3 years ago

DT May 2018

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  • Durability
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  • Yamaha
  • Tyre

The markets in the city

The markets in the city are a riot of colour and noise - unchanged for centuries. This is the castle we wandered up to. Older than any ruins in SA... We found some interesting spots... selection of modern adventure bikes all shod in the new Karoo Street rubber – and we were sort of herded into the presentation area before we drooled on the bikes. Ladies and Gents. To be absolutely honest, this writer learned more about tyre technology in the next two hours or so than in the last twenty odd years of having a real job. Fascinating is probably the understatement of the century. Modern challenges: Motorcycle tyre manufacturers are faced with a few hassles other than just traction. The common ones are: • Making the bikes handle well (predictably). • Making the tyres last. • Finding compounds that suit a tyres individual needs. • Keeping up with modern bikes horsepower demands. • Here’s one that we did not know about. Building a tyre that can cope with modern electronic aids. In a nutshell this means that the tyres cannot flex so much that it interferes with a bikes ABS system or traction control. The electronics can read flex as a slip… and that can create electronic confusion which might adversely affect your overall ride. It makes sense when you think about it but we had no idea that it was such a big focus in tyre manufacture – and as you can imagine, particularly in the world of adventure or dual purpose bikes, this has become a real issue. You want the tyre to be stiff enough that it does not flummox the electronics, but you want it to be soft enough that you still have some off-road traction. Makes sense. The Karoo Family: The Metzeler Karoo got its name because the original tyres were first tested right here in our very own Karoo. Metzeler sent some top international riders to go as fast and as long as they could on our loooong gravel roads. When they got back – it made sense to them, to adopt the use of our deserts name. Three Karoo’s are in the family – two have become household names amongst adventure riders: The Karoo Extreme: A knobbly for your adventure – a Rally racer, noisy on tar with very little life – but in the dirt you will get more traction than most will ever need. 14 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MAY 2018