Jump to content

Michelin Starcross 5 Hard review. Not a good one.

Recommended Posts

I have been doing a lot of riding on some very hard packed terrain lately.  Its a demanding application for any tire in terms of traction and especially wear.  I've been running intermediate terrain tires with limited success but nothing lasts very long or works very well.  After finishing off another MX52 rear, I thought I would try a hard terrain specific tire.  Since Dunlop doesn't make one in the Geomax line I ordered up a Starcross 5 Hard 110/90-19.

The tire is narrower than I expected for the size.  Looks more like a 100/90 than a 110.  Who cares though, whatever works.  My first impressions were actually quite favorable.  It hooks up well and on sandy, loose soils too.  Grip on hard surfaces is good and the steep profile of the tire works well at high lean angles.  No problems with it at all until I took a break and looked at the tire.  With about 20 minutes of riding the knobs were completely rounded off.  Looked like it had four hard rides on it after 20 minutes.  I was even taking it easy on putting power down to minimize wear on the brand new knobby.  This thing is without a doubt the most rapidly wearing tire I've ever used, and on the exact type of terrain it is designed for.

Next up is a Motoz Tractionator Desert HT.  I hope to get longer life out of a DOT approved knobby, and this one looks promising.  Ideally I would go for a Kenda K270 but they are not available in a 19" size.  Those wear like iron and work well on a variety of terrain.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, turbo dan said:

I have been doing a lot of riding on some very hard packed terrain lately.  Its a demanding application for any tire in terms of traction and especially wear.  I've been running intermediate terrain tires with limited success but nothing lasts very long or works very well.  After finishing off another MX52 rear, I thought I would try a hard terrain specific tire.  Since Dunlop doesn't make one in the Geomax line I ordered up a Starcross 5 Hard 110/90-19.

The tire is narrower than I expected for the size.  Looks more like a 100/90 than a 110.  Who cares though, whatever works.  My first impressions were actually quite favorable.  It hooks up well and on sandy, loose soils too.  Grip on hard surfaces is good and the steep profile of the tire works well at high lean angles.  No problems with it at all until I took a break and looked at the tire.  With about 20 minutes of riding the knobs were completely rounded off.  Looked like it had four hard rides on it after 20 minutes.  I was even taking it easy on putting power down to minimize wear on the brand new knobby.  This thing is without a doubt the most rapidly wearing tire I've ever used, and on the exact type of terrain it is designed for.

Next up is a Motoz Tractionator Desert HT.  I hope to get longer life out of a DOT approved knobby, and this one looks promising.  Ideally I would go for a Kenda K270 but they are not available in a 19" size.  Those wear like iron and work well on a variety of terrain.

Ya I did some what of a review on the HARD's last when I was looking at input before buying them.

To preface tires are very subjective and IMO it depends on terrain, PSI, and how your ride them.

I went from a Maxxis Desert IT to the HARD last year for the summer riding in dry/rocky/hard terrain in the summer and for the same size tire it looks higher and narrow before mounted but once on the 19" at the time it seemed about the same size overall.

20160604_143905.thumb.jpg.33db6150c1c79e667b5517a55855dc4a.jpg

Then I rode the living crap out of this from June until November (maybe 30 hrs) in a wide variety of terrain and IMO it held up extremely well and actually worked great at 2ish PSI in the fall in slippery/snotty terrain. I've still got it kicking around so I can take an after pic tomorrow.

I don't think I would buy one again but IMO as far as durability for where and how I ride it is as durable as the Desert IT so slightly surprised at the wear on your tire BUT you are in New Mexico and I have a pretty good idea of how HARD/ROCKY it is there :)

I've since finally put on a 18" and and testing out a Shinko 505 but thats a whole different topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking about giving this tire a try but after your review you saved me some money . I was hoping it was like the old starcross hp4 they discountiued years ago that thing was super durable sucked in the gravel but was ok everywhere else. But when I buy a tire I look for longevity more than anything else. Most of my trails I have to connect to on about ten miles of pavement so they wear down fast if it's not a decent tire. I have been running the x40 for I think about two years now they are fairly durable and hook up pretty well in the harder stuff. I was running the geomax 71 before the x40 and was quite mad when they discountiued that tire as well. Thanks for the review.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't regret trying the Michelin HARDS front/rear but IMO the Maxxis Desert IT is my all around go to durable tire for all types of terrain cus it and works excellent at LOW PSI with UHD tubes.

Just my 2 cents and too many tires and not enough time/$$$ :)

Edited by filterx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, filterx said:

I don't regret trying the Michelin HARDS front/rear but IMO the Maxxis Desert IT is my all around go to durable tire for all types of terrain cus it and works excellent at LOW PSI with UHD tubes.

Just my 2 cents and too many tires and not enough time/$$$ :)

I got a pair in may garage waiting for my current dunshots to burn up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have not tried the Bridgestone X40.  Was considering it but I think the Motoz is more likely to meet my expectations.

The Michelin performs well but the wear was far beyond what I would have expected.  It would likely last longer in a variety of conditions but on dry hardpack it wears horribly.  For this type of terrain the rubber compound is clearly wrong and there is not enough rubber on the ground.

If I were running it hard I am 100% certain that I would have destroyed that tire in one tank of fuel.  Piss poor durability.  Worst I've ever seen.  The K270 on my KDX has done 3000 miles, split between pavement and dirt with a great deal of time on the same track that tore up this Michelin.  It does show considerable wear but its seen literally 200x more usage than the Starcross and its still hooking up.  I don't take it easy on the KDX either, its just that the Kenda is a good tire and the Michelin is not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, turbo dan said:

I have been doing a lot of riding on some very hard packed terrain lately.  Its a demanding application for any tire in terms of traction and especially wear.  I've been running intermediate terrain tires with limited success but nothing lasts very long or works very well.  After finishing off another MX52 rear, I thought I would try a hard terrain specific tire.  Since Dunlop doesn't make one in the Geomax line I ordered up a Starcross 5 Hard 110/90-19.

The tire is narrower than I expected for the size.  Looks more like a 100/90 than a 110.  Who cares though, whatever works.  You should care because if it isn't the correct configuration the "Bow or curvature" of the tire on the rim will have an impact on how it performs and wears.  It would act the same and wear faster like if you put a 125 tire on a 450. 

My first impressions were actually quite favorable.  It hooks up well and on sandy, loose soils too.  Grip on hard surfaces is good and the steep profile of the tire works well at high lean angles.  "Steep profile"...what does that mean?  As in the tire is much higher in the center of the knobby pattern?

No problems with it at all until I took a break and looked at the tire.  With about 20 minutes of riding the knobs were completely rounded off.  Looked like it had four hard rides on it after 20 minutes.  I was even taking it easy on putting power down to minimize wear on the brand new knobby.  This thing is without a doubt the most rapidly wearing tire I've ever used, and on the exact type of terrain it is designed for.  How much time does the tire have on it in the pic you posted?  It appears to have some hard acceleration wear to the leading edge of the knobs peeling like that. 

Next up is a Motoz Tractionator Desert HT.  I hope to get longer life out of a DOT approved knobby, and this one looks promising.  Ideally I would go for a Kenda K270 but they are not available in a 19" size.  Those wear like iron and work well on a variety of terrain.  I have the MotoZ HT on my KTM 500EXC and after 200 miles of everything from pavement to sharp edged rocks it shows little wear on the leading edges.  Great traction in the rocks, hard packed and intermediate terrain.  Not as good in the sand as I thought it would be but still much better than the Maxxis Desert.  It has really stiff sidewalls and is a tough one to mount by hand but that also allows me to run lower air pressures to improve traction with little risk of pinch flats.  Overall I am pleased with it so far.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the starcross 5 med rear tire and so far have been liking it. It looks on the narrow side. but good so far, only about 3 rides on it. Some tires look worn but still grip decently, not saying that's the case for you, just pointing it out. Mx52 rear starts rounding relatively quick for me, but does well

Edited by RawbW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, yzernie said:

 

I mounted their 110/90-19 on a 2.15 inch wide rim.  I can only assume the profile and width of the tire as installed are by design.  I don't care it it looks skinny or is actually narrower than other tires in the same size if that's how Michelin intended it to be.

You are correct, profile is referring to the roundness of the tire from the center to the shoulder knobs.  This one rolls over quite a bit toward the shoulder.

The tire in the pic has less than one tank of fuel on it.  About 45 minutes of riding.  Taking it relatively easy since it was a brand new knobby.  The pic is taken from the right rear of the bike so the rotation is clockwise from that perspective.  The leading edge of the knobs is heavily rounded and the trailing edge is torn up as well. 

Next ride I'll see how it looks after some really aggressive riding.  I was taking it pretty easy but I have the Motoz on the way and it seems that the Michelin is going to wear out rapidly no matter what I do to it.  If I took that much off of it in 45 minutes riding a gear high and taking inside lines its going to be ugly when I really unload on it.

 

7 hours ago, RawbW said:

I have the starcross 5 med rear tire and so far have been liking it. It looks on the narrow side. but good so far, only about 3 rides on it. Some tires look worn but still grip decently, not saying that's the case for you, just pointing it out. Mx52 rear starts rounding relatively quick for me, but does well

I had much better results by comparison with the Starcross 5 Medium, at least in terms of wear.  Lasted a lot longer than the Hard version.  Traction with the Hard is quite good but its going away fast.  The MX52 was not as good as the SC5 Medium in terms of either wear or traction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@turbo dan

yep, if I had to pick between starcross med and mx52 is pick the 5 medium, it's seems to hook in a wider variety of terrain. The mx52 seems to only do ok. Next tire tries for me will be the Michelin m12 front with s12 rear. Or just a set of x30s. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, turbo dan said:

I mounted their 110/90-19 on a 2.15 inch wide rim.  I can only assume the profile and width of the tire as installed are by design.  I don't care it it looks skinny or is actually narrower than other tires in the same size if that's how Michelin intended it to be.

You are correct, profile is referring to the roundness of the tire from the center to the shoulder knobs.  This one rolls over quite a bit toward the shoulder.

The tire in the pic has less than one tank of fuel on it.  About 45 minutes of riding.  Taking it relatively easy since it was a brand new knobby.  The pic is taken from the right rear of the bike so the rotation is clockwise from that perspective.  The leading edge of the knobs is heavily rounded and the trailing edge is torn up as well. 

Next ride I'll see how it looks after some really aggressive riding.  I was taking it pretty easy but I have the Motoz on the way and it seems that the Michelin is going to wear out rapidly no matter what I do to it.  If I took that much off of it in 45 minutes riding a gear high and taking inside lines its going to be ugly when I really unload on it.

 

Seems like a lot of wear for a 45 minute ride.  I wonder if it was old stock and had dried out a bit. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the wear in such a short time I'd say 'it depends'...

if turbo dan was trail riding / off-roading in hard terrain which includes a lot of rocks/boulders & rocky hill climbs I'd say that wear is to be expected.

 

The Starcross 5 Hard is marketed as a motocross race tire, not an off-road one.

(race also meaning performance is the priority over longetivity)

In 'hard terrain' Michelin no doubt means hard packed dirt, conditions as found on west coast MX tracks. 

Edited by mlatour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pure track riding.  I expected better since the Michelin website shows this tire mounted on a CRF roosting rock chunks.  It'd do that for about half an hour...

I've been running "race" tires for a very long time.  Used to love the old D756.  I'd probably still be running those if I could.  Been through my fair share of MX51/71/52's and a few MH3 and Starcross 5's.  Wear is certainly to be expected.  The Starcross 5 Hard is well below par in that regard.  I would have expected at least similar durability as I got out of the Medium.  Turned out not even close.

If all else fails I'll order up an 18" rear wheel and run some dual sport knobbies.  The K270 is a very good all around tire that wears better than anything else I've found yet.  I hope the Motoz H/T is 80% as good.  Looks pretty good but it doesn't have quite the knob density of the Kenda. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed then for 45 minutes of track riding that's surely a disappointment.

Versus the previous 3's, the new 5 series have one less ply (MS & MH)

the Hard thread pattern looks pretty much identical to the previous HP4, maybe the compound has changed as well ?

 

I'm really glad I ride on soft/sandy/loamy tracks where wear isn't an issue like this,

I think I've worn more rubber in the parking area to and from the tracks than all the laps ridden in 5 years.

Edited by mlatour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we definitely need to get this rear tire game figured out ASAFP.  a buddy of mine just bought some pirelli scorpion XCs.. $177 per tire!!!!!  his race discount came to like $145 per tire.. thats still crazy expensive, for one damn rear tire that we destroy in 2 rides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, yzernie said:

Seems like a lot of wear for a 45 minute ride.  I wonder if it was old stock and had dried out a bit. 

 

check the 4 numbers in the little bubble on the tire.   first 2 numbers is the week of the year, 2nd two numbers are the year.   I just bought tires that said something like 3115. 

 

made 31st week of 2015.. still somewhat fresh id say. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, yzernie said:

Seems like a lot of wear for a 45 minute ride.  I wonder if it was old stock and had dried out a bit. 

The one advantage of a DOT rated tire.  The manufacture date is stamped on the sidewall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Michelin was made in March 2016.  If age was an issue I would expect the knobs to be chunking off though.  That's usually what old tires do.  This one is plenty pliable.  Just too soft.

The K270 on my KDX was made Feb. 2016.  Still looking great for what its been through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×