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Basem Wasef

Metzeler's M5 Sportec Chicken-Strip-o-Meter: How Man Are You?

By March 2, 2010

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Metzeler M5 Sportec Tire
Remember that time you said you were dragging elbows at track day, but the chicken strips on your tires said otherwise?

Metzeler's new M5 Sportec tires may boast high silica mixtures and multi-tension steel belts, but the feature sure to get tongues wagging is the hash-marked sidewall, complete with pictograms of varying lean angles (and unspoken insinuations about your willingess-- or lack thereof-- to pitch your bike sideways.)

Do these tires make you want to buy a set just to show off your cornering prowess, or would you rather keep your lean angles vague and undocumented?

Source: Dale's Motorcycle Blog, Metzeler


Photo Metzeler
Click to enlarge

March 2, 2010 at 10:38 am
(1) Scottie says:

This is pretty amusing. I guess we’ll see a lot of people running these at low pressure to get to the #5 hash mark if they’re unable to wear them out in corners.

March 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm
(2) Pete says:

Amusing indeed…
I use Qualifiers and getting the “chicken strip” down to 2mm ~ zero is relatively easy on the rear. Getting it under 4~5mm – much less zero – on the front is whole different story. I don’t think it should be attempted on the street. Using that last few mm’s on the front requires lean angles that public roads are not up to.
Might this Metzeler provoke riders to try things that belong on the track? Will it tempt riders to try things beyond their skill level?
Not sure this is such a great idea…at least on a DOT tire.
At the end of the day …cute little pictures on your tires? Don’t bother.

March 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm
(3) three west says:

hah, what’s with the elephant?

March 2, 2010 at 3:14 pm
(4) Mick says:

Kinda funny, but probably a good way to encourage bad riding habits.

The same people that get all wacky and obsessed over “chicken strips” are the same ones that have no clue how to get their butt outta the seat to learn proper body positioning. Traction pie, anyone? You keep leaning the bike over that far on the street (without hanging off the seat), one of these times you’re gonna lose.

@three west
The Elephant is Metzeler’s logo/mascot.

March 2, 2010 at 4:13 pm
(5) Bill Fabian says:

I think the buying of a high quality street/track tire and having chicken strips is akin to buying a AMG Mercedes for trips to the market. If your not going to carved the canyons, buy a touring tire, and if your only running to the market, get a KIA.

March 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm
(6) Pete says:

I worked for the Canadian Dist for Metzeler many years ago…does anyone remember their (in)famous blue tread snow tire? It and the Conti Contact were about the first 2 “ice” tires….
The tread on these tires was bright blue…..they were truly bizarre and something of a marketing fail.
I still have a couple little blue Elephants made of the tire tread material.

May 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm
(7) Gene says:

I wondered why I have not been able to wear the second and third hash mark on the elephant off on my Metzeler M3′s on my ’05 CBR1000rr although the top mark and the top of the elephant are gone I figured I would need to be on a track to get the last two off, funny… go figure it’s just a logo. Love the M3 tire it is going to be right around 5000mi for the back tire and probably around 7000mi or better for the front. the tires changed the whole feel of the bike and don’t really need warming up the M5′s look like a step up but I’m happy with the M3 performance and wear as well as price.

September 9, 2010 at 4:37 pm
(8) CBR900RR says:

I know I’m a bit late but in regards to the comment about getting the chicken strips down past the #5 hash mark, that’s not going to be hard to do. If you notice the elephant insignia has 3 hash marks next to it as well. Those are where you’re hitting Extreme lean angles. the M3′s have this as well.

Just with everyday street riding here in florida on the twisties I was able to get down to the top of the elephant’s head (just barely above the 1st hash mark) and that’s without dragging knee or anything to that extreme. you’d have to be ripping it around a track pretty hard to reach those 3 hash marks which are the ones that “matter” (if you will) as far as chicken strips are concerned. Most everyday street riding would hardly get you past the top of the elephants head. Really those numbered markings (1-5) seem purely for amusement purposes only as far a gauging your lean angle, that and the occaisional flamming from your friends. But regardless you’ll easily tear those 5 markings up on the road with some moderate riding. I highly doubt that those hash marks are going to cause someone to wreck because they’ll be easily reach with a good twisty road and some decent riding skills.

Just my .02

I hope they make these puppies in a 130/70R16 Front tire

September 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm
(9) ctyankee00 says:

@Pete #6 comment

If by ‘many years ago’ you mean the 70′s, then yes, I had a pair of blue tread Metzler snows in the trunk of the ’69 BMW 1600 that I bought in ’77. When the snows came (NNJ) I put them on (hey, they were already in the trunk!).
The 1600 was a great front engine, rear wheel drive sports sedan when things were dry. When mu approached zero, you needed all the traction you could get. Blue Metzlers did it! Not like today’s audi’s but much better than without them.
Yeah, it’s the car I wish I still had, lol

December 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm
(10) srsly guize says:

“-Five tension zones for maximum control, confidence and agility – superior performance for city riding and/or canyon carving on supersport or naked motorcycles”

Those markings have nothing to do with chicken strips, they are the different compound areas of the tyre offering stickier grip at higher lean angles.

I always used the elephant logo on my Z8′s (top line front/bottom line rear), just switched them for M5 and feels nice and solid right to the edge. The last tension zone marker was passed before they were even fully worn in.. you guys don’t seriously think rubbing off the 5 marker is difficult, do you?

February 6, 2014 at 12:52 am
(11) Rassig says:

I remember the Metzeler snows…. I think they were called the “Blue Magnet”. They were supposed to be the hot winter tire back in the mid 70′s…. one of the first “ice” tires as was mentioned earlier in this thread. I did run a set of the Metzeler Perfect tires on my Opel Manta and they were fantastic all season design. I bought them from Euro Tire…. they were the first (or one of the first) mail order tire vendors. Anyway, Euro Tire advertised that the Metzeler Perfects had a “high hysteresis” and “hydrophillic” tread compound. All I know is they were an awesome all season tire that got me through several Wisconsin winters as well as handling great in the wet & dry. Oddly enough when searching Google.com and Google.de, I get very few if any hits on Metzeler’s automotive tires…. except it seems they had a recall or problems with one tire line prior to the aforementioned models?

February 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm
(12) SV650R says:

The markings on the tires are cute!!!! Chicken strips do not equal rider skill…

I have a buddy that rides his CBR600RR like a dirt bike, (His background is all dirt bikes.) He has NO chicken strips but he is not all that fast…

I can pass him mid corner on my SV650 without even getting a knee down, and I would guess at least 1″ inch left at the edge of tire… Body positioning plays a huge role in lean angles…

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