The Michelin Anakee 2, the second take on the adventure tire market. Sequels can often be a disappointment. A heap of anticipation, based on how cool you thought the first movie, gets smashed to bits by a lazy cash-cow wallowing in the glory of the original. Jaws 2 is one historic example. Fortunately tire companies can't really afford to pump out cash-cows. By their nature, new tires need to be better, improved versions of the predecessor.
The Michelin Anakee 2, is certainly an improvement. In simple terms Michelin claims the Anakee-2 steps up the performance of the 'old' Michelin Anakee, without losing any of the tire's life. So, more feel, better grip, without the compromise in tire-life you might imagine would be a consequence.
The Adventure/tourer/giant trailie market is one of the fastest-growing sector in Thailand so there is a growing number of adventure riders who are crying out for better grip and feel in what is still a fairly limited sector of the tire market. I can't comment on tire-life, as I only rode the Michelin Anakee-2 for about a few hours, but I can say it did feel as 'new and improved' as Michelin led me to believe. We compared the Michelin Anakee-2 tires mounted to Metzeler Tourance tires, and the Michelin Anakee-2 had better drive-grip out of turns, while seemingly just as stable at high speeds.
The front end is a crucial area for these heavy motorcycles, which can push hard on their spindly, 110/80-19 front tire. With the mighty poundage of either a BMW GS, KTM Adventure or Yamaha Super Tenere bearing down on it, the feel for even loose gravely surfaces was good. Smoother road surfaces proved the tire was capable of as much feedback at full lean too.