March 22 2004 Metzeler has launched a new street-legal race tyre, the Racetec. Designed primarily for supersport and superstock competition, the Racetecs will replace the German firm's Rennsport racing rubber.

Many claims are being made for the Racetecs, including more grip, improved stability and better feel. They feature different tensioned belt and carcass fibres to give the ultimate contact patch and feedback to the rider by maintaining the tyres' shape and profile under all conditions, and reduce stand-up under braking.

The Racetecs use Metzeler's patented 0-degree steel belt construction helps to give the best stiffness/weight ratio to reduce gyroscopic force and unsprung weight. The sidewalls have new bead geometry and sidewall filler to aid stability, with a fresh profile providing a more consistent turn-in rate. They come in three different compounds: K0, K1, and K2 and the Racetec's near slick tread pattern provides a fuller contact patch and more solid riding feel.

After the official launch of the Racetecs at the Valencia GP track in Spain journalists were more than impressed with the new rubber. Freelancer Chris Moss spoke highly of them. "I tried them on many different bikes and couldn't really find fault with them. Performance was good from cold and after just a single lap the Racetecs could be pushed hard without fear.

"They have many virtues but the best for me was the superb feel and feedback which inspired massive confidence. They have a very solid and secure feel and let know exactly where you are with them. And even after twenty-odd laps round the abrasive Valencia track their grip didn't deteriorate."

The Racetecs come in 120/70 ZR17, 180/55 ZR17, and 190/55 ZR17 sizes and will be in dealers in July.

Chris Moss