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Tyres - Metzeler Z6 Interact

Discussion in 'Tyres' started by Bravus, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. When I rang Two Wheels Tyres in Blacksoil earlier this week I asked about Pilot Road 2s, and they had the rear I needed but were waiting on a delivery for the front. I waited until today (Friday) and rang again... and the fronts were in but they'd sold 3 rears today and were out of those.

    Not their fault, and I find them excellent, but the tyres were seriously illegal, to the point of looking like slicks, so I needed tyres ASAP. They had quite a range, from Bridgestone BT-021s to Pirelli Stradas to Dunlop Roadsmarts. Jeff there suggested Metzeler Z6s, and after a bit of a Google and a read I thought that made sense.

    The set (120/70 front and 180/55 rear) was $475 fitted, which they did while I waited, and the service was excellent. They said "Go easy for the first 100 or 150 km - we mechanically scrub them in but the mold wax melts out of the tyres for a while". Hadn't heard that before but it makes sense, so I'm going a bit easy. I'll post an update to this review once I've had a chance to get a bit more willing with it. (And perhaps also after I get a chance to try them in the wet - no sign of rain in the forecast for a while though.)

    The tyres I had on it were BT-054s, which I believe are really more of a touring than a sports-touring tyre. They'd done an adequate job, but were extremely tired, and probably pretty old: I got the bike with them on it at 46,000 km and it's about to tick over 63,000, so they've certainly served well in terms of wear.

    I used to run them at 32 both ends, but on advice from here had started to do 36 on the back and 34 on the front for improved wear. Not sure whether I'll continue that with the new ones, though, since the roads are pretty rough around here and that made the ride fairly harsh. Think I might suck up the extra wear for comfort and grip and run these at 32, but I'm very happy to hear dissenting opinions.

    Most of the models I'd considered were dual (or triple) compound. The Z6 Interact takes a different tack: it's all the same compound, but uses more steel belt near the centre of the tyre for more stiffness, less flex and therefore less heat and wear, and less belts at the edges for more flex and more heating/grip. Guess I'll see how that pans out, but Metzeler claims it avoids a 'bump' effect between the two compounds of a dual compound tyre.

    As I said, going pretty easy at the moment, but already it's quite noticeable that the ride is less harsh (which might be partly down to pressure but I don't think is entirely), and it tips into corners more willingly, feels more planted and tracks better over bumps.

    So, I'm pretty happy for a start, and will report in as more info becomes available.
  2. OK, 130 varied km up on them, so I'm going a bit less easy. I never go all that hard on the public roads anyway, so if you want more than about a 6/10ths report you'll have to look elsewhere...

    Anyway, doing some tight roundabouts as well as some long sweepers at (allegedly) twice the recommendation, the big thing I've noticed is this: always before in the sweepers the whole bike would tend to wallow and feel kind of spongy. I'd always assumed that was frame flex and a handling characteristic of the bike, but with the new tyres there's just none of that at all - hang off it, open it up and it'll follow the curve perfectly and smoothly, feeling solid. It's a revelation.

    For that guy who was considering moving to Brisbane and wondering what the riding was like... it's been mid-20s and sunny every day for weeks. There was one brief storm last night, easy to watch on the radar and avoid. The upshot of all that, though, is that I still have no idea when I'll have a chance to post about the wet weather performance of these tyres. ;) The old 'beautiful one day, perfect the next' was not just hyperbole - at least when it comes to winter riding.
  3. Weirdness: the Z6s have a 'slick' patch down the centre of the rear tyre - no tread grooves at all in the area. Presumably better grip in the dry for launching, arguably a potential issue in the wet, but of course you're less likely to be launching hard in a straight line in the wet anyway.

    But reading some of the user reviews here: http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews94013.html there was terrible concern about the fact that there were no wear indicators in the centre of the rear tyre. I dunno, maybe it's an anal European BMW rider thing, but surely there are other indicators that can be used, and surely it's not that critical? I mean, the tyre doesn't hit the wear bars one day and blow out the next or anything...

    Just struck me as odd.
  4. Bravus,

    thanx for the review and update mate.

    Currently running a set of the superseded Z6's on the R1. Also read reviews of people running the rear down to the steel belts cos of the "slick" centre. Having said that there is a TWI at the end of the tyre groove near the centre if you look carefully. I think Metzeler highly recommend you run the Z6's as a pair as the front obviously has heaps of drainage channeling in the middle to compensate for the rear.

    Personally noticed that the rear is definately heavier in weight (sport touring construction) than your everyday sports tyre and I reckon the rear suspension has to work harder to cope. Still very happy with them and will be interested in the number of kms I get out of them.
  5. Sorry, 3 more quickies:

    1. I've been convinced (by a PM from a helpful person here + research) to run 36/34 pressures. I've confirmed that at that the ride is significantly less harsh and bumpy on the new tyres than the old.

    2. Of the user reviews, typically all those on big sports-tourers love them. The two very negative reviews I saw were for a YZF-600 and a YZF-750, so either they're not great for lighter sports-bikes or those guys just transitioned from full-on soft sporting tyres and expected these to do the same job.

    3. Long term review (600, 1500, 3000 miles) from a BMW rider: http://www.lengtheningshadows.com/MetzlerZ6600.html

    OK, I stop now. ;)
  6. (OK, I might be over-egging it now, but the views keep going up so presumably someone is still interested)

    Just went for a ride up to the top of Mt Cooth-tha with my daughter on the back. Feckin' magic Brisbane winter day with the sunlight and the big blue sky and clear, dry roads. We headed up, doing the Pullenvale detour on the way in too because it's prettier and twistier. Had some chips and cool drinks (exhorbitantly priced, but you pay for the view) and a chat at the top, then round 'round the long way past all the TV transmission towers and down through those lovely downhill twisties on the other side.

    The whole area is a 50 speed limit, which is criminal: man, I'd love to some time have that road closed so people can ride it all at the speed it really deserves to be ridden. Having said all that, the pace down the hill was probably (allegedly) more in the 60-80 range most of the way. I was behind a squid on a CBR, and he started to slow me up by the bottom of the hill, but it was a pretty comfortable pace most of the way.

    So, at that pace, 2-up on a big heavy bike, the Z6s were hugely confidence-inspiring. Tipped in easily and naturally, held a line like a rock and handled mid-corner bumps and woops with aplomb. Apparently the sidewalls are more flexy than many sport-touring tyres, which accounts for the more comfortable ride and better bump-handling.

    Near the bottom there's a longish tight downhill blind left-hander, and coming down there was gravel right across the road. I probably startled a bit when the front stepped out slightly, but I didn't need to - it just grabbed again with an absolute minimum of fuss and we went on our way. Very nice, very confidence-inspiring. (If you didn't get a chance to read the reviews at the link above, he describes a night 70 mph run through Death Valley with lots of random pebbles and the same phenomenon - a little step and then a 'nothing happened' regain of traction and onward...)

    So, wouldn't be dead for quids... and happy with the hoops.
  7. Been running the z6's on my beemer and love them for stability and grip wet or dry.
    They are confidence inspiring.
    About the rear TWI it can be tricky but you can see where the middle gets worn quite a bit as does the grooves where the tread begins.
    On the beemer I run 38 front and 40 rear.

    The way the tread works in the wet is that the front disperses shitloads of water and the rear can grip better
  8. Good to hear the z6's are the goods, I am getting a service and new front tyre tomorrow, and the mechanic suggested the z6 as the best for my bike, just told me that as they are harder and wear longer than the pp2's that i should be a little more sedate and warm them for the 1st 10 minutes
  9. I got out and about this afternoon to give the new front Z6 interact a proper workout, It had rained this morning so the road was a mix oif wet and dry corners, with the tyre being so new i started out on straighter longer roads with sweeping long corners nothing to sharp or
    No matter if the road was wet dry or somewhere in between i had no qualms and felt nothing but strong grip from the front,
    After a while of riding and geeting a extra 70km's or so into the tyre i went down the mac pass with it's tight turns and downhill grades, i took it easy as a precaution, but the tyre was absolutely brilliant, despite some corners being covered by tree's and still drenched then the next dry it didnt flinch in any of them, Turning around and running back up the pass at a somewhat increased pace it was just as excellent, plus on my next service the bikes forks are due to be stiffened up, coming up the pass lately i had noticed some front end wallowing and slight stepping out, i felt none today despite the dampness.
    In short i am sold and as soon as the pp2 on the rear (which i find a good tyre too) is ready for replacemnt i will be fitting a new Z6 there too
  10. After 11 600 km's on the OEM Bridgestone BT 56's, I was glad to be rid of them and after some research went for a set of Z6 Interacts. 120/70/17 front and 180/55/17 rear on the H9.

    The roads are quite frankly, crap. Add lots of rain to that with twisties for Africa then you need a good wet, sticky tyre.
    My riding includes commuting, riding 2 up on day trips or scratching with mates in the hills. I usually run 34/36 Psi in front and 40/42 rear.

    After 12 000km's I'm just about due for a replacement at the rear with about 40% left in front.

    For commuting and 2 up riding it has not been a bad tyre. It has been excellent in the wet, never a scary moment in rainy, wet conditions (though you ride more sedate in wet weather), were as I had a few "moments" on the BT 56's.

    When pushing hard in the twisty stuff, they aren't very confidence inspiring though. I never felt 100% comfortable with them when riding with the boys and "pressing on". Admittedly, the H9's suspension needs some upgrading, especially the rear.

    Bravus, were you running the Pilot Road 2ct's before? How do they compare?
  11. Thank you Bravus for the very detailed revue and evaluation, and Smee for confirming their appropriateness for my Beemer. I've heard some good things about the Metzeler Z6range, and this convinces me even more. When the time comes, and it's getting closer now, these will be my tyre of choice. Thanx again for the great info.
  12. I run Z6's on my Bird, !5,000 klms on the first one, about 5,000 klms up on my second one,
    Recommended for the heavy weight of the Bird.
    38 PSI cold now, I only weigh 75 kgs, so I dropped it from 42 PSI cold as it was wearing the centre out before the edges,
    In the wet or dry it is an awesome tyre, Does not slip under any conditions, except Black Ice and snow, Does not like the dirt roads either,
    Best tyre I have had on my bikes ever.
  13. Finally rained! And I just rode as normal - very confidence-inspiring.

    They're also about 2000 km old and not showing noticeable wear...
  14. "Bravus, were you running the Pilot Road 2ct's before? How do they compare?"

    Sorry, didn't see this earlier: nah, I was on BT56s before too.
  15. bump. has anyone taken a squiz at the new Z8's?
  16. I'm due for a new front very soon, so may have a look and see
  17. Yeah, I'm due for new rubber both ends, and have loved the Z6s and got heaps of wear out of them, so might look into the Z8s.
  18. Yep my front tyre is just getting to where i have to replace it now, have got 16,000km out of it, and my bike isn't light, commute every day, and get out to the local twisties every weekend, has been a great tyre, rear is around 10,000km and still looking good
  19. Yep found out about the tread in the middle part this morning, 12000km's of riding a fair bit of commuting to work, so not complaining, but left this afternoon for a ride tyres ok, stop for a break and find this


  20. Sweetie in that pictorial your tarmac touches look squared off !!!!

    Sugarplums I never used these hoops, would you not consider that the bar (as in pressure) is set a tad high.