There’s an awful lot of time spent down the pub talking about tyres; best mileage, best in the wet, best for turn in, yada yada yada.
We all ride different machines and we ride them differently, so our requirements vary, but now and again, I end up with a tyre that I’m happy to defend over a pint.
I put a pair of Metzeler Roadtec Z8 on my 1250 Bandit GT and they’ve just managed 10,200 miles, which for me, ticks the first box; they can do the mileage.
Perhaps ten thousand miles was a little excessive for the rear, as there was wire showing when I changed them on the way back from Sweden, but it was only near the end that they started to ‘track’ ruts in the roads or white lines, which demonstrates to me just how stable they had been. It’s a shame that when a tyre does something really well, you don’t notice.
I can’t say they were fantastic on the gravel tracks of France and Spain, but then a 1250 Bandit isn’t renowned for its off-road prowess, so I don’t think it’s fair to comment.
That leaves road grip; how did they do? Well, shaving weight off various parts of the undercarriage in the Pyrenees was a sheer joy and meant grip was definitely never a concern to detract from my trip. Grip in the wet was fine too, but the only noticeable issue, if it is an issue, is that the Z8s are mildly susceptible to changes in tarmac. Exiting a corner or roundabout over a change in road surface you can feel the corner tighten or widen almost instantaneously as the grip afforded by the tarmac varies. It’s subtle and not worrying, but if anything, it demonstrates just how hard modern tyres work, especially over inconsistent road surfaces.
Riding two-up with full luggage over much of that ten thousand miles the Z8s always felt stable and secure, and offered loads of feedback which is surely all that a touring tyre needs to provide.
It’s only fair to let you know what Metzeler say: ”Roadtec Z8 Interact™ features several much appreciated advances including its Greek Pi tread pattern, new contoured profiles and nano-scale compound solutions matched to a well-proven Interact™ multi zone tension technology scheme for performances from the first mile and in all weather conditions”. I’m sure you’ll agree that all makes perfect sense. Prices vary so shop around.