IF you ride an adventure touring motorcycle and stick mainly to the roads and rarely travel off-road, the chances are that the Metzeler Tourance Next hoops will be familiar products to you.
For some years now they have offered adventure-loving motorcyclists the performance of road-oriented sports touring tyres, with wet weather grip, excellent longevity, and fitment on most large and mid-capacity adventure motorcycles.
Upping the ante further for 2022 is the new Tourance Next 2, an evolution of the previous version, with most of the changes taking place beneath the skin. The revisions for the new tyres are all aimed at improving the performance and life of the tyre even further, in all road conditions, wet and dry.
What’s new with the Metzeler Tourance Next 2?
The new 2022 Tourance Next 2 are the fourth generation of adventure touring tyres from the Tourance family. While it may look outwardly similar to the other products in the family, beneath the carcass it’s pretty much all either new or revised.
The first change is a move to a slightly stiffer compound, something that Metzeler tells us is to help the latest gen’ hoops feel more agile and lightweight on the road. It also enables the tyre to feel more stable on the road as the carcass moves around less.
The front uses an 85 percent silica compound that features functionalised polymers, apparently. I saw the presentation, and to be honest, I’m still not 100 percent sure what they are. The funkily named polymers help to improve stability and grip characteristics, primarily in wet conditions.
The rear uses a multi-compound design (dependant on the size you choose) and features either a cap and base structure or the new Metzeler Hyperbase structure. A cap and base design features a central compound that extends below the two softer shoulder compounds, a bit like carpet underlay. The Hyperbase structure sees the shoulders and central compound areas bolstered by a carbon-black base. The centre compound on all rear tyres is the same as the front, while the shoulder is a full-silica concoction to aid cornering grip in wet and dry conditions.
The net result is a ten percent improvement in wet weather performance, with the Tourance Next 2s stopping 2.3 metres sooner than the outgoing product.
Metzeler Tourance Next 2 on-road performance
You normally pray for warm and sunny weather on a press ride, although when the manufacturers are touting wet weather characteristics like this, a tiny part of you actually wants to splash about for a few miles. Sadly that wasn’t the case, and the launch outside Piacenza was bathed in sunshine and 25 degree heat.
The first part of the trip saw me mounting the lovely little KTM 890 Adventure, prime territory for the Tourance Next 2 tyres. First impressions were good, with a little suburban riding showing the tyre to be light and nimble through the handlebars, with the feedback providing you with information on changing road surfaces. Both of those aspects are probably helped by the new stiffer design of the tyre, something that should also aid the Next 2s more in wetter weather.
Looping out of the town and pointing bikes at the lunch stop in Brugnello the roads opened up and the hills loomed into view. As the pace quickened it became apparent this wasn’t just another ADV hoop for schlepping out the days on the motorway. It felt like a genuinely capable sporty touring tyre. On the steeply banked corners, you could get the pegs of the 890 Adventure scraping in agony, no mean feat considering the bike’s 264mm of ground clearance.
After the first photo stop was done, I traded the 890 for the latest generation BMW R 1250 GS and was surprised to see that the light and nimble low-speed ability of the Next 2 was carried over to the 250kg machine. The extra torque of the Shiftcam-equipped GS was not a match for the tyre’s grip either, and even on the sketchiest of road surfaces, the front would lunch at the sky rather than the rear spin up. Impressive stuff.
Metzeler Tourance Next 2 longevity
While I can’t comment on how well the tyres lasted on the launch – we were only on them for between 150 and 200 kilometres, I can tell you that much has been done in the background. And it’s not just about improving overall tyre life. Metzeler has worked at improving the continuity of the performance of the tyre as the tread wears down. It’s something that is demonstrated by the firm’s wet weather braking data, with a worn Next 2 losing coming in just slightly longer than a brand-new hoop in a wet road braking test.
Metzeler Tourance Next 2 sizes and availability
The latest Next 2s are available for most mid and large capacity adventure motorcycles that accept a 19 or 21-inch front wheel.
They will be available in the following sizes:
Front: 110/80 R19 59V, 120/70 R19 60V, 120/70 ZR19 60W, 90-90 21 54V
Rear: 150/70 R17 69V, 170/60 R17 72V, 170/60 ZR17 72W, 150/70 R18 70V
For more information on the new Tourance Next 2 tyres, head to: www.metzeler.com