German motorcycle tyre manufacturer Metzeler are well-known for their touring tyres but they’ve have expanded their range in recent years and are now offering tyres worth considering for sportier riding too.
Metzeler claim their new tyre, the Sportec M5 Interact, is a grippy sport-touring tyre that’ll work well on sportsbikes. As is the trend at the moment; tyre manufacturers are producing tyres that offer grip and bold mileage claims.
Often, the tyre uses dual compound, with a harder rubber in the centre to increase mileage and a softer compound rubber on the sides of the tyre for maximum grip.
The Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact doesn’t just use dual-compound rubber. The Interact part of the tyre’s name refers to the structural setup of the tyre carcass, which features steel bands which are tuned with different levels of tension, to control the amount of flex across the tyre’s surface.
The Sportec M5 Interact uses three different tension levels in its belts, across five different sections of the tyre. At the tyre’s centre, the belt’s tension is at its greatest, keeping the tyre stiffer, meaning it’s more stable at high speed and wears less too. As the belts move away from the centre of the tyre, their tension decreases, to allow the rubber to spread on the tarmac and find more grip. At the tyre’s edge a higher tension belt is used, to keep the edge of the tyre stable at full-on lean.
Seeing as Metzeler claim the M5 is capable on track, I tested them out on the current must-have bike, the KTM RC390.
I started out on brand-new rubber, not scrubbed in, but it only took a lap before the tyres felt warm and I could start to feel for more of the grip they had on offer.
The M5 Interact handles like a sports tyre, its profile isn’t as sharp as a full on track-focused tyre but for me, that’s a plus point. It doesn’t fall on its side like a tyre with a steep profile but it’s not slow to get over, either.
If you’re a fast road-rider and looking for a tyre that’ll offer excellent grip, I’d highly recommend the Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact.