During this last decade in particular, all over the world, the number of miles ridden on Metzeler tires has sharply increased. More recently, the company was extremely successful with its ME880 Marathon model offering a better “Ridexperience” than the tires provided on factory motorcycles. Metzeler is also a favorite of the best Custom Motorcycle Builders for the range of sizes offered and the beauty of their tire designs. Receiving an invitation for the announcement of a new Metzeler model on February 2 during the Cincinnati V-Twin Expo, I could not resist asking North America Metzeler Tire Marketing Director Chris Wall to give me the exclusivity of some advance information before the big launch.
Cyril. So you have a new product to tell me about.
Chris. Yes, and I think your site is the best place to create some interest though I have to be careful not to give away too much information. We are launching it officially at the upcoming V-Twin show in Cincinnati. The big launch will be on Saturday night Feb. 2nd at 6pm at the industry party held in the convention center right after the show closes.
Cyril. I know my readers, both regular bikers and custom builders are very interested. Tell me as much as you can.
Chris. Well, as you and most of your readers know, the Metzeler ME880 has become the number 1 premium replacement tire for Harley Davidson’s and metric cruisers. Our customers made this happen over the last decade by word of mouth. These guys and gals ride in groups. You get one biker slapping on a pair of Metzeler’s and he is telling everyone how amazing his bike handles better now. Anyway, we need to evolve and we always are eyes and ears open to find the next trend. It just so happens that the trend is that they still want performance, but now mileage has become very important as well. Some say it’s the economy, and I think that is part of it. But the fact that people really, really ride their bikes these days is a factor. Trailer Weeks are becoming Bike Weeks again…
Cyril. So what is the new tire?
Chris. Our new tire is called the ME888 Marathon Ultra. Around the office we started calling it the “Triple 8”. Without giving away too much, this tire took a little while to develop, but our engineers refused to give us a compromise. This tire is going to deliver Ultra miles, but it remains a Metzeler with class leading wet and dry grip, high speed stability, wear regularity, etc.. All of those things that put the Metzeler brand on the V-Twin map.
Cyril. What about sizes?
Chris. I can tell you that we have fitments for the new touring HD models including popular alpha-numeric sizes like MT90 & MU85. 10 new sizes in all and more coming in 2014.
Cyril. What else can you tell me without getting into trouble?
Chris. I am going to send you a few photos. One is a sneak peek of the tire and the other is from our testing department. These gentlemen absolutely hammer these tires on the street and on the track, day after day until they are satisfied that we have a product that is ready to go to market. I thought your readers would get a kick out of Salvo in his leathers. This guy is the head of testing and was an Italian road racing champion. Oh … and yes we test V-Twin tires both on the street and the race track. These tires are put through the preverbal ringer.
For those who don’t know: Metzeler is a 150-year old German company that started to produce automotive and motorcycle tires in 1892. After 1979 Metzeler focused only on motorcycle tires.