Metzler Karoo Street

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Happy Snapper, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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    So had the new Metzler Karoo Street on some dirt / gravel roads on the long weekend here in QLD> The bike felt so planted after the Anakee 3.

    Just felt like I was riding a big trail bike. (Of course if/when it all turns to custard you will know you aren't)

    Very happy with them indeed.... heading west next week !

    Another report when I return.
    #21
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  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Ok, what about noise, particularly from the rear? I was surprised how loud they were. I did find that the noise abates after a good few thousand K's. This is of course on tarmac.
    #22
  3. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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    Wel.. I didn't really notice it until I rode a short distance with no earplugs.

    My earplugs drown it all out..... well they couldn't hide the noise the Dunlop 606 made on my KLR :-)
    #23
  4. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    That was the sound of air blowing through the milk crate!
    #24
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  5. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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    Cruz back in 81 I went camping on Moreton on my XT250G... and in fact did have a milk crate on the back!
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  6. diabolik37

    diabolik37 Deadly Gubba

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    They look like they just narrowed the gap of the same thread design as the Karoo 3... I got 4K on a rear K3 and it wasn't that good... Same grip as the rear Tourance, but at least with the Tourance I get 10k...
    #26
  7. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Karoo Street is a completely different tyre to the Karoo 3. Looks similar. I have a 170/60-17 Karoo Street on my VFR1200X, and a Karoo 3 front, the logic being I should get the same mileage out of each, and the slightly more aggressive front works well enough for the odd excursion on the dirt, the rear I can live with less aggressive pattern on dirt roads etc. On the bigger bikes in the past I've tended to go toward a more aggressive front and a more road oriented rear to get miles out of them. I run them at their maximum pressure, because I trail ride 2 up. Airing down is for trials bikes, not bikes that weigh over 1000 pounds with rider and pillion and gear.

    So far (not very far) they are the quietest tyre set I've had on the bike in a while. I replaced a set of Pirelli Scorpion Rally with the Karoo. My other set of wheels ( I have one set of "road" wheels, and one set of "Dirt" wheels for the VFR) has an Anakee Wild front and a Tractionhater Adventure rear. So after the howling of the Tractionhater, and the high pitch whine of the Anakee Wild, the Karoo were a welcome change. I was riding on the test run with my half helmet skullcap thing (I use for testing bikes after work so I can actually hear any odd noises) and road noise was significantly lower than the last few sets of tyres I've had. Turn in is almost identical to the Rally set, but it feels much more precise in the turns. The Rally front that came off has the outside tread lugs pretty badly worn from some spirited mountain highway 2 up riding. So it's started to feel a bit vague at full lean. The Karoo 3 front feels more like a road tyre by comparison. The Karoo Street rear feels much like a Pirelli Scorpion Trail.

    Given the links between Metzeler and Pirelli, and how both brands come out of the same factory in some instances, and having had the tyres side by side, I think the Pirelli Rally and the Karoo share an identical carcass. Having ridden on Karoos and Rallys in the past with my BMW, I reckon they use the same rubber compound. If not identical, very close to it.

    The Karoo Street rear is very much like the Pirelli Rally STR in terms of grip, turn in, and feel. I got great mileage out of an STR, but the puncture resistance was pretty disappointing. It may well be that after a couple hundred thousand kms puncture free that I was just really unlucky and ran over a sharp piece of metal, but the tyre had a small external puncture wound and a large internal rip where the steel belt seemed to separate. The Karoo Street is an almost identical construction and spec, so I'm going to guess the puncture resistance will not be high.

    But seeing as I have 2 sets of wheels, the Karoo 3/Karoo Street front/rear combo will be my 80/20 tyre. For those outings where I just want to do a couple of dirt roads and a lot of tar, or a tar trip that has the odd dirt road to a camp ground/lookout/place of interest. For proper dirt work I have the knobbies on the other wheels. It takes about 3 1/2 minutes to change them over, I get practise most weekends.

    I'm going to put some distance on the Karoos in the coming weeks and have a play on the dirt.
    #27
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  8. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Shinko 705 were a strange tyre for me.

    Very quick turn in that takes a little getting used to. Basically it felt like the bike fell over every time I went to turn in for the first dozen turns or so until I got used to them. The front literally didn't wear. 6000kms later with some of the nipples still visible, despite playing through the Snowy Mountains loop with mates on sportsbikes, I decided to try something else.

    They did sort of ok in the mud, but it wasn't "fun". I did Long Plain in the pissing rain on the VFR with a couple of mates, and the KTM1190 with Rally/Motoz combo did no better in the hands of a capable rider. The BMW R1200GSA with TKC70s struggled badly in places, and had a couple of impromptu lay downs for a rest. The tread pattern on the Shinkos didn't fill with mud like every review I read said they did. The Katos knobbies did, and so did the TKC shod BMW. So I don't know what goes on there.

    On the wet Snowy Mountains Highway, at about 8 degrees, chasing, catching and passing another group of riders, they felt ok. Until I passed this old fart on his ST1300 and he decided to speed up. So I stayed out and pushed harder. The rear got twitchy on some white lane markings, slid when I crossed back over the centre line, and then when I braked for the 45kph corner the ABS on the rear kicked in, and then the front had ABS intervene right as I was turning in and felt very loose. I just stuck to my line and kept going, which it did with no further traction issue, but I had no real faith in them in the wet after that.

    I have a friend who has them on his Super Tenere, former HART head instructor, and he says he gets 30,000kms out of a front, and 20,000 from a rear and he loves them. My rear was starting to wear when I got rid of it. It had 6000kms on it. I'd guess I could have got 3 times that from it.

    The lack of feedback (none at all) and the quick turn in were negatives for me with the Shinko. They are a very tough tyre, and seem to work pretty well for the hard compound they have. If I was doing a mostly tar lap of Australia they'd be up there as one of my options. Dry dirt they do easy. Wet dirt...not so much. Doable, better than some tyres, better than you'd think to look at them, but it's not their strong point. Dry tar, they're a top pick for longevity. Wet tar...they'll leave you guessing when it's going to let go.
    #28
  9. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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    So back from Western QLD on the new GSA. The Karoo Street tyres..... worked really well on deep gravel. (Well I didn't fall off so that is a bonus.)

    And magic on the tar.

    But noise..... with earplugs no issue up to 100... virtually no noise..... however.. around 110 - 115 they could send you nuts.

    On coarse chip roads you don't really hear it but on really smooth cement or new fine bitumen they wail like a Banshee.

    Just turned up the stereo in the helmet and thought about something else.

    Thumbs up over the OEM Anakee 3 that for me at least were so unstable on gravel that I found the bike to be really unstable
    #29
  10. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Interesting. I took the Karoo3/Karoo Street combo out today and did about 270kms on them, and wife commented they are the quietest tyres we've had in a while. Maybe there's a harmonic with your front/back being both Karoo Street that I'm not getting? Although most of the roads around here have an Alpine coarse chip seal. Might explain it.

    I did nice tar twisties, fast dirt, deep logging road gravel, and some fire trail up the Blackberry Hill of Death behind Careys Caves at Wee Jasper. No problem. Some deep sloppy red mud...face down before I knew what happened. Wife was fine, she used my head to break her fall. The bike was fine, it used my leg to break it's fall. So much for the "more aggressive front" theory. Though to be fair I don't think anything would have helped.

    Love the Karoo Street on fast sweepers. With the 170/60-17 it might be a tad wide for the 4 inch rim...or it's the profile. It feels a little like it's steering from the rear at full lean. Checking it out in the driveway by leaning the bike right over, there's a lot of tyre contact patch on the rear at full lean. But compared to my last few sets of tyres the bike feels far more like a sportsbike on good rubber than a big tourer. Flicks from side to side so light, you wouldn't know it is a big bike. Really dramatic change to it's character after living with knobbies.

    On the rocky fire trail climbs the back didn't lose traction in any significant way. It did hop over a few rocks and change it's line randomly at one point, but that's par for the course on a big bike banging around in rocky stuff. There was no clean line and I had to just use momentum and force my way up. When in doubt rev it out, and slip that clutch like your life depends on it, because from the look of the drop off it does. Had to let the wife off so she could get her breathe back. The hyperventilating noises half way up the climb were really distracting.

    Deep gravel on the logging roads they handled better than the Scorpions. The Scorp front used to get a long slow head shake thing happening in anything deep and soft. The Karoo 3 doesn't do it, and the Karoo Street tracks along nicely behind it through deep gravel. Wife commented that you wouldn't know you were on dirt.


    I like the combo, and I really like the Street rear. Wear rate will be the only hurdle they need to prove themselves on now.
    #30
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  11. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    With around 100kms on them they are starting to sing on the fast flat smooth road on the commute. High pitch, but still nowhere near the level of the Tractionhator/Anakee Wild/Mitas E09/Scorpion Rally.

    Stick like shit to a blanket.
    #31