Will Metzeler's new Karoo 4 balance off-road traction with on-road stability?

Metzeler’s new knobby is aimed at the maxi enduro and adventure sectors.

Metzeler Karoo 4 tyre.

METZELER have announced their new Karoo 4 tyre, a knobby aimed at maxi enduro and adventure bikes and riders that will replace the previous Karoo 3 from this month.

The tyre is designed to work in conjunction with the advanced electronics that can be found on maxi enduros and adventurers, and to give good performance both on- and off-road. Metzeler say the Karoo 4 is “ideal” for “riders who use their motorcycles for journeys 50% on-road and 50% off-road,” and who “want to test their skills and their bike’s capabilities.”

The Karoo 4 is claimed by Metzeler to offer good off-road traction while their MRC technology allows the tyre to hold lines well on-road despite the knobbies. 

It will feature a “revolutionary patented tread design,” according to Metzeler, designed to optimise performance both on- and off-road and maintain safety in wet conditions.

Additionally, the knobbies “are repeated with an irregular cadence to mitigate the impact of the tread against the asphalt and improve rolling smoothness,” while the number of knobbies in the contact patch has been increased for the Karoo 4 compared to the 3. 

Also, Metzeler’s Dymatec technology “preserve[s] the functional geometries of the knobs and the tyre performance over time. In detail, this technology features variable groove wall angles depending on their position along the tread band to maximise tread pattern solidity and wear uniformity.” In essence, the geometry of the tread pattern is designed to minimise the wear of the knobbies on asphalt, so that when you hit the dirt the grip and stability you expect is what you feel.

At the front, the Karoo 4 is single-compound, with “extreme,” according to Metzeler, “resistance to abrasion.” On the rear, a dual compound is used, with the carbon black abrasion-resistant compound used on the front present in the centre of the rear tyre, while the shoulders of the tyre are 80% carbon black and 20% silica, “to ensure thermal stability even under stress.”

A lighter construction is present in the Karoo 4 compared to the Karoo 3, resultant of the use of “zero-degree steel belt with Interact variable tension technology,” according to Metzeler.

From this month (March 2022), the Karoo 4 will be available in three 19-inch, and one 21-inch, front variations; and four 17-inch, and two 18-inch, rear variations.