We try the all-new Metzeler Cruisetec performance tire.
WORDS Chris Nelson IMAGES Metzeler
Before Arkansas earned its nickname “The Natural State” — Ozark National Forest alone covers more than one million acres — people called Arkansas “The Land of Opportunity.” With the all-new Cruisetec tire, Metzeler sees an opportunity to break into the rapidly growing segment of performance cruisers. We flew to Arkansas to test the new tire on a 200-mile loop through the state’s unbelievably beautiful hills, farmlands, and forests.
As demand for performance baggers and cruisers swelled, Metzeler started development of the Cruisetec, which promises shorter braking distance, more cornering stability, and improved handling that won’t fall off with wear. The front tire’s compound is a mixture of mostly polymers, plasticizers, and silica for fast warm-up and good wet grip. The center strip of the rear tire is made from the same compound, but the edges of the rear tire use a compound with a lot more carbon black to improve dry grip and high-speed stability. According to Metzeler, a performance cruiser fitted with a set of Cruisetecs will offer improved feedback, more precise handling, smoother side-to-side transitions, and “unmatched stability.”
We threw a leg over a familiar Indian Scout fitted with Metzeler Cruistec tires, pulled on our helmet, and looked out from the 2,753-foot peak of Mount Magazine. Cute, old farmhouses dotted the vast, green valley below, cut into pieces by big, long stretches of country road. We’d soon see those houses from the street, but not before a winding descent through the surrounding state park. Before we got to the bottom, we knew Metzeler achieved what it wanted with the Cruisetec; the Indian Scout felt remarkably changed ... planted, more confident.
Switchbacks and long curves passed in a blur as we pushed harder on the Scout and its Cruisetecs. At lunch at The Cliff House Restaurant, perched on an edge of Arkansas’ “Grand Canyon,” we asked our fellow riders what they thought of the tires. Not one shared a bad word about the Metzelers, and many gave glowing praise on the spot. We understood their excitement but personally felt adjectives like “good” and “solid” sufficed, seeing how we couldn’t compare a Scout with stock tires to one with Cruisetecs. We did feel bold enough, however, to say that the Metzeler Cruisetecs turned a motorcycle we liked riding into a motorcycle we really liked riding.
The performance-cruiser world will no doubt welcome the Metzeler Cruisetec, because it’s not easy to make a big, heavy bike move and handle like a performance machine, and the best modifications in the world don’t mean anything if your tires won’t hook up. They do, quickly, firmly, and consistently.