For those of you with ADD we’ll start with the end: it’s Metzeler. If you’d like to know why we think that way, read on.
If you’ve been to Bikes Built Better you may have noticed that Chuck and Joe and I all have Metzeler ME880 tires on our bikes. Chuck and I ride Harleys, and Joe’s Yamaha Warrior is always on display in the showroom. ME880s are nice-looking tires, but that’s not why we ride them. Having tried other brands like the OEM Dunlops, Continental, Avon etc, we’ve all decided that the Metzeler ME880s are simply the best tires available for our cruisers and touring bikes. The dry handling is unbelievable, the wet handling is the best out there, and those ME880s barely even notice scarified (milled) roads or steel grate bridges. Some of the local guys have nicknamed the ME880s “spiderman tires” because they grip the road so well. The ME880s usually last at least as long as the OEM Dunlops, though I usually get about an extra 5000 miles out of a set of Metzelers. And that’s repeatable. I’ve ridden over 100,000 miles on Metzelers and I keep good records.
On top of riding Metzeler ME880s, I’ve been selling them through various Harley dealers and independent shops since they were introduced. Whenever somebody’s looking for a better tire, we recommend Metzelers. And in about 20 years of selling these tires, I’ve only known one customer who decided he didn’t like them. He wasn’t a very good rider, and he declared that the Metzelers scared him because after they were installed the bike “turned too fast.” Aside from that one guy, riders love these tires. We hear comments like “I know you said they’d be good, but the difference is amazing!” and “The bike feels like it lost a couple of hundred pounds, just from installing those tires!” and of course “I rode over a steel grate bridge that used to scare the hell out of me, but now the bike hardly wiggles.” Occasionally someone will say that they’re not too impressed with Metzelers but, when we check the bike, we always find that the tire pressure is too low. Every time! We have bikes come in with as little as 10 psi. ME880s are designed to be run with relatively high pressure, usually 42-45 psi depending on the tire. Dropping the pressure by a mere 5 to 10 psi will adversely affect the way the tires feel, and shorten their life by quite a lot. When we correct the pressure in the tires of a non-believer, they always come back and thank us and swear to be good about their tire pressure in the future, because they have become fans of Metzeler tires, just like us.
I’m sure that some of you will scoff and say “you’re just hot on Metzelers because you make a lot of money on them.” Actually, we have better profit margins on Dunlops. We recommend Metzelers because we love them, and we know that our customers will love them, too.