A family owned and run motorcycle racing team competing in the British Superbike Championship has replaced the Michelin steer tyres on its 1995 Mercedes-Benz 814 transporter after more than 300,000km in service. The truck is used to carry the team and its equipment to circuits across the UK, Ireland and the continent.
Michelin Tyres Optimise Performance for Phil Wakefield Racing
Phil Wakefield Racing has owned the 7.5-tonne truck since it was three years old, with the most recent set of 215/75 R17.5 Michelin XZE2 steer tyres proving faultless in their long service. The team selected the next generation Michelin X Multi Z fitments as a precaution due to age, with joint owner, Peter Wakefield, saying, “You really can’t argue with having to buy a new set of steer tyres after 300,000km. For a 17.5” truck tyre that’s pretty remarkable; we certainly got our value for money!”
Commenting on his maintenance regime, he adds: “As you might expect for a motorcycle race team, we pay very close attention to tyre inflation pressures and we make sure to rotate the truck’s wheels to avoid flat-spotting if there’s a big gap between races. It’s certainly paid off and the tyres have continued to perform really well for us. The truck might be 25 years old, but we didn’t hesitate in replacing like-for-like and investing in Michelin tyres again.”
The Mercedes-Benz doubles up as a transporter and living accommodation for the team at races, carrying the bikes, spare parts and offering accommodation on board for six, including a shower. Once parked at the track, the team unfurl a 14×4m awning from the side of the body, providing a covered area for working on the bikes.
Michelin’s X Multi Z tyres in 17.5” and 19.5” sizes offer long-lasting grip in all weather conditions and on slippery surfaces, featuring the highly-desirable 3 Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) markings on the sidewall, after passing tests in defined snow-bound conditions. This is combined with excellent traction throughout the tyre’s lifespan, from the first to the last millimetre of tread. The tyres can also be regrooved and retreaded, to extend the life of the casing and reduce environmental impact.
This year Phil Wakefield Racing is running a single bike in the championship due to the shorter race calendar, ridden by Phil, who has been competing professionally for 16 years. In a normal season the team prepare and enter a second race bike for an independent rider, plus they take part in winter testing in Spain during January and February.