Metzeler expands Racetec RR range with new 18” classic racing sizes

Metzeler has introduced its new Racetec RR tyre for classic motorcycle racing with a debut race victory at the weekend’s Bol d’Or Classic, fitted to the Kawasaki GPZ1100 of Marcel Kellenberger and Stefan Merkens from Bolliger Classic Endurance team. The new tyre is now available in 110/80ZR18 M/C TL (58W) front; and 150/65ZR18 M/C TL (69W) and 160/60ZR18 M/C TL (70W) rear. The street legal tyre was developed for road racing, and now expands with the latest sizes in K1 compound to classic racing.

The new sizes are complemented by 17-inch sizes already used in classic competitions, intended for riders of high performance motorcycles from the 1960s, 70s, 80s and early 90s. In classic races, riders might compete on motorcycles that no longer perform like modern machines. Metzeler states that these powerful, rigid, heavy and valuable motorcycles still require tyres with modern performance.

The three new sizes are available in a specific K1 compound, the softest available for the Metzeler Racetec RR, to improve performance on road and track, and further developed to ensure versatility and adaptability to the specifications of old machines.

Classic races take place both on road circuits – such as the Isle of Man, where each year in August the Manx Grand Prix Senior Classic race is held with old superbikes from the 90s – and on race circuits, such as the prestigious Bol d’Or Classic. In most countries, a motorcycle must be at least 25 years old to be considered vintage, while the category for classic motorcycles is usually intended for machines produced before 1972 and for post-classic, built between 1973 and 1985.

Metzeler states that the benefits offered by all the sizes of the Racetec RR are:

  • Grip in all conditions, both on road and track, thanks to the versatility of the compounds and the structure of the tread pattern, which guarantees a consistent distribution of temperature from the central band to the shoulders even after long straights;
  • Precision, directionality and stability at high speed, useful features both in the initial phase of a lean as well as on the straight due to the ability of the tyre to absorb the roughness of the asphalt;
  • Performance consistency throughout the life of the tyre.

The Racetec RR tames the aggressiveness of classic superbikes by using the dampening features of the carcass and the tread band configuration. Its rear is bi-compound, promoting grip in cornering together with great stability at high speeds. Unlike its predecessor, all the sizes and compounds of Racetec RR have the speed index W in brackets, which enables these tyres to be used on public roads and not just on circuits.

The Racetec RR has been designed and tested in major events, such as the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix, Southern 100 and especially the Isle of Man TT. These races take place on closed public roads and so very close to normal road riding situations. For this reason, Metzeler chose these events as an effective test and development ground.

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