Getting tyred and emotional
9265 miles later and the Kawasaki GTR’S rear Metzeler is officially an ex tyre!
As a Yorkshireman I like to use everything to its full potential. And so it was with the Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact tyres I had on the GTR, which covered 9265 miles over the course of the summer.
By the end of their time on the GTR the rear had squared badly from all the motorway miles. And then one exceptionally high-mileage week put a stop to my GTR riding, and the life of the rear Metzeler, which had worn through to the canvas on a small patch in the centre of the tyre. That was it, the GTR had to be parked while I waited for replacements, which IÕD ordered the previous week in the knowledge the Metzelers were getting close to the end of their life.
I was quite pleased with how the Metzelers (£220 mail order before fitting) performed. They were a huge improvement on the original fitment Bridgestone BT-021S, but the front still gave a vague feeling Ð especially in the wet. I was never totally sure just how much grip I had left, or how much I was using, even before theyõd squared off.
But considering the GTR weighs a whopping 305kg and puts a hefty 100ftlb of torque through the rear tyre, to have them last just shy of 10,000 miles is very impressive (although I should really have replaced them earlier).
At the recommendation of several people in the office, the Z8s have been replaced with Michelin Pilot Road 4 GTS (£240 mail order in the GTRÕS sizes), which have since proved incredibly impressive in abnormally wet conditions. The amount of grip and confidence they offer on saturated roads is extraordinary, and keeping an eye on the tyre pressure gauge on the dash reveals that they heat up incredibly quickly so long as riding conditions arenõt too cold.
They say you never really know what you have until itõs gone. And so it was when Senior Road Tester Adam Child borrowed the GTR one evening and handed me the keys to his Suzuki GSX-S1000FA. As soon as I pulled out of the car park to go home I could tell the ride would be much colder, even though itõs only an eight-mile commute. The screen on the GTR has been amazing in bad weather and the laughably small screen on the Suzuki did nothing to keep the chill at bay.
The only problem is that the GTRÕS screen is almost too good Ð I canõt fully close my visor until I get above 40mph, otherwise my glasses steam up due to the lack of airflow. But if thatõs the price of being warm on longer, cold journeys then Iõll happily pay it.