TYRE REV­O­LU­TION

The orig­i­nal Dun­lops lasted an age but new Met­zel­ers have trans­formed the han­dling

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

‘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

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