Introducing the new METZELER CRUISETEC™

Photo credit: METZELER

The new tyre for power cruisers, customs and tourers that METZELER unveiled at the end of 2018 at the German CUSTOMBIKE-SHOW, is the highlight of the exhibition area set up by the German tyre brand in booth 14i / Hall 4 at MOTOR BIKE EXPO, the motorcycle fair which opened its doors yesterday in Verona and will continue until 20 January 2019.

With the new CRUISETEC™, METZELER intends to offer motorcyclists of this sector a more
performance-oriented tyre than the segment’s offer to date. CRUISETEC™ has been developed to take advantage of the full performance potential of both the latest models and the most dated bikes. Key is the high level of grip even in wet conditions, the ability to give the bike revolutionary handling in the segment, performance consistency for the tyre’s lifespan and structural characteristics giving riding pleasure, thanks to its stability and precision. CRUISETEC™ presents revolutionary solutions in the field of power cruiser, custom and tourer motorbike tyres in terms of tread design, compounds, profiles and structure. In short, a tyre able to get the best out of yesterday’s and today’s motorcycles, giving the tagline “Performance Perfected” which accompanies the product.

Photo credit: METZELER

Benefits for the rider:

  • Performance-cruising pleasure – Performance-oriented profiles with higher curvature than tyres in the same segment offer a new level of handling and line taking and holding. The new tread pattern, innovative compound recipes and the bi-compound rear guarantee immediate response and higher grip, giving confidence, even in wet conditions. The bi-compound rear layout – which adapts technologies from the sport-touring world to the requirements of higher torque, weight and segment durability – ensures grip without sacrificing the durability of standard tyres.
  • Performance consistency – The combination of a solid tread pattern with constant-curvature contours and dual-compound layout ensures performance consistency thanks to even wear and tyre contour conservation.
  • Smooth and effortless riding – The conformability of the profiles, thanks to the reduced thickness of the carcass, improves the precision and line holding, to give a neutral, effortless steering and comfortable feel, whilst riding leisurely, plus precision when pushing harder.
  • Enhanced confidence and safety – Thanks to compounds with high Silica percentage coupled with conformable carcass, CRUISETEC™ delivers the best wet behaviour in this segment, and is capable of effectively working with all generations of electronic rider aids.
Photo credit: METZELER

Motorcycles and riders target:

CRUISETEC™ is the new METZELER product for power cruisers, customs and tourers
dedicated to all generations of Harley-Davidson, Indian and all the motorcycles from diverse European, Japanese and custom manufacturers inspired by these iconic models.. Although aware of the charm linked to the traditional and centenarian characteristics of US motorcycles, all the manufacturers of this motorcycle segment today converge on a technological development that includes technical solutions no longer generally dedicated only to safety, comfort and rider assistance. In short, these machines have a high performance level, previously only seen in sports bikes. METZELER has developed the new CRUISETEC™ both to offer more experienced riders the opportunity to experience new riding emotions with their bikes, and to meet the needs of younger riders and custom enthusiasts. These riders are looking for technical solutions that guarantee performance and give higher confidence levels when riding than previous products have supplied, as more focused on extreme durability to the detriment of handling and grip. So we are talking about motorcyclists who are often not satisfied with the original equipment
tyres but who are constantly looking for a technologically more advanced product to guarantee the best possible performance for their bikes.

With CRUISETEC™ these motorcycles can express their full potential in terms of agility, grip limit values, stability, comfort, stopping distances and cornering speed. Thanks to an exceptional combination of technological features, many of which are revolutionary for tyres in this segment, motorcyclists can make the most out of their bikes in terms of performance and riding pleasure.

Photo credit: METZELER

Tread pattern design:

The tread pattern layout plays a relevant role in CRUISETEC™ performance and has evolved from METZELER Sport-Touring know-how. The elements of the tread pattern are optimized to ensure both an adequate grip, and the regular wear required when applying a highly carved design on heavy vehicles delivering considerable torque.

The front tread pattern features alternated diverging grooves crossing the centre section; the main effect of these elements – in addition to that of guaranteeing water evacuation even in demanding wet conditions – is to add braking efficiency onto the compound performance.

Photo credit: METZELER

This characteristic is also among those which highlighted CRUISETEC™ as the best tyre for
power cruisers, customs and tourers when it comes to coupling it with all generations of
electronic braking aids. Supplying very high levels of grip – also thanks to the compounds
coupled to more conformable carcasses – raise the bar of intervention of braking systems. The tyres structural characteristics mitigate the pulsation effect (chattering) which characterizes the response of the vehicles to the ABS activation (especially the first generation versions) making the intervention more effective and less stressful for the rider. The progressive diverging grooves offset from the centre section to the shoulders increases
the full/void ratio in lean – therefore relatively more rubber in contact with the asphalt – by
maximising the solidity, the grip and the directional characteristics.

The short converging transversal grooves model solid compound elements, to ensure quick
warm-up and brush-like mechanical grip.

Photo credit: METZELER

Also the rear tread pattern features long alternated grooves, in this case converging to the
rotation direction, whose main function is to distribute under-footprint pressure during rotation without over-deflecting, ensuring regular wear. Also in this case the progressive groove offset increases during leaning, maximising the solidity, the grip and the directionality.

Unlike the front, the long grooves do not cross the central section of the tyre. In consideration of the fact that in wet conditions in a straight line the “watershed” function is carried out by the front tyre, an uninterrupted central section of the rear tread favours traction in conditions of maximum torque output, stability in a straight line and promotes regular wear and therefore performance consistency throughout the tyre’s lifespan.

Contrary to the front design, the short transversal grooves at the rear are diverging, but their contribution is similar to that of the front tyre. The sections of the compound interspersed between the grooves have been made in such dimensions as to limit but not prevent the deformation of the blocks delineated by the grooves. This happens even in the presence of high loads – similar to that of the front tyre – so as to guarantee a fast warm up time giving grip from the outset of each ride.

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CRUISETEC™ compound recipe is the result of a development effort aimed to blend the
strength needed to tackle the tough conditions of heavy machines combined torque,
performance and stability oriented specifications.

The front compound layer features a single-compound layout; the recipe includes a
combination of fillers from METZELER sport-touring know-how. Innovative plasticizers enhance the conformability of the rubber to the road’s micro-properties , a percentage of silica higher than 25% promotes fast warm-up and the best chemical grip of the segment with water in case of wet conditions.

The rear compound layer features a dual-compound layout. The rear-centre compound
employs a percentage of Carbon Black close to 40% – a value comparable to that used on
average in the segment – which, combined with an innovative plasticizer, is able to give good grip but also strength and stability on the straights. The central compound of the rear tyres occupies about 35% of the CRUISETEC™ section; as a consequence, 80% of the upright footprint stands on the centre compound which is oriented to strength and stability.

The shoulder compound of CRUISETEC™ is similar to that used for the front tyres. Innovative plasticizers and silica at about 20% define a more conformable mix compared to that used in the central section, able to ensure prompt directionality and high grip levels, ensuring consistency of corner entry and line holding.

Photo credit: METZELER


The structure underneath each size of CRUISETEC™ is tuned in its build to match the target performance and stability on selected power cruisers, customs and tourers.

CRUISETEC™ features both Radial and X-Ply structures coupled with either Bias or 0° steel
belts but regardless of the technological solution adopted, the objective of the design approach to CRUISETEC™ carcasses remained the same. That was an improvement in the response to fast changes of direction, saving the overall carcass stiffness on these heavy machines is needed both to ensure support at full load and torque, and to improve on-road behaviour.

For this reason, CRUISETEC™ features a stiffer carcass and belt cords than a standard tyre of the same segment. The layout has clearer ply’s which makes room for an increased amount of structural rubber. The CRUISETEC™ structure thus generates the same support as a traditional tyre in the segment, but features a much more conformable footprint and so more grip.

Photo credit: METZELER


CRUISETEC™ profiles aim for enhancing on-road agility and handling.
Standard tyres for power cruisers, customs and tourers feature low central curvature contours, aimed for improving the footprint on straights and extend the mileage thanks to lower pressure on the tread pattern. If the first effect of this technical choice is to promote mileage and stability on straights, on the other side this reduces the footprint area in the ‘lean’. This phenomenon tends to worsen as the tyre wears, due to the progressive consumption of the central section, to generate the ‘squaring off’ effect of the profile.

METZELER multi-radius approach already used in the Sport-Touring segment and now
implemented also for CRUISETEC™, provides a technical advantage delivering an increased
footprint, which additionally increases grip and line holding.

Photo credit: METZELER

CRUISETEC™ features a different double curvature: one broader – albeit more acute than a
traditional product of the power cruiser, custom and tourer – progressively moves to the shoulder radius, which is about 20% lower. This characteristic means that, moving in the fold at 25°, the theoretical equivalent footprint area is reduced by less than 10% compared to almost 20% relative to the reduction of the footprint area of a traditional product. The large footprint on the ground even when leaning translates into an improvement in the control and feedback that the suspension system transfers to the rider both during entry and all through a corner. The combination of the rear section and compound layout allow CRUISETEC™ to preserve over time a stable curvature with use, and consequently a constant performance throughout the tyre’s entire life.

The front tyre profile follows the same scheme and a similar geometry of the rear to ensure a synchronised behaviour of both tyres.

Photo credit: METZELER

Tyre Sizes:

The new CRUISETEC™ is available starting from January 2019 in the following sizes:

MT90B16 TL 72H MU85B16 TL 77H
130/90B16 TL REINF 73H 180/65B16 REINF TL 81H
150/80-16 TL 71H 150/80B16 REINF TL 77H
130/80B17 TL 65H 130/90B16 REINF TL 73H
130/70R18 TL 63H 180/70B16 TL 77H
130/60B19 TL 61H 180/60R16 REINF TL 80H
100/90-19 TL 57H MT90B16 TL 74H
120/70ZR19 TL (60W) 200/55R16 TL 77H
110/90-19 TL 62H 160/70B17 REINF TL 79V
MH90-21 TL 54H 200/55R17 TL 78V
120/70B21 REINF TL 68H 180/55B18 REINF TL 80H
240/40VR18 TL (79V)
180/55ZR18 TL (74W)
150/70B18 REINF TL 76H
260/40VR18 TL (84V)