Bryn Davies heads to Germany to test out Metzeler’s new rubber, the RoadTec 01
Earlier this summer we were invited to Frankfurt to the launch of Metzeler’s new sport touring tyre, the RoadTec 01.
The rubber has been introduced to the Metzeler range to take over the popular and well-regarded Z8, though Metzeler is keen to point out that the Z8 is still a class-leading tyre in its own right. The RoadTec 01 has been developed to provide improved grip on the varying road surfaces you’re likely to ride on while touring Europe, and the company claims a 10% increase in mileage over the predecessor.
On top of that, a ton of development has gone into the RoadTec 01 to make it perform just as well in the wet as it does in the dry, with a new tread pattern increasing traction on slippery surfaces. In order to test these claims out for ourselves, Metzeler arranged for us to ride a fleet of bikes in four different scenarios to see how the tyres coped with the varying demands of long-distance touring.
There was a 100-mile circuit of the fantastic roads around Frankfurt, a few laps around a two-mile oval track, a wet braking course and a few goes around a purpose-built wet and dry track at the Bosch Proving Grounds.
The road ride allowed me the chance to get to grips with the tyres, and the initial impressions were great. Grip was obviously there and this was further confirmed as I threw the bike around the oval track at speeds in excess of 150mph. So far so good. I didn’t get the chance to ride with a pillion, and it would have been interesting to test Metzeler’s claims that the tyres offer improved stability at high speeds and at ‘full load’.
Metzeler is keen to point out the tyre’s strengths in wet conditions, and so it was with some excitement that we headed to the purpose-built wet and dry track. It’s difficult to draw exact comparisons between the track and a road, as the track offered uncompromised grip, but the tyre performed exceptionally well. Going from wet to dry and dry to wet there were no changes in how they performed.
Grip was so prominent in the wet that it was almost mind-boggling, and never before have I ridden with such confidence. If there’s one line that I could use to sum up the RoadTec 01, it’s that it’s a tyre that inspires confidence. Whether it’s raining or not, whether you’re on a billiard table flat stretch of tarmac or bouncing around on cobbles, the rubber feels like it’s going to keep you upright.