When money isn’t enough: Michelin Deserts

Michelin Deserts. I’d love (not even like) to buy each of these right now, but it seems that Michelin are determined to make it hard, or even impossible, for me. So hard in fact that I feel obliged to go elsewhere because I am so annoyed, but the product is so good that I really will do anything to get them.


Just Deserts
The Michelin Desert is the ultimate overland tire for motorcycling in sandy terrain.

The tires last for an extraordinarily long time, are highly resistant to punctures and have immensely strong sidewalls that mean you can actually run with them flat for a while.

They are also wildly expensive, and legendarily difficult to get on and off, which you mneed to do when you get a puncture.

They are used for long and hard travel on deserts and dirt, exactly what I am setting my bike up to do, and exactly what I am going to do. They are also the tire of choice for Paris-Dakar racers, and for any number of other overland races, like the Australia Safari.

They are, in short, elite of overlanding tires, and I have always wanted to own a set.

But I can’t.  The local distributors have being with holding all of their Michelin Desert stock until after the end of the Australia Safari, which is the Aussie version of the Paris-Dakar race, and it is here in WA.

So I simply cannot buy them, even though there is a warehouse full of these things not 10kms from here.

The logic is befuddling – the Australia Safari is a great promotional vehicle, before, during and after the race. It gets people excited about overland riding through the conditions that the Deserts are perfect for, and yet the tire of choice is…unavailable.

So rather than me feeling good about Michelin and their tires being used by the pros, I feel massively pissed off at their lack of common sense in bringing in a bunch more tires to sell.

They didn’t get my money – I got some other brand instead. However that other brand of tire is wearing away before my eyes- and every time I see by just how much, I feel another pang of anger towards Michelin.

It’s not just a convenience thing, or a coolness thing – the Deserts would get me from here to Townsville on the  mainly off-road tracks I’m loking at being on. The Pirelli MT-21’s may do so (they are also unobtainable) but the piece of rubbish Karoo’s I have are likely to expire in the middle of nowhere.

That’s not just inconvenient, that’s potentially deadly in the desert. Michelin – are you really wanting this sort of publicity?

They are givng me the impression that they are feelingless bastards, but I still want to buy their product. (I’d love to talk to a human – but the only contact-us on thewebsite is for other countries)

This all reminds me of something else going on these days…

Published by Lance Wiggs