In many ways, owning a classic motorcycle is refreshing. Free of the technological advancements modern bikes contain, bikes from 40-plus years ago are simple mechanical things the average backyard mechanic can tame. However, there’s one element of old bikes that should remain in the past: tires. Tire technology has improved dramatically since the 1970s and the new Metzeler Sportec Klassik, unveiled this week at Intermot, gives old bikes the advantage of new rubber. The following is from a Metzeler press release.
With Sportec Klassik, the brand of German origins has taken the style of the glorious ME1 CompK, the first tire with “bias belted” (MBS) technology launched by Metzeler in the mid-80s, which became a hit among sports bike owners during those years. As a result of the most modern engineering technologies to offer the ultimate tire in terms of handling and safety even in severe weather conditions, Sportec Klassik is in all respects a performance upgrade for those motorcycles that do not boast the most modern technology. By equipping their motorcycles with the new Sportec Klassik, the owners will be able to revive their motorcycles thanks to modern tire technology while maintaining the vintage style and charm of their vehicles.
The Metzeler brand worked on those elements of the tire that in recent years have been more subject to technological development, which are tread design and materials.
The aim of the operation was to rejuvenate the entire vehicle safety while improving the stability, ride comfort and the behavior on dry as well as wet roads, always keeping in mind the importance of good mileage.
Particular attention was also placed in the consistency of the performance throughout the entire life cycle of the product. Metzeler Sportec Klassik is built to wear in a consistent basis, and this aspect is one of the greatest achievements of the technological development in the field of tires.
In the past, to obtain a good level of safety in the wet, it was necessary to adopt a tread pattern with several grooves; the new Metzeler Sportec Klassik uses a reduced number of grooves thus being able to boast more uniform wear of the compound.
From a compounds point of view, the Research and Development Center of the Metzeler brand has worked hard in recent years to develop more and more advanced chemical formulations that would ensure safety and traction on wet and dirty roads, as witnessed, for example, by the success of the new model in the Metzeler range, the Sportec M7 RR.
The same developments put in place for the new supersport product have enabled us to design the compound that allows the Sportec Klassik to achieve excellent results in the wet, without exceeding the use of grooves and maintaining a design with a very high land-sea ratio.
The tread pattern of Sportec is very robust because its footprint provides a high amount of rubber in contact with the road; both on the straight as well as when leant over. This not only offers advantages in terms of mileage, stability and road holding, but it means that all of these qualities remain after many kilometers and with the progressive wear of the tire.
The natural process of wear of the tread in Sportec Klassik will therefore be homogeneous, without causing irregularities in the profile or footprint area. In this way, all the advantages of the design extend throughout the life cycle of the product. These solutions have resulted in a high mileage without resorting to excessively flattened profiles that would have affected the handling, a fundamental attribute for the bikes of today as well as for those of the past. The drainage capacity is ensured by parallel grooves that work in unison to disperse water that comes under the footprint of the tire. The development of the grooves in the direction of the shoulder of the tread provides a cross-section that grips the asphalt, to the benefit of traction especially on wet surfaces.
The evolution of materials has also covered the carcass, stiff enough to ensure optimal interaction with the robustness of the tread. The structure thus reinforced of Sportec Klassik allows a better stability of the motorcycle in the most critical phases of riding, which are cornering, braking and acceleration, contributing in an important way to improve the balance of the entire motorcycle. The balance of all the components of the tire helps the suspension to filter road irregularities better and keep a good line through corners.
Sportec Klassik will be available starting from Spring 2015 in the following sizes: