So what you think about this choice??
    What you would prefer as real allroad tires? (90/10 or 85/15)

    Thank you in advance.

    “From Russia with love!”

  22. Eldar, Thanks for writing. I am close to replacing the Anakee 3 tires, and can give some final thoughts on these tires. The Anakee 3s are great on the road, and I’m totally impressed with the tires in the rain. Near the end of their life, the front tire is showing some wear that reveals why it is so good in the twisties. It is softer and therefore more grippy than my beloved Tourance. The Anakees can dive into a corner with unbelievable confidence, but that comes at a cost–reduced mileage. The front tire is about half the life span of the Tourance. The front will need to be replaced by 10,000 miles. In fact, the front will need to be replaced before the rear, and that’s unusual in my experience. If you’re looking for a great road tire in the rain, these are it, but you will be buying tires more often. As for non-pavement, they are okay on gravel, but the Anakee 3 is not a dual sport tire–90/10 may be stretching it a bit. Not even close to the Tourance. The Tourance Next looks like it is trying to compete with the Anakee as a road tire–not for off road use.

    I will be replacing the Anakee 3 tires in the spring when riding resumes. I’ll be putting the Metzeler Tourance back on. They are a great tire with a long life.

    Again, thanks for writing.


  23. Colin Dawe says:

    September 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    21/9/14 – Have a F650GS with the 800cc engine fitted new Anakee 3’s front and rear 12/6/16. Just checked tread and find I’m down to 2.5mm on BOTH wheels

    Weird – Same bike, same tyres but I’m getting more mileage than the writer – mostly southern Scotland but through England, France and the Picos mountains (and back) as well!!

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