After testing the KAROO 4 adventure tyres, it was time for Pommie to take the TOURANCE NEXT 2 hoops for a spin to see how the opposite side of the Metzeler adventure spectrum handled....
The Metzeler TOURANCE NEXT 2 is an evolution of the Metzeler TOURANCE NEXT, the NEXT 2 is designed to target adventure riders that will spend most of their time on the tar and want a high level of grip and wear in both wet and dry conditions.
While I was drinking beer and eating steak, there were a few busy mechanics swapping out the Metzeler KAROO 4 tyres from our previous hard day’s ride in the bush and putting on a nice new set of TOURANCE NEXT 2 on our test bikes for the next day’s road riding adventure, which is always nice…
Read Pommie’s review of the KAROO 4 tyres here…
The morning ride was set to take us on the Putty Rd in NSW north of Windsor and follow the windy road all the way to Singleton. So, after a short rider briefing, basically warning us to be careful because we were on new rubber, we were off. Luckily for me I was on one of my local roads, which does not happen often on a launch, so I knew I could push the tyres more than I would normally if I didn’t have a clue which way the road went. For the first leg I chose the mighty V4 S Multistrada for added fun.
The NEXT 2 is an evolution of the previous outgoing TOURANCE NEXT tyre and Metzeler have really done their homework in developing and improving all performance aspects of the TOURANCE. Such as, a radial structural improvement and 45 per cent stiffer tread compound to help with stability and transitioning from one lean angle to the other and the tyres are designed to feel more agile on the road.
When you listen to a presentation on tyres by a passionate expert, it’s hard for someone like me without a degree in chemistry and physics to truly understand what a nSBR liquid polymer is, or effective yaw damping and the fact that there’s now 85 per cent silica in the front tyre or Dynamic Mould Angle Technology. However, what I do understand is the back to back tests that Metzeler have done with the new tyre against the old tyre to prove that they have improved performance in the wet and dry conditions, and my previous experience on the tyres.
Such as, the same bike will now stop 2.33m earlier at 85km/h in the wet and Metzeler have charts that show a 5 per cent corner speed gain on a test track and higher levels of grip and stability from the dual compound rear.
With all that tech and development that goes into keeping us safe and improving the life of the tyre, it means nothing if you don’t feel confident to push the tyres, and for me it’s all about how it feels when you’re on your favourite stretch of twisties and hard on the gas off corners or on the brakes into turns.
I guess the majority of people that buy big adventure bikes like these will never ride their bikes to the degree and lean angles that some of the journalists on the launch were doing, but speaking to them all at the end of the day and during the bike swaps we were doing, none of them had any moments, including myself. In fact the tyres performed brilliantly on all four bikes I rode on the day, even on the most powerful of bikes set in their most sportiest of settings the tyres grip levels were unbelievable and never exceeded.
“I think the only way to exceed the grip available on the TOURANCE NEXT 2 would be to take the bike to the racetrack and push them hard, but for road use they were great.”
I think the only way to exceed the grip available on the TOURANCE NEXT 2 would be to take the bike to the racetrack and push them hard, but for road use they were great on the adventure bikes. The TOURANCE NEXT 2 hoops have a great neutral feeling and fall into the corners in a predictable manner, if you’ve ever ridden the Putty road you’d know how tight and twisty the corners are on the upper part of that road, with a lot of first gear switchbacks.
With all the bikes being heavy adventure/touring style bikes you do need to use your bodyweight to flick them from side to side, but like I said before, it’s very predictable. Once you have the confidence that the grip level is there on these new tyres you can push the bikes surprisingly quick and powering off the turns is also fun especially on some of the bigger horsepower bikes.
However, I was glad to have some level of traction control, because I saw that cheeky yellow light on the dash flickering at me a few times as I got hard on the gas driving off the bends so I was thankful to have great tyres and a bit of electronic trickery keeping me from a tearful ending to a great ride.
At the end of the day I had a blast testing the new TOURANCE NEXT 2 on some great roads, on some great bikes, with a great bunch of riders from all over the world and none of them, including myself, had a bad word to say about the tyres. Metzeler has worked hard on extending tyre life and more importantly quality of performance of the tyre when the tyre is wearing down, but I guess at the end of the day, it’s the long-term tests that will come from customers that will count most.
Metzeler say the TOURANCE NEXT 2 guarantees a new level of performance in the adventure segment and it was developed for riders riding their motorcycles both for long journeys and out-of-town excursions, alone or with a passenger, who are looking for top performance combined with riding comfort and durability.
Some of the main features are: Accurate control at any lean angle, leading to an agile and neutral behaviour of the motorcycle thanks to the radial structure with zero degrees steel belt and INTERACT technology. The innovative formulation of the compounds with liquid polymers and their arrangement, which uses Metzeler HYPERBASE technology, make TOURANCE NEXT 2 the new reference tyre in their line-up using braking and wet performance as an example, guaranteeing braking distances 1.5m shorter than its predecessor TOURANCE NEXT 1.
The longitudinal grooves in the central part of the tread, which make up the upper part, are interrupted by other grooves in order to ensure greater stability of the compound and consequently a uniform wear. Likewise, these grooves should improve lateral thrust for off-road performance.
The patented DYMATEC technology has been applied to the tread pattern, which involves a design methodology specifically made to preserve the functional geometries of the compound blocks and consequently tyre performance over time. Thanks to DYMATEC, Dynamic Mould Angle Technology, the position of the groove along the tread width, and consequently the different lean angle, determines the specific angle of its the walls, in order to better manage the dynamic stresses typical of on/off riding and ensure maximum wear uniformity.
Another important feature of the front tyre is the irregular repetition of the tread pattern (Multi-Pitch Knob Layout), a technology that places blocks of compound of different sizes in contact with the asphalt, to ensure smooth rolling and a high comfort level.
On the front, Metzeler introduces an innovative high-silica compound (85 per cent) containing functionalized polymers (SBR) which enhance its wet grip characteristics and stability, allowing a reduction of the braking distance by more than 10 per cent and stability under different load conditions.
As for the TOURANCE NEXT 2 rear sizes, the central strip replicates the same compound as the front, while the shoulder areas are full-silica and formulated for wet performance and grip while leaning. Some sizes feature the arrangement of the tread compounds according to the Cap&Base scheme, while others use the patented Hyperbase formula.
According to the Cap&Base scheme, the shoulder areas in soft compound, which ensure grip when cornering, are layered on a harder compound base that ensures consistency in performance and thermal balance. With the Hyperbase scheme, both shoulder areas and the central compound strip are supported by a base formulated with a specific full-carbon-black compound, oriented towards dynamic and thermal stability.
Metzeler TOURANCE NEXT 2 Pricing And Size Chart (AUD)
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The Verdict | Tyre Review: Launch, Metzeler TOURANCE NEXT 2 Touring Tyres