I’ve embraced all types of motorcycling since I began BikeReview (I even purchased a Royal Enfield). To be trustworthy, I actually am having fun with it. So, when the invitation got here to check the brand new CRUISETEC efficiency cruiser tyre from Metzeler, it was simply my factor.
Most of you common readers know my background – one that may be a life immersed in a ardour for competing in street racing and constructing or modifying and publishing magazines about every part excessive efficiency on two wheels. It undoubtedly ensured the sportsbike and efficiency tag has caught. I’ll be endlessly often known as the ‘Speedy Bikes’ man. I get it daily right here with BikeReview readers, belief me. However that’s cool with me as efficiency continues to be my factor deep down – even on, err, cruisers… Sure, that’s the great thing about efficiency. It’s a relative time period that may be utilized to all types of two wheeled motorised enjoyable machines. You simply want an open thoughts and a throttle hand. And grip.
Properly over 30 per cent of the worldwide motorbike market is taken up by cruiser gross sales and there’s a new breed of cruising now, a distinct segment inside a distinct segment. Name it muscle cruising, efficiency cruising, no matter you want however cruisers are rather more than bare lounge chairs with lengthy lazy gears, vast ‘bars and stuff all suspension journey today. Some have spectacular brakes, thrilling energy ship, sportier suspension and some even have half respectable floor clearance (by cruiser requirements).
So, assuming you personal a cruiser, what’s the single largest enchancment you can also make to your bike? Or to any bike? When you answered tyres, you get a smiley stamp. Properly achieved.
Tyres, grip, dealing with… confidence, efficiency, enjoyable. We’ve all the time had loads of choices within the sportsbike and nakedbike phase however cruiser riders have needed to compromise with tyres designed for consolation, mileage or in some instances, pure aesthetic attraction.
Enter the Metzeler CRUISTEC. A tyre developed to enhance the dealing with traits of previous and new cruisers, designed with stability, cornering and grip in thoughts over consolation and mileage.
To check the brand new hoops out, I headed south for a day on the street and one on the monitor on a variety of bikes: We had at our disposal a Harley Fats Bob, Sport Glide, Road Glide, FXDRS and FXDR, Yamaha Bolt, Honda Goldwing, a few Indian Scouts and an Indian Chieftain. All of them went again with a lot smaller footpegs and thinner exhaust pipes. None have been crashed and we have been all smiling on the finish of the launch. We had grip. We had enjoyable!
Each days have been icy. There have been climate warnings on the information a few entrance coming by way of and the worst hit space of Australia was precisely the place we have been heading, the Southern Highlands. Nevertheless, in the long run the acute circumstances meant we have been all capable of actually completely check the tyres in each state of affairs aside from excessive temperature, which should look forward to Summer time. I’ll be eager to check a set at The Farm, the last word tyre testing floor.
I jumped on a Scout first, a motorcycle I take pleasure in however one which in all probability has the least floor clearance of all of the sportier cruisers. As we left a motorcycle store in Sydney, I used to be scraping the footpegs on the very first roundabout 200m up the street. It was shock to me as we have been actually crawling. After that time I actually needed to reset my mind and get on with the journey.
What that first roundabout advised me, although, was how sometimes Metzeler good these are in chilly circumstances over a broad vary of temperature. It was round 5 levels C and the tyres have been new. I additionally virtually instantly felt the identical rolling really feel, steering and aspect grip feeling because the SPORTEC and ROADTEC household. Extra so the SPORTEC.
The route then headed freeway, nation street, twisty street, crappy bumpy mountain roads then freeway once more. The next day was all monitor testing…
On the freeway the CRUISETEC provides a pleasant rolling really feel. The entrance doesn’t monitor smaller irregularities and there’s no weaving or wandering. The rear tyre provides touring tyre consolation, not fairly the plush cushioning of a standard cruiser tyre, so these concrete corrugations to get slightly jolting by means of the backbone on one thing with virtually no rear journey, just like the Scout I used to be on.
The large Chieftain on the freeway was a lot smoother however the rear tyre nonetheless felt stiffer than a standard cruiser tyre.
The extra open flowing corners are the place a cruiser can typically wrestle, once you don’t decide to full lean or upright, simply hovering on the horribly shoulder of a few of the tyres. With the CRUISETEC, I discovered I might take the bike sweepers a lot sportier and with confidence on the cruisers because the tyre is secure and holds the lean at any angle from upright to full lean. There’s zero bump steer, both, it simply makes the bike monitor by means of the nook on rails, which with restricted floor clearance is an enormous plus. It permits a lot simpler sudden line modifications if required (to keep away from one thing or right a turn-in miscalculation), I’ve beforehand not skilled on a cruiser till driving one with CRUISETEC fitted.
On the facility arduous off these turns, there isn’t any sidewall pumping and no stand-up. Actually spectacular, making the journey extra pleasurable and fewer of a battle towards dangerous geometry, which is usually the case driving a cruiser.
We headed up an excellent tight vacationer route that’s principally first and second gear on these bikes. Preliminary turn-in is what’s necessary on this street. You actually solely get one shot at every nook and with a drop off on one aspect and rock wall on the opposite, the limiting floor clearance of a cruiser is a nightmare should you make a mistake within the first a part of the flip.
Fortunately the CRUISETEC actually sharpens up the turn-in course of, which means as soon as I knew the clearance limitations I might flip swiftly with confidence, on or off the brakes, in chilly circumstances and nonetheless with good really feel and grip. I’m the sort of rider that’s assured if I’ve good entrance really feel after which I’m off like a rat up a drainpipe and that’s how the CRUISETEC made me really feel. I solely had a number of small front-end tucks on the monitor however nothing on the street…
The excessive silica content material ensured there have been no slides over many damp patches encountered mid nook all through the journey. Not even a small wiggle.
On the very bumpy Kangaroo Valley Rd, which is likely one of the worst roads in NSW, being virtually totally potholes and repairs, the experience on the Scout was agony on the tailbone and backbone. At this level, the plush journey of a standard cruising cruiser tyre would have been appreciated, because the stiffness of the sidewall or basic sporty development of the CRUISTEC, mixed with the just about zero journey, actually was hell. On this occasion, it was a combo of each, however a sportsbike on a sports activities tyre would have been far more snug there merely because of suspension journey… So, there’s a affordable consolation compromise there however truthfully, the dealing with advantages far out do the consolation deficit in comparison with an previous cruiser hoop.
Out of the dangerous part, we hit a extra open flowing space for a quick enjoyable race between me and some colleagues. We handed the lead rider and took off at our personal tempo however as we didn’t know the place to go it was brief lived. Nonetheless, in that point we discovered quite a bit by pushing the tyre to the restrict and as you will notice in my assessment video, we weren’t mucking round.
The decision is that there was as a lot grip there as on say a sports-tourer sporting ROADTEC or SPORTEC M3 or M5s. These CRUISETEC hoops stick like glue and deal with very properly. The three of us have over 30-years racing expertise between us and it was just like the cruiser grand prix. I got here third however no less than I used to be on the rostrum!
The subsequent day on monitor was one other story. As typical it turns right into a race however this time I made positive I confirmed them the best way, even when it took a number of laps to get previous every time. All of us had a great deal of enjoyable and it was under no circumstances what I anticipated or might ever have imagined doing on a cruiser.
I knew the bike to have was the Yamaha Bolt and I used to be proper however after a couple of rides on that the keys have been scorching property. I additionally tried the FXDR and FXDRS, which have been OK however sooo heavy. A number of of the extra conventional cruisers have been good although, simply nice enjoyable making an attempt to place a lap along with all of the endurance on the planet. You principally need to be actually reserved on the throttle as any sort of nook velocity sees the bikes run out of floor clearance and there are many partitions round Marulan to steer properly away from.
The CRUISETEC carried out amazingly on a cool monitor temp of round Eight-10 levels C. I had no rear slides in any respect and solely entrance loses, principally as a result of sheer weight of those monsters making an attempt to push ahead quite than flip right into a nook on the brakes.
Edge grip is unbelievable, with good really feel and the sidewall development is supportive on monitor – a powerful feat on these heavy bikes.
On the finish of the day we did some water testing versus the inventory Michelins on one of many bikes. I used to be being purposefully hand fisted and as you will notice within the video, the Michelin OEM tyre let go and spun up then stepped sideways, whereas the Metzeler CRUISETEC didn’t transfer even 1mm. Once more, spectacular…
General, I price the CRUISTEC extremely when it comes to dealing with and grip in cooler circumstances. How will they go mileage-wise and in summer time? We’ll discover out down the street however going by the ROADTEC and SPORTEC mileage might be spectacular.
I’ve accomplished plenty of testing on the SPORTEC household in summer time through the years they usually do lose edge grip within the warmth however we’re speaking extremes. No cruiser will ever work the sting of a tyre like a sportsbike or sports activities tourer, so I can’t see a problem there both.
When you have a cruiser or tourer and need a efficiency improve subsequent time your tyres are due to get replaced, I’d undoubtedly give these a attempt. You’ll be proud of the outcomes. Pricing is TBA.
The CRUISETEC tyre is a excessive silica content material tyre and has a performance-oriented profile with a a lot greater curvature than a standard cruiser tyre. The tyre is someplace between a triangular and sq. development, comparable in feeling to that of the unbelievable ROADTEC, SPORTEC M3 and even M5 Work together.
The rear is dual-compound, with the central space made up of 40 per cent carbon black, giving the excessive mileage, power and stability wanted for these heavy and torquey machines. That central strip makes up for 80 per cent of the tyre footprint whereas upright. The shoulder compound accommodates extra silica and plasticizers to provide excessive grip and stability when cornering. On the entrance, a single compound is used, which could be very near the compound on the shoulders of the rear tyre, with a barely larger silica per centage of 25 per cent (the rear is 20 per cent), making certain quick heat up, good chemical grip in moist and dry and sporty tyre entrance really feel for the rider. Excessive silica content material additionally provides nice moist climate and chilly climate grip.
The CRUISETEC tread sample was designed utilizing Metzeler engineers in depth expertise with sports activities touring tyres utilized in a large and sometimes excessive vary of circumstances in all corners of the World.
The entrance tread sample options alternated diverging grooves crossing the central part and are designed to offer braking stability and effectivity whereas nonetheless providing nice water evacuation. The tyre additionally compliments ABS techniques by providing excessive ranges of grip, whereas common cruiser tyres typically lock up very early within the braking course of, activating ABS prematurely, which may be very annoying…
The shorter transversal grooves assist warm-up and mechanical grip.
On the rear, the tread sample is totally engineered for efficiency cruiser driving. The lengthy grooves don’t cross the central part, leaving a bigger footprint for put on and the acceleration and masses a big heavy cruise produces. Moist climate efficiency shouldn’t be utterly compromised on the rear when upright, because the entrance tyre evacuates water forward of the rear tyre.
The tyre development options each radial and cross-ply parts coupled with both bias or 0º metal belts. The CRUISTEC contains a stiffer carcass and belt cords than a regular tyre within the cruiser phase. The design has wider plys to permit room for extra structural rubber, notably on the aspect wall, with the goal of not compromising consolation an excessive amount of.
Profile-wise the CRUISETEC tyre ventures into a way more sports activities touring space than a standard cruiser tyre, which compromises footprint throughout cornering by being constructed to offer a big footprint at upright, and low strain on the tread space because of footprint, for consolation whereas freeway driving, thus decreasing the footprint when leaned over.
This will get worse because the tyre wears, principally squaring off the tyre because the central part broadens.
The Metzeler multi-radius know-how already tried and examined within the sports activities touring phase is carried out within the CRUISETEC, the primary time in a cruiser tyre, giving a rise in grip and dealing with because of a big footprint.
The shoulder on the CRUISETEC is round 20 per cent decrease than a standard cruiser tyre, which means when leaned over to 25 levels, the theoretical footprint is lowered by lower than 10 per cent in comparison with 20 per cent for a mean sq. development cruiser tyre. In different phrases, there’s extra rubber on the street leaned over.
Metzeler CruiseTec Tyre Sizes – Pricing TBA
Metzeler CruiseTec Fronts
- MT90-B16 TL 72H
- 130/90-B16 TL REINF 73H
- 150/80-16 TL 71H
- 130/80-B17 TL 65H
- 130/70-R18 TL 63H
- 130/60-B19 TL 61H
- 100/90-19 TL 57H
- 120/70-ZR19 TL (60W)
- 110/90-19 TL 62H
- MH90-21 TL 54H
- 120/70-B21 REINF TL 68H
Metzeler CruiseTec Rears
- MU85-B16 TL 77H
- 180/65-B16 REINF TL 81H
- 150/80-B16 REINF TL 77H
- 130/90-B16 REINF TL 73H
- 180/70-B16 TL 77H
- 180/60-R16 REINF TL 80H
- MT90-16 TL 74H
- 200/55-R16 TL 77H
- 160/70-B17 REINF TL 79V
- 200/55-R17 TL 78V
- 180/55-B18 REINF TL 80H
- 240/40-VR18 TL (79V)
- 180/55-ZR18 TL (74W)
- 150/70-B18 REINF TL 76H
- 260/40-VR18 TL (84V)
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