Best Sports Touring Tire – Metzeler Sportec M9 RR
The combination of the Sportec M9 RR and a Ducati Streetfighter is an interesting one.Metzeler developed the Sportec M9 RR with input from Ducati to be a sport touring tire that provides excellent wet and dry grip while also offering comfortable road manners.
Design and Features
The M9 RR is a sportbike tire based on Metzeler's Sportec M5 line of tires. The M9 RR features an asymmetric tread pattern for optimal cornering performance like its road-racing counterparts. The tread blocks are staggered across the tire width, with larger blocks placed outside the wheel to maximize contact patch at a lean angle.
Asymmetrical tires have become popular in recent years as makers reduce rotating weight by minimizing parts count and simplifying the manufacturing process. Another feature borrowed from the race tire world is the M9 RR's two-stage, chevron-shaped wear indicator built into the tread blocks.
The M9 RR also features an advanced silica compound for both wet and dry grip as well as carbon black in the tread compound for improved wear resistance. A new bead construction provides the tire with a more linear profile, resulting in improved handling.
The asymmetric design of the M9 RR promises great things in terms of tracking stability at lean angles; however, this pattern can pose problems with rear tire wear. Contrary to what you might expect, the staggered tread pattern does not improve the cornering grip on a rear tire as it does on a front tire.
Because of this, Metzeler designers incorporated lateral grooves that open and close under centrifugal force at high speeds to keep optimum contact over the footprint on the rear tire. This silica compound is then blended with non-directional carbon black for improved wear resistance.
The dual-compound on the front and rear tire provide the optimal grip for various conditions. The M9 RR rear tire has a 70 percent street / 30 percent track compound, while the front uses a 60 percent street / 40 percent track compound. This gives riders a choice on how they want to use their motorcycle.
Furthermore, the M9 RR offers 10% more mileage compared to previous M7 RR models. This is a huge bonus for a sport-touring tire that promises high performance.
The Streetfighter is a very capable motorcycle that can run circles around many sportbikes with only minimal changes in stock form. However, it does require a fairly smooth surface to perform at its best. With some minor tweaks, it becomes a fairly comfortable sport-touring machine capable of carving up any road with ease.
The first time we took the Streetfighter out on a back road, it was apparent that we needed some serious sport rubber. The stock tires didn't have enough grip to get the job done and were very vague when leaned over in even moderate lean angles.
After discussing our riding style and needs with the guys at Metzeler, we opted for the M9 RR tires. After mounting up a set of new front and rear tires, we hit the twisties and were pleasantly surprised by their grip and predictability.
The transition from side to side seemed nearly effortless compared to the stock Pirellis. As expected, they also washed out far easier too if traction was lost during heavy braking or aggressive acceleration.
The Stock Pirellis were decent in terms of grip and handling; however, they required a very smooth throttle hand to keep from breaking traction at the rear during aggressive riding. Those issues went away with the M9 RR tires as grip levels increased dramatically after switching over to the new rubber.
As expected, tire life is where these tires shine as well as their performance capabilities both on and off-road. We found they lasted nearly twice as long on the rear compared to the OEM tires with minimal wear on the front indicator.
The last question we had was in regards to their wet-weather performance. After riding in a few rain showers, we can attest to their abilities in the wet. Slick roads are quickly dispatched with ease and confidence. At the same time, the M9 RR's progressive lean angle capabilities kept us smiling when riding at pace.
From a performance standpoint, this is one of Metzeler's best releases yet. It has all the makings of a tire that could be used for both weekend getaways or daily commuting duties.
Price and Size Availability
The M9 RR is available in several 17" rim sizes. Stock sizes for the new Streetfighter include 120/70ZR17 and 180/55ZR17.
The Metzeler M9 RR will also be available in Ducati Streetfighter sizes, including 120/70ZR17 front and 190/55ZR17 rear. The front tire retails for $150, whereas the rear will set you back $218.
Price-wise, the tires are inline with other premium brands on the market.
Customer Opinions and Reviews
We surveyed a number of Streetfighter owners to get their opinions on the new Metzeler M9 RR tires.
A couple of them noted they were very optimistic due to the previous tire models from Metzeler and being very pleased with both performance and durability.
Another owner noted they would be switching over to the M9 RRs as soon as their current Pirellis wear out. He mentioned that several other brands claim to have similar grip levels and durability, but they were complete disappointments when push came to shove.
Regarding size availability, customers were pleased that Metzeler offered several different sizes, including 120/70ZR17 front and 190/55ZR17 rear. This should appeal greatly to Streetfighter owners looking for a better tire solution than the OEMs currently available.
All in all, the feedback from other Streetfighter owners was extremely positive, and they highly recommended them to anyone looking for a good blend between sport and touring.
Our Two Cents
The guys at Metzeler have come up with another winner. The M9 RR is actually one of the best sport-touring tires on the market, which is quite an accomplishment for a company that started out making black magic rubber for racing motorcycles.
Overall, this tire performs great both on and off-road, providing any rider to choose between the street or track-based applications. Its continuous centerline tread pattern allows you to carve up any road without worrying about losing grip, while progressive lean angles give riders confidence when riding at pace through twisties.
We should also note that they provide excellent value due to their high mileage capabilities and impressive wet weather abilities.
We give the M9 RR a solid 9 out of 10-star rating. We highly recommend giving them a try for your next set of tires on the new Ducati Streetfighter.
Order your set of Metzeler M9 RR tires today on Revzilla.
- Great blend of performance and durability.
- Available in several sizes
- Progressive lean angles make for a more confident ride.
- Exceptional wet weather performance
- W-rated for speeds up to 168 mph
- None that we could find
Best Track Tire – PirelliDiablo Supercorsa SP V3
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 tires are designed with maximum lean angles in mind and provide the closest thing to a race-spec tire for the Ducati StreetFighter currently available on the market.
Their performance capabilities are also quite impressive, providing superior grip levels than most racing on the market today. Furthermore, Pirelli also claims that the Supercorsa SP V3 will wear much slower than other brands, thanks to their latest Carbon Black compound.
Design and Features
Pirelli has kept the design consistent with their previous Diablo Supercorsa SP tires. The overall design consists of a symmetrical pattern, fine thread, and sidewall striping identical to the V2 model. The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 is the perfect representation of a street-legal tire with track performance.
The symmetrical tread pattern is designed to provide the same handling characteristics regardless of direction, thus eliminating the need for re-balancing. The result is an extremely high level of precision and accuracy when riding at the limit.
The Supercorsa SP V3 now features a multi-radius profile which allows for greater lean angles and confident handling. The profile is designed with three distinct profiles, each at different stages of wear. The tire also has high-quality steel belt construction, which increases the rigidity of the tire and helps to increase its serviceability in case of a sidewall puncture.
Compared to the V2 model, the V3 has a very similar sidewall design, but the lettering is now laser engraved instead of painted. The tread pattern has also undergone some changes, with Pirelli taking inspiration from their racing tires to produce a more angular profile which helps displace heat away from the center of the tire.
The tire features a dual rubber compound for its tread pattern with two different mixes located both on the outer and inner sections of the tire. Their Carbon Black compound is used on only one side of each tire to ensure no adverse effects when swapping back and forth between stock setups.
The Supercorsa SP V3 features an angular "flash" tread pattern, which helps expel heat by increasing pressure on the contact patch. This increases grip levels even further when combined with their Carbon Black compound.
Pirelli uses a three-layer technology that integrates the carcass, belt package, and tread compound into one single unit. This means that no belts or compounds can delaminate from each other, allowing for consistent stability and longevity of their tires.
The center rib is 50% taller than on previous models providing greater contact with the road at extreme lean angles. Pirelli's new Sipe Technology creates additional grooves between each tread block to improve grip without increasing thread count.
Let's get the most obvious out of the way first. The Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 tires are by far some of, if not the 'grippiest' street-legal tires on the market today.
This is no big deal for those who have ridden with race compounds before. But those riders who are still learning their limits and how to handle their motorcycle at the extremes will quickly learn why these tires were designed for track days.
When they are at their limits, the Supercorsa SP V3 will allow you to lean your bike far beyond the capability of other tires. This is not only due to the higher-grip compound, but their tread pattern can sometimes generate more grip than some race compounds, thanks to its ultra-fine thread count.
Their grip levels are so high that it is actually quite easy to get comfortable enough to push harder than expected. The angular 'flash' tread pattern does a great job of digging into the pavement when leaned over, providing confidence in quick transitions or fast direction changes.
Furthermore, the tire does provide impressive feedback through the bars allowing you to know exactly what the front end is doing under all conditions.
The tread design also helps improve turn-in response, making them even easier to ride thanks to how linear they are at the end of the stroke. Even though there are still no carbon or Kevlar belts, these tires are very strong for street use and track days alike.
Tread life seems slightly improved over previous models featuring a much finer thread design and a more pronounced sipe technology that helps displace the heat away from the tire's surface. If you do manage to wear out your tires, they can be rotated, so there is no need for a rear and front specific compound unless you want to buy two sets.
You will notice that these tires tend to wear fairly quickly, but it is probably because most people are running them on the track. If you're not an experienced rider, they might only last around 8,000 miles, which isn't all that bad considering their grip level.
As expected with any track-oriented tire, they are loud. But this noise doesn't come from the tread pattern. Rather, Pirelli has considered how their rubber compound reacts at high speeds, including grooves that act as noise dampeners.
The result is a tire that isn't only sticky but also very quiet - even when compared to its competition.Although a street tire shouldn't be ridden at the speeds of a racing tire, it should still be quiet enough to use without your neighbors looking for a reason to call the cops.
Price and Size Availability
So, what's not to like? The price, of course! At $250-$330 per tire, buying a new set of these can put a serious dent in your wallet if you're not careful. And for those who do track days or ride aggressively, there is no way around it, as this is the price we pay for superior performance.
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 is available in several 17" rim sizes. Stock sizes for the Streetfighter include 120/70ZR17 front and 200/60ZR17 rear, which retail for $202 and $326, respectively.
Customer Opinions and Reviews
We polled a number of Streetfighter owners to get their opinions on the new Pirellis. A couple of them noted they were very optimistic owing to previous tire models from Pirelli. However, one rider noted that they tend to wear quickly and can generate a lot of heat even when leaned over for extended periods.
On the other hand, some riders said they are constantly being asked what tire they are running. They also have to do less maintenance due to being designed for track use where wear is constantly monitored.
Our Two Cents
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 continues to live up to its name by providing excellent grip at high speeds with impressive feedback through the bars - even when compared to its competition which commands a higher price.
The one downside to the tire is that they tend to wear out quickly. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but it takes some getting used to if you are coming from another brand of tire.
Order your set of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 tires today on Revzilla.
- Grip, grip, and more grip.
- Provides excellent feedback
- Exceptional performance on wet and dry roads
- Stable at high speeds
- Ideal for track days
- Wear rate
- Expensive than other street tires on the market
Best Street Tire – BridgestoneBattlax Hypersport S22
Bridgestone enters the Supersport tire market with an outstanding street-legal product. The tires feature Bridgestone's latest tread pattern, which is more refined than previous models. This results in exceptional grip both on the track and on the road.
The Battlax Hypersport S22 is made for performance sport bikes used primarily on the street but will see some track time. As one would expect from a product designed by Bridgestone, it features high levels of stability at all lean angles as well as good feedback through the bars.
Design and Features
The Bridgestone S22 is a street tire specifically designed for Supersport bikes. It features a symmetric pattern that reduces the variation experienced in different tire widths and provides a better grip than asymmetric patterns. According to Bridgestone, this tread design also reduces interior heat build-up, improves rider feedback, and reduces tread squirm (warping).
The rear tire features triple compound (5LC) technology strategically placed around the tire. The soft compound is used towards the center of the tread, the medium compound is placed in the middle, and the hard compound is applied to the shoulders. Each compound was placed due to extensive testing at different temperatures and speeds.
The Hypersport S22 front tire uses a dual compound (3LC) tread design, with a harder compound along the center and a softer compound on the shoulders for improved grip in turns. Bridgestone claims this combination provides exceptional grip throughout lean angles and helps dissipate heat more quickly.
It also features a High Tensile Super Penetrated Cord (HTSPC) reinforced with aramid fibers throughout the tire's body. HTSPC provides for a stronger structure without adding weight. It helps reduce internal heat build-up by allowing air to pass through the tire's surface more easily.
Silica enriched tread compound is also used on the Battlax S22 front tire to improve wet-weather performance. The compound has an improved water-repellent function, which allows for penetration of water droplets into the tread pattern without creating hydroplaning or aquaplaning effects.
The Bridgestone S22 also features RC Polymer Technology that optimizes silica distribution to provide long-lasting grip during riding, especially under hot conditions.
Another innovative feature of the Hypersport S22 is Bridgestone's NanoPro-Tech. Micro-diamond particles are embedded in the tread to increase wear resistance and reduce tire deformation under high loads.
Furthermore, the Battlax Hypersport S22 is tubeless, meaning that it can be run at lower pressure for better comfort or higher pressure for more performance.
All testing was done on the Ducati StreetFighter for a total of six days. I tested both front and rear tires at daily street commute pace,consisting of city, highway, and back roads. In addition, I took each set out for one track day, where speeds ranged from 30 mph to over 140 mph depending on track configuration.
While the Battlax Hypersport S22 excels on the street, it feels just as confident at track speeds. The tire provides excellent feedback through the bars and maintains good stability even at high lean angles.
Although I wasn't able to take them for a longer ride to see how they fare in terms of comfort, these tires are definitely made for performance sportbikes that primarily spend their time between the tarmac and not so much time on unpaved roads or gravel.
Living up to its name, the Battlax S22 delivers exceptional performance over wet surfaces. It also has very predictable grip levels during acceleration. It allows me to easily find that golden zone where my bike is accelerating without any wheel spin. Also, despite taking sharp turns at high speeds, the tires never gave me any sense of insecurity or loss of confidence.
Bridgestone has done their homework on these tires, and it shows. The Battlax Hypersport S22 feels safe at all lean angles, has excellent feedback through the bars, and provides good stability even at high speeds.
The rear tire was designed for durability and performance with a tread pattern that has been specifically shaped to prevent irregular wear during spirited street riding. This means that if you want to ride your bike without having to worry about your tires wearing out quickly or being extremely expensive, this would be one of the better choices available.
With all of these things combined, it results in a very balanced tire with high levels of grip both on the track and on the street. The S22 provides excellent feedback through the bars, and it's predictable even when pushed to its limits. Most importantly, it's very stable.
Overall, Bridgestone has done a great job with the Battlax Hypersport S22, and it's definitely an improvement over its predecessor. It provides excellent feedback through the bars, especially when pushed to its limits, so if you're looking for a tire that can handle your regular track day regimen as well as your daily commute, look no further than the new S22.
Price and Size Availability
Starting price for Ducati StreetFighter stock sizes is around $152 for a 120/70ZR17 front tire and $221 for the 190/55ZR17 rear tire.
The Battlax Hypersport S22 is competitively priced compared to other street tires. Although you can find some cheaper tires, they are often designed more for comfort than performance. That being said, I feel that the Battlax S22 is priced in the middle of the road, providing very good levels of performance for an average price.
Customer Opinions and Reviews
The Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 has a 4.5/5-star rating on Revzilla.com and a 4.4/5-star rating on Cyclegear.com.
Both sites gave the tire high marks for performance, comfort, and everyday riding capabilities with low noise levels.
I've seen plenty of Ducati StreetFighter sporting Bridgestone Hypersport S22 tires, and I've heard nothing but good things from the owners.
Many riders approve of the new Battlax S22 in terms of performance. They feel that it offers enough comfort for everyday use while still providing exceptional grip when pushed to its limits in corners.
However, there were some complaints about the S22 not being very good in colder temperatures. Also, while many riders praised the S22's wet weather performance and durability, a number of reviewers reported getting poor mileage out of their tires.
Our Two Cents
The Battlax Hypersport S22 is a very capable street tire, especially for year-round riders who don't have access to well-maintained roads.
It also performs extremely well on the street and can be pushed hard during track days without sacrificing stability or safety even at its limits.
On top of that, Bridgestone has added additional durability to this race-ready tire by adding special shapes in their tread pattern, which reduces irregular wear during spirited street riding. This means that the tires will last longer than other tires available on the market today since you don't have to worry about wearing them out quickly.
If you're searching for a good set of tires for your Ducati StreetFighter, I highly recommend checking out the Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22s. Put simply, if you want to go fast without breaking the bank, this is your solution.
Order your set of Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires today on Revzilla.
- Great value for money
- Plush ride quality
- Good levels of grip
- Excellent feedback through the bars
- Predictable even when pushed to its limits
- Can wear out quickly if not properly maintained
- Not suitable for cold weather
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley