THE SPORT TOURING WORLD IS CHANGING
Our thanks to Crispin d’Albertanson of the Wey Valley Advanced Motorcyclists for his product review.
"I always look forward to new tyres at the beginning of the season, like the comfort of freshly laundered sheets on your bed, they are crisp and clean and make your bike feel brand new again, but the anticipation of the latest evolution in Metzeler touring tyres was even more exciting.
James and his enthusiastic and knowledgable crew at GTC Motorcycle had my new rubber, not strictly true as the compound is full silica, fitted in double quick time in their purpose designed motorcycle depot in New Road Chilworth while I relaxed with a cup of coffee in the first floor waiting area.
Metzeler’s Roadtec 01 is new for 2016 and has taken over from the Roadtec Z8 with a completely new tread design which looks like it will clear heaps of water in the rain. Mechanical grip is increased by dual compound on the rear with the softer shoulder compound being used for the whole of the front. The HWM (Heavy Weight Motorcycle) special version was fitted to my BMW R1200RT to increase stability by employing a 2 ply carcass on the rear, where standard tyres have 1 ply and the front has the same 2 ply construction as standard but benefits from stiffer carcass material and sidewall construction plus a slightly different compound recipe. This will appeal to a wider variety of machines including the new batch of naked and adventure bikes.
So how does all this actually translate on to the road? I had taken off the test winning Roadtec Z8 and so could make a back to back comparison between the old and new models. Having only covered 1,000 miles or so, my initial impressions are very encouraging. In the dry the new Roadtec 01s definitely promote confidence and are very stable and sure footed over lateral joints and road irregularities. They warm up and loose that horrible wooden feeling really quickly. Steering is precise and they turn in progressively and predictably and give excellent feedback and feel while lent over due to a larger and shorter contact patch and they cope really well with the shocking road conditions at this time of year. They are supremely confidence inspiring in the wet and never put a foot wrong.
If anything the Roadtec 01 feels slightly harder over the bumps and generates a fraction more road noise than the Z8 but it is the added stiffness which gives superior feedback and precision whereas I felt that the Z8 was quite sensitive to the smallest drop in pressure which would make them become less stable and prone to wander over white lines and lateral cracks and over-banding.
Only time will tell whether they live up to the claims of extended milage but the boys at GTC Motorcycle predict 10,000 miles from a pair which is good for us but not so good for them!"