SV 650: Metzeler Sportec M1 tire test

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Metzeler Sportec forwardMetzeler Sportec forwardSV 650: Metzeler Sportec test

I had already explained some time ago that
ME Z-4s are not suitable
to the SV 650. I have since been contacted
by Metzeler France, who, far from contesting my point of view, offers me
to test the latest addition to their sports range, the Sportec M-1.

Metzeler positions the latter on the same niche as the
Michelin Pilot, the D 207 (and now D 208) and other Dragon Evo.
It is called to replace the ME Z-3, and is positioned between
the Rennsport supersport and the Z-4 ​​road.

Appointment made with the sales director of Metzeler France to
riding, the first contact is made in difficult conditions: it
raining heavily.

The first turns of the wheel are done on eggshells, especially as I bring back,
around the waist, my 2 previous tires, barely 800 kilometers old.
I am surprised to be quickly put in confidence by the front tire, at the
point that after 3 kilometers, I feel comfortable enough to
braking in the wet as I brake gently in the dry. I feel
that the tire crashes more under braking, and offers a contact surface
more important. It must be said that I have rarely driven in the wet with the
D 207 and that in the rain I was afraid with the Z-4. The back, even
new, does not seem to want to slip even when I ask for it
a little more than I usually do in rainy weather, where
I could not be more careful (sliding, I leave that to the pilots).

The rain subsides, the outskirts become almost dry again. At a pace
a little higher (110-120), I note a greater stability
of the motorcycle in a straight line. She moves less. I feel like I have
a motorcycle all in one piece, as if I had mounted a shock absorber
steering set very hard. At acceleration,
it stretches, and I have this impression of a rear tire which "sticks"
to the road, a bit as if I had mounted a much larger tire
wide, offering a larger ground contact surface.

The front tire "telephone" well the condition
from the road: on a portion of the ring road that I know well, between
the Porte d’Italie and the Porte de Champerret, I feel deformations on the handlebars
bitumen that I hadn’t noticed until now.
Interesting on a road that we do not know, less
funny on the everyday commute where we can learn
by heart all the deformations of the roadway. However
in my opinion, it is a more comfortable tire than the D 207, which is
reveals more "dry" for example when you mount a
sidewalk or passing over a large junction at low speed.
Sportec absorbs shock better.

Compared to the D 207, the angle is more progressive:
I am not surprised by the motorbike overreacting to movements
printed on the handlebars. The motorcycle leans smoothly, as it can be
the case with the D207. But this without losing maneuverability. We
also easily leans, but more gradually. In the discharge of
D 207, these are very triangular tires, as opposed to the Metzeler,
more round. In the dry and at good speed, we brake well in line, better
still with the D 207. I have this impression, disconcerting at the beginning,
to once again have a wider tire, with a contact surface
more important ground. In any case, the brake lever sends me back a
impression of greater grip. On the corner, I’m not tempting the devil:
braking from beyond the grave on a curve, it’s not my department.

For the ultimate trap, namely the big deformation
transverse, there, no miracle: the motorcycle moves sharply.
But in a completely different way: the ME Z-4
was furious to be disturbed in his sleep
and reacted sharply, and swayed for a long time.
There, Sportec yells at the road, well decided
to follow its course no matter what, and force the passage. The reaction
is abrupt, certainly, but I have the impression of a more "voluntary" tire,
who does not want to be annoyed by simple fittings and the like
expansion joints a little too marked. He recovers faster
online once the obstacle has been cleared. it sounds like "blang!",
and I passed. If things are still moving, we probably have to
look for the explanation on the fork side, notoriously
too flexible on the OAS for this kind of exercises (do not push, this
is not a sportswoman).

Went out on a bright Sunday to get a little fluff in the Valley
de Chevreuse (inevitably) with a few friends, the verdict is simple:
it is no longer the tires that limit my speed, but my capacity
to take the motorbike. In short, I do not know how to fly (and in a sense, it is
no worse). The friend in SV S, roadway of D 207 as soon as he leaves the
concession, wanders far ahead as I strip myself. Damned !
I’m gonna have to find another excuse than my dirty tires to
explain why I always come last.

From a technical point of view, the Sportec is manufactured in a
that the carcass is flexible on the tread (mounted
fast in temperature) and rigid on the sides (good resistance on
supports). A question of winding the steel wires from the carcass
(the famous 0 ° steel belt). Difficult to have any info
on the composition of the tire: manufacturers jealously guard their
"little secrets". In quotes because it must hold
no more open secrets because this industry has so few players
capable of producing a sports tire worthy of the name. The secrets"
manufacturing, it always made me laugh.

Now it should be understood that the Sportec is a soft rubber,
and that all his qualities have at least one flaw: he will
wear out very quickly. Personally, I count on 6 or 8,000 terminals
for the rear, and 10 to 12,000 for the front when driving very
wisely. That’s barely less than half the duration
life of a Z-4. For those who live in the South and who do not go out
that in fine weather, no need to deceive yourself: if you attack
a bit, you will ruin a rear Sportec in 4,000 kilometers.

For the record, we were confirmed at Metzeler that
the Z-4 ​​was not adapted to the SV 650, seen by
Suzuki as a "wise" and road motorcycle, and therefore mounted
with hard gum. Miscalculation. I’m sure even
with BT 57 or even Macadam, the SV would be more secure
and fun to drive than with Z-4, intended for fat
FJR type road or Behème flats. The question
that I am asking here is therefore: what is Suzuki doing to remedy
this, given that they have undoubtedly been
informed either by their dealers or by their customers
who, like me, have seen a marked improvement in behavior
of their motorbike with another ride? For chatting over the weekend
last with a biker in Carole who still had her Z-4, she
largely confirmed the impressions felt with this tire: darting
on bends, when braking, low temperature rise, too much
too slow, etc … In short, if you have an SV, throw away your tires
original and complain to your dealers who, with
a little luck, your comments will be sent to Suzuki France. The
SV deserves tires better suited to its limited weight
with regard to its performance and mode of use.

PS: thanks to Sylvain, from Moto Expert (Colombes) for the editing
tires

Sportec M-1 Sizes available
Back Before
150 / 60ZR17 66W TL 110 / 70ZR17 54W TL
160 / 60ZR17 (69W) TL 120 / 60ZR17 (55W) TL
170 / 60ZR17 (72W) TL 120 / 65ZR17 (56W) TL
180 / 55ZR17 (73W) TL 120 / 70ZR17 (58W) TL
190 / 50ZR17 (73W) TL 130 / 70ZR16 (61W) TL
200 / 50ZR17 (75W) TL

An essay by Gregoire

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