The original Dunlops lasted an age but new Metzelers have transformed the handling
‘It’s as if someone has upgraded the suspension without telling me’
I’ve been racking up the mileage on the trusty Versys 650, powering down the A1 and back on my 180-mile-a-day commute, taking on the best and worst of all weathers while doing so. The bike’s now clocked over 9400 miles and the original Dunlop Sportmax tyres have just about had it, so it’s time for a change. To be honest, they’ve performed really well: I didn’t know tyres could last so long, especially as they provided decent enough grip during the cold, wet winter months. By the end of their life they were squared off due to the large amount of motorway miles, but were still legal... just. I don’t think I’ve ever had a set of tyres last so long. The front still had plenty of life left, I could have just changed the rear but I’ve gone for a completely new set. To replace them, I’ve chosen a set of Metzeler Roadtec 01s, as they’re currently MCN’S pick of the sports-touring tyre segment, and are designed for high-mileage riding in all weathers but also promise to give enough sporting grip and handling performance to still have fun on dry days. At £220 for a pair (120/70/17 and 160/60/17), they’re a little bit more expensive than competitors like Bridgestone’s T30 Evo and the Michelin Pilot Road 4, but I’ve heard such good things about them that I reckon they are worth the investment, especially as I spend so much time on the bike. It’s not an area I want to scrimp on. So far, I’ve only done a handful of miles on the new rubber but I instantly found that they have transformed the bike. On a fairly budget, everyday bike like the Versys 650, good quality rubber can make a massive difference and it honestly feels like someone’s upgraded the suspension without me knowing! I’m looking forward to spending a few more miles with the Metzelers before the Versys has to go back to Kawasaki, and especially want to test their wet weather prowess and also see just how long they last. I’d like to see if they can rival the OE Dunlop’s 9000mile performance, but I doubt I’m going to get that many miles in.
Dash offers stacks of information and features a great sat nav The 107 motor looks great but could produce a little more power Time to check out what the Metzeler Roadtec 01s have to offer the Versys
stopping is Bigger discs and Brembo brakes mean not such a terrifying ordeal anymore
‘Charging through the midrange is incredibly addictive’
More than 9000 miles so far for the plucky Versys Grand Tourer and it’s doing fine