We jump on the big bird and fly to the Isle of Man to test the Metzeler ROADTEC 02 tyres on the TT course, and attend the 2024 IOM TT launch party. Here is our ROADTEC 02 review...

Nobody in their right mind would pass the chance to fly across the world to the most famous motorcycle mecca ever, the Isle of Man TT circuit, 60.7km of the world’s most challenging and unforgiving tarmac. My objective was to test the Metzeler ROADTEC 02 tyres.

Tony ‘Pommie’ Wilding praying to the weather Gods for some dry time on the ROADTEC 02 tyres on the TT course!

The ROADTEC 02 World Launch coincided with the official launch of the 2024 Isle of Man TT and because Metzeler is the official partner and sponsor of the TT, the location was chosen. We were there to review the ROADTEC 02 tyres and to attend the official TT launch party as guests of Metzeler. However things did not go exactly to plan when it came to the weather Gods…

My idea when I was planning this trip was to take my racing leathers and get an iconic knee down shot on one of the circuit’s famous corners. However, when I landed in the IOM that idea went out of the window and was washed away by some of the worst weather I’ve ever seen, and I’m a Pom! It was bad enough to stop the ferries from running and enough to wash a seaplane up onto the promenade.

After a meet and greet by Metzeler’s awesome staff and the other friendly bike media, we were ushered into the conference room where the Metzeler tech’s gave a great presentation on all the improvements over the original ROADTEC tyre (you can read our review on the ROADTEC 01 here).

The ROADTEC 02 has been designed to suit a wide target market, such as sports tourers, nakedbikes, crossover/adventure and supersport bikes and has gone as green as possible in doing so, the tyres are now constructed of 43 per cent bio-based and recycled materials, while at the same time improving the tyre function in all areas.

The construction of the tyre has a 0° steel-belt for maximum handling precision and versatility…

The construction of the tyre has a 0° steel-belt for maximum handling precision and versatility, while the carcass is made from a high stiffness textile to enhance handling with a big central radius profile for easy handling and high-speed stability.

The front tyre has a full silica compound, with higher load\elongation capability, this allows for better high-speed stability and a quicker warm-up time along with better grip in all conditions. The end results in Metzeler testing were 5 per cent better performance in the wet over the previous model and 10.2 per cent better in the dry.

The rear tyre is a dual compound construction, the new tyre shoulder is made of a full silica compound to increase lean angle confidence, with improved warm-up times and better grip levels. The end result is an impressive improvement over the first gen tyre by a massive 15 per cent in wet conditions and 9 per cent in the dry. The centre of the tyre features a high silica compound with higher load/elongation capability that contributes to high speed stability and better performance consistency.

The tread pattern itself has been designed to improve wet weather and dry weather performance, using Metzelers patented DYNATREAD™ adaptive tread pattern. The tread pattern along with the silica compounds used have been specifically made to not only improve the touring performance of the tyres, but with the wet full groove design, this also evacuates the water quickly and allows for faster tyre warm-up times and better wet grip.

“Gains right across the board at the Pergusa Circuit in dry conditions”…

The tread design also allows for a more supersport handling performance for fast paced riding. All this talk means nothing without the technical data to back it up and Metzeler have done just that, with gains right across the board at the Pergusa Circuit in dry conditions, such as a corner entry speed gain of 2km/h over the ROADTEC 1, an improved full corner lean speed of 7.1km/h and a corner exit speed increase of 3.8km/h.

Wet weather braking performance has also been improved for better ABS interaction and less ABS cycles, which helps brake feeling and braking power, while noise reduction has also been addressed and reduced across all legal speeds, with the most significant reduction at 60km/h where you see a -6db loss of noise.

After a quick rider briefing, we were split into two groups of 12. My group would tackle the TT course, led by legendary rider and Isle of Man resident, three time Manx Grand Prix winner and TT winner Richard ‘Milky’ Quayle. The plan was that group two would ride a southern loop and we would then swap over after lunch when we met up.

Walking into the bike garage there were 24 different bikes to choose from all fitted with the new ROADTEC 02 tyres, all the way from a BMW GS to a supercharged Kawasaki. The idea was to see how the tyres performed on a wide variety of bikes throughout the day. For my first bike, I chose the Triumph Street Triple RS, my favourite bike from last year.

We then spit into our groups of 12 and I found myself right behind Milky following him for a lap of the TT course. This would have been a lifetime dream come true and a great chance to push the ROADTEC 02 to the limit, however, the weather was horrendous and as I was following him out of town all I could think about was how cold I was! Still, it was a great experience and at least we were riding!

As the water started to penetrate my riding pants it then filled up my boots. I was also thinking I should have jumped on the BMW GS instead of a nakedbike, but I was determined to make the most of this test on the new tyres, and to be honest, they were doing a really good job in these conditions.

“They ROADTEC 02 hoops were doing an excellent job of dispersing the standing water pooling on the road”.

When we were out of the town we stopped at the bottom of the mountain, which the IOM government had kindly closed for us to have some fun on. Our first photoshoot was going to be around the famous Gooseneck corner, and my idea of me scraping my knee for the camera had well and truly vanished because the conditions had not only worsened, they were getting dangerous, with high winds, fog and very heavy rain.

The saving grace were the ROADTEC 02 tyres, I had not wanted to test them in these conditions, but here we were. They ROADTEC 02 hoops were doing an excellent job of dispersing the standing water pooling on the road, and the only time I’d had a hint of wheelspin was when I’d inadvertently switched my bike into track mode instead of rain mode with my cold wet fingers.

Once I selected the right mode and found the button for the heated grips, I relaxed a bit more and concentrated on how the tyres were performing and I can say I was happy with the amount of grip they provided and the handling from upright to half lean.

“You can actually get a fair bit of lean angle with the wet grip level, if you’re brave enough”…

I’d been on the bike long enough to get a handle on the tyres capability and I was getting a bit more confident, you can actually get a fair bit of lean angle with the wet grip level, if you’re brave enough, but I could hardly see where I was going on most of the corners and at times just following the rear tail light of the bike in front.

“The general consensus was that the new ROADTEC 02 tyres were doing a remarkable job of keeping us all upright”…

With the old museum cafe in sight for a morning tea stop, I was glad to get out of the weather if only for a short time, but talking to some of the other riders and Milky on his Fireblade the general consensus was that the new ROADTEC 02 tyres were doing a remarkable job of keeping us all upright.

With the conditions worsening we headed off the mountain and back to the hotel for lunch. It was then time to swap around and see (or not see in our case) the remarkable views of the southern loop.

For the afternoon ride I chose the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT to start with, a bike more suited to the conditions, with the plan to swap to a few more bikes as we go, however after 20 minutes of riding as were where heading up a mountain the lead marshal pulled us all over and ended the ride due to safety reasons (we couldn’t see the bike in front due to fog). It was a real shame especially because I’d flown across the world to get here, but nobody was complaining about heading back for a warm shower. It’s sad that we couldn’t complete a proper dry tyre test.

I really feel for Metzeler, it must have cost a fortune to put on this world launch on to showcase the new ROADTEC 02, flying journalists from all over the world only to ride in torrential conditions, but at the end of the day I actually felt safe with the tyres I had underneath me.

To see the entire range of Metzeler tyres stocked by Australian Metzeler distributor Cassons, click on this link here

I just hope I get the chance to test them again in more favourable conditions so I can give a better assessment of improvements Metzeler has made. Stay tuned for a future dry weather test, but in the meantime, at least we can definitely recommend the Metzeler ROADTEC 02 as a great wet weather tyre, particularly as we are almost in winter here in Australia…

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