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Metzeler Karoo 3 Tires
The Metzeler Karoo 3 tires are a new concept of Adventure and Enduro On/Off tires dedicated to off-road expeditions and featuring both off-road traction and on-road stability with excellent mileage. Specifically engineered for medium to large displacement bikes that spend time both on and off road, these 70% street / 30% off-road tires offer off-road traction and stability on road with excellent mileage.
New Karoo 3 improvements:
- Improved off-road traction and handling
- 30% more mileage than its predecessor
- Cutting edge tread design lends to improved performance
- Suitable for both light and heavy Enduro bikes
- New tread compounds capable of obtaining a more uniform mix which in turn provides mechanical resistance to lacerations while still maintaining high dampening capability
- Trapezoidal tread pattern has an innovative geometry which ensures progressive off road traction at various lean angles
- Differentiated spacing and larger tread
- Footprint area is more uniform and constant
- Increased mileage on road and off-road
- Increased stability and reduced vibration
- 0° steel radial technology
- MAW (Metzeler Advanced Winding) technology
|Product Style||RevZilla Item #||MFR. Product #||Availability|
|Product Style Front / 120/70R19 60T TL||RevZilla Item #878601||MFR. Product #2316100||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Front / 90/90-21 54R TL||RevZilla Item #878602||MFR. Product #2316200||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Front / 110/80R19 59R TL||RevZilla Item #878603||MFR. Product #2316000||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Rear / 140/80-18 70R TL||RevZilla Item #878608||MFR. Product #2316700||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Rear / 150/70R17 69R TL||RevZilla Item #878609||MFR. Product #2316300||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Rear / 150/70-18 70R TL||RevZilla Item #878610||MFR. Product #2316800||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Rear / 170/60R17 72T TL||RevZilla Item #878611||MFR. Product #2316400||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Rear / 140/80-17 69R TL||RevZilla Item #878612||MFR. Product #2316600||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
|Product Style Rear / 130/80-17 65R TL||RevZilla Item #1080839||MFR. Product #2316500||AvailabilityIn Stock: Ships within 24 hours|
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Reviews & Questions
Tire sizes: 110/80-19 front, 150/70-17 rear.
Pressure: 32psi front, 36psi rear.
They work great off-road. I haven't tried airing them down, but even at stock pressures they work well. Everything including hard pack, gravel, and soft sandy dirt. Haven't had a chance to get them in deep sand yet. A better tire off-road than the Heidenau.
Big surprise! They also work well on pavement too!
They hum (rumble) a little on the road, but it's not the annoying whine that you get from some tires and easy to live with. The grip is surprising for a big block knobby and is stable when leaned over.
A lot of ADV riders have been jumping on the Heidenau bandwagon because they are a cheap tire and offer decent off-road grip. Well, the Karoo 3 performs better on and off road than the Heidenau and is only about $5 more per tire.
If you change from the Heidenau to Metzeler, you will take your old "Heidys" and throw them into the bush as far as you can. You will be so angry that you wasted your time with them, you will search the bush until you find them and then throw them further.
Bottom line. I like these tires. I only gave them 4/5 stars just because ADV tires are a compromise and are never going to be perfect in all areas. If you are planning on taking your bike off the pavement, these tires are for you. If you only ride your big ADV on the street (not that there's anything wrong with that) then there are a lot of other tires that will offer better ultimate street grip.
ps. Oh yeah, they look badass too!!!
Round trip from Michigan, down to Antelope Wells with the standard fitted road tires, had the Karoo 3's fitted in El Paso and made it all the way to Canada and Back to Michigan.
Rear tire now done complete... front tire still 30% to go but show some rock damage (cuts in the nobbies# and slight cupping in 2 areas. Still riding comfortably with no vibration issues. Will replace both, with Karoo's again.
Bike felt like it was floating a little during initial run-in period but still handled well through thunderstorms in NM. Dealer who fitted the tires recommended to overinflate the tires with 5psi due to heavy load, in hind sight I think this was a mistake, and could contribute to very early signs of wear I saw on the rear tire. I was concerned that I would not make it home without having to change tires on the back!
When I hit the first gravel in the desert, front was floating all over the road in gravel and dug into the sand to a point where it was scary...
I reduced the pressure in the front to 5psi below manufacturers specification and the rear to specification. This made a huge positive difference in overall handling and feel and I left these settings for the whole trip. In general for anyone with handling issues, do not be scared to experiment with air pressure first and reduce/increase in small increments.
Bike was extremely stable in all conditions, especially front end, in mud, sand #did help to have sand dirt-bike experience from Michigan#, ruts, marble stoned gravel, rocky terrain and no issues on asphalt.
In extreme wet in Colorado, I had to wait for the 2-track to dry out #2 days) but these conditions would have prevented a baboon with a walking stick to get out there so not a tire problem!
Have to say however, after a hunter helped me "carry" my luggage out on his Ranger on the 3rd day, the unloaded bike handled easy out of still very wet and slippery mud conditions and the tires worked well, the tread pattern in the front helps the bike to correct itself in the case it slips and the rear cleans itself easily allowing good traction in all circumstances.
I had the traction control on for most of the trip, in only a few cases did I need to switch it off to get out of sand and where I did not want to get stuck with technology "helping me stall" on steep rocky inclines. This issue is a personal preference and depends on riding style, given being alone I was riding with preservation in mind most of the time. It does not take much to see the rear wheel wanting to overtake you with traction control off on gravel roads.
Road noise bearable when compared to stock tires, front tire goes fairly quiet above 65Mph and does not irritate.
Had to do riding through severe thunderstorms in North Dakota on asphalt with a lot of water on the road and never felt unsafe or had an issue. still managed to keep to the speed limit. In situations where rain just started onto dust covered roads extra care was required but in my opinion would be an issue for any tire combination.
Most of the highway riding was done with speedo cruise set between 75 to 85Mph and never any insecurities. It is important to change you riding style between off road and road riding when cornering. The front specifically feels more loose on asphalt when leaning the bike into a corner on vs your body! I met a guy in the Yellowstone park who was riding a GS and complained about the front end feel on asphalt and I think this was his issue...
I do not have experience with other tires but see no reason to change. I do expect that a higher ratio asphalt riding will reduce the life expectancy significant and especially if the bike is driven in sport mode all the time.
ON ROAD - They were pretty terrifying on the road at first but once they wore in and I got use to them they were much better. A little noisy and vibraty at speed but nothing like a full knobby. You really can hook through the corners with these on the road, especially big fast sweepers. Once worn in I still couldn't use full throttle in 1st, 2nd or sometimes third as it would spin up the rear. Wet tarmac was surprisingly pretty good considering.
OFF ROAD - Off road grip on the front was fantastic, very stable in the loose gravel and on wet grass, never got a chance to get into the mud. Rear was ok on the loose stuff, still not much traction even in OFF ROAD MODE which is 100hp instead of 150hp.
TYRE WEAR - Not good really, I did 2500kms of about 80% road 20% offroad and the rear was completely gone, the front tyre however is only about 30% worn.
Please note: I put the power mode on the bike back to street mode with these tyres to make it less aggressive, also road with traction control on all the time (i usually switch it off before i turn the key) And the whole time i had these tyres on I was very hesitant to use full throttle as I could literately see the tread depth depleting a little more every time I got off the bike and had a look.
SUMMERY - Overall i'm impressed with how these tyres handled on and off the road. I'm not too happy with how long the rear lasted considering how much i babyed the bike with these tyres on. I wouldn't buy another Karoo 3 Rear. Will be trying out the K60 rear instead when it becomes available in a 170/60R17 size in February 2014
I think the karoo 3 is more suited to a 650 or an 800
So far, I've put over 6k miles on the first rear for the bike and I have absolutely no complaints. The tip-in did take a little getting used to, and it took a couple of hundred miles to even out a bit, but for me, the tire is a great road tire and suitable for the light off-road I will run it on (~20% gravel, dirt, grass, a little mud and sand). Rain performance has never left me wanting, and I've been out in a few deluges. My one concern was longevity vs. price, but 6k miles is enough, though it's not gone yet and I will probably run it for another 1-2k before replacing it.
over 2 years ago
The good - these tires rock on dirt roads and easy fire trails. I have done several long trips, the most memorable running the Apache trail in AZ. We went past Tortilla Flats and did the trail to Globe. I felt so confident in the grip we were getting some real nice speeds on some of the tougher sections. On the pavement they gripped well and did equally as well in the rain.
The bad - the more they wore down, the louder and buzzier they became. If you have an adv bike but have buddies who you travel with on sport tourers, you will not feel confident running these at higher speeds. Above 85 I would not go with these shoes and a loaded bike...so I got left behind quite a bit. Use the Metzler comparisons tool on their website...I would say these are a great 50/50 tire versus 70/30. Given the type of riding I do i think the Tourances will be a better fit. I will still be buying a new rear Karoo since my front still has some miles as i will swap them out for a few dirt trips i have planned.
The ugly - no ugly to report.
When I ran the K60's I thought they would give me more on the street than they did. It seems to me that the rubber is just to hard.
Now, I ride an F800gs. So I know that the tread pattern for the other sizes are like these Karoo's.
I just returned from running the southern area of Utah. We did the advanced loop of the Back Country Discovery Route. It was a 3 day run with rain the final 3 hours. I am very pleased with these tires.
The only one I would run other than these, would be the Conti's for solid dirt riding.
Hope this helps you a little.
This tire has excellent traction off road while still remaining stable on the highway or streets compared to other brands and models I've ridden. They have excellent rear wheel traction and shed mud and debris very well. They wear out relatively quickly on 400lb - 500lb bikes. I imagine that they would last longer on a light bike like a supermoto.
I do recommend these tires.
If you are running them on a supermoto with 17" wheels, please ensure that there is an appropriate size and spec for your front wheel. There may be better choices in tires since you are running them on a supermoto.
The recommended rear tire is 150/70/18. The 140/80/18 is much cheaper.
Has anyone had success in mounting the 140/70 tire on the stock rim?