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Thread: Metzeler Tire Choices

  1. #1
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    Metzeler Tire Choices

    I'm looking for some advice on tires for my R90/6. I have a Metzeler Lasertec front tire (fairly new) and need to replace my Metzeler ME 88 Marathon rear tire. Apparently that model in my size is no longer made. So, I could go with a Lasertec on the rear which has a modern looking tread, or with a Metzeler ME 77 which has the more traditional block tread that might look more appropriate for my 1976 bike.

    I'm wondering which tire to go with (I'm not sure the newer style tire would look right on my bike), and whether the newer style more expensive Lasertec would have better handling characteristics (it's about $50 more than the ME 77).

    Advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Years ago the Me77 was the OEM tire that came mounted on new bikes. Decent tires - not high performance - OK wear I guess. Most folks then got ME99 (stickier), ME88 (longer life) or ME55 (now the equivilent of the Lazertec).

    The ME33 front and ME55 rear was the choice of the more aggresive riders; the ME88 front and rear, or the ME88 rear with the 33 front was what us less aggresive guys who wanted better tire life used.

    From what I understand, today the 77 is the comon OEM quality tire and the Lazertec is the premium tire.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Thanks Paul, that's good information!

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    Reachfar, we're in the same boat. I was going to run the old bias ply style tire on my '74 R90/6 CBB project. Continental RB2 and K112 for an old school look. But, on another thread they were really rippen how out of date they were. Went thru my small stash of tires and found I had a ME99 in the proper size 4.00-18. I then got a new ME33 Lazertec for the front. Can't wait to see how that turns out when the bike hits the road. I'm not an aggressive rider, but I got the ME99 tire, so I'm going to run it. Good luck with your project. PS Paul is a wealth of knowlege, I'm glad he shares it.

  5. #5
    Monza Blue 1974 R90/6
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    I ran exclusively Metzler's for years on my R90, then a couple of years ago decided to try the Avon Roadrunners. On my second set now and they seem to be as good or better than the Metzlers. Since I've been running the Avon's, the Michelin Pilot Activs have been getting a lot of good reviews. I think i'll give them a try when this set of Avons is done.

    Not saying one is better, just suggesting try something different from the Metzlers, you might be pleased. If not, you can always go back.

    Barron

  6. #6
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    I would advise against the Lazertec rear tire. I tried them twice, and was twice disappointed. The tire is squirmy for the first 1K miles or so, then squares off and wears down quickly to my experience (not sure how our road surfaces compare to those in Maine- I ride primarily in Texas and Oregon). I'd have to check my notes, but I seem to recall replacing the rear tires both times at around 4K miles. I ran the ME77s on the rear (ME33 front) before that. They were a good tire overall as Paul noted (better than the Lazertec I think), but also not terribly long-lived.

    Like Barron, I tried the Avons and I like them- they certainly handle better and I have been getting much better mileage front and rear than the Metzlers. However, the tread pattern on the Avons is not traditional. You might check out Kenda's new tires or the Dunlop K70s. If you do a search (if you haven't already), I'll bet could find a bunch of past threads on tires with good information (Kurt always has to help me search as I am Google-challenged… ).

    In any event, I wouldn't spend my money on another rear Lazertec... too much trouble for what you get and there are too many good options available. Good luck!
    Last edited by jad01; 04-22-2014 at 12:14 PM.
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '02 325ci (Blue Streak)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas & freshly greased bearings!)

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    I wonder how a Michelin or a Dunlop would work with the Metzeler I have on the front.

  8. #8
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The Lazertec front is essentially the former ME33. It should work fine with most any bias ply rear tire.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  9. #9
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reachfar View Post
    I wonder how a Michelin or a Dunlop would work with the Metzeler I have on the front.
    I wouldn't give a second thought to running mismatch brands front and rear. I would suspect that most of us have done it quite a few times. This might have been a consideration ages ago, but has little basis for concern these days. My 0.02.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Superkraut typ181r90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    I wouldn't give a second thought to running mismatch brands front and rear. I would suspect that most of us have done it quite a few times. This might have been a consideration ages ago, but has little basis for concern these days. My 0.02.
    I loved my Metzeler Lasertecs when they were new, super grippy and handled well on all surfaces. Some people claimed they track on rain grooves, but I personally never experienced this. The only thing is, the rear tire wore out shy of 5k, the front was a little less than 50% worn at that time.

    I wound up just replacing the rear with a Heidenau K36 and I'm very satisfied with the Lasertec front and the Heidenau rear combo. The Heidenau is very beefy with a deep tread and thick sidewalls, it also had a vintage looking tread pattern if that's important to you - it isn't to me. It's been on the bike since October and is wearing significantly better than the Lasertec (I ride through the winter so it saw somewhat regular use during the cold months, as long as the roads didn't have snow on them).


    IMG_20131019_170740_137.jpg
    // 1975 BMW R90/6 (cafe'd) // 1957 BMW R60 (in pieces) // 1967 Aermacchi/H-D Sprint 250 SS (custom special) // 1973 VW Type 181 Custom SOLD )

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  11. #11
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    It sounds like if I want to go with a more traditional tread pattern for the rear the Heidenau K36, or the Dunlop K70 would work pretty well, or the Metzeler ME77 which kind of looks traditional. The Michelin Pilot Activ with the more modern tread pattern is also tempting (sounds like a good tire), although probably more expensive than the others and I'm afraid might not look right.

    Any further words of wisdom (preferences)?

    Thanks for all the input!

  12. #12
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jad01 View Post
    ... I seem to recall replacing the rear tires both times at around 4K miles.
    Quote Originally Posted by typ181r90 View Post
    ...the rear tire wore out shy of 5k, the front was a little less than 50% worn at that time.
    I looked at my maintenance log for the /7. My last Lazertec rear lasted a little over 3100 miles before it needed replacing. The Avon Roadrider rear tire that followed lasted just shy of 9000 miles.

    I have a Lazertec front/ContiGo rear combination on the RS, which seems like a workable combo. I agree that the Lazertec front would be pretty compatible with a range of other tires and wears better than the rear. It's nice that we have some options for these old bikes.
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '02 325ci (Blue Streak)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas & freshly greased bearings!)

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    OK, I've decided on either the Metzeler ME77 or the Heidenau K36. $135 vs. $175 at my nearest dealer. I'd be interested in you all's opinion.



    Thanks.

  14. #14
    Superkraut typ181r90's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reachfar View Post
    OK, I've decided on either the Metzeler ME77 or the Heidenau K36. $135 vs. $175 at my nearest dealer. I'd be interested in you all's opinion.



    Thanks.
    $175 is way too expensive. Try here, 4x18.0 is $134

    http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/heidenau-tires-k36
    // 1975 BMW R90/6 (cafe'd) // 1957 BMW R60 (in pieces) // 1967 Aermacchi/H-D Sprint 250 SS (custom special) // 1973 VW Type 181 Custom SOLD )

    http://symphonyofshrapnel.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Old Salt MEAirhd's Avatar
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    +1 on the Heidenau k36, I now have 5k on mine and it's hardly worn. I only got 5k on the previous Dunlop k70 before it was done. Strangely the Dunlop k70 front is wearing like iron + works well with the k36. I did have some issues in a heavy rain but dropping the air pressure seemed to make those go away. +2.cents
    T. Waits.."Got to get behind the mule.. in the mornin and plow"

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