|MotorbikeBuddy goes to the Track with Metzeler Tyres|
|Written by MotorbikeBuddy|
|Friday, 17 April 2009 14:40|
MotorbikeBuddy Steve Thompson recently attended the launch of the Metzeler Racetec Tyre at Brands Hatch.
This is Steve's Review on the day with the Metzeler team.
I was asked to attend the launch day of Metzeler’s new Racetec tyre by Motorbikebuddy last Thursday at Brands Hatch.
Those of us who are regular track users of Brands Hatch will not be surprised to know that as soon as I crossed the Dartford
Crossing the weather started to close in and usual Brands Hatch heavy drizzle appeared.
On arriving at Brands Hatch we were directed into the conference suite for a presentation from Metzeler’s
Marketing/Technical Directors. The presentation was very informative and as you would expect from a
large tyre manufacturer such as Metzeler it was very professional, with their staff welcoming and approachable.
During the presentation the Technical Director explained the new innovations and the technology gone into
making this tyre. It was at this point that I started to question how good this tyre was going to be in the wet
conditions; simply because by Metzeler’s own admission this new tyre is more at home in dry track conditions
and with a reduced tread pattern to increase rubber contact print to the track how was this tyre going to
perform in the greasy, wet conditions?
The Metzeler staff transferred us to the paddock area and invited us to test the new tyres on a variety of
bikes ranging from a Yamaha R6 to a Ducati 1198. The first bike I decided to try the new tyres on was
KTM’s new RC8. The first few laps I tiptoed around the track not knowing what to expect with the reduced
tread pattern picture that was presented to us during the technical brief constantly flashing through my mind.
Even though the conditions were not great at this point the tyre performed well, with no hint of movement
and adequate feedback being passed through the bike. As the laps mounted and my confidence in the tyre
grew it was clear to see that my initial doubts over the tyres wet weather performance were busted.
I decided to change bikes and try a large four cylinder machine, namely a GSXR 1000 and see how
the tyre would perform under aggressive acceleration. Once again, the first couple of laps I rode very
tentatively but also once again there was no twitching or any sign of the tyre moving under the bike.
Even under hard acceleration the tyre showed no sign of deformity or lose of grip. Of course, t
his was aggressive acceleration on the straight and not coming out of the corners.
After lunch there was a defined dry line that started to appear on the track so I took this opportunity
to try this tyre on the new Ducati 1198. You can now really get the sense of what this tyre is all about.
The grip has really been stepped up and the feedback is superb. Now the tyre is being ridden in
the conditions in which it has been designed for and of course being fitted to a Ducati made this one
of the best sessions of the day.
The final bike that I tested the new Metzeler Racetec on was the Yamaha R6. I personally love these l
ittle 600s. You can put me on any 600 and give me a track and I’ll be happy all day. Now the track
was drying and in fact as I got to Druids there was very, very few wet spots on the track and I knew
I was going to enjoy this. Once the tyre had warmed up and my knee slider was continually scrapping
the tarmac I knew it was time to see what this tyre could do. Even coming out of Clearways in the
bumpy middle of the track, the tyre gives you a real sense of confidence to start rolling on the power
early and drive out the corner cleanly. There is no sense of tyre movement and certainly no sense of
sliding as you roll the power on, just grip and more grip.
I decided to have a break, so came back in and rested for a short while. This was a good opportunity
to catch up with other people and find their views on how the tyre was performing on the bikes they
had ridden. The consensus was an extremely positive one with no-one that I spoke to really
having a bad word about the tyre’s performance. It was also a good opportunity to look at some
of the tyres that had been ridden hard all day and to see what sort of degradation the tyres were
showing. Yes, there was some balling around the right hand side of the tyre as Brands Hatch is mainly
made up of right hands so this was of no surprise, but the tyres showed no sign of separation or
movement of the rubber either from the centre or the sides.
In summary, I can honestly say that Metzeler’s new Racetec tyre is a high performer and even though
we were using the K2 compound on the day, there are K0, K1 and road legal K3 compounds also
in their range. So whether you’re a track day user or high performance road rider I would recommend
you give Racetec a try and see how much grip you too can get out of this tyre.
Written by Stephen Thomson
|Last Updated ( Friday, 17 April 2009 15:50 )|