Metzeler Sportec M9 RR tire test


Sporty road tire

The top of the pure road range in terms of sales and performance, the M7 RR tire is almost a monument as it is crowned with victories in tests, in a category that represents the highest production volumes. Born in 2015, it hands over to the M9 RR tire that we have tried from every angle… or almost.

Metzeler Sportec M9 RR tire testMetzeler Sportec M9 RR tire test

For the German-Italian manufacturer, the challenge is great and failure is not an option as they say at NASA. Let’s see what their teams have concocted with such pressure on their shoulders…


We are used to saying that we do not change a winning team. But in the tire industry, victories are fleeting, the competition is so fierce. This is particularly true in the hypersport tire segment which alone represents 41% of the radial market in Europe, ahead of sport touring (36%, while trail tires are still only 14%. Each gives the best. and paradoxically, even if we are talking about road tires, it is a real competition between competitors that is taking place before our eyes. The arms race is particularly intense and to succeed you have to draw inspiration from the competition by transferring technology developed on the track, in the shortest possible time. Moreover, with regard to Metzeler, this is not entirely correct, since the DNA of the brand is precisely road racing. , grip, weather, holes, bumps, water channels, etc. The driving conditions are particularly changeable and delicate … As in real life! It is therefore by taking advantage of the experience and the 58 victories in the Tourist Trophy, the Northwest 200 and the Ulster GP, which the new u M9 RR, for Road Racing, has been developed.

Metzeler relies on road racing to develop its M9 RRMetzeler relies on road racing to develop its M9 RR

Which tire for which use?

Before defining the product, it is necessary to know perfectly its target and the motivations of the buyers. On a flagship product, market studies are extensive and Metzeler questioned its customers to best identify their desires. It shows that 67% of them using their motorcycle several times a week, whatever the weather, their main concerns are three in number:

  • Durability of performance over time
  • Grip in wet and slippery roads
  • Dynamic performance on dry ground

Built for the road, the M9RR can also go stretch its wheels on the track occasionally as we’ll check for ourselves. Consequently, this requires technical particularities that are not always compatible, or even contradictory. In fact, as often, the manufacturer had to make the big difference and redouble his tricks to meet the specifications..

Designed for the road, the latest Sportec also targets occasional use on the trackDesigned for the road, the latest Sportec is also aimed at occasional use on the circuit

To reconcile performance and cold resistance, it was necessary to manage the temperature resistance in order to evacuate the calories or rather to ensure that they are not produced. This is how the new footprint has been designed to minimize deformation, which limits overheating. The stiffnesses of the carcasses have also been optimized and finally, the parts stressed on the track, are devoid of drawings. These slick shoulders increase the contact surface on the ground, which decreases the pressure and therefore the release of heat. In addition, the rigidity of the rubber is increased, which again limits overheating. Finally, the new profile offers 5% more surface area compared to the M7RR at max angle. Progress that is reflected on the clock and which allows to take 2.6 ° more than with the M7RR in identical conditions (48.4 ° / 51 °).

The M9 is superior to its predecessor in the dry in terms of gripThe M9 is superior to its predecessor in the dry in terms of grip

You guessed it, as it is now classic, the M9RR is a front and rear bigomme, which allows the best possible combination of mileage and cornering grip. A technology that Metzelzer adopted for the first time in 2012 on the Z8 and in 2014 on the M7 in its sports range. You will be able to observe the different distributions of gums on the diagrams.

The tire benefits from a bigomme compound at the front and rearThe tire benefits from a bigum compound at the front and rear

It was after 18 months of development, taking the M7R, but also its competitors as references that the engineers of the group developed the product that we were able to discover on the road and on the track. We take you in the saddle to share our first sensations with you?

On circuit

Holliday on ice … At least that’s how the day almost started when a sympathetic colleague lost a crankcase plug of his BMW S1000 XR spraying those who followed him with oil. Our first session was therefore cut short and we only had two full sessions to discover the capabilities of the M9RR on the track of the Ascari circuit. A hilly circuit which is not strictly speaking a billiard table, but which is quite representative of what one could feel when driving very fast on a well-maintained road.

The M9 RR warms up quickly and allows you to quickly gain confidenceThe M9 RR warms up quickly and allows you to quickly gain confidence

It is on the handlebars of a KTM 790 Duke that I re-learn the trajectories and take advantage of the qualities of the M9. Confidence is immediate thanks to a rapid rise in temperature (it is not cold.). The feedback is excellent. The profile of the front tire directly derived from the one used in the Tourist Trophy is very pleasant. The response is precise and the bike never rises when braking, allowing it to enter the brakes very naturally when cornering, without the slightest problem. Quickly light, braking perfectly, the little Austrian is completely at ease in her role as a school motorbike and her power is no problem for the M9. In fact, in just a few laps, we put the sliders on the ground and because of the low footrests, it is advisable to store your feet well or leave your pair of boots on the Andalusian circuit. A sign that does not deceive despite everything on the level of confidence offered by the duo KTM / Metzeler on dry track.

The next session will be with a BMW S 1000 R. This time it changes history! The angle changes are less sharp and we have the furious impression that the track has shortened as the speeds reached are higher. After a few laps of adaptation, we get our bearings and we still appreciate the precision and confidence offered by the front tire. At the rear on the other hand, the kilos and especially the horses in addition undermine the superb of the M9RR, which suffers from the overflows of the big four cylinders. At the end of a double left preceding a straight line, the rear stalls gradually, but with a good extent. Not brutal, but spectacular, reminding us that we are not dealing with a pure tracker.

After discussion with Matteo, the father of M9, it is the use of too high a pressure that is at the origin of the phenomenon. Instead of 2.9 kg recommended on the road, we already had motorcycles inflated to 2.5 bars, but in such conditions, it would have been necessary to drop another 300 grams. Those who have experienced it have also noted real progress. This will not be our case given the tight timing. Despite everything in these limiting conditions, the rear remains very considerate, a characteristic that we will find on the road..

On the more powerful roadster, the rear shows its limits when acceleratingOn the more powerful roadster, the rear shows its limits when accelerating

We also took advantage of our presence on the circuit to test a wet portion very briefly. Without having the value of a complete test, these passages made it possible to appreciate once again the excellent feedback of the tire and its very strong acceleration and braking capacities. Rainy days shouldn’t be a problem for him. In this area too, Metzeler announces considerable progress Vs the M7RR.

In the wet, the tire provides excellent feedbackIn the wet, the tire provides excellent feedback
Grip and maximum angle grip have improved compared to the M7 RRGrip and maximum angle grip have improved compared to the M7 RR

Slippery roads

The continuation of our meeting with the new Germanic road sport extended by approximately 125 km in the Andalusian mountains, on the handlebars of a Suzuki Katana first, then a Yamaha MT-07 then to vary the pleasures..

With the big four legs, we appreciate again the work done on the profile of the tires. At a walking pace, we do not feel the pounds. The bike swings easily and the extremely degraded bitumen in places suggests a good level of comfort for a tire with a sporting vocation. On the concrete drips that litter the tar, the motorcycle is not embarked unless the brakes are strongly applied. But hey, you have to see the condition of the road … It’s not a cross-country tire either…

On the road, the rear stall is always very gradualOn the road, the rear stall is always very gradual

On the handlebars of the small MT07, we find the playful side and the feeling of security as long as the original shock absorber does not withdraw, which has nothing to do with the tire. Suddenly between the slippery asphalt and the deplorable quality of the rear suspension, the M9 RR was not always at the party, but it gets away with its head held high and with the honors. In difficult times, you sometimes feel the rear stall, with the feeling that the bike is spinning around a front riveted to the ground. It puts the bike in a slight oversteer, but always with a lot of progressiveness, when stalling, as when hanging up. Suddenly, we are really confident and we have fun peacefully.

Metzeler Sportec M9 RR tires in video


Very nice, this new road sport will take you to work, on vacation and a little on the track in excellent safety conditions, with a satisfactory longevity, comparable, or even slightly superior to that of its predecessor (according to Metzeler). A kind of German Swiss Army Knife that will be perfect for small or large roadsters. It is undoubtedly there that we will see it the most at home. It also exists for small displacements (400) which now have an increasingly extensive offer. It is already available from your favorite motorcyclist at the same price as the old M7 RR, the price of which has dropped drastically..

Strong points

  • Ease
  • Versatility
  • Confidence ahead
  • Very considerate rear
  • Many sizes available

Weak points

  • The test too brief on a wet track
  • To check: improving longevity

Price observed on the net in 120/180 X 17: 274 €

Metzeler Sportec M9 RR tire dimensions

Before Back
  • 110/70 R 17 54H
  • 110/70 ZR 17 M / C 54W TL
  • 120/70 ZR 17 M / C (58W) TL
  • 140/70 R 17 66H
  • 150/60 R 17 66H
  • 150/60 ZR 17 M / C 66W TL
  • 160/60 ZR 17 M / C (69W) TL
  • 180/55 ZR 17 M / C (73W) TL
  • 180/60 ZR 17 M / C (75W) TL
  • 190/50 ZR 17 M / C (73W) TL
  • 190/55 ZR 17 M / C (75W) TL
  • 200/55 ZR 17 M / C (78W) TL

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