MZ Tyres - Riders' Comments

There is always a lot of debate, frequently unproductive, when the subject of tyres for MZs is discussed. Naturally, everyone thinks their own choice of tyre is the best. I have therefore decided to list peoples' comments on their tyres so that anyone contemplating changing their tyres can easily find out what other people think of various tyres.

Submissions are welcome; please send them to me here in the following format:

Bike:     (model of MZ)
Wheels:   (will assume standard wheels unless told otherwise)
Tyres:    (make and designation of tyres)
Comments: (what you reckon to these tyres; relevant peculiarities of your riding style)

Contributions will be posted anonymously unless you specifically request otherwise.

Please note that I myself am no tyre expert and haven't necessarily tried any of these combinations - they're just the personal experiences of various MZ riders. (The first two entries, TS125 / Dunlop K82 and TS250/1 / Pirelli Demon / Metzeler Block C, are mine, but again, they are simply personal feelings, not expert opinions.)
I might pretty up the format a little when I've had a few more suggestions :-)

Bike:     TS125
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Dunlop K82
Comments: Good for grinding down the ends of footpegs!

Bike:     TS250/1
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Front: Pirelli City Demon, Rear: (1) Pirelli Demon, (2) Metzeler Block C
Comments: The front tyre seems to do its job more-or-less competently and in an unremarkable manner, though not without room for improvement. The Pirelli Demon on the rear tramlined badly on road seams, felt dodgy on wet roundabouts and wore out in about 3000 miles, despite running at the recommended 28psi and the unremarkable MZ power output, which I thought was an appallingly short life, but since its behaviour bordered on the frightening at times - especially in oversalted, high-humidity conditions - I was glad of the excuse to get rid of it. Its replacement, the Metz Block C, has now been on for a few thousand miles so far and inspires considerably greater confidence. It also has about twice the depth of tread as the Pirelli had when new, and seems to be lasting a lot better.

Bike:     TS250/1
Wheels:   Front: Honda TLS wheel; Rear: Standard
Tyres:    Front: Metzeler ME22 3.00x18, Rear: Metzeler Block C 3.50x16
Comments: Excellent. Good grip, negligible tramlining, inspire confidence. The wear rate seems pretty good too.

Bike:     TS250/1 Supa 5
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Front: Metzeler Perfect ME77, Rear: Metzeler Bloc C
Comments: Great grip after the first 100 miles or so.

Bike:     TS250/1
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Front: Vee Rubber VRM011, Rear: Pirelli MT65
Comments: Vee Rubber nice handling and cured a headshake, grip seems fine with the standard TS brake. Pirelli started off very well but is not lasting well and whitelined from when 2/3rds worn, plus grip seems to be deteriorating.

Bike:     TS250/1
Wheels:   Front: ETZ250 disc conversion; Rear: Standard
Tyres:    Front: Mitas 2.75x18 HO6, Rear: Mitas 3.50x16 HO6
Comments: The TS is used for commuting and at well under £50 for both tyres these were bought with economy in mind. They have proved to be a revelation. The grip (both wet and dry) is excellent with a gentle progressive slide when pushed too far. The steering has sharpened up considerably but straight line stability remains spot on. Cannot comment on longevity yet but I will report back. Previously used Continentals, Metzeler and Michelins but not any more.
Update:   I promised to give a report on longevity. After 7000 miles I have just changed the rear tyre (for another Mitas H06). The front is holding up well despite the disk conversion and my enthusiastic riding style and I fully expect it to last for 15000 miles. The tyres have performed well with no drop off in performance as they wore. They do seem critical to the customary MZ "hands off" head shake, unless the tyre pressures are religiously maintained at 27psi (F) and 33psi (R) (I'm 210lbs minus riding gear so adjust to suit). As I stated before I've tried all the usual alternatives and found the HO6's to be easily as good as the best and vastly cheaper. As a footnote (and to both neighbours' complete amazement) I can vouch that during last year's snow the (fairly new) tyres coped admirably on the 4 mile commute. However I cannot recommend that others indulge in this kind of stupidity, despite the grin it brought to my face!

Bike:     ETZ125
Wheels:   Standard spoked (disk brake)
Tyres:    Chen Hung Golden Boy (front and rear)
Comments: Incredibly hard wearing (5000 miles and still with moudling nobbles); staggering lack of grip. Hopeless in the wet, just about okay in the dry. Probably ideal for sidecar.

Bike:     ETZ125
Wheels:   Original IFA MZ alloy wheels
Tyres:    Pneumant OEM (front), Pirelli MT65 (rear)
Comments: Front: Limited grip in wet but reasonable levels of feeback give some reassurance at least, locks too easily and slides under heavy front braking on wet surfaces but in the dry nothing much to worry about, a hard wearing tyre (replaced at near 21,000 miles) that encourages a 'cautious' riding style but seldom life-threatening
          Rear: An improvement on the original Pneumant, about 7,000 miles maximum use (used twice), limited and 'sporty' tread pattern is good in dry but would probably benefit from having more tread channels in wet conditions. Good feedback, very controllable in event of rear wheel slide on greasy town roads. Was told by local supplier that Pirelli no longer make the tyre due to lack of demand, but ATS state the tyre is available from Pirelli although not through local branch...

Bike:     ETZ125
Wheels:   Original IFA MZ alloy wheels
Tyres:    Metzeler ME22 (front), Metzeler 'Block C' (rear)
Comments: Front: Handling far more precise than with OEM Pneumant, remains very taut and together under hard front braking and shows no signs of beginning to slide even on slippery surfaces, enters corners/rolls in and holds line very well. Definitely inspires confidence.
          Rear: Despite a pretty conventional/traditional tread appearance & profile the tyre seems to handle well giving a smooth and controlled ride, a very substantial and quite deep tread pattern seems to work well in the wet as tyre certainly remains planted, should also last significantly longer than the Pirelli MT65. Would have preferred to match the front ME22 with same rear but unfortunately not available in peculiar 16" MZ sizes...

Bike:     ETZ250
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Dunlop K81 front and rear
Comments: No problems except that the front end 'tramlines' a bit and the steering oscillates at low speed(though this is probably due to the front wheel needing balancing. I ride quite gently nowadays. The boot sole chamfering days are long gone!

Bike:     ETZ250
Wheels:   Original IFA MZ alloy wheels
Tyres:    Pneumant OEM (front), DUNLOP K82 (rear)
Comments: Front: Reasonable in wet if fork oil uprated to sae 15 and pressure at 20 psi can lock and slide under heavy front braking on wet surfaces but in the dry nothing to worry about, a hard wearing tyre still fine after 12000 miles
          Rear: Other than Michelin 45 the best rear tyre I have used for handling in all conditions and for wear - about 9,000 miles. I even used this tyre on a classic racer!

Bike:     ETZ250 - 18 teeth gearing
Wheels:   Original IFA MZ alloy wheels
Tyres:    Metzeler ME22 (front), PIRELLI MT65(rear)heavy duty
Comments: Front: Best front tyre available for handling remains very taut and together under hard front braking and shows no signs of beginning to slide even on slippery surfaces, enters corners/rolls in and holds line very well. Wears more quickly than other choices but cost irrelevant given performance.
          Rear: Could not get Michelin or Dunlop locally so this seemed next best choice - £31 fitted and balanced - deep tread pattern certainly clears water and tyre profile like Michelin. To date the tyre seems to handle well giving a smooth and controlled ride, should also last significantly longer as rated for bikes up to 500 cc. Found ME22 on rear not as good and wore very quickly - 4000 - 6000 miles.

Bike:     ETZ251
Wheels:   Alloy Kanuni Wheels
Tyres:    Bridgestone BT45 (front), Bridgestone Mag Mopus (rear)
Comments: Front: Superb tyre, felt planted in all weather conditions
          rear: Good tyre, good grip on all surfaces, but didn't feel quite as good as the front.

Bike:     ETZ251
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Metzeler ME22 (front), Conti K112 (rear)
Comments: Bike gets thrashed around town and occasional long runs to keep it sweet.
          Front tyre is wonderful - I've never managed to annoy it.
          Rear is just fine, very solid, but is happier with 30-35psi otherwise whitelining a risk.

Bike:     ETZ251
Wheels:   Standard spoked.
Tyres:    Turkish IFA Brand, unknown variant.
Comments: Both appalling tyres. Little grip in the dry, much worse in the wet.

Bike:     ETZ251
Wheels:   front 17"*2,50" back 17"*3,50" both alloy with spokes
Tyres:    BT-45 front and back.
Comments: Front : perfect grip, can hold the backwheel in the air 30-40cm up whiout any problem.. But has problems whit below 0C degress the first 5-10min.
          Back : Good grip, and still lots of grip, on the sides of it... And it stays stabel even when the foot pegs are touching the ground.

Bike:     ETZ300/301
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Vee Rubber
Comments: Used all year round on dodgy N. Ireland roads, give no cause for concern, do not like mud & cow crap!

Bike:     ETZ301
Wheels:   Standard
Tyres:    Bridgestone BT45 (front), Bridgestone Mag Mopus (rear)
Comments: Front: excellent
          rear: not so good.

Bike:     Kanuni ETZ 301
Wheels:   Standard spoked type
Tyres:    Front: Birlas- (Turkish copy of the original Pneumant K39), Rear: Mitas H-05
Comments: Birlas handles and grips well in all conditions, 2/3rds worn at 6000km- not likely to be available in this country but should think a Heidenau would be similar. The Mitas handles perfectly, grips in all conditions and is lasting very well, highly recommended.

A rider's general thoughts, not specific to a particular MZ (again, not mine):

Previous tyres used on various MZ 2-strokes:

Very Good:
Continental City/K112 (Front/rear): Good handling & grip, need extra pressure to avoid whitelining, last well.
Michelin M45: Brilliant on the back- only the Mitas equals it. (Front fitment not so good- wears unevenly with a scalloping effect and handling deteriorates.)

Very Bad:
Front: Bridgestone L303: Horrid! Poor grip and wears out in no time.
Rear: Metzeler Block C: (16" wheels) Rubbish tyre with vague squirmy handling and unpredictable in the wet.

A rider's more detailed thoughts (again, not mine):

Not so much a comment on the capabilities of tyres, but observations regarding the differences between the Bridgestone S701 Mag-Mopus and the Continental K112, both in 3.50 X 16

I have recently fitted my TS250/1 with Contis & Aisling's ETZ125 with a Mag Mopus rear this morning. While I was waiting for her to arrive, I compared the two (I have a spare Conti lying around).

The Conti is a much stiffer construction than the Bridgestone - the side walls are very difficult to flex by comparison & the Conti is 1 Kg heavier at 4kg (Bridgestone 3Kg - as measured on the bathroon scales while the wife was out ...) The Bridestone claims to be "6 ply rated", while the Conti states "Tread 3 ply Rayon". From the difference in weight, the Contis 3 plies must be a lot more substantial than the Bridgestone's 6 !

The Bridgestone starts out with 8mm of tread (measured at the centre groove) compared to 7.5 mm on the Conti. The circumference was the same on both to better than 1mm (1834mm)

The Bridgestone was the cheaper at £23, compared to the Conti at £24.95 - both from Busters Accessories by mail order (P&P £33.95)

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