Best Track Day Tire – MetzelerRacetec RR K2
The Metzeler Racetec RR K2 is arguably one of the best track tires you can buy for your Z900. Incorporating the latest in tire construction materials, this tire offers a supple ride and traction that inspires confidence at all lean angles. Specialized rubber compounds provide optimal grip whether you're knee down or standing still, while tread patterns target specific conditions. It's a real track-day champion, but the RR K2 makes for a great everyday tire as well.
Design and Features
The Racetec RR K2 is designed for track use. The unique tread pattern provides strong braking and cornering traction. At the same time, the rubber compound offers durability to handle extended riding sessions.
The design of the tire emphasizes grip over wear characteristics. While it doesn't have massive tread blocks, this setup saves you some money as replacement tires will be less expensive compared to other options that trade longer wear life for more grip.
Metzeler has implemented its patented Rubber Matrix Technology in the Racetec RR K2. This technology uses a unique mix of aromatic and isoprene rubber that's soft and flexible – even at the track. In the event of a puncture, this compound helps seal off any penetrations as it provides a layer between the tube and road.
The tire also incorporates highly flexible polymers in the tread compound. This allows for a smoother, more supple tire that doesn't sacrifice grip or feedback. Daily riders will appreciate this upgrade when traveling at highway speeds, too.
As with other sport tires, the Racetec RR K2 has no tread blocks on its shoulders for smooth cornering ability. The front tire has a few grooves around the outside of its tread for water dispersion. Furthermore, the tire sports abrasion-resistant sidewalls with aramid-fiber reinforcement for added protection.
One of the most essential features for a track tire is grip when cornering at high speeds. Metzeler claims that this tire offers class-leading grip thanks to its multi-compounds. This design uses two different rubber compounds strategically placed on the tire to provide superior dry and wet performance.
In addition, its wide baseband provides better stability throughout your lean angle without adversely affecting traction or handling (something other brands fail to mention).
Metzeler recommends using this tire at temperatures between 40-and 90-degrees Fahrenheit for optimal grip. Above or below these temperatures, you'll see a drop off in available grip as well as increased wear life due to heat buildup from extended riding sessions.
Lastly, the Metzeler Racetec RR K2 is W-rated and can handle speeds that exceed 168 mph. Therefore, it's best to leave this tire for track days or road racing.
I decided to test out the Metzeler Racetec RR K2 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California with an assortment of sports bikes. This circuit has a variety of tight and technical corners and long straightaways perfect for letting loose on a literbike.
I've been riding sports bikes on the track for over 12 years now – both professionally and as a personal challenge. In other words, I'm not easily impressed by tires - even good ones – but the Racetec RR K2 surprised me at how well they performed off the showroom floor!
When heading out on track, the first thing you notice is how incredibly stable this tire is when leaned over in a corner. Many sport tires require you to carefully manage your lean angle with the throttle or risk falling off-line; however, this was not the case with the Racetec RR K2.
Despite entering turns at speeds exceeding 100 mph (on public roads), I always felt like I had complete control of my bike. This stability certainly inspired confidence as it allowed me to focus more on my exit speed than worrying about losing the front-end grip mid-corner.
As mentioned above, Metzeler incorporated two rubber compounds into each tire placed in sections that correspond with the tire's lean and drive angles.
The inner rubber section is what you'll see when standing directly over the bike. This portion of the tire has an ultra-high-grip compound so you can brake and accelerate hard out of a corner without the worry of spinning your tires.
Although this tire felt grippier than other sport tires, I still experienced slight wheel spin when accelerating hard from a dead stop on warm track days. While it wasn't as bad as most other brands on the market, it still wasn't 100 percent confidence-inspiring for me.
In contrast, I did not experience any front-end chatter when accelerating or braking on cool days (50 degrees Fahrenheit). This allowed me to accelerate earlier out of turns while carrying more speed further into each turn.
The inner rubber section is also what you'll see after placing your bike upright, facing the tire. The second type of rubber used in this tire acts like a sponge absorbing road surface irregularities. You can think of it as ultra-fine-grit sandpaper for your tires.
This part of the tire grips equally well whether you're riding on wet or dry pavement and offers excellent traction when exiting corners at moderate speeds. It's also designed to wear substantially slower than the other portion, so you won't have to replace your tires nearly as often (if ever during track days).
The outer section of rubber is what you'll see when viewing the tire from its side. This part of the tire has a high-speed compound primarily meant for grip while traveling in a straight line.
As expected, these tires offer an enormous amount of traction. They can easily handle speeds that exceed 100 mph (even on wet pavement). Interestingly enough, it also feels comfortable to ride even after hours at speed because it doesn't beat your body up like most other sport tires.
Lastly, I did get a chance to take one pair out on public roads during my last trip to LA. There was only one bad stretch of road within miles, so I decided to give them a shot.
I was pleasantly surprised! They gripped well in the dry at elevated speeds and felt very planted during acceleration.
The Racetec RR K 2 Are ideal for street/track day riders looking to maximize their fun on the road without sacrificing performance or safety.
Price and Size Availability
Stock sizes for the Kawasaki Z900 are also available, including 120/70ZR17 front and 180/55ZR17 rear, and retail for $222 and $266, respectively.
The Metzeler Racetec RR K2 are slightly more expensive than the competition, but their performance is top-notch. As a result, I believe they're worth every penny.
On Revzilla, the Racetec RR K2 currently has a rating of 4.7/5-stars. Most folks agree that these tires feel equally as good on the street as they do on the track and have excellent grip in both wet and dry conditions.
Most customers rave that these tires feel better than other racing slicks. While I can't personally verify this claim, I will say that any tire with such a high level of performance is certainly worth its asking price.
The biggest complaints seem to be price-related, so I'd suggest trying a pair yourself to see if it's worth the added expense for you or your riding style.
Our Two Cents
Metzeler set out to build a tire that would offer excellent performance on the track while not compromising comfort or safety for street riding. After years of testing and tweaking, I think they achieved their goal with the Metzeler Racetec RR K2.
They have a very high amount of grip in most conditions they're designed for, so you won't have to worry about giving up anything when you take them out on the road. They also offer a nice balance between wet and dry weather performance, so you won't have any trouble if the weather changes unexpectedly.
After testing them ontrack and public roads, I wholeheartedly recommend these tires to anyone looking to replace the stock sport rubber on their Z900!
Order your set of Metzeler Racetec RR K2 tires today on Revzilla.
- Incredible grip in all conditions
- Lasts much longer than other racing tires
- High-speed stability
- Track day ready
- Outstanding feedback at high speeds
- No front-end chatter when accelerating
- A tad expensive
- Can wear out quickly
Best Road Tire – Michelin Road 5
The Michelin Road 5 is a sport touring tire with an added advantage for riders who spend their time on public roads. This tire has an all-weather tread compound that improves grip in wet conditions without sacrificing its exceptional dry performance.
Design and Features
The Michelin Road 5 has an advanced tread compound that provides excellent grip in wet conditions without sacrificing the performance in dry handling. This tire comes with angled sipes across its contact patch, increasing road-holding capability. It also produces more negative camber on the way out and increases adhesion through any corner or curve on public roads.
Michelin used its Computer-Aided Styling design process to design the tire's exterior casing shape. This allows the Road 5to better slice through the air while maintaining stability even at high speeds. Another feature of this tire is its unique non-directional tread pattern which improves stability and reduces noise during turns and road fatigue.
Michelin uses a single steel belt under the tread with twin nylon overlay plies on both sides of it, making this tire reliable and sturdy. The Road 5 tire's sidewall is made from a dual rubber compound that gives good rigidity to protect against punctures and provides a comfortable ride at low speeds.
The sole is ribbed for good traction when accelerating or braking during turns and has grooves across its surface for water dispersion so that minimal hydroplaning occurs while riding in wet conditions. This tire also has an anti-aging compound running through its body which reduces wear due to friction, ensuring maximum mileage before replacing this set.
Michelin's patented XST Evo Siping Design brings down the noise volume this tire produces when running at high speeds by breaking up water on its contact patch so it can have a better grip. The XST Evo siping is crafted from a unique material that opens twice as much as traditional tires to provide excellent wet weather traction and stability over other brands.
The Road 5 also features patented ACT+ Casing Technology, providing excellent turn stability. This feature also reduces the tire's weight while maintaining its structural integrity. Michelin leaves out the use of carbon black in their ACT+ layer, which allows for fewer deposits across this tire's tread, increasing grip even further when necessary.
We decided to use the Michelin Road 5 tire through our latest test sessions on the track and in the rain. It performed well in both conditions, providing good feedback when going through corners. The tire's compound was soft enough to hold onto any road surface we put it against while having a great linear response during acceleration and braking.
We took out a few sportbikes for a quick spin with this tire installed and were extremely pleased with its performance when cornering at high speeds. The Road 5 tire has a fantastic ability to stick to asphalt even when you're pushing your bike near its limit during turns.
We also noted that this tire has a progressive breakaway point. It won't suddenly slip out from underneath you when you're riding at the limit.
Michelin's patented XST Evo Siping Design performs well in wet conditions without sacrificing too much feedback when accelerating or braking. This allows the rider to immediately feel what's happening on the road surface, giving them more control at high speeds.
The compound rubber used in the Road 5 tire is one of its best features because it maintains its gripping capabilities during hard acceleration at low speeds and allows for excellent stability while taking corners fast.
We noticed that this tire wears evenly throughout its entire body, improving stability and grip without sacrificing too much feedback. This tire is designed to be suited for sports bikes, and we'd like to recommend it for anyone who wants to have an excellent grip on the road, even in wet conditions.
This tire has a generous tread depth across its surface which we think is great because you can still ride safely on this even when it's already been used for several months. The Road 5 also possesses excellent water dispersion features combined with an anti-aging compound which means you'll get your money's worth out of these.
Michelin has done a great job with their Road 5 tire. We think these are among the top tires they offer to motorcyclists. We put this tire through extensive testing by ourselves, which included several racetrack sessions and commuting to work every day, finding it to be reliable in both situations.
This tire is highly recommended for sports bike riders who constantly take their bikes out on public roads and do some track riding on the weekends. This tire has all the features to keep you confident while carving corners at high speeds or when braking hard are necessary.
Price and Size Availability
The Michelin Road 5 is available in 120/70ZR17 front and 180/55ZR17 rear, making it a perfect fit for the Kawasaki Z900.
The Michelin Road 5 retails around $177-$263, depending on the tire size. According to most riders, this is a reasonable price considering the performance of this product.
For competitive pricing, free shipping, and a wide variety of motorcycle tires from leading manufacturers in stock - head over to Revzilla.
The Michelin Road 5 has a 4.7 out of 5-star rating on Revzilla, which highlights the general satisfaction of those using this tire.
Many riders agree that this is a great replacement tire for sports bikes as long as you're willing to spend a little bit more. The Michelin Road 5's performance can stand up to most competitors in the same price range with better durability and wet weather handling.
Some of them thought this tire was a real improvement over its previous models, especially when taking turns at high speeds. This new tread pattern allows riders to take corners harder than before without worrying about losing control or stability.
Our Two Cents
All in all, the Michelin Road 5 is an excellent update to its predecessor, and we're sure that any sportbike owner would be happy with this purchase.
We also like how it has more aggressive tread patterns than its predecessors, making it capable of handling wet roads without compromising cornering capabilities.
If you're looking for a tire that can take a pounding while being reasonable in wet road conditions, then the Michelin Road 5 is perfect for you. It might have a high price tag, but it's worth every penny.
Order your set of Michelin Road 5 tires today on Revzilla
- Excellent feedback on most surfaces
- Durable construction
- Good water dispersion features
- Ideal for streets or tracks
- Excellent mileage
- Stable at high speeds
- A tad expensive
Best Sport Touring Tire – Bridgestone Battlax T32
The Bridgestone Battlax T32 is a sport touring tire specially designed for high-performance motorcycles such as the Kawasaki Z900. It offers the best balance between price and performance,making it appealing to customers who want a tire that can withstand long trips on different roads.
Design and Features
The Battlax T32 features a newly developed asymmetric tread pattern that provides a firm grip on wet and dry roads. It also has unique grooves along the center ribs to improve wet surface performance. These grooves offer excellent water drainage capabilities as well as reduce hydroplaning so you can ride your motorcycle comfortably, even during heavy downpours.
Its sturdy structure prevents wear even after long periods of extensive use, especially at high speeds. With progressive-type side sipes, the Battlax T32 also enhances cornering performance when taking corners at high speeds. This is why this tire is well known for its ability to maintain stability under any kind of riding condition.
Bridgestone designed this tire with a lightweight construction to help reduce fuel consumption in motorcycles during long rides. It features twin steel belts that provide excellent rigidity and stability at high speeds.
According to Bridgestone, the T32 offers 7% better wet-stopping distances than its predecessor (T31). It performs excellently in braking distance tests on wet surfaces, thus proving its durability and high level of quality.
The Battlax T32 features a silica-enriched tread compound on the center and shoulder of the tire. This attribute is responsible for improved traction on wet roads, excellent braking efficiency, and low rolling resistance.
Furthermore, the T32 also offers a 13% larger contact patch to increase traction when reaching the peak of the corner. This tire also has a strong grip on dry roads, which is why it is one of the best options for sport touring motorcycles.
Battlax T32's breakaway blocks have been raised to protect against stone drilling better, so they don't get flat spots easily when used under different weather conditions. Its silica-enriched, long-wearing compound provides smooth acceleration, reduced noise levels, and lower fuel consumption.
The tire's V-shaped tread pattern offers an enhanced contact patch area that provides the best grip possible under any riding condition. It also has a wide footprint to further improve braking performance on wet surfaces. It is able to easily hug the road when you take corners at high speeds.
It does not matter what type of motorcycle you're riding. This tire’s enhanced cornering ability can work perfectly on sport touring bikes or even standard ones. This model is made for high-performance motorcycles, but it is also perfect for commuters who ride their bikes daily, especially during bad weather conditions.
Lastly, the T32 is also available in "GT" versions that provide even better performance for heavier bikes.
The Bridgestone Battlax T32 is one of the most popular tires available today. This tire is able to handle any kind of weather condition without creating problems for riders. It offers excellent stability on both wet and dry roads,making it perfect for any type of bike.
Put simply; this tire performs well regardless of what type of motorcycle you are planning to use with it. This model features advanced technology that enhances its overall performance capabilities making it highly reliable even during long trips.
I have personally used this tire for more than 6000 miles, and it still has great tread left. I'm delighted with the quality and performance because it offers dynamic performance capabilities on all types of roads.
I've used other sport-touring tires before, but Bridgestone offers the best value for your money when it comes to riding comfort, wet weather performance, and durability. This is why I highly recommend this model to every rider out there who needs a dependable tire for their daily commute or long tours.
The tire offers excellent handling abilities, allowing you to easily control your bike even when taking corners at high speeds. The T32 offers strong grip on both wet and dry roads, which is another reason why it's more than capable of keeping your motorcycle safe.
I'm sure you'll be happy with what the Bridgestone Battlax T32 has to offer regardless of which type of bike you're planning to use it with. This tire is designed for high-performance motorcycles, but it can also work great on conventional models as well, thanks to its incredible traction capabilities under different weather conditions.
However, if you're looking for a tire that provides even better traction, then check out the GT versions of this tire. These models are thicker and wider, which means they can give you a stronger grip when driving under bad weather conditions.
Price and Size Availability
This tire is available in most local dealerships, both online and offline. You don't need to search hard to get this model because it is one of the most popular sport-touring tires available today.
You can get this tire in different sizes, depending on the overall diameter of your wheel. It comes in 17-inch, 18-inch, and 19-inch versions designed to fit most modern sports bikes available today.
Popular Z900 sizes such as 120/70ZR17 front and 180/55ZR17 rear retail for $180 and $226, respectively.
The "GT" version of this tire is wider than the standard Battlax T32, so make sure to check out Bridgestone's website for more information about its exact specifications before making the final decision.
Customer Opinions and Reviews
The Bridgestone Battlax T32 is one of the most popular sport-touring tires in its class. Most customers agree that this model offers excellent performance capabilities for all kinds of motorcycles, making it well worth the money spent.
I've read many positive reviews about this tire. Most riders claim it works perfectly, even when taking corners at high speeds. It has an excellent traction coefficient under wet and dry road conditions, allowing you to drive your bike confidently.
There are very few problems reported so far, which I appreciate seeing because it proves how efficient Bridgestone T32 truly is. Most people seem to be very satisfied with the overall quality.
Our Two Cents
The Bridgestone T32 is an excellent sport touring tire that offers great performance capabilities for all modern motorcycles available today. I highly recommend this model to anyone who needs a reliable tire with strong traction on wet and dry roads.
This model provides an outstanding balance between stability and comfort, allowing you to ride your Z900 with ease even during long trips. So, if you're planning to take your bike out from time to time, then the Bridgestone T32 is worth checking out.
Order your set of Bridgestone Battlax T32 tires today on Revzilla.
- Excellent traction capabilities
- Good durability and stability
- Great value for money
- Excellent mileage
- Grip not on par with racing slicks
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