It’s rare over two decades of reviewing bike tyres that I’ve worn a pair to the end of their life, but this is one of those occasions.
The high-performance Avon 3-D Ultra Evo tyres went on at the start of 2020 and instantly gave me a large dose of confidence in their capability.
I’d come off a pair of excellent Michelin Pilot Road 5s and was expecting to feel at least a small drop in confidence at first with the Avons, but there was no such feeling.
The Avons are a sportier offering than the sports-touring Michelins, so I was gearing myself up for twitchier steering response, stiffer ride quality and less assurance on wet roads.
Thankfully I needn’t have worried, and these tyres surprised me with how confident I felt on them from the beginning.
Scrubbing in didn’t take long, and I soon felt happy to start exploring their capability on my ageing Yamaha FZ-1 Fazer.
Admittedly that’s not at the cutting-edge of bike technology now, and my riding style doesn't exactly hammer the performance to the edge of its capability. But the Fazer still boasts 150-odd horsepower and has none of the rider aids that the latest and greatest bikes offer, so a good connection to the rear tyre is crucial.
The Avons gave me that from the beginning and never once have I had to think hard about the tyres underneath me.
Even in the wet they’ve felt sure-footed and caused me zero concerns on the days where I’ve had no option but to get out there and get wet.
Photography: Joel Blevins
I’ve not ridden on track in the two years since they went on the Fazer so I can’t comment on their ability in that environment, but as a sporty road tyre I’ve been impressed with their all-round capability.
And now, 4800 miles down the road, they have worn to the point of no return. I think that’s a pretty good mileage for a sporty tyre like this - though you’ll always get more life from a sports-touring tyre such as Avon’s Spirit ST.
On these Ultra Evo tyres there’s a band of hard-wearing material in the centre of the compound that has become more evident (it’s become a lighter colour than the rest of the tread over time) and that has done an excellent job at stopping squaring.
Normally, I expect my tyres to wear square before they wear out, but these have maintained a decent rounded profile all the way to the end.
A big part of that is the lack of straight roads for the majority of my riding, so they’ve spent less time sat upright - but I still think other sports tyres would have squared off by now, while these have resisted.
I’ve detected no issues with degradation in handling as the tyres have worn, and it was only when checking my pressures the other day that I noticed they were getting towards the end of their tread life.
A bit too close, and it’s time to replace them. Normally I’d be itching for something new to try, but this time I’m facing a decision on whether to just replace the rear tyre.
Where I’d normally expect the front to be showing clear signs of wear just to the right of centre after 4800 miles, the 3D Ultra Evo front actually still looks in decent nick and still gives the feedback I want.
So this time I might just replace the rear like-for-like and see how many miles I can get out of the front.
And I guess that’s the crucial part of any review… would I have another? And when it comes to these tyres, I would definitely have another pair.