Metzeler Roadtec 02 tyres launched with tread that morphs as you ride

The new ‘Super-Sport Touring’ tyre from Metzeler has grooves which change size during cornering 

Metzeler Roadtec 02

Designing a tyre is usually all about compromise, but Metzeler claims to have come up with a new motorcycle boot that aims to achieve two normally opposing ideals. 

The German Pirelli subsidiary’s new Roadtec 02 is said to be “two tyres in one”. Billed as a ‘Super-Sport Touring’ tyre, it has what Metzeler calls ‘Adaptive Tread Pattern’ technology, which does pretty much what it says on the tin.

The tread features long grooves for better water evacuation and “the correct mobility of the tread compound,” the latter said to allow the tyre to warm up faster while also providing better ride comfort. 

That’s the ‘Touring’ bit sorted, but when you’re riding harder, lateral forces cause parts of these long groves to close up, giving a more compact and thus stronger, more stable tread pattern. This ticks the ‘Super-Sport’ part of Metzeler’s designation. As for how exactly this works in real life, we’ll be able to let you know later in the year once we’ve had a chance to test the Roadtec 02s at the UK launch event.

You get the same pattern at both ends of the bikes so each axle behaves the same, although the rear tyres feature a dual compound “to combine stability at high speeds with grip when leaning also on wet surfaces,” Metzeler says. 

Compared to the Roadtec 01 SE, the tread block spacing is quite different, giving a bigger footprint that stays more consistent whatever the lean angle. As there are now fewer interruptions in the tread, there’s less road noise. It should be more sustainable to produce, too, with the company claiming a “substantial” reduction in the use of materials with fossil or mineral origins in the Roadtec 02.

The available sizes for the Roadtec 02 should cover a decent range of bikes including superbikes, sports tourers and even some road-biased ADVs, as there are a couple of 19-inch front tyre options to go with the 17s. The range is on sale now and will make its public debut at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona this weekend.