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Old 14th June 2010, 17:12   #1
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Thumbs up Michelin XM1+ 145/80 R12 - Initial Ownership Review (500 kms)

Car : Alto LXi
Tyre Reviewed : Michelin XM1+
KMS run : 500 (appx)
Old Tyres : JK Ultima XP
Specs : 145/80 R12 (old and new)

This is a follow up to this post :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...45-80-r12.html (Alto Tyre Change : From JK Ultima XP to Michelin XM1+ (145/80 R12))

The Review:

Start:
4 PM. It was the time we were supposed to start. But if everything happens as planned, there is no interest in life huh? I was still working in office, and it was the call from my wifey that reminded me. Quickly I picked the keys and started running to my Honda Unicorn.

On the way home, I was little thrilled about taking my Alto to Yelagiri. Alto and Thrill? Okay that's an oxymoron. I know! The little thrill was because of the new Michelin XM1+ Tubeless tyres I fitted a week ago. After fitting the tyres, I never had a chance to take my Alto out for a long drive. The brief drive from Tambaram to Velachery did not give any remarkable chances to evaluate the tyres.

But once the yelagiri trip was finalized, I was like And the following things were circling before my eyes like the old movies's flashback wheel -

- New tyres
- A 450 kms highway drive on a busy NH (Chennai - Bangalore)
- 50+ kms on hill road that has 14 hair pin bends.


Filling up
It was almost 5.00pm in the evening and we had to rush a little to get started. My wife wanted to reach Yelagiri before 8pm as she was little concerned about the hill drive and rainy weather all over. I assured her about the new tyres and we started off at 5.30pm. As that was a friday evening, the traffic was heavy but fairly driveable without any jams near kathipara flyover and manapakkam DLF. I filled my Alto at Porur Shell and reached the NH near Saveetha University. Till Sriperumbuthur, I had to negotiate convoys of lorries and local residents who drive bajaj platinas, tvs stars, at 90kmph. The curious part is that none of the two wheelers drive on the service lane. They all try to overtake the lorries and buses on the right side and panic other 4 wheelers that comes behind them. Our system needs proper education on highway driving.


Noise
After the toll at Sriperumbudhur, the road was better with less traffic. I pressed the gas gently and my Alto moved beyond 70 kmph. I was closely observing for any tyre noises. My old JK Ultimas used to create vibration at 70-80 and 100-110 speeds. The whole car will shake as though it was riding on a rough road. But with Michelin's there was no noise at all. PASS!

The car was virtually silent compared to the JK Ultima XP experience. I even decreased the audio volume level to 14. We normally keep it at 18 during highway drives. Such was the noise from JK Ultima XP. I pressed the gas more and she moved beyond 100 almost reaching 110. Again, no noises, except the minor uneven road bumps. PASS!

Braking
Wifey was happily conversing with me and I pointed out that previously the car used to be noisy and now, the sound is almost reduced to 80%. I was telling about the difference between Tubeless and Tubes, and whoa! the Zen Estilo in front of me suddenly pulled over to the left to enter a petrol bunk. I pressed my brakes and reduced the speed to almost stop. The braking was smooth and I noticed the difference. With my JK Ultimas, the braking was rough but spot on. On contrary, the Michelins took a second or two more to bring the car to stop. I guess that was because of the soft compound and less rolling resistance. Let's say, if the JK Ultima XP took 20 meters to stop, Michelins took 22 meters, for 90-0 stop. Well that's a ballpark calculation just to give you the idea.

Handling
I made a mental note and decided to adjust my braking pattern here after. We moved on and when crossing Damal, I had to overtake a couple of lorries and vans who were already in the process of overtaking each other. I pressed the gas and closed in the first lorry, passed to it's right, wow, applied a little brake, said wow, pushed the winkers to left and overtook the van ahead. Again wow, and did the same for the rest of the convoy. Once I overtook them, I was thoroughly impressed with the handling. Michelins responded better than JK Ultimas. PASS!

Coffee Break
We had our coffee break at Vellore Saravana Bhavan and moved on. The ride continued at a steady 100kmph. The ride was cool and exciting. I guess the Michelin's sweet spot is 80 to 100 kmph. No rolling noise, better comfort and great handling. Cruise comfort - PASS!

Wet Roads
After crossing Vellore, we were met with rain showers. I was like again. Time to check the rain driving. I reduced the speed to 80 and purposely drove through the water patches. Guess what? I found the tyres to be too good as they were on dry roads. I pressed the gas more and reached close to 100 and yet the car was stable and very much controllable. Looking at the speedo wifey became bit uncomfortable, so I slowed down to 80. Wet road driveability - PASS!

Hair Pins
To reach the hill road of Yelagiri, you need to take a diversion from the highway and enter the state highway road to Tirupatthur. Once you reach the base, the hill roads starts and the climb was decent. Not too steep. It was night and so the traffic was virtually NILL. After getting used to the first 3 hairpin bends, I tried the 4th hairpin bend a bit fast (20+ i guess). I guess Michelin XM1+ are good in handling the corners. The car was completely under control. Somwhere near the 7th hairpin bend I saw a passenger bus ahead. I was following the bus for sometime and at one point the driver gave a go ahead and moved to his left. I pressed the gas and overtook the bus. There were gravels and mud to the right edge of the road, and the Michelin glided over them without any hiccups. The overtake was success and the Michelins took all the gravel abuses without any issues. - PASS!

Evening Nail
Spent saturday and sunday at Zeenath Taj Garden resort. No long drives during the stay as Yelagiri is a small village. Just visited the Nilavur boat house on bumpy roads. On sunday, enjoyed a nice Mutton Briyani for lunch and took a little nap before starting to chennai. Just when I reached the main road from the resort I noted little "thump thump thump" noise from the front right tyre. I parked the car and checked the tyre. A rusty nail was in. Not sure how it managed to find it way into the tyre. But to my amazement the tyre was still strong. Unlike the tube tyres which goes flabby and pulls dangerouly to a corner, this one stood rock steady. It appeared that even if I ignored the thumps and drove to chennai, they might withstand without any issues.

Salt in Coffee
Immediately pulled over to safe side and changed the wheels. The stepney was the old OE JK Ultima XP. The patterns were different and when cruising down the hill, the quality of ride became not-much-enjoyable. It was like adding a spoon of salt to a perfect rich filter coffee (I love filter coffee). You can't drink and you can't spit, but evidently you have no other choice except to drink it. That was what I felt with the OE JK Ultima. On the highway the difference was much more clear. The JK's produced a good amount of noise. Performance is way below the michelin level.

Fix baby Fix
This morning I visited Rao tyres to fix the tyre. The tubless tyre puncture fix is the same as mentioned in the TBHP thread. It just took 10 mins to fix the tyre. Another 10 mins to lift the car and replace the wheels.It cost me Rs.150. I am not sure, if this is the price charged in Chennai. Chennai BHPians - please let me know.

Once fixed, I immediately noticed the quality of ride. It was far far better than JK Ultimas.


Conclusion
Concluding, Michelin XM1+ are ideal tyres for comfort ride and yet they are very capable to drive anywhere. Surprisingly I had the opportunities to test the tyres in dry, wet and even a puncture stability in just one drive. Do I recommend the tyres ? Yes, but this is too early to conclude anything from a 500 kms drive. But from this drive, I sense that Michelin XM1+ are very good so far, very promising and gives you peace of mind. I will update the review once i cross 5000 kms.

For now, I give a big to Michelin XM1+


PICs below :
1. Ready for the drive
2. The Nail
3. Nailing out
4. Cleaning the hole
5. Pushing the filler in
Attached Images
     

Last edited by rajeshsundaram : 14th June 2010 at 17:20.
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Old 14th June 2010, 18:18   #2
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Tough luck on your new rubber. Keep a puncture repair kit(costs 250-500Rs) with you at all times. The spare JK played spoilsport, are you changing it for an XM1+?

Overall, the tires turned out well & I will upgrade to them in future. A captivating read.
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Old 14th June 2010, 18:29   #3
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Question: How do you know for tubeless tyres that there is a puncture. AFAIK there would be a slow yet gradual loss of air. Is that correct ???
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Old 14th June 2010, 18:38   #4
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@quadra - That's what I have noticed as well. I guess we can run another 50 odd kms with a punctured tyre from the time its punctured. We can notice it like the normal tires. The only difference would be that it would take a longer time for the tyre to become completely flat.
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Old 14th June 2010, 18:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCause View Post
Keep a puncture repair kit(costs 250-500Rs) with you at all times.
Heeeyyy!! I was told it costs around 700 bucks. Hain??!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeshsundaram View Post
Specs : 145/80 R12 (old and new)
I have the same on my zen.

Quote:
The little thrill was because of the new Michelin XM1+ Tubeless tyres I fitted a week ago. After fitting the tyres, I never had a chance to take my Alto out for a long drive.
I know the feeling man! I drove till Harihar with my new set.
Quote:
tvs stars, at 90kmph. The curious part is that none of the two wheelers drive on the service lane. They all try to overtake the lorries and buses on the right side and panic other 4 wheelers that comes behind them. Our system needs proper education on highway driving.
Ohh please. People have grown old on this forum discussing about this topic.

Good review man. Frankly I could not make out much with my XM1+ because I guess I was running stock Good Years before that.
My wife is driving down to Kolhapur sometime this week and will update with her reviews as well.
Thanks for sharing. Will tell wifey about this. Perhaps it'll add to her confidence.

Last edited by prince_pervez : 14th June 2010 at 18:43.
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Old 14th June 2010, 19:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
Heeeyyy!! I was told it costs around 700 bucks. Hain??!
A good one in Delhi costs Rs.500 & is good for 4 repairs . As you can see, the whole process requires only the pliers & the plunger 'T' shaped contraption and the filler, so 700 is a bit over the top. Considering tyre guys charge anything from Rs.100-200 on each repair depending upon your desperation, its a nice thing to keep.

Last edited by Rehaan : 15th June 2010 at 19:27. Reason: Quote fixed.
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Old 14th June 2010, 20:00   #7
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^^ Correct and there is a video of the tubeless tyre repair process somewhere in this forum as well. I'm not confident that I'll have time to repair a tube less tyre puncture myself and doubly not sure if the consultant down the street will know a lot about how to fix these tyres. So I carry a tubed spare with me. I think I heard the Michelin guys say that you can fit a tube in the tubeless, fill air and get going, just in case.
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Old 15th June 2010, 09:53   #8
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Nice review, Rajesh! But from Tambaram why did you go to Kathipara to enter the B'lore highway? Why not just take the bye-pass road at Tambaram or even the Mudichur road?
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:03   #9
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@gansan,

Actually I live in Velachery and not Tambaram. So my route is to take Kathipara - Porur.
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Old 15th June 2010, 11:08   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadra View Post
Question: How do you know for tubeless tyres that there is a puncture. AFAIK there would be a slow yet gradual loss of air. Is that correct ???
@quadra

Once I crossed the resort's mud road and reached the main road, I noticed there was frequent "thump thump thump" sound from the tyre. Only then I suspected something wrong with it. Stopped the car, inspected the tyre and found the nail there!

Yes right. There was minimal loss of air. From sunday evening till monday noon, the tyre was rock solid. Infact it retained almost 90% of the air inside till the mouth valve was opened at the puncture shop. It may have lost more air if I kept driving with it.
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Old 9th November 2010, 14:01   #11
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As long as you haven't un-plugged the nail from your tyres, it should hold the air-in for quite longer period. A very very minute gradual decrease of air would be observed.

If you have tubeless puncture kit, un-plug and fix the hole otherwise you can make a drive at average speeds to find a nearby shop or change to spare tyre.

Good Review Rajesh :-)
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Old 13th November 2010, 23:58   #12
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Guys, today I took the plunge and got a new set of XM1+ for my Alto. I went for the standard size 145/80 R12.

It just takes driving a few kilometers to understand how good the XM1+'s truly are. These tyres are absolutely noiseless, they have good levels of grip, have strong sidewalls to withstand the ridiculous roads we have here in India and are an overall quality product. I have only driven few kilometers as of yet (say around 45km or so). I'm now wondering why I didnt switch to Michelin earlier. I'm upgrading from the MRF ZVTS, which ran for 60k kms. Both tyres are worlds apart. The michelin is amazingly quiet, better grip levels, stronger sidewalls, and a more quality product than the ZVTS. It's too early to tell about the comfort aspect, that's one aspect where MRF sells a lot.

I also changed my rims to alloys from Neo (Changed to Rally 12 inchers). These are touching the body over rough roads, so I'm taking these back to the dealer to see what needs to be done. They look very smart, but what's the point of looks if they are not performing and scraping the body.

Now that I think of it, I should have stuck to stock steel rims and changed the rims to new steel ones in case any of them were damaged.

For those here who have changed to the stock rims, what has been your experience? Have you experienced losing air pressure over time, etc?
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Old 14th November 2010, 09:01   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAS View Post

Now that I think of it, I should have stuck to stock steel rims and changed the rims to new steel ones in case any of them were damaged.

For those here who have changed to the stock rims, what has been your experience? Have you experienced losing air pressure over time, etc?
Dear SAS, last week during Diwali holidays I too changed the tires and wheels of my M800 to Michelin XM1+ and new steel rims. I did not have enough vitamin M, hence I settled for steel rims.

1 week is over, the air pressure is still the same. I was little apprehensive while changing to tubeless as I feared air loss. This is why I bought new rims. But for last one week, nothing unfortunate has happened. I did a 200 km drive, and had no issues. I found the handling better than my old worn out tires, but nothing awesome or superb. It's only better with XM1+.

Thanks,
Jose.
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Old 14th November 2010, 10:27   #14
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Thanks Jose. I think I too shall follow the same. I'll ask the dealer to take back the alloys and just fit them on my earlier rims. He has initially agreed to exchange the design to something which does not foul with the body and if this does not work out, I'll push him to refund and take back the alloys. Hope things work out here.
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Old 14th November 2010, 12:07   #15
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Default A pic post the upgrade

Here's a pic post the upgrade to Michelin XM1+ and Neo Alloys Rally 12 inch Black. It looks good, but it's fouling with the body. I'll be going to the dealer within the next hour to get it changed to something more practical. Needless to say, the XM1+'s stay and only the alloys get replaced
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Michelin XM1+ 145/80 R12 - Initial Ownership Review (500 kms)-14112010141.jpg  

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