Get­ting tyred and emo­tional

9265 miles later and the Kawasaki GTR’S rear Met­zeler is of­fi­cially an ex tyre!

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - KAWASAKI 1400 GTR £13,699 Liam Mars­den Web Pro­ducer Miles 11,878 MPG 46

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.

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