Motorcycles in the Dakar Rally Ride on Michelin Tires

MICHELIN is taking part in the 2011 Dakar Rally (Moto class event) – December 30th – January 16th, alongside its official partners KTM, BMW, Aprilia and Yamaha – with the MICHELIN Desert
Race tires developed specifically for the new 450cc bikes.

The new tire is the result of MICHELIN’s 30 years of experience in cross-country rallying.  Developed by engineers at the MICHELIN Technology Center in Clermont-Ferrand, the MICHELIN Desert Race has been adapted for the new 450cc prototype factory bikes.  The 450cc bikes developed by manufacturers make different demands on tires than the 690cc bikes of the past,” explains Christopher Chatras, head of off-road motorcycle racing. “The new machines are lighter, their weight is apportioned differently and the engine power is more effectively managed and transferred to the ground. In fact, the 450cc factory bikes deliver very high performance and thus make considerable demands on tires. The new MICHELIN Desert Race was developed for use with these new-generation motorcycles. It’s a versatile product that is suitable for the Dakar Rally’s different kinds of terrain, such as rocky trails and sand.

The B-mousse puncture-resistance system was developed in the early 1980s by MICHELIN, which won the 1983 Dakar Rally with Hubert Auriol. Bib-mousse is a ring of foam that provides constant tire pressure of 1.2 bar. Bib-mousse technology eliminates inner tubes and thus the need for air-inflated tires. It’s lighter than an inner tube and delivers superior performance thanks to end-of-process weight gains. But above all Bib-mousse is reassuring to riders. Because the ring of foam is highly impact-resistant, it prevents the sudden blowouts that bikers fear.

Since last summer, the new MICHELIN Desert Race has undergone some 3,000 kilometers of tests in race conditions, including a number of stages of the Shamrock Rally. The results speak for themselves.”

The MICHELIN Desert Race has a symmetrical tread that is deeply grooved on the shoulders, with more widely spaced tread blocks. The new tread delivers improved handling, grip and responsiveness and makes it easier to maintain a trajectory without sacrificing the longevity and versatility that have built the reputation of MICHELIN’s cross-country tires. The MICHELIN Desert Race was designed for use with the Bib-mousse safety system.