Replacing the Sportec M5 Interact, the M7 RR is designed to inspire confidence not only in the dry, but also when condi- tions are less than perfect. It is a sport tire that can be used every day – rain or shine, hot or cold. New compounds, tread pattern, carcass materials and profile build on the legacy of the M5 and its 0º steel belt. The 0º Interact technology uses different tension zones for progressive behavior at all lean angles. Below the 0º belt is a radial carcass constructed from a rigid rayon material that maintains its shape and doesn’t deform under heavy loads.
Wrapped around the carcass is a new range of compounds featuring a high silica content. Usually silica enhances the wet grip, with carbon black needed for dry and hot traction. But Metzeler uses a patented compounding process to allow 100% silica in all conditions. Metzeler claims optimal performance on dry and wet surfaces, as well as a wide range of temperatures. The M7 RR front sources a single 100% silica compound. Meanwhile, the rear tire runs a dual compound configuration, with a 45mm center strip composed of 70% silica flanked by 100% silica compound sections. The more durable 70% silica compound, which covers 20% of the surface area, increases mileage. It also heats the tire more quickly, as it is layered underneath the outer 100% silica compound.
(Above) The longitudinal grooves of the M7 RR feature compound bridges for improved stability and better wear. They also allow wide tread groove to move water, especially when entering a turn. (Below) The blue line is the new Metzeler Sportec M7 RR while the red line shows the Sportec M5 Interact.
Tread pattern is designed to ensure dry grip, proper water drainage in the wet and excellent corning stability. Metzeler increased the land/sea percentage of the front tire to 14.7% – 2.1% more than the M5. At the rear, however, that percentage drops to 11.1% – a 1.5% reduction. This is because the front tire plays a more important role in clearing water for the rear tire. The longitudinal grooves of the M7 RR feature compound bridges for improved stability and better wear. They also allow wide tread groove to move water, especially when entering a turn. The lateral grooves have a variable depth and width to increase push in the dry and evacuate water at high lean angles.
The profile of the M7 RR has also been changed from the M5. An increased center radius creates a steeper curve for quicker turn-in. This also increases the size of the contact patch on the shoulder while cornering.
I immediately noticed the change in profile; steering effort is very light and the bike tips in easily. The shoulder feels steeper than some other tires in the category and slightly less linear. This is a positive trait, however, as it delivers quicker side-to-side transitions.
Warm up time is quick, taking just a lap or so before I felt confident that the grip level matched the wet conditions. Cornering grip was excellent and allowed me to reach the edge of my comfort envelope without so much as one hiccup. Traction from the rear tire is superb, both on the shoulder and when upright. On the brakes the front tire had plenty of grip and held with stability while trailing in slow or fast corners.
As luck would have it, the rain in Spain did not permit us to shag the new Metzelers on a dry track surface. However, as an all-weather sportbike tire the M7 RR proved its mettle in wet conditions, making it an excellent option for all-weather sportbike riders.