Metzeler Racetec RR tire test

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The “all terrain” hypersport tire

Developed on English road racing tracks, the Metzeler Racetec RR is the supersport racing tire from the German-Italian manufacturer. An asphalt champion to go shopping ….

Metzeler Racetec RR tire test on track

Successor to the Racetec Interact, the Racetec RR, (RR for Road Racing), has a scent of Ulster, North West 200 and Isle of Man. It was he who won the 2014 TT Supersport class at the hands of Gary Johnson on a Triumph Daytona and in 2015 with the "ghost" Ian Hutchison, on a Yamaha R6. Guy Martin and a few other “sizes” were also shod in Racetec RR. 2015 review, four victories and eleven podiums! A sacred reference, which deserves a few explanations to understand all the subtleties.

Front and rear mount Metzeler Racetec RR

Twice as many kilometers as in GP

This is indeed the distance the pilots cover on the TT. While in GP we consider it an achievement and with good reason to be so efficient from the first to the last lap, here it is just twice as much as is required of the tires. Admittedly, the little Triumph Daytona 675 is about half the power of a MotoGP, but the driving conditions are also very different. In “road racing”, there is “road” and as you may have noticed in real life, the asphalt of national and other departmental roads is changing, to say the least. Type of coating, roughness, wet, cold, sunny, melting, shaded, bumpy areas…. You have to endure everything, without flinching. A true “all-terrain” tire, which must give the best, in all conditions, whereas in GP, ​​each tire is determined according to the track and driving conditions, with a much narrower spectrum of use, to be optimal for a very targeted use. Two different worlds therefore, which justify different properties and design.

Versatility

To offer such a wide spectrum of use, Metzeler engineers have used new gums with high abrasion resistance, thanks to a new patented mixing process, which ensures better homogeneity of the different ingredients. Concrete result for the user: less and more regular wear.

In addition, the Racetec RR has the distinction of being a dual rear compound, a novelty on the European market from this manufacturer who until then preferred Interact technology to offer different hardnesses of gums on the entire profile.

Metzeler Racetec RR tire grip technology

We will also point out the presence of baptized elements Low temperature Glass transition polymer, in the mix. Thanks to them, the tread also warms the sidewalls, even if they are not needed. A fundamental detail at TT. Indeed, in terms of the specifics of road races, we also note the presence of very long straight lines where motorcycles maintain speeds above 300 km / h over a very long period. Usually, this kind of situation leads to overheating of the tread and cooling of the shoulders, which is dangerous in the first turns afterwards. Thanks to the heat exchanges, the shoulders remain at the ideal operating temperature in all circumstances and at the same time, the tread does not overheat at high speed.

Metzeler Racetec RR tire warm-up speed

Stability in all circumstances

Another focus of the designers, stability in curves and at high speeds received a lot of attention. Likely to encounter very degraded coatings, manhole covers, bitumen connections and particularly spectacular jumps, the sides of the Racetec RR, not very rigid on a vertical plane, react in the manner of combined springs / shock absorbers. They have been designed to absorb roughness and deform, without generating vibrations, which may be transmitted to the motorcycle.

Metzeler Racetec RR tire stability

But on the other hand, to stay the course at more than 300 km / h, you need flawless lateral rigidity. Racetec’s tread patterns are concentrated in the center, but the central band is “slick” for speed, stability and wear. The notching rate is 4%, the legal minimum, to make it an approved road tire and therefore an ideal companion for tough outings, or days of driving on the track.

Rookie mistake

Initially presented in Spain in Almeria last winter, the Racetec had to retreat due to the winter weather conditions in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. We had also fallen back on the excellent Sportec M7 RR for the occasion. Designed for a wide variety of operating conditions, the Racetec is still not able to withstand the combination of rain and very low temperatures. So it was under the July sun and on the Le Mans circuit that we were invited to (re) discover it. Mecca of world motor racing and motorcycling, the Bugatti layout presents some difficulties for those who discover it, including, ironically, the Dunlop curve! Not easy to enter it serenely and find your place there, for an average biker.

The advice of Cyrille Huvier and David Sciberras from the H2S flight school who welcome us will be welcome. Too bad I didn’t go and ask for them earlier today! Impressed by the power of the 1000 YZF R1 2014 which are at our disposal to discover the Manceaux track, I opt for a Yamaha R6 which I thought easier. I got the hang of it, because the beast prepared for the track with extreme settings turns out to be so much more delicate than an R1. But that I will not know until much later when I decide to cross the step of 180 hp…. Never mind, the tire did the job !

Metzeler Racetec RR tire test

Good composition

Easy to put on the angle, stable under braking and benefiting from heated blankets, the Racetec RR is immediately reassuring and shows a potential well above the level of the common rider. It allows for beautiful rounding at the entrance of the blue esses. On the other hand, at the entrance to the Dunlop curve I feel some hesitation, which is both my fault and that of the R6, whose hyper-tilted attitude on the front causes an extraordinary liveliness, which borders on the instability under the circumstances. His "pilot settings" are not within my reach and no more to the taste of my colleagues, even more seasoned. I therefore pass on the R1 2014, which in my memory has everything of the "truck". Ô surprise, paved with the Racetec, it turns out to be much easier and more enjoyable than the R6 Racing. Precise, stable, but not frozen, it makes me discover another aspect of Le Mans that is much more affordable. No more hesitation when entering the Dunlop (thanks for the riding tips!). More affordable also the R1, which makes you forget its kilos in high places and gives itself to its pilot with a lot of bonhomie. Undoubtedly, it gains in liveliness and ease thanks to the Racetec RR, while maintaining irreproachable stability in hard braking..

Metzeler Racetec RR tire grip

For who ?

There is not one, but three Racetec RRs. The champion is indeed available in 3 erasers, the areas of use of which overlap more widely than the old version. The K3 is intended for road use. Compatible with a wide range of temperatures and different asphalt, it offers a good longevity that we were able to see at the end of our day of testing. The photo of the rear tire shows wear that is as reasonable as it is regular.

Metzeler Racetec RR rear tire wear

As for the front tire, apart from having picked up rubber on the track, it does not seem to have suffered in the least..

Metzeler Racetec RR front tire wear

The K3 will also be perfect for circuit trips, training courses and other days of driving. He can also ride reasonably well in the rain, no worries, but is more afraid of the cold. The more rigid K2 rubber is designed for greater stress and warming up, whether it be driving or track temperature. Conversely, the softer K1 rubber is preferred at lower temperatures, to benefit from optimum grip and stability under braking.

Conclusion

Available in 17 inches only, the Racetec RR K3 is offered at € 295 per game in 120/200 X 17 while the K1 and 2, more track-type and therefore produced in smaller series, reach € 370/375 per game. After this first contact, the Racetec RR promises to be able to extend the success of the Racetec which preceded it for almost 10 years and which is still as original equipment today on the S 1000 RR! A longevity evidently synonymous with quality, which the RR does not aspire to so much today, wet performance evolves quickly.

Strong points

  • Grip on dry ground
    Feedback
    Longevity
    stability

Weak points

  • Inability to ride on wet and cold track

Dimensions table

K1 Soft
K2 Medium
K3 Hard
BEFORE
120/70 ZR 17 M / C (58W) TL-K1
120/70 ZR 17 M / C (58W) TL-K2
120/70 ZR 17 M / C (58W) TL-K3
ARRIÈD
160/60 ZR 17 M / C (69W) TL-K2
160/60 ZR 17 M / C (69W) TL-K3
180/55 ZR 17 M / C (73W) TL-K2
180/55 ZR 17 M / C (73W) TL-K3
180/60 ZR 17 M / C (75W) TL-K1
180/60 ZR 17 M / C (75W) TL-K2
190/50 ZR 17 M / C (73W) TL-K3
190/55 ZR 17 M / C (75W) TL-K3
200/55 ZR 17 M / C (78W) TL-K1
200/55 ZR 17 M / C (78W) TL-K2
200/55 ZR 17 M / C (78W) TL-K3

Metzeler Racetec RR tire test

Thanks to H2S the driving school of Cyrille Huvier, Dominique Sarron and David Sciberras for their welcome and their availability during this day of driving on the Bugatti circuit. You can find all the dates of the courses, the different formulas and the prices on their website: www.h2smoto.com.

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