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Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tire Review

Thursday, March 18, 2010


As you can see Metzelers Sportec M5 Interact tires do an outstanding job of channeling water away from the surface of the tire.
As you can see Metzeler’s Sportec M5 Interact tires do an outstanding job of channeling water away from the surface of the tire.
German motorcycle tire producer, Metzeler, has introduced a new street bike tire designed to tackle any and all sport riding situations from the street to the racetrack. Available in an assortment of sizes for all modern street and sportbike motorcycles, the Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact is claimed to be a sport motorcyclist’s sole tire solution.
 
The M5 Interact expands on many of the features of its predecessor, the Sportec M3, including handling and outright traction on both wet and dry road surfaces. To do this it incorporated Interact technology as used on the Interact Z6 sport touring tire (learn all about it in our Metzeler Roadtec Z6 Interact Review).

Interact Technology
 
Riders demand a lot from their tires. Not only do they need to have plenty of grip during spirited riding, they have to be stable and provide decent service life when piling on the miles during the weekday grind. In order to fulfill these needs many manufacturers use different compound tread zones throughout the tire. Metzeler, however, tackles the problem by using its proprietary Interact technology in which the tire’s steel-banded carcass is precision tuned much like the strings of a guitar. This allows engineers to literally tune each and every section of the tire for more or less flex.
 
The carcass uses three different belt tension levels divided among five sections of the tire. At the center a high belt winding tension provides stability and prevents squirm during hard acceleration. It’s flanked by a lower tension level which allows that area of the tire to flex more. This heats up the rubber compound allowing it to deliver optimum road grip. Additionally, it also helps the tire conform to the surface of the road expanding the contact patch. At the tire’s edge a high tension (in between that of the center and the lateral sections) is used to keep the tire planted during maximum lean.
The tires tread design resembles the Greek
letter pi and aids in dispersing water.
The tire's tread design resembles the Greek letter Pi and aids in dispersing water.


Tread Design

A new tread pattern is modeled after the Greek letter Pi giving it a cool and easily recognizable look. The design works in unison with an updated and uniform rubber compound, as well as the varied belt tension to provide favorable levels of grip in both the wet and dry. Furthermore the tread pattern has been engineered to channel away water more effectively on wet road surfaces. Both sides of the rear tire also feature a clever lean indicator which shows how much lean the rider is achieving from the tires during cornering.

Riding Impression

To discover how Metzeler’s new hoops performed they invited us to Portimao racing circuit—the same Portuguese racetrack that the World Superbike boys bang bars around. A wide variety of current generation street and sportbikes from all the major players including BMW, Kawasaki, KTM, Honda and Yamaha were all brought out for us to ride on—sounds amazing right? Well, besides the fact that a good part of the day was spent sloshing around a drenched racetrack, it was.
The Sportec M5 Interact tires provide enough traction to allow for spirited riding around the racetrack even on a big-bore Sportbike.Metzeler test riders logged over 186 000 miles on streets and racetracks in order to come up with the final version of the Sportec M5 Interact.
(Above) The Sportec M5 Interact tires provide enough traction to allow for spirited riding around the racetrack even on a big-bore Sportbike. (Below) Test riders logged over 186,000 miles on streets and racetracks in order to come up with the final version of the Sportec M5 Interact.

Having only a handful of laps in the dry on a new racing circuit that I’ve never had the chance to lap meant that it was difficult to explore the tires’ outright adhesion in the first two dry sessions. What we can tell you is that the tires offer an above average level of warm-up time. Despite starting off with brand-new, un-scrubbed tires, and without the added benefit of tire warmers, we were able to reach a knee-dragging riding pace within the start of the first lap—an impressive feat.

By incorporating its trademark zero-degree belt construction method, Metzeler’s line of tires have developed a reputation for its lofty level of straight-line stability, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that each and every bike we rode—even BMW’s 180-horsepower S1000RR had no issues with stability down Portimao’s stretched straightaway at upwards of 150 mph.

Another one of the tires’ major pluses is just how well the tires complement the handling attributes of each of the motorcycles we rode. From turn-in through corner apex as well as picking the bike up and accelerating off of the corner, the tires deliver a fair amount of feedback compared to other everyday makes. This allows you to get comfortable with the handling attributes of the motorcycle and ultimately ride faster with confidence.

The single aspect that we learned the most about was just how good the Interacts are in the wet. By the end of our second 20-minute session rain began falling sporadically on various sections of the track. This is without a doubt the single sketchiest riding situation because one part of the circuit is completely dry while other parts would be damp. But even these conditions didn’t cause much concern as long as you were smooth with the controls and refrained from any ham-fisted maneuvers. Later on, the rain started to pour down everywhere, soaking the track. Grip from the tires wasn’t quite high enough to get a knee down with both tires squirming once a certain lean threshold was reached. However, traction while the bike was straight up and down was first-rate with the bike still able to wheelie on certain parts of the track.

Metzelers Sportec M5 Interact tires give the rider the confidence he or she needs to explore the limits of their motorcycle in the wet and the dry.
One of the biggest attributes of Metzeler’s new Sportec M5 tire is predictability. While the tires will inevitably break traction in both the wet and the dry they do so in a predictable fashion.
When it comes to picking up a new set of tires there certainly is no shortage of options. But the key difference setting Metzeler apart from other premium brands is its never-ending commitment to producing better rubber for us die-hard sport riding fanatics. From the guys in the design department to its marketing team and experienced legion of test riders—the one thing they all share is that they absolutely love to ride bikes. For Metzeler selling tires is more than just about making a buck, it’s about pushing the boundaries of performance to allow motorcyclists to be able to ride faster with greater ease, whether it be on the street or the racetrack in the wet or dry.
 
The Sportec M5 Interacts are available now in a wide range of sizes including 120/60 and 120/70 for 17-inch front rims and 160/60, 180/55, 190/50 and 190/55 for 17-inch rears. MSRP comes in at $124.99 thru $126.99 for fronts and $221.95 to $281.95 for rears.

Check out more Metzeler Tires and Motorcycle Tires at Motorcycle Superstore.
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Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Tire Review
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Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact Photos
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Comments
SantaFe   June 30, 2011 05:30 PM
Used Metzeler's solely when I raced my Open Single. They were slicks however. I tried Dunlop's and found them unpredictable plus the Dunlop rep was a jerk. Not so with the Metzelers and the rep was a big help. Since then, I loved the M1's on my X1 Buell. Most Pirelli's I've tried go south fast, 3,000 miles and have flatted twice due to nails. Time to buy new tires for my XB12 Buell and I'm going to try these. I really would like it if these evals gave you real-world street conditions and touring mileage that has been attained over the full life of a set. Can't you guys do follow-ups at end-of-life for a set of tires?
Jan -tire review  April 23, 2010 02:53 PM
Today i got the metzelers m5 on my honda cbr 600 RR. in the netherlands we had a very nice driving day. 20 degress celcius and lots of sun. i did drive about 400 km today and the feeling these tires give you are fantastic. very stable and very much confidence and the grip is fenomenal. for me they are the best decision this year.
i could recommend this tire to everyone


Gixxer_777 -Video speaks volumes  April 5, 2010 04:56 PM
Since I bought my first bike that came with M1s Metzelers have never let me down. As in the video the tires are confidence inspiring and predictable when they loose grip unlike what I have heard with other tires like the Michelin 2CTs. I have the M3s on now, but will look at the M5s when needed. I do hope they increased the milage a bit though...
Shatain -An ad by any other name  March 23, 2010 10:50 AM
Less a review than a product placement/endorsement. It's probably a great tire, but I can download the product brochure if I want this type of biased advertising copy. C'mon MotoUSA, we want reviews!!!
ohio -Tired of ads masquerading as news  March 19, 2010 04:01 PM
Agree with motobell. The article lost any sense of reliability and journalistic integrity with the last paragraph. Completely unnecessary and did Metzeler no favors.
Shaswata Panja -Metzler is motorcycle only tire manufacturer  March 18, 2010 08:29 PM
Maybe Moto-USA praises Metzeler beacuse Metzeler is a motorcycle only tir manufacturer and that too for heavyweight above 500 cc roadbikes and specialist off-roaders...These severely restricts the size of their market and their revenues-...So continuning with cutting edge Superbike tyire technology research inspite of having a fraction of the R&D budget iof big corporations , it is really commendable
Speedo -Wear  March 18, 2010 07:35 PM
The only unanswered question is wear. If they last as long as the Sportec M3, I won't be buying a pair of these...they melt like butter. Let's hope they addressed this.
motobell -Do not write these paragraphs in a otherwise good review  March 18, 2010 05:27 PM
Do you mean Michelin, Bridgestone, Pirelli, Continental, Dunlop does not "never-ending commitment"... they have been kicking ass in motogp, wsbk, ama, and mainly in the market with good products. I have not doubt this is a great tire.. but sentences like below are stupid. BTW, have Metzeler on my FJR, bridgestone on my 996 and michelin on my monster- and 2 days ago rode a BMW S1000RR with Dunlops at infineon - consumer almost cannot go wrong avoid fluff like this "When it comes to picking up a new set of tires there certainly is no shortage of options. But the key difference setting Metzeler apart from other premium brands is its never-ending commitment to producing better rubber for us die-hard sport riding fanatics. From the guys in the design department to its marketing team and experienced legion of test riders—the one thing they all share is that they absolutely love to ride bikes. For Metzeler selling tires is more than just about making a buck, it’s about pushing the boundaries of performance to allow motorcyclists to be able to ride faster with greater ease, whether it be on the street or the racetrack in the wet or dry."
Gonzo George -Fearful of Metzelers  March 18, 2010 04:22 PM
I admit I haven't tried Metzeler tires since the 1990s, as I had two offs due to lack of grip -- still much better than any Bridgestones I've ever tried. Mind you both sets were Metzeler sport-touring tires, but I wasn't exactly pushing them hard either. I'm fearful of Metzelers letting me down again, so I probably won't try then unless I win a set free at some event -- it happens. Depending on my bike, Pirellis and Dunlops tires have been rock solid and reliable ever since.
MotoFreak -Tire Review  March 18, 2010 10:14 AM
Nice review and video. I may think about getting these instead of the Dunlop Q2's, but I still favor the Dunlops. Also I like the cool new Shift leathers, but dude what is with the Fro! Find a barber, quick!!