New Tire: Metzeler Sportec M7RR

Belt-tension technology and multi-compound tread make Metzeler’s new high-performance tire a big improvement over the Sportec M5.

Metzeler Sportec M7RR tread pattern

With the Roadtec Z6, a touring tire, Metzeler designers optimized the working temperature of various bands in the tire profile. They kept it cooler on the center, to reduce wear on long highway runs, and hotter on the shoulders, for increased grip and great cornering ability. To accurately differentiate the working temperatures, Metzeler modulated the tension of the steel cords in the belts. Higher tension was applied to the belts in the center zone to enhance rigidity and stability for lower working temperatures and less wear. Belts on the outer edges of the tread featured lower tension, which induced heat buildup for enhanced grip. The Roadtec Z6 was a technical success, and it gave the company a free hand in the optimization of the tread compound.

Then, in 2010, Metzeler developed the Interact M5 Sportec to bring the benefits of this new technology to sportbike owners. But the M5 was more complex. It featured five zones of tension instead of three, due to the addition of two highly tensioned belts at the extreme outer edges of the tread. This turned out to be excessive, and the top-of-the-line K3 Racetec Interact went back to three bands only, with excellent results.

Now, with the latest generation Sportec radials—which are intended for road or track use, in dry or wet conditions, in hot or cold weather—Metzeler has combined its belt-tension technology with the tried and true multi-compound tread that has been used so effectively by Pirelli (which owns Metzeler) on various Diablo radials.

Metzeler Sportec M7RR ambience image

The new Metzeler Sportec, dubbed the M7RR, features a return to three bands of belt tension: a high-tension center zone for cooler operation and extended highway mileage, plus two lower lateral ones for hotter operation and superior grip at extreme lean angles. This new structure, together with a new generation of compounds and a specialized tread, is designed to offer better performance than the Sportec M5 in wet and dry.

For the front tire, a single compound featuring 100-percent silica micro-powder is used. Pirelli developed a special technology that ensures a perfectly homogenous dispersion of this additive, which is critical for superior performance in the wet and cold, plus extended mileage. The new front Sportec M7RR features a deeper and more extended treaded area (increased by 1 percent) to ensure superior water-draining capability. As for the rear Sportec M7RR, its 40/20/40 tread uses a 70-percent silica compound in its central contact band, and 100-percent silica in its side contact bands.

The result? A high-performance sport tire that Metzeler says offers better grip in the wet and dry, plus a claimed 20-percent improvement in mpg over the previous Sportec M5. By the way, RR stands for Road Racing, and Metzeler has lots of experience doing just that at places like the Isle of Man TT, the North West 200, the Southern 100, the Ulster Grand Prix, and the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix.

'Tis a pity, but North American customers will have to wait until the first quarter of 2015 for the dynamic new Metzeler M7RR to arrive.

Metzeler Sportec M7RR main features diagram