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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My new ride came with METZELER RACETEC SM - supermoto specific tires. The sizing is 125/80 R420 (16.5") front and 165/55 R17 rear. I have ridden on them a bit and they really are quite good. I run Dunlop KR slicks on my road race bikes and my original plan was to go with the Dunlops, however, these Metzelers provided quite a lot of grip with very little warmup and it would appear KTM has done their homework. Last year's KTM 450 SMR came with Dunlop KR slicks. Logic would dictate KTM didn't switch because the Metzeler's were not AS good, likely they are better for Supermoto usage as they still use Dunlop KR slicks on the Race Spec RC8R, a bike I know well, and their bespoke GP bikes like the 250. So enough speculation....

I wondered if anyone has experience with the Metzeler Racetec SM vs. Dunlop's KR slicks vs. for example Michelin and had any insight for me on the best tire for the bike.

FYI, I discovered KTM recommends different pressures for the rear Racetec SM vs. the KR108 Dunlop. The Racetec is suggested to be run at 29 PSI and the front at 23 PSI, which is the same as the Dunlop.

Tire grip, confidence in a tire, etc are subjective but I think the SMR is about perfect so I want to make the right choice - I figure y'all would help me figure that out! :)
 

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Hows the availability of the metzelers? They have no support where I race. Where I ride I have the option of Dunlops, Michelins, Pirelli, Bridgestone and I think I can still get continentals. I choose to run Dunlops because its what I know. I did try Michelins for a couple of years on my big bike and it was a disaster. I just didnt get along with them.

As for pressures I go with what the tire tech recommends. No idea if they coincide with what KTM suggests.
 

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I run second set of metzeler sm on my berg. Also have set of michelin pre cut slicks. MEtzelers are great, all thing you said is true. In comparison with michelins, metz are lighter which is notable on acceleration. They are also great in dirt sections, didn't need to cut them. Michelin pre cut slicks are better in wet conditions if you are not riding with rain slicks.
My friend on his 690 smc has dunlop slicks and I think that they are little bit better in cornering because of their narrower profile but also depends of suspension setup. Overall metzelers are great choice.
 

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Dunlops hands down are the best tire if theres money at stake. I myself race ccs/wera and am a uk n-tec dunlop guy myself. But just to race locally the Golden Tyre will do just fine.Ive heard some good thing about Bridgestones also.. But i cant comment as i have no seat time with them.As for the Metzelers,I havent rolled on them yet myself, Im picking up bike next month.Set your pressure and sag and go ride it..:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@RoadRacin717, I too am a WERA/CCS racer and only race on Dunlop KR slicks, US and UK versions. My concern is the Metzelers that come on the bike you are getting are REALLY good, especially hard on the throttle out of a turn. I was impressed and I know Dunlop slicks VERY well so I wondered if the supermoto-specific Metzeler's were better. Let's compare notes after you get yours next month. Hopefully by then I will have made it to the track with mine!
 

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trade-off with the quicker warm-up is wear. metzlers wear faster than dunlops from what I've seen on most bikes but they feel very simular. carcass on the metzler is also fairly stiff, same thing goes for dunlops.

it seems the reason KTM went with metzlers on the new KTM is simply cost and availability. ever since dunlop was cut as tyre supplier for the WC series and global interest in supermoto has been on the decline production was turned down and prices went up. supermoto specific dunlops these days aren't that easy to come by, nor are they cheap, metzlers tend to be 25 to 30% cheaper than dunlops so if you were to put a certain tyre on a production bike I don't need to tell you that's a huge difference in budget.

even some local race teams that used to swear by dunlop now switched to metzler because they can get a better deal on large quantities and they're more readily available.
 

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Ive put 13 hours on my set of metzelers so far, been running 25-26 psi on the warmers. The wear has been EXCELLENT. The medium compound bridgestones that I usually use wear much faster than these. I havent had any issues with the front tyre, but the back tyre is starting to get a bit more wear right on the edges, and is spinning up a little bit more, but there is still plenty of life in them. So far, I've been impressed with the Metzelers.
 

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Sm Dunlops are available from race tire service. I been training with a personal friend thats an ama, x games,national, and a usa pro sm champ
and a couple others and all running golden tyre.To make it simple it works period! And im a pretty fast guy..
The dunlops are better but unless u are fast or theres $$$$ at stake whay spend the extra $150. Plus to boot i get em at $250 all day long. All the tires are good to a point.It comes down to how fast u and how deep are your pockets. Another note aslo is if your suspension is not set up correctly
u will shag tires fast. I see guys in the paddock all season long with all the big $$ equiptment on there bikes,Yet they cant even outride stock tires or suspension.And some out there with white plates that dont even belong running yellow plates. :laughingr
Set the suspension,Throw tires at it and ride..
 

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@RoadRacin717, I too am a WERA/CCS racer and only race on Dunlop KR slicks, US and UK versions. My concern is the Metzelers that come on the bike you are getting are REALLY good, especially hard on the throttle out of a turn. I was impressed and I know Dunlop slicks VERY well so I wondered if the supermoto-specific Metzeler's were better. Let's compare notes after you get yours next month. Hopefully by then I will have made it to the track with mine!
The us stuff is ok,But ive been on uk stuff for a while now and thats just what inspires confidence.Ya there almost 200 bucks more a set but
at the end of the day it is what it is..The us stuff is getting better every day,What i have experienced is the uk do heat cycle better and the tire itself just outright lasts longer. The us doesnt heat cycle as well and the front tire doesnt have the grip of the uk. Road racing is very very expensive if your fast and enter a lot of classes and ride a 1liter bike like myself at over 190 at the wheel, 1 Liter bikes just eat rear tires. My club racing tire bill alone for a ccs wkend is over $1,000 without entry fees and all the other expenses.Thats why i not road racing this season. Ill keep u posted when i get the bike and well chit chat it up and compare notes :thumbup: U running stock suspension? u have a lot of seat time on the smr yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@RoadRacin717, I try to ride it a few times a week. Right now I have 3 hours on it and I set the stock suspension. I REALLY like the bike! I agree the UK fronts AND rears, for that matter, wear longer and better. I run the UK front and US rear SBK slicks on my 1098 and R1 racebikes. I know what you mean about tire bills, it gets crazy... You will really enjoy this bike. I put a different seat and exhaust and I have the billet throttle tube but I have not put that on yet....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I sent Mitch $400 to cover the cost of shipping and I got the bike in about a week. All went very smoothly. I got the KTM Wave seat, works GREAT!
 

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Sm Dunlops are available from race tire service. I been training with a personal friend thats an ama, x games,national, and a usa pro sm champ
and a couple others and all running golden tyre.To make it simple it works period! And im a pretty fast guy..
The dunlops are better but unless u are fast or theres $$$$ at stake whay spend the extra $150. Plus to boot i get em at $250 all day long. All the tires are good to a point.It comes down to how fast u and how deep are your pockets. Another note aslo is if your suspension is not set up correctly
u will shag tires fast. I see guys in the paddock all season long with all the big $$ equiptment on there bikes,Yet they cant even outride stock tires or suspension.And some out there with white plates that dont even belong running yellow plates. :laughingr
Set the suspension,Throw tires at it and ride..


Just to clarify :D... Dunlop don't make "SM tires" anymore....they make tires people use for SM...they "used" to make a 170 rear which was a special compound and carcass came in two compound's 950 and 515....what they offer now is a 165/17 which is a long running road race tire in a soft compound commonly used on lighter sport bikes...as for the front they "still make" a road race KR 106 in a 465 compound which is prolly the best tire I have very used...at one time the 106 had a different variation and actually had SM use on it way back when .... the compound was a wee bit softer 465 with a 4 digit compound code..?? can't remember now.. too many high sides...:lol: the problem some of us face now burning up the last of the 170's is what is the 165 like on a 5.5 wheel...:hmmm: me thinks it's time to get a 163/17 Michy on there...

I sure do like the look of a new SMR......
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@brian, do you think the Dunlops are the way to go OR should I go with Bridgestone SM slicks or Michelin SM slicks? I like the fact that B-stone and Michelin make SM specific tires. I REALLY like the Metzelers SM slicks that come stock but I don't know where I can get them.....KTM doesn't sell them and my dealer doesn't even have access to the microfische and there are no Metzeler slicks dealers in the US that I can find, otherwise I'd stick with those. They feel a lot like the Dunlops.

I don't care about cost per se as I am used to paying for Dunlops for my road race bikes but I do REALLY like the UK Dunlops but I am concerned that their tire isn't SMR specific and it's in short supply. I bought the new KTM SMR to learn to slide the rear effectively and braking at the limit on a safer machine than a 50k superbike. Also, I can ride the SM a few times a week really anywhere there is a paved road, I can't do that with the race bike.

I appreciate your advice.
 

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Like they say U learn something new every day.:clap: for the clarification. It saved me $$ ! :thumbup: but I'm going to a set a try, sicr I know and are comfortable with lops.
That info was told to me when i called racetireservice which is where i buy my Dunlops from.
Yea I definitely would want a specific sm tire. U guys have any exp with the Golden Tyre.





Just to clarify :D... Dunlop don't make "SM tires" anymore....they make tires people use for SM...they "used" to make a 170 rear which was a special compound and carcass came in two compound's 950 and 515....what they offer now is a 165/17 which is a long running road race tire in a soft compound commonly used on lighter sport bikes...as for the front they "still make" a road race KR 106 in a 465 compound which is prolly the best tire I have very used...at one time the 106 had a different variation and actually had SM use on it way back when .... the compound was a wee bit softer 465 with a 4 digit compound code..?? can't remember now.. too many high sides...:lol: the problem some of us face now burning up the last of the 170's is what is the 165 like on a 5.5 wheel...:hmmm: me thinks it's time to get a 163/17 Michy on there...

I sure do like the look of a new SMR......
 

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Metzler slicks grip very very well... problem is when they let go they let go with out warning.......now that's not a fact that's what I have experienced....:D Nice soft tire with a soft carcass..... I waited to respond to this because I went to drop off my chassis to a buddy who builds a mean motor and happened to finish my build....he also is very fast, very very knowledgeable as well abit of a mentor....I glanced over and noticed he had a Dunny 165 on a 5.5 I thought he went Michy... cuz the Michy is wider...:hmmm: I asked him how it worked and he said very well... Phone rang and I forgot to ask how it worked compared to the older 170...anyways....He is a creature of habit....If you are used to Dunny's then go soft both ends 465 and 3166... stiffer carcass so they can get away with lower PSI, start at 20/22 and go up from there....I will say on a 90 degree day the 465 front was at 28 psi on the front just to slow down the melt down :lol: the rear was around the same... exceptionally hot track... 120 approx...so I always have a set of mediums mounted up for kart track races on those rare super hot days...the Michy's are awesome tires as well... never had a chance to really "push" the front tire but I will say the shagged 14A rear ( soft-medium) hung on like crazy...I do know that Michy's and Dunny's don't feel like they grip on the rear sometimes buts that's because they warn you way early, at least that's what I get, I do have a very hot motor and I am always trying to get the throttle on as early as I possibally can so its hard to tell... yea I really trust the D's and prolly one day Michy's at both ends... once you know that you can push both ends with confidence......hope that helps....
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
@brian, I appreciate the feedback. I want to make the best decision I can. I would prefer Dunlops because that is what I race, but, I am a bit twisted on the fact that Dunlop no longer makes a supermoto-specific slick while Metzeler, Bridgestone and Michelin all make SMR tires.

What I like about the Metzeler slicks my bike came with is this, it slides predictably when I want it to but grips VERY well on the throttle out of a corner and the front end grips when I push the bike down to turn it. I asked Metzeler where I could get replacements in the USA and they said they are not importing them any longer. :-( If they did I would use the Metzeler Racetec SM just based on my initial impression - they work.

What I really need to know is what slick will behave most like the Metzeler in terms of what I was describing. I want plenty of grip from the front when I lean it, plenty of grip when I'm on the gas but I also want it to slide easily at the rear when I want it to and I want a tire that will warn me that it is about to go....

In my experience the Dunlop KR slicks are GREAT at the front and provide plenty of drive grip at the rear....this is from a road race perspective so I don't know if Dunlop KR slicks used on a SMR would behave the same way.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean about sliding ? for me that has a few meanings...Metz stick, no question but for me I was thrown to the ground more than once trying to find the limits of the tire..Stick with the Dunlops then....as I mentioned the 465 compound front is the best I have used...the 165 rear will fit that 5 inch perfectly...keepem on warmers to reduce heat cycles and go have fun... pay attention the PSI as I mentioned earlier... the softer carcass Michy's are more sensitive to tire pressure... the Dunny's are not...If you like 25 psi on the metz then it will be 22 to 23 on the dunny's the tire pressure range for michy and metz are the same.. at least from what I remember....I dunno much else than that....I will say this... If I did it all over again.. I would buy the springs and get the suspension done first off.... then the best tires I could get... I chose the dunnies originally cuz I liked how they feel but most importantly all the fastest guys were using them...If I remember correctly Mr Ward ran non sm Dunlops for the longest time...? Dunlops rain tires are the shit as well...hope that helps...
 
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