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Are Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 really NOT directional???

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Are Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 really NOT directional???

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Old 11-20-2014, 09:07 AM
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Are Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 really NOT directional???

Hey everyone, haven’t posted here for a while.

The manufacturer, as well as every place on the internet claims that Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 are asymmetric but NOT directional. Looking at the tires, you can clearly see that the tread is different on the left and the right side of the tire (as expected.) However, you can also clearly see that the diagonal groves will move water away from the tire as it rotates in one direction, and toward the center of the tire if it rotates in the other direction, this should also make the tire “directional.”

Now, the problem is that, if a tire is both asymmetric AND directional you need a separate part number for the left and the right tire to make each side of the car perform the same/look symmetrical. On the left tire the groves should turn in one direction and on the right tire the grove should turn in the other direction. Yet, Michelin has only one part number for this tire, and every single picture of that tire on internet has the groves turn only in one direction.

Has anyone else noticed that?

Why wouldn’t Michelin make the left and the right tire?

Is Michelin making an incorrect claim that this tire is not direction, and makes everyone mount the “left” tire on both the right and the left side of the vehicle?
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:44 AM
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I've seen a few tires like this, and I'm glad they're getting more common. The drawback to uni directional tires is that they always roll in one direction and get much noisier as they age, even with regular rotation which is only front to back and back to front due to their directionality.

The "somewhat directional" tires like the pilot sports only have to be rotated with "this side facing outward." It offers some or most of the benefits of uni directional tires, plus criss cross rotation. 5k miles of the tire rolling forward and 5k miles of the tire rolling backward. The tire wears more evenly, and also stay quiet like new for their entire lifespan, assuming regular rotations of course.

Last edited by dwapenyi; 11-20-2014 at 11:54 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:14 AM
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But if they are not intended to be used as directional, why does the tread look directional?
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by DrKlop View Post
But if they are not intended to be used as directional, why does the tread look directional?
Just to be clear, you are talking about these;

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/BigPic...Speed+Rated%29

...and yeah, I know what you mean. Apparently the computer modelling results when they tested the tread showed that even when mounted "backward" they still perform within spec. Not only that, even more impressive is that they can make this tire with the same tread pattern as Y rated (186 mph!)

I guess the tire companies learned something from all those guys driving with their uni-directional tires mounted backwards. I would tell them to be careful driving in the rain because their tires are on backwards. Of course they'd look at me with this WTF look.
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:36 AM
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Yap, that's the tire I"m talking it. Well, thanks for confirming that there is nothing wrong with this tread pattern.
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Old 02-01-2015, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dwapenyi View Post
I've seen a few tires like this, and I'm glad they're getting more common. The drawback to uni directional tires is that they always roll in one direction and get much noisier as they age, even with regular rotation which is only front to back and back to front due to their directionality.

The "somewhat directional" tires like the pilot sports only have to be rotated with "this side facing outward." It offers some or most of the benefits of uni directional tires, plus criss cross rotation. 5k miles of the tire rolling forward and 5k miles of the tire rolling backward. The tire wears more evenly, and also stay quiet like new for their entire lifespan, assuming regular rotations of course.
Very interesting information. Your comment about noise reduction is of particular interest to me ... I have bought these tires last year, and I plan to rotate in 2k miles (about 3 months). Is it indeed safe to cross-rotate? I guess I should check with the manufacturer, somehow.

On a different note, these tires are good; about as good as my previous tire (Bridgestone Pole Position).
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by maxiiiboy View Post
.....Is it indeed safe to cross-rotate? ........
Yup. That's the beauty of this type of tread pattern. Somewhere on the sidewall you will see the statement "this side facing outward" or words to that effect. Mount them any direction you want so long as you can read those letters when looking at the car from outside.
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Old 02-01-2015, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dwapenyi View Post
Yup. That's the beauty of this type of tread pattern. Somewhere on the sidewall you will see the statement "this side facing outward" or words to that effect. Mount them any direction you want so long as you can read those letters when looking at the car from outside.
So, I went to Michelin's Web site to check this out: http://www.michelinman.com/tires-101...-rotation.page
Interestingly, they neither show nor recommend cross-rotation at all. All the patterns suggested by them keep each tire on the side where it was originally mounted; basically just switching Front <-> Rear. This makes me reluctant to do cross-rotation, as much as I would love to eliminate increasing road noise as the tire wears out.

Does anybody have real and extensive experience with this?
(I do, but a very old one. In 1970-72, I cross-switched Michelin tires on my Renault 16 and the tires developed bulges and thread separation. Ruined the tire, which normally lasted 70,000+ miles. And yes, these were non-directional tires as directional tires did not even exist in those days).

Last edited by maxiiiboy; 02-01-2015 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:52 PM
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That link is generic and refers to all Michelin uni directional tires. If these tires were uni directional, there would be an arrow on the sidewall showing that it should only be rolling in one direction.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:33 PM
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No, Michelin is not misleading you

Originally Posted by DrKlop View Post
Hey everyone, haven’t posted here for a while.

The manufacturer, as well as every place on the internet claims that Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 are asymmetric but NOT directional. Looking at the tires, you can clearly see that the tread is different on the left and the right side of the tire (as expected.) However, you can also clearly see that the diagonal groves will move water away from the tire as it rotates in one direction, and toward the center of the tire if it rotates in the other direction, this should also make the tire “directional.”

Now, the problem is that, if a tire is both asymmetric AND directional you need a separate part number for the left and the right tire to make each side of the car perform the same/look symmetrical. On the left tire the groves should turn in one direction and on the right tire the grove should turn in the other direction. Yet, Michelin has only one part number for this tire, and every single picture of that tire on internet has the groves turn only in one direction.

Has anyone else noticed that?

Why wouldn’t Michelin make the left and the right tire?

Is Michelin making an incorrect claim that this tire is not direction, and makes everyone mount the “left” tire on both the right and the left side of the vehicle?
You do understand that when you cross rotate this tire from the left side to the right side the thread pattern mirrors, causing the asymmetry to get reversed? This will make the diagonal groves will move water away from the tire regardless of whether it is mounted on the left or the right side, as long as it's mounted correctly.



When mounted like the images above, the same tire part will rotate anti-clockwise, as forward, when mounted on the left and clockwise, as forward, when mounted on the right. Therefore they are not directional. They can provide forward traction, propelling water away from the tire, when it rolls in either direction, provided proper mounting. So there's no need of a different part for left and right respectively.

I think the response that says wrongly mounted tires perform to spec is fake news. I don't know why tire manufacturers would computer model tires mounted incorrectly just to see if it operates to spec. If so, why bother designing tread patterns at all? Why have symmetric/directional and asymmetric/non-directional treads at all? These are all progression of engineering. Asymmetric tires like these are the best, rolls either way, rotates cross and wears much more evenly (by also considering driving patterns/habits)* giving a better overall lifespan.

* Driving patterns: If you hit a tiny pothole every day to work on the left side only, the wear from that can be taken by all four tires over the lifespan of these tires. Directional tires on the other hand will show excessive wear on the left side only.
* Driving habits: If you corner to the right very aggressively once you reach your apartment complex, on the way back home from work every day, the excess wear on the right will be shared by all 4 tires over the tire lifespan. Directional tires on the other hand will show excessive wear on the right side only.
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