Tyre test: Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE review


Metzeler’s Roadtec motorbike tyre has been at the top of the sports touring tree for a decade now, firstly the Interact Z8 version, followed by the 01 in 2016 – both offering class-leading levels of all-weather grip, but now there’s a new one: the Roadtec 01 SE.

It now steers more like sports rubber, bites harder in the dry and has incredible levels of wet grip under severe braking and acceleration.

Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE specs

  • Available: Now
  • Tester: Michael Neeves
  • Where: Spain: roads near Ronda and Ascari wet weather handling course
  • When: Friday 28th February 2020
  • Bike: BMW S1000XR, KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
  • Sizes: Front: 120/70 x 17. Rear: 160/60 x 17, 180/55 x 17, 190/50 x 17, 190/55 x 17
  • Weather watch: Sunny. Temp: 18°C.

But don’t worry, despite its sportier pretentions the new Roadtec 01 SE still lets you walk on water whether you ride a naked, sports tourer, or even a sportsbike.

The tread pattern on these tyres lets you take a bit by the scruff of the neck

The new tyres still have single compound front but features a third-generation dual compound rear. Metzeler has tweaked compounds, tread pattern and there’s more ‘slick’ rubber on the edges for improved dry cornering confidence and sharper steering.

On the road it’s hard to get enough heat into a tyre for it to work properly, especially if it’s cold, or after you’ve been dribbling through villages, but just like the original Roadtec 01 the new SE warms up quickly, so you can go about your business when a national speed limit sign beckons.

Testing the new tyres on a BMW S1000XR and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT the steering is lighter than you’d expect from traditional sports touring rubber and there’s more rear grip on the road than any sane person would ever need. Metzelers always offer a plush ride and the SEs are no different and don’t skitter over bumps, like some of its rivals.

The rear treat pattern of the Metzler Roadtec 01 SE

A good sports or trackday tyre will always be more agile than all-weather rubber like this, but the new Metzelers have a lightness about them that let you flow easily from side to side with the lightest of steering inputs, similar to the German/Italian firm’s own Pirelli Angel GT 2 released last year.

We also tested the Roadtec 01 SE on a wet test track. That may seem pointless when they’re designed for the road, but sure-footedness here isn’t about outright lap times and speed, but safety and how much grip you have left in your back pocket in the real world.

Front tyre tread pattern on Metzler Roadtec 01 SE

For hard braking and acceleration in the wet the Metzelers are astonishing and it’s tricky to get the traction control or ABS to ever chime in even when you ride the wet track like it’s dry. Cornering grip is just as impressive.

For all-weather, big mileage riders (expect around 6-8000 miles from a rear, or more) looking for a tyre to look after them in all conditions, the new Metzeler Roadtec 01 SE carry on from their predecessor as being the new go-to sports touring tyre.  

Michael Neeves on the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

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