Metzeler Roadtec 02 Review: The Tyre With the Morphing Tread

Metzeler Roadtec 02 tested on a KTM 990 Duke

We tested Metezler’s updated Roadtec sports touring tyre in a variety of conditions on the Isle of Man TT course

So far in 2024, the weather in the UK has been all over the place. Without just accepting riding on slightly moist asphalt or heading out in dry conditions while resigning yourself to the high chance of getting caught in a downpour before you get home, it’s been difficult to get the miles in.

But really, UK riding has always meant putting up with a high chance of rain. It makes sense, then, to select your bike’s tyres with that in mind. And on that front, the new Metzeler Roadtec 02 looks like a potentially ideal option, with a clever tread pattern that morphs depending on how you ride, giving what the German Pirelli subsidiary claims are “different DNAs under the same skin.”

To find out how that works away from the press release, we tested Metzler Roadtec 02 tyres on a variety of different bikes at an in theory ideal location. Where better than the Isle of Man, where its position in the middle of the Irish Sea leads to rather changeable weather?

Roadtec 02 sizes and prices

The Roadtec 02 is available in both 17 and 19-inch front fitments, making it suitable for a wide variety of machines including a lot of more road-biased adventure bikes. 19-inch front options range from 110 to 120mm in width, while for 17-inch front hoops there's only one choice - 120/70/17. At the rear, widths go from 150 to 190mm.

The 17-inch front is £167, with 19-inch options starting from £169. The rears start at £179 and go up to £217. At the time of writing, Metzler was offering £30 cashback on the tyres. 

What’s new on the Metzeler Roadtec 02?

Compared to the Metezler Roadtec 01, the Roadtec 02 is substantially different. The biggest news is the new ‘Dynatread’ adaptive tread pattern. This features long groves usually associated with a touring tyre, which are great for evacuating decent quantities of water. When you’re riding harder, lateral forces close the middle sections of these, splitting the groves in two and increasing the amount of rubber contacting the road surface by six per cent, giving more of a super sport pattern. 

The pattern also gives a bigger footprint that stays more consistent as you lean, while fewer interruptions in the tread reduce tyre noise by up to -6dB depending on the riding speed.

There are new compounds front and rear, with the rear tyre getting a new dual compound construction with full silica shoulders, intended to give fast warm-up, more grip and more confidence at lean.

Roadtec 02 tested

Our riding impressions with the Roadtec 02 must be prefaced by a fairly chunky caveat - we only rode bikes fitted with those tyres on the launch. There weren’t any competitor tyres available to test, nor any bikes wearing the Roadtec 01 items. 

That being said, we did get ideal conditions to test a tyre like the Roadtec 02, and that’s to say, quite mixed. Heavy rain the day before and showers overnight made for roads that were damp on our morning ride in the south of the island, and starting to dry in places after some very welcome sunshine appeared. 

The afternoon involved riding on the Isle of Man’s TT’s famous Snaeffel Mountain course, including a closed section on the Mountain section, in case you’re wondering why we’re on the wrong side of the road in some of these photos. Up there, we were shrouded in fog, and as we made our way back down to Douglas, the heavens opened once more. 

Although it was a shame not to have a point of direct comparison, it was certainly noticeable just how much confidence the Roadtec 02 gives in the wet. The bike felt unfussed about being leant over, and I didn’t feel any of the buttock-clenching squirms you can sometimes get when pressing on in damp conditions. 


I didn’t notice any flickering from the traction control light, and at no point was the ABS triggered on the bikes we rode, those being a Yamaha XSR 900, KTM 990 Duke, Suzuki GSX-8S, Suzuki GSX-8R, and briefly a Triumph Street Triple R. In other words, bikes with a decent bit of power to put out to the rear Roadtec 02. 

Perhaps the most informative of these were the GSX-8S. On that bike (and the 8R for that matter), we haven’t been hugely keen on the Dunlop Roadsmart II tyres. Switched out for the Metzelers, the sense of vagueness we’ve found with the Dunlops disappears.  

Judging tyre noise on a motorcycle is obviously a little difficult when you’re also getting a load of wind blast (especially as we mostly rode naked bikes) and hopefully wearing earplugs. However, we certainly didn’t notice that the hoops were making a racket at any speed, suggesting Metzeler’s noise reduction efforts have worked. 

Should you buy Metzeler Roadtec 02s?

The best compliment we can give the Roadtec 02s is that after a while, you simply stop thinking about them. They discreetly get on with their job, not doing anything off-putting, letting you get on with the important stuff - enjoying the ride. 

These are well-balanced tyres that never left us wanting for a more sporty feeling when dry conditions allowed for faster riding. If you’re after improved wet performance but still want to make sure you have a great time in dryer conditions, they’re a great option that also stands up well when value is considered.