Pirelli Vs. Michelin Dirt Bike Tires

The basics get forgotten in the discussions of who has the best OEM motorcycle fairings or highest performing clutches. Aftermarket mods don’t make any difference with worn-down tires. If you’re looking to get a new set, you’re probably trying to decide which models to buy. Pirelli and Michelin have some of the most popular motorcycle tires for sale on the market today. Picking between the two brands comes down to what qualities you look for in a dirt bike tire.

Why Should You Choose Pirelli?

Pirelli is a long-time Italian tire brand known for its excellence. Founded in 1872, the company has been designing and making tires for nearly as long as anyone.

The brand is probably associated more with top-of-the-line sport bikes than dirt bikes. In fact, Ducati selected the manufacturer’s products to be stock on many of its premium motorcycles. Still, Pirelli creates some of the top off-road racing and training tires in the world.

Pirelli’s Scorpion tires are the choice of more than a few professional motocross and supercross competitors. They have a large contact area for better traction especially in slippery conditions. The design also provides superior stability for high-speed cornering. The Soft, Mid Soft, Mid Hard, and Hard models allow you to tackle any off-road terrain.

When you’re getting tires this exceptional, you know you’re going to pay the price. Scorpions are expensive enough to make many bikers reconsider a weekend of intense riding. Still, if you must have the best dirt bike tires, you’re going to choose Pirelli every time.

Why Should You Choose Michelin?

If Pirelli is known for its association with high-performance vehicles, Michelin is associated with cars. The French manufacturer is the second largest maker of tires in the world after only Bridgestone. It makes a lot of different tires for machines of all kinds. While it has always had a presence in the dirt bike community, it’s never been associated with great off-road rubber.

That could be changing with the StarCross 5 series, which is changing minds among dirt bikers. Available in four models for hard, intermediate, soft, and sandy terrains, the StarCross 5 tires are outperforming similar models. If the increase in design quality wasn’t enough, they’re also reasonably priced. The combination of durability, traction, and cost make these an excellent value for recreational riders.

While Michelin’s standards have definitely increased, it has to be said they’re still a little behind Pirelli’s quality. For dirt bikers who ride hard in high-risk situations, the Scorpion series provides better performance and more peace of mind.

Who Should You Pick?

Price is probably going to be your major deciding factor. If you want lower price on a solid tire, Michelin’s StarCross 5s fit all your needs. If you must have the best, Pirelli’s tires are at the top of the list. Many recreational riders could go with the French brand and not notice the difference. On the other hand, a little extra traction from the Italian Scorpions could make all the difference for hardcore competitors. Take those old tires off your bike and get back to riding.