In a spin about which tyres to buy? Let MCN steer you to 2016’s best sports and sports-tour­ing rubber ST 16 20

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - Metzeler M7 Sportec RR £238 (mail or­der) R O F W E N Pirelli Di­ablo Rosso III £247 (mail or­der) R O F W E N Conti Spor­tat­tack 3 £225 (mail or­der)

Wel­come to MCN’S 2016 tyre com­par­i­son test. Over the next four pages we’ll be test­ing the two most pop­u­lar types of tyre for your road bike: the lat­est sports and sports tour­ing rubber, in­clud­ing four new 2016 mod­els.

Tyres are with­out ques­tion the most im­por­tant thing you’ll fit to your ma­chine and choos­ing the right pair will give you max­i­mum en­joy­ment, con­fi­dence and above all safety.

Firstly we’ll be test­ing six sets of sports tyres, from all the man­u­fac­tur­ers, on a BMW S1000RR at the Aragon cir­cuit in Spain, then six sets of sports-tour­ing tyres on a BMW R1200RS on the sur­round­ing roads. We’ll be judg­ing the tyres on ev­ery­thing from how quickly they warm up, how well they make the bikes steer, grip and ride, and how con­fi­dent they make the rider feel.

We’ll be do­ing all the tests ‘blind’. Each tyre will be cov­ered up be­fore we ride, so there’ll be no pre­con­cep­tions of how they’ll be­have be­fore a wheel is turned. We won’t look at them when we get off the bike and will only find out what we’ve been rid­ing on at the end of the test when all the scores and eval­u­a­tions are com­plete.

It’s worth men­tion­ing that Pirelli/metzeler are help­ing us fa­cil­i­tate the mam­moth task of or­gan­is­ing this test. They’ve sourced the tyres from re­tail­ers, as­sisted with wheel and tyre changes and helped us with the me­chan­ics of per­form­ing the blind test. In the in­ter­est of fair­ness we’ll be free to check tyre pres­sures at any point dur­ing the test. We are also free to take the tyres back to the UK with us for anal­y­sis to en­sure each tyre is gen­uine.

The only thing that can’t be judged in a test like this is dura­bil­ity, so that will be the job of MCN’S test fleet this year. But in gen­eral you can ex­pect around 3000-5000 miles out of a sports rear, and 5000-8000 miles from a sports-tour­ing tyre, de­pend­ing on your bike, how much you load it and how and where you ride. Ev­ery sin­gle tyre in this test is at an ex­tremely high level in terms of per­for­mance and safety, but they have markedly dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters and some will suit some rid­ers bet­ter than oth­ers. In­ter­est­ingly they all cost around the same (sports-tour­ing rubber is slightly pricier than sports tyres) when you mail or­der from a tyre re­tailer.

Read on to dis­cover our ver­dict.

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