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Michelin Defender MS vs MS2

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by 4runningMan, Oct 28, 2023.

  1. Oct 28, 2023 at 9:46 PM
    #1
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    So, I went in to Costco to get a set of Defender LTX M/S tires and the tire guy told me there’s a new Michelin Defender tire coming out. I pulled these spec sheets from the Costco website.

    The old tire (still available but not for long?) is the M/S. The new one is the M/S2 and the tire size is listed as 265-70-17 XL.

    Now I don’t want to buy the older (fantastic) MS tires in case they stop production and I can’t get a single replacement tire if ever needed. Figured I’d just get the new version. But I’ve never ran an XL tire before.

    The last thing I want is a harsher ride (which is why I loved the original Defender). Is an XL tire gonna be that much different than the original Defenders (that are NOT an XL tire)?

    IMG_8067.jpg IMG_8066.jpg
     
  2. Oct 28, 2023 at 10:39 PM
    #2
    Trekker

    Trekker Regular Member

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    I'd go with the M/S2, the design doesn't look different which means they probably only improved the rubber compound. The XL tire isn't as reinforced as an LT tire, I doubt you'll notice a difference. If the M/S2 is new, it guarantees you'll get a tire made within the past few months too.

    Tire companies don't generally sell 2 generations of the same tire at the same time. Look the BFG KO1, it's gone now- replaced by the KO2. And that'll happen with the KO2 now that the KO3 is coming out. BFGoodrich is owned by Michelin, so it's a good prediction. So more than likely the M/S will be gone in the future.

    If only Michelin would update the horrible ancient LTX A/T2 with something that doesn't have cut corners and partial depth siping.
     
    Trail Runnah and 4runningMan[OP] like this.
  3. Oct 29, 2023 at 3:43 AM
    #3
    BillyE

    BillyE New Member

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  4. Oct 29, 2023 at 9:22 AM
    #4
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    The M/S2 looks like the outter lugs are a little different.

    M/S
    IMG_8064.jpg

    M/S2 (updated “XL” version)
    IMG_8065.jpg
     
  5. Oct 30, 2023 at 8:14 AM
    #5
    Vito Corleone

    Vito Corleone New Member

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    Current Mods: 3/2 Lift Kit w/Billstein 5100’s SPC Front Upper Control Arms 285/70/17 Michelin Defender LTX TRD Pro Wheels TRD Pro Grill 20% Tint on Windows & Sunroof Pedal Commander Cold Air Kit LED Front Turn Signals Brite-Box Anytime Foglight Kit “Tail as Turn” Rear Turn Signal Kit LED Reverse Lights LED Tag Lights LED Puddle Light Pods Sequential Turn Signals N-Fab 3” Step Bars Future Mods: In-Car Camera System Rear Molle Panel Storage System Magnuson Supercharger (when available)
    I have the Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires on both my Tacoma and my 4Runner (285/75/16 on the Tacoma and 285/70/17 on the 4Runner). I will not buy anything else. Great ride quality, long life, and quiet. I do not do any serious off-roading in either vehicle so these tires are perfect for me.
     
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  6. Oct 30, 2023 at 8:21 AM
    #6
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    Do you have the XL version or the 10 ply? (Does it say XL on the tire size)
     
  7. Oct 30, 2023 at 8:28 AM
    #7
    Vito Corleone

    Vito Corleone New Member

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    Current Mods: 3/2 Lift Kit w/Billstein 5100’s SPC Front Upper Control Arms 285/70/17 Michelin Defender LTX TRD Pro Wheels TRD Pro Grill 20% Tint on Windows & Sunroof Pedal Commander Cold Air Kit LED Front Turn Signals Brite-Box Anytime Foglight Kit “Tail as Turn” Rear Turn Signal Kit LED Reverse Lights LED Tag Lights LED Puddle Light Pods Sequential Turn Signals N-Fab 3” Step Bars Future Mods: In-Car Camera System Rear Molle Panel Storage System Magnuson Supercharger (when available)
    I do not recall seeing an “XL” on the tire. Now, I am curious and will have to check when I get home. I do not drive either vehicle daily because I have a company car for work.
     
  8. Oct 30, 2023 at 10:42 AM
    #8
    glwood54

    glwood54 Stop making me buy stuff!

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    What exactly is meant by 265/70T17XL? What does the XL stand for? I didn't see anything about that in the article linked above.
     
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  9. Oct 30, 2023 at 11:27 AM
    #9
    Trail Runnah

    Trail Runnah New Member

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    4runningMan[OP] likes this.
  10. Oct 30, 2023 at 12:46 PM
    #10
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    In my brief google search I learned XL tires are able to withstand slightly more air pressure due to slightly stiffer sidewalls. Like 52psi instead of 44psi maximum.
     
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  11. Oct 30, 2023 at 12:48 PM
    #11
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    The 10 ply Defender MS2 has been out for a longer time I think (and much more expensive). The “XL” is just now being brought online in our OEM size.
     
  12. Oct 30, 2023 at 3:44 PM
    #12
    Trekker

    Trekker Regular Member

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    It stands for “Extra Load” or Xtra Load if your in the ‘90s.
     
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  13. Oct 31, 2023 at 7:50 AM
    #13
    salvojimmy

    salvojimmy New Member

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    hhhhhmmmmm, wonder if it is more vulnerable to harm when aired down with that producing more sidewall flexing ???
     
  14. Oct 31, 2023 at 8:03 AM
    #14
    jgalt

    jgalt New Member

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    Theoretically, for a given air pressure when compared to the more compliant sidewall, a stiffer side wall would flex less. This means less hysteretic heating. This results in less degradation. But unless managed well, the longer path to a cooling sink means the thicker sidewall wouldn't necessarily have to flex as much to produce a given amount of heat. So it all really depends on the construction and materials. In the end Michelin knows what its doing most of the time. They screw up much less than some other brands.
     
  15. Oct 31, 2023 at 8:33 AM
    #15
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    The tire shop guy told me a lot of newer luxury cars are requiring higher PSI (Audi, BMW, etc).

    For what it’s worth, he told me “really, they just beef up the bead for a better seal and you won’t notice a difference in how it feels on the road”. Looking at the load ratings chart, that seems like it’s probably somewhat likely.

    Some of the Michelin press releases referred to “larger and heavier SUV’s and electric” vehicles benefiting from an XL tire.

    With less sidewall flex, some forum posts (elsewhere) noted slightly better steering “feel”. Seems legit.
     
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  16. Oct 31, 2023 at 12:12 PM
    #16
    Texas4Runner

    Texas4Runner New Member

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    My wife and I have had several sets of Defenders on multi-vehicles (trucks). Absolutely the best of the best road tires money can buy, and last forever.
    I would just hope that version 2 will be as good.
     
  17. Jun 9, 2024 at 6:21 PM
    #17
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    After a few months on the new Defender LTX M/S2 tires...

    All around mpg dropped from 18.1 (on the OEM Bridgestones) to 17.1. Hiway driving feel is improved a lot, presumably due to a stiffer sidewall. Much less body roll in wind.

    But around town, I feel a little less power (not sure why) in the gas pedal. Truck just feels a little sluggish compared to the Bridgestones.

    Overall, I'm pleased. Snow/slippery performance is fantastic.
     
  18. Jun 9, 2024 at 6:49 PM
    #18
    3JOH22A

    3JOH22A Toyota Gigolo

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    ^It's probably a bit heavier than the OEM Bridgestones.

    Toyota's selection method for picking OEM tires:
    1. Lowest bidder.
    2. Best mpgs.
    3. Enough pavement grip to pass gov't handling tests.

    ^Note all-weather performance and off-road performance aren't considerations.

    So it shouldn't be a surprise that any tire you buy other than the OEM tire will result in a slight fuel economy hit.
     
  19. Jun 9, 2024 at 9:53 PM
    #19
    Captain Spalding

    Captain Spalding . . .

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    I read somewhere on this board, and elsewhere too, that the ply rating is basically meaningless now. A tire with a 10 ply rating, for example, may not have 10 plies, but rather is expected to perform like a tire with 10 actual plies as it was manufactured at some unspecified point in the past.

    The upshot of that discussion as I recall was that there is no metric that can be used to rank various tires in terms of cut and puncture resistance of the sidewall.
     
    4runningMan[OP] likes this.
  20. Jun 10, 2024 at 6:17 AM
    #20
    Nick B

    Nick B New Member

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    Post a pic of your 4Runner with these on it .
     
  21. Jun 10, 2024 at 8:14 AM
    #21
    Fu3lC3ll

    Fu3lC3ll I.Am.Limited

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    Not the OP, but here is a shot of mine. Standard size.
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Jun 10, 2024 at 5:58 PM
    #22
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    What are your thoughts on the new MS2? Similar to my experience?
     
  23. Jun 10, 2024 at 8:04 PM
    #23
    Fu3lC3ll

    Fu3lC3ll I.Am.Limited

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    I've only put 514 miles on them so can't say a whole lot. I like them way more than the stock Yokohama Geolander's. The Yokohama's were floaty. The Michelins feel way more planted.

    I'm sure I took a small MPG hit, the Michelins are a little heavier, but I didn't buy a 4Runner for the mileage so that's OK.

    Not a whole lot of rain driving since its heading into summer, but the little bit I was able to do, I felt way more confident that the vehicle was going to stay planted and not hydroplane.

    So far, I'm very happy with the Micheline's and not wishing I had gone with something else. The only negative thing I could say right now is I was hoping the Defenders would be just a quiet as the Geolander's. But I guess the Defenders should be expected to make a little more road noise (highway) since I went with a wider tire. They are still pretty quiet though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2024
  24. Jun 11, 2024 at 10:02 AM
    #24
    Lou

    Lou New Member

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    After 10,000 miles, I'm still loving the MS2 way more than the original Bridgestone Dueler. I've also noticed a slight drop in MPG, but it handles better on wet or dry pavement. The Duelers also squealed a lot on turns even at slow speeds. These don't squeal at all.
     
  25. Jun 11, 2024 at 11:26 AM
    #25
    jgalt

    jgalt New Member

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    For clarity only, hydroplaning occurs once the tire's capacity to pump water is exceeded. Viscoplaning occurs when the frictional limit (grip) between the wet road and tire rubber is exceeded, and can happen even on only damp roads.
     
  26. Jun 13, 2024 at 3:44 PM
    #26
    J31Bodie

    J31Bodie New Member

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    ... aaand this exactly answers my (unasked) question. Thank you!
     
  27. Jun 13, 2024 at 4:11 PM
    #27
    Fu3lC3ll

    Fu3lC3ll I.Am.Limited

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    Next to the wheel it says: 265/70R17 116T EXTRA LOAD
     
  28. Jun 13, 2024 at 4:20 PM
    #28
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    The new version (MS2) is load rating 116 (vs 113 common on non "XL" tires of the same size).
     
  29. Jun 13, 2024 at 4:25 PM
    #29
    4runningMan

    4runningMan [OP] New Member

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    So this is interesting.... ever since I put the new Defenders on, I noticed a very slight change in gas pedal feel, acceleration, etc, as you would expect from a slightly heavier than OEM tire.

    Well, I unplugged my battery overnight last week to reset the ecu (or whatever resets when you unplug the battery for an extended time). And after a few days of driving, the truck feels sooo much better. Almost like it originally felt before I put the Defenders on. I wish I did it as soon as I got the new tires installed. I'm actually kind of shocked how much better it feels.

    Keep in mind, when you do this and start the truck the first time, it likely won't start. It turns over and fails. This is normal, from what I've read. It will start fine on the second start.
     
  30. Jun 13, 2024 at 5:06 PM
    #30
    jgalt

    jgalt New Member

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    Keep in mind that the tire tread "blocks" are much taller on the new tires than on the old tires. The stiffness, feel, and response will all be affected. A race tire (street legal) can be shaved for this reason.
     

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