Review: Metzeler Cruisetec Tire

Review: Metzeler Cruisetec Tire

The new Metzler Cruisetec tires are designed specifically to emphasize the sporty character of big power cruisers. I put them to the test on the racetrack aboard a Harley-Davidson Sportster S 1250. This bike marked a paradigm shift at Harley-Davidson with its ultra-modern, water-cooled, and powerful twin-cylinder engine. The Pan America adventure bike kicked things off in 2021 with the new Revolution Max 1250 engine and, a year later, the Sportster S 1250 continued the traditional model line with a compact, sporty bike.

However, the standard Dunlop GT 503 tires still seem to be designed for the classical type of power cruiser riding, where sporty cornering has to take a back seat to straight-line running qualities. The stock tires on the Sportster S 1250 show a certain sensitivity to longitudinal grooves and need to be forced into the corner with a strong hand after a relatively easy initial turn-in. The bike exhibits noticeable self-steering behavior, as well as a tendency to lift up during hard braking.

Metzeler has understood the potential of this machine and tried to integrate some sporty DNA in the new Cruisetec tires, available in 160/70-17 front and 180/70-16 rear sizes. Due to a stronger curvature of the contour, the tire is more agile and manageable in curves. As soon as you get on the bike, you notice how easy it is to maneuver.

During my tests on the Pergusa racetrack in Sicily, I noticed the Cruisetec’s exemplary neutrality right off the bat, both on longitudinal grooves and when entering a corner. Over the entire arc of the lean angle, up to the footpegs touching down, the tires made the Sportster behave just as I wanted it to, with zero self-steering. Even when braking in the corner, the bike showed no tendency to lift back to an upright position. The H-D gained a lot in handling and followed the chosen line through fast and slow turns completely neutrally and with great precision.

It is surprising how Metzeler has understood the way tires can refine the character of power cruisers. The Cruisetec tires offer new possibilities for spirited riders while also resulting in greatly improved everyday rideability.

Metzeler Cruisetec Tire
Sizes: 16-21 inches front; 15-18 inches rear