MCN Fleet: New rubber transforms V-Strom

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When I took delivery of the V-Strom 650XT back in April, I was quite impressed with the Bridgestone Battlax Adventure tyres it came with.

They gave quite a lot of feel in both the dry and the wet and changing the tyres wasn’t something at the top of my list of priorities. However, after sticking a set of Metzeler Roadtec 01s on after 2000 miles, the V-Strom has been completely transformed.

I spend most of my time on the bike covering lengthy distances, whether it be my 138-mile round trip commute or riding to the various race circuits around the country, or riding my bike on the road for fun, so the sports touring Roadtec 01s made sense.

If I had one complaint about the V-Strom so far, it’s that I lacked confidence when leaning the bike over for a turn. I wasn’t sure if it was the tyres or just my confidence in general, but since sticking the Metzelers on the bike feels completely different in corners. I can get it cracked over with much more confidence from the extra grip. I even touched my peg down last week, which I didn’t think I’d be able to do when first getting on the bike as I consider the V-Strom’s pegs quite high!


The V-Strom comes with three-stage traction control, from off to full with a middle option in between allowing a little bit of spin. It was quite easy to get the rear spinning with the Bridgestones before the little TC light started flashing on the dash (indicating the traction kicking in, not that you could feel it, but since fitting the Metzelers and riding identically, I’ve not had the TC kick in once – I guess that shows just how much extra grip they provide. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing