Metzeler Interact Tires: First Impression

2011 Motorcycle Tire Evaluation

In the following report, motorcycle journalist Tor Sargen heads to Cartagena Circuit in Murcia, Spain, offering some initial impressions of the Metzeler Interact motorcycle tire range: the K3 Racetec, the M5 Sportec and the Z8 Roadtec. A more in-depth evaluation to follow.

Greetings from Cartagena. I’ve spent a day testing the Metzeler Interact range at Cartagena racetrack and on the roads surrounding the circuit.

The K3 Racetec tires have been made for the latest generation sportbikes where new developments such as Race ABS and traction control has been taken into consideration.

The variable tension steel cord is the main factor here contributing to a sort of customized range of feel, stability and grip in different riding situations.

Out on the circuit the grip achieved from the Racetec’s were mindblowing considering I tested the tires on bikes such as the 2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R, BMW S 1000 RR and Triumph Daytona 675R.

Those two liter bikes mentioned are obviously capable of laying down some black lines on any rubber but with the Racetec’s this happened only on the very limit and in a controllable fashion even without the help of traction control.

Grip under heavy braking was also very impressive and I could go out fairly hot even from lap 1 on cold tires as the heat built up quickly. There’s a “slick like feel” when leaning all the way over to the edge.

The M5 Sportec tires are different as when the K3 gets three steel cords the M5 gets 5 for a wider range of riding scenarios.

The M5 Sportec is the tire for mixed sport riding on a wide range of sportbikes on the road under varying conditions. The grooves have been designed to tackle rainy conditions much better than the K3 Racetec tires but also trackdays as my sessions today on the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R600 and BMW S 1000 RR (I tested one fitted with K3’s and one fitted with M5’s) proved.

The M5 performs really well and whilst sliding a bit on hard 2nd gear corner exits on the 600cc bike it’s very controllable and never made me back off the throttle one bit.

On a full on liter superbike such as the BMW S 1000 RR some caution must be adhered to particularly if the traction control is off or in race mode but still very much an approved trackday tire despite the fact that the K3 suits this purpose much better. I’ll deal with how the M5 handled on the road test separately so that I can keep my first impressions short.

Basically, the K3 Racetec is for serious trackday riders and racers whilst the M5 Sportec is for the occasional trackday and road rider on sportbikes but also equally suited to the latest generation of powerful naked and midrange bikes such as the Kawasaki Z1000SX and Triumph Speed Triple.

The Interact range also includes the Z8 Roadtec tire that I tested on the BMW K 1600 GT recently. This tire handles a bit of sport touring, any weather conditions and with longevity you can’t expect from the K3 or M5.

Thumbs up for Metzeler as the Interact range covers all riding styles and most roadbikes in a very safe and satisfactory way.