Another German company founded in 1863, Metzeler started making tyres in 1892. In 1978 the company decided to concentrate solely on making motorcycle tyres.
In the 1980's the company was acquired by the Pirelli Group.
At time of writing there are three models which would fit the ST1100 rear; the ME 880 MARATHON, the LASERTEC, and the ROADTEC Z6 INTERACT. The Roadtec is the only radial tyre amongst these three.
The Roadtec is supposed to give excellent grip due to its increased silica/carbon ratio; but the few reviews I've seen have all said mileage is not great, averaging around 5,600 miles. One reviewer had experienced a vibration which was traced to a faulty front tyre.
The Marathons seem to have mixed reviews, some riders saying the grip in the wet is very poor; others praise the longevity - having done 17,000 miles on their set. Still others have rated them as poor, saying they have worn out after only 7,000 miles. Surely different riding styles can't have that much effect?
As for the Lasertec, again mixed reviews. Some have said their Lasertecs had worn out after only 2,000 miles; others have squeezed over 11,000 miles out of theirs. Could there possibly have been a quality control issue at Metzeler recently?
For the front, there is the ROADTEC Z6 Sport-Touring radial tyre, which was designed to have good grip in both the wet and the dry, and supposedly good longevity.
The other choice is the LASERTEC 110/80-18 58H. Similar to the Roadtec, the high silica compound was developed for outstanding grip in both dry and wet conditions. Advertised as having higher comfort and improved handling, with the tread pattern ensuring regular wear, longevity and effective water dispersal.
Metzler 110/80-18 58H M/C Lasertec is definitively not a good front tyre for the ST1100 Pan European!
I recently buy my third ST1100 (a 1995 model with ABS/TCS) with Metzler tyres on it. The front tyre was a Metzler 110/80-18 58H M/C Lasertec and the rear tyre is the Metzler 160/70R17 ME55A Metronic. Even if the rear tyre is almost usable, the front tyre is the worst tyre I ever had on my bike! Running an ST1100 with it on the front is a deal: every time you find an irregular road the tyre moves left-right giving you a very strange feeling; even when you drive on the ground marking you can feel it. Drive on mountain roads is a deal, too. You really have to put it down with power to make the curves... and the feeling is terrible! My opinion is, that the Metzler Lasertec front tyre is not the right choice for the ST1100.
The front tyre was new when I bought the bike, but after 600 km (see picture) I decided to change it because the bike wasn't drivable and I was scared to take curves with it. I put a Bridgestone Battlax BT023F-Z 110/80ZR18 58W on my front and the behaviour of the bike is now very good. The feeling whith my bike is now improved and I'm really happy with it (the bike is drivable). Until now I ran Dunlop and Bridgestone on my bikes and I never had problems with there tyres. Next week I'll change the rear tyre, too. I'll put a Bridgestone Battlax 023R-Z 160/70ZR17 73W on the rear of my bike, too. In the Bridgestone section I'll report the life of these tyres.
Metzler tyres: never again!
Rob, Aug 4, 2012
Good to know.
That information is very helpful.
I have been thinking about trying the Metzelers once my ST1100 is back on the road (see my blog post "Never Buy a Honda") because I've noticed a cut in the front tyre sidewall, and the rear already has a plug. (They're both Avon Storms).
But I think I'll reconsider the brand. I may even consider an Oriental brand of tyre.
Ali Finlay, Aug 4, 2012
Agreed, the Lasertec is not the best choice for the St110, but neither is the Avon Storm 2. I have used several different tyres and found so far the Metzler Roadtec Z6 is the best compromise.
The Bridgestone BT023 is a good option but expensive, about £230-240 a pair, the Z6s comes in at about £180-190, they are however difficult to obtain as they are now out of production.
They are still available online at https://www.tyres-pneus-online.co.uk/motorcycle-tyres-selection-160-70-17.html, who appear to be a Swiss company or at https://www.reifendirekt.ch/ and https://www.mytyres.co.uk/Motorbike-Tyres.html
Hope you find this useful.
Alan, Aug 7, 2012
Wrong Tyre on your bike
Metzler Z6 would have been the better option and in the correct size of 120/70ZR18 for the ABS version.
I have had no issues with Z6 tyres on the front. One blow out on the rear only and have had three sets off them. They are no longer available in Australia so I'm using Bridgestone BT-023s which aren't that good either.
Anonymous, Aug 9, 2012
ABS-TCS vs CBS-ABS-TCS tyre size
the correct front tyre size for the "normal" (without ABS-TCS or CBS-ABS TCS) ST1100 (1990-2002) and with ABS-TCS (1990-1995) is 110/80R18. The tyre size of ST1100 with CBS-TCS (1996-2002) is 120/70R18.
ABS-TCS models are done with 2 separate ABS systems: one circuit for the front wheel and a second separate circuit for the rear wheel.
CBS-ABS-TCS models are done with a single combined ABS system that brakes both wheels even if you only brake with the front brake lever or the rear brake pedal. If you brake with the front brake lever you have more brake power on the front than in the rear and if you brake with the rear pedal you have more brake power on the rear than on the front, but the brakes work together.
Personally I find the handling of the ST1100 with CBS-ABS TCS with the "wide" 120/70R18 front tyre worst than the "normal" or the ABS-TCS models with "thin" 110/80R18, but -as wrote- this is just my personal opinion. Hope that these informations could contribute.
So Far So Good
(Peterborough, South Australia)
I've had three sets of the Roadtec Z6 without any problems that I can attribute to the tyre exactly.
On one rear tyre I did have a blow out. But it is quite possible that it was caused by some road working activity leaving something to damage a tyre which had just gone through. It just happened to be me.
As there was some doubt to this, the tyre had the usual centre tread wear pattern for long straights and few corners. Took the bike by trailer to the local bike/tyre dealer and was told that I could not make a claim as it appeared that my tyre showed signs of being under-inflated. Not sure how a bike tyre with most wear on the centre tread would be underinflated.
Guess the supplier didn't want to honour a warranty claim.
In June 2011 I went back to try the Bridgestones newer BT23 with it's claimed 30 percent extra tread life.......Not true....
Do you have any comments regarding Metzeler tyres?