Metzeler hits the mark
MOUNT MAGAZINE, ARK., OCT. 1–3—When I was asked to attend the Metzeler Tire Media Launch I was excited to find out it was taking place in the heart of the Ozark Mountains. The winding mountainous roads surrounding Mount Magazine provided the perfect testing grounds for the new Metzeler Cruisetec tire. With the Cruisetec being designed for the performance cruiser V-twin motorcycle, it was only fitting that Metzeler provided several V-twin motorcycle models to us for the day-long test ride, which covered over 200 miles.
Metzeler touts the Cruisetec tire as providing smooth, effortless riding with unmatched stability while riding on all road conditions thanks to its conformable carcass structures and rubber-damping properties. The Cruisetec tire features a performance-oriented contour which allows it to easily take precise lines, and provides an easier transition from side to side and better grip during mid and full lean.
This is all accomplished by Metzeler with the “compound recipe” which is what essentially makes up the tire. The Cruisetec is made up of a dual compound for the rear tire and a single compound for the front. The rear-center compound is made for traction, grip and stability, which is attributed to innovative plasticizers that have been specifically tuned for the V-twin. The rear-side and front-tire compounds are designed for fast warmup and have a chemical grip for both dry and wet conditions. This has been made possible by the high-rated plasticizers and silica used in Metzeler’s Sport-Touring technology. This, combined with their V-twin knowledge, is what makes the Cruisetec tire unique in its handling, performance and stability.
The Cruisetec structure features a lower cord end count than the standard V-twin tire, while the elements still fulfill the requirements for V-twin support, the equivalent stiffness, while using stiffer cords. This results in high rubber rate which enhances the damping properties and provides a better grip.
So what does all this mean? Basically the tire provides you with a non-vague front end feeling, minimized groove wander and enhanced riding comfort which is great when you’re dealing with crappy road conditions.
I ride a Street Glide, on which I went from the OE tires to another Metzeler model which was a major improvement to me, however, I notice that the bike “wanders” a lot. It seems it wants to follow every groove in the road. It is especially scary at times when you’re riding on a road with “rain groves” or a milled surface, especially when it’s wet. I was anxious to see how the new Cruisetec performed, since this was one of their focus points during the presentation to us. I was happy to see there was a Street Glide as part of the fleet we were riding and I jumped at the chance to ride it, knowing this would allow me to judge the tires based on my own riding experiences.
Wow! That was way first reaction. I could really tell this tire was made to handle the curves and anything else you want to ride it through. I was impressed with the way it handled. I purposely drove through the ruts in the road, and the grooved spots, just to see if the tire did as it claimed. It did! The bike did not wander all over the road, and it actually stayed in the path I was riding. I am sold! I will be putting these tires on my personal bike.
Just to be fair in my review, I rode a total of four different bikes, two of the models which I had never been on before. Remember, now, this ride was in the mountains! These roads were curvy, hilly and sometimes in poor condition. I pushed myself and the bikes and rode hard. I’m not gonna lie; I was nervous at first, especially riding roads I never been on, on bikes I had never ridden. But these tires handled each bike so well that I never felt uncertain while riding. From the Darkhorse to the fully-dressed Road King to the Street Glide and on to the Scout Bobber these tires handled the weight of each bike along with the ever-changing road surface with ease. They definitely lived up to Metzeler’s claim of “smooth, effortless riding.”
I believe Metzeler really hit the nail on the head with this model and stepped up the tire game by providing a performance tire aimed at the cruiser-model bikes. The new Cruisetec should be available by the time you read this; check with your local dealer for fitment and sizes.