Safety and Maintenance
Practical routine maintenance tips and technical safety guidelines to always ensure the best performance of your Metzeler tires
- Road performance
- New tires
- Tire mounting
- Tire storage
- Damage & repairs
- Tire constructions
Always inflate the tire to the correct pressure. Be sure to check cold inflation pressure frequently, i.e. once a week. Although most motorcyclists love to work on their bikes, many seldom remember to check their bike's tire pressures. Correct pressures are critical for safe handling. Over inflation or extreme tire pressure will impair your riding comfort and decrease the size of the contact patch of the tire with the road. Under inflation or too little air pressure will result in poor handling and the bike will be inclined to “wander”. Improper and insufficient tire pressure will also cause rapid tire wear, an increase in fuel consumption, lower top speed, and provide less control. Remember to check the inflation pressure of your tires weekly. You will find the correct pressure in the operating manual of the motorcycle. Use Metzeler’s information only as reference. Attention: when the recommended pressure has been changed for use off the public highway (race track, off-road), it must be reset to the correct value before riding on the street.
Load capacity and speed rating
Load capacity and speed rating are included in the size description. The load rating of a tire is identified by an index number and must not be exceeded (observe the maximum permitted vehicle weight). The maximum permitted vehicle weight might be exceeded when loading the bike with passenger, tank bag, etc. for longer trips.
For optimum performance, new tires should be ridden on cautiously for the first 60-120 miles. During this run-in period sudden acceleration, heavy braking, and hard cornering must be avoided.
Legally the tire has to be changed accordingly to the national law. Metzeler recommends changing tires once the tread depth is below 2mm.
When fitting new TT (tube type) tires, new inner tubes must be fitted. Tubes become stretched in service. If a used tube is fitted in a new tire, it can crease and fail due to thinning of the tube rubber. When fitting new TL (tubeless) tires, a new valve should be fitted for safety reasons. Under acceleration and braking, as well as during continuous riding at higher speeds, the centrifugal forces acting on the valve can cause it to bend up to 90°. Therefore, short valves should be used. From tests at speeds above 125 mph, the centrifugal forces acting on the valve insert become so high, that the preload of the valve spring might not be enough to keep the valve closed. Short valve inserts have a higher preload than long ones. Even better are short inserts with a red Teflon-ring. These have further increased spring preload. Whichever type of valve insert is used, it is very important to carefully tighten the valve cap. Metzeler recommends to use only caps with a rubber seal. Metzeler-tubeless-tires may be fitted to tube-type rims, if the following restrictions are kept: Use only Metzeler-tubes. Tubeless tires fitted with a tube have a max. permitted speed of 142 mph. Existing regulations of the vehicle manufacturer must be observed.
Tire mounting - important information - warning
Tires are only to be used on vehicles for which motorcycle tires were originally approved by the manufacturer. Any other use can be dangerous. Check if the tire has directional arrows. If it does, you must mount the tire so that the arrow points in the direction of rotation. Some Metzeler tires have a red dot on the side wall. This indicates the lightest point, and should be positioned next to the valve. To lubricate the bead, use tire mounting lubricant or soapy water. To seat the bead: remove the valve stem core and inflate the tire. For safety reasons do not inflate motorcycle tires to more than 40 psi (2,8 bar); for scooters tires do net exceed 150% of the indicated maximum pressure. Be sure to reinstall the valve stem core and inflate the tire/tube to the recommended riding pressure. Check the bead control lines for proper seating. If the beads are not properly seated, you will have to deflate the tires/tubes and repeat the above procedure.
Elastic bodies like tires cannot be manufactured perfectly round and without imbalance. Therefore always balance the wheel after fitting a new tire. There are two methods: static and dynamic balancing. Static balancing can be made without the wheel spinning. Dynamic balancing can only be made with a rotating wheel and also measures the deviation of masses in respect to the center plane of the wheel. Metzeler recommends dynamic balancing for rims over 2.5-inch width.
Be sure to align your wheels each time the rear wheel is removed or the chain adjusted. Each revolution of an incorrectly aligned wheel gives addition tread wear, reduces tire mileage and affects steering and cornering.
Store tires in a cool, dry, dark and moderately ventilated area. The storage temperature should not vary significantly and keep to a level below 25° C / 77° F. Direct contact with pipes and radiators must be avoided. Ozone will accelerate tire aging, therefore do not store near electric motors or other equipment which may produce sparks or other electrical discharges as this produces a higher concentration of ozone. Contact with oil or gasoline may cause contamination of the rubber compound making the tire unsuitable for use. Wipe off any oil or gasoline immediately with a clean rag.
Tubeless tires: due to the specific regulations of different national governments, we cannot give a general recommendation regarding tire repair. Please refer to your distributor for information on your country’s regulations. In case you are allowed to repair a tire, we recommend that you repair only small punctures which are restricted to the tread area, by using a mushroom head type plug. The repairer is solely responsible for the repair and any instructions given to the user concerning the repaired tire. Repaired tubeless tires should never be used with a tube. Tube-type tires: tube repair is not permitted. Punctured tube-type tires must have a new tube fitted. If punctured, in addition to having the replaced, the tire and the rim have to be inspected by an expert. The puncture in the tire should be repaired by a local vulcanization, executed by a tire repairer, so as to prevent moisture from attacking the tire casing. The repairer is solely responsible to the user for the repair and any inspection of the repaired tire.
It is not permitted to regrove or cut the tread pattern of motorcycle tires as this might have a negative effect on performance and safety.
We have three distinct construction types: bias (also called cross-ply) tires (“-”), bias belted tires (“B”), and radial tires (“R”). The tire's ability to carry side and peripheral forces differs for each distinct construction type. Therefore, a combination of different construction types can influence the motorcycle’s performance. Only the tire combinations listed in the motorcycle manufacturers fitment charts are allowed.
Metzeler offers both front and rear tires in different profiles and for different types of use, so that the front and rear tires can compliment each other. For example, it is not permitted to fit a street tire with an off-road tire.
Front and rear brand
Using different brands of front and rear tires simultaneously may cause problems. Regrettably, we cannot test Metzeler tires in combination with all our competitors’ tires, and therefore, we urge you - for safety reasons - to use Metzeler tires on both the front and rear.