First test on Metzeler’s replacement for MEZ3

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Metzeler’s Sportec M1 will replace the firm’s MEZ3 tyres and they work wonderfully.

The German company has adhered to a rigid brief to make the tyre work well in the real world. Bosses insisted on a compound that warms quickly, works well on cold and wet surfaces and is grippy, though not as sticky as more race-focused tyres in its range.

But they also wanted the tyre to be as suited to track days as the road while turning into bends predictably, too. Stability was another key requirement – and the world launch in France revealed the Sportec has it in droves.

Technicians will tell you that’s down to the tyre’s zero-degree steel belt construction, with the plies in the carcass being spaced appropriately to cope with different riding styles and speeds. In English, it means we took a GSX-R750 and an Aprilia Falco on to the twisty Pau circuit in France, caned them both and came back grinning.

At full pace, the Sportecs deliver great stability down straights and around corners, and minimal tankslapping. We rode the GSX-R on the road without its steering damper and suffered no twitchiness.

The carcass design helps the tyre slide predictably when its ultimate grip has been exceeded, and minimises ” stand up ” when the brakes are used mid-corner. The rear has three different radius curves on the contact area – the front has two – and this helps turn-in speed and grip.

The Sportec is intended to meet a wide criteria and, crucially, wear rates are claimed to be good as well. Touring on them is not recommended, though.

Expect them to cost slightly less than the MEZs, making them about 10 per cent cheaper than BT010s. That means a 120/60 x 17 front will cost about £75 compared to a BT010 at about £80, and a 180/55 x 17 rear will be about £110 compared to £133. Prices will vary hugely depending on where you’re buying, though.

Fronts come in: 130/70 x 16, and in 17in sizes 110/70, 120/60, 120/65, and 120/70. The 17in rears are 150/60, 160/60, 170/60, 180/55, 190/50 and 200/50. They are due on sale next week. Details: 01788-540606.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff