Rear tyre life of both the 3's and 4's on the Street Triple was around 15000 km although both front and rear tyres were always changed at the same time. Whilst this life was most acceptable, Michelin's claim for an additional 20% life from the PR4 seems to be a Marketing Dept figure plucked out of the air over Friday night drinkies. To all intents and purposes, they were identical for a higher purchase price. On the GSX-S 1000, a PR4 replaced the OEM Dunlop D214 pure sport tyre which was awful. Massive grip in the dry but were lethal in the wet when you couldn't get heat into them. The rear was completely worn out at 3700 km. Ordinarily, I would have been really disappointed at the short life but was simply relieved that the chances of going down on my arse had been reduced. The PR4 rear returned just over 12000 km which was pretty satisfactory given that most rides were on the sporty side of things, mentoring with IAM. In terms of grip, both Michelins were excellent in the dry and simply outstanding in wet conditions. They even survived a trackday without tearing themselves to bits. The only thing I noticed with the 4 compared with the 3 was that the steering felt a little less vague/spongy when the front end was loaded up under deceleration, combined with changing line. It's only a guess, but wondered whether the wider sipe spacing on the 4 reduced the amount of tread block movement under load. In any event, both the Michelins were great tyres. The full PR4 review is HERE .
I would have been perfectly happy to fit another set of PR4's but the Metzler Roadtec 01 sport touring tyre had only been released a few months earlier and had received some great early reviews. The decision was made to try a set as the price was within a few bucks of the Michelins. As with the PR4's, I went for the 55 profile compared with 50 on the OEM Dunlop to get a faster rate of turn-in.
The photos immediately below are the Metzlers with less than 200 km on them.
Front and rear Roadtec 01's at 200 km from new
On the first ride of any new tyre, they feel super-sensitive compared with the old ones so it was a wee while until it was possible to make some reasonable comparisons. In terms of the rate of turn-in when cornering, they feel fairly similar to the PR4. However, the front end definitely feels a little more precise when changing line. Perhaps the tread pattern and absence of sipes across the entire tyre width compared with the PR's helps in this respect. Dry weather grip is excellent. In the wet, they're at least as good as the PR4 and my riding talent runs out long before the tyres run out of grip, even without the Suzuki's traction control intervening.
The 01's have now covered 5200 km of reasonably brisk riding. As can be seen in the photo below, there is still a lot of tread on the rear hoop and it seems reasonable to expect a life of 10,000 km or above which is fine. Equally importantly, it has retained its shape really well. That may be partially due to little or no commuting but it's good to see
Rear Metzler Roadtec 01 at 5200 km - minimal flattening
Similarly, the front hoop has plenty of tread. As you may be able to notice in the photo below at the lowest part of the tyre, there is a slight flattening on the outer part of the tread. I put this down to the absence of straight roads in the areas I inhabit, coupled with a fair degree of countersteering in the tighter stuff. However, it's not yet significantly affected the profile which remains good.
Front Metzler Roadtec 01 at 5200 km
Sooooo... those are my thoughts about the Roadtec 01's at somewhere near the halfway stage of their life. Excellent tyres in both wet and dry conditions with perhaps slightly sharper steering than the PR4's in some circumstances. Obviously. tyre life will have a bearing on the final judgement but so far so good!
One other observation is wear across the tyre. Referring to the PR4 end of life review mentioned above, there was a noticable "chicken strip" about 15mm in from the rear tyre edge, with just light scuffing out towards the edge. On the Metzler, the wear is pretty much right out to the edge. On the front PR4, the "chicken strip" is about 10 mm from the edge with minimal additional light scuffing. On the 01 front, the wear is practically right out to the edge, which I haven't noticed with any previous tyres. Both the Michelins and Metzlers are 55 profile (more crowned than the OEM 50's). It's unlikely that my riding has changed and the roads I travel on are much the same. It's only speculation but perhaps it's the tyre carcass technology designed to give a bigger footprint when leaned over. Interesting..... at least to this retired engineer who really needs to get a life!
Note: An end of life update has been posted HERE
Note: An end of life update has been posted HERE