Metzeler’s new Karoo 4 tyre has arrived for 2022 to meet the demands of adventure bike riders who want a balance of dirt and tarmac capability.
The new knobbly has been developed to give a 50-50 balance between road and trail, with Metzeler promising improved performance on both surfaces compared to the Karoo 3.
Metzeler say it is better on soft dirt surfaces such as clay thanks to a revised tread pattern, yet also performs better on the road - especially in the wet - thanks to a new profile shape.
They are aiming the new tyre at owners of big adventure bikes and also those who have scrambler-style machines who want the off-road look without sacrificing all hopes of decent performance on the road.
The new layout of the knobbles has a central band that come into contact with the road or trail when the bike is upright, and sections on the shoulder of the tyre.
There’s a variable distance between the central band and the side bands, which helps the tyre bite into loose surfaces and also release its grip to ensure the tyre doesn’t clog up with dirt and mud.
The groupings of knobbles aren’t uniformly aligned either, which Metzeler say will improve the way the tyre performs on the road.
There are more knobbles in contact with the road at any one time than the current Karoo 3, again for improved road handling.
And that new profile alters across the tyre, with different profiles for the central band and the shoulder.
Metzeler say this makes the contact patch shorter and wider than on the Karoo 3, which makes the bike more stable on the road and also improves wear-resistance for longer life on road bikes.
The Karoo 4 will be available in both crossply and radial sizes, with a different compound for the two.
The radial fronts will have a 100% carbon black compound for long life, while the radial rears will have a central band made from 100% carbon black while the shoulders will have an 80-20% mix of carbon black and silica for better resistance to heat.
Metzeler have developed a new compound for the single-compound crossply sizes, which they say will improve grip and performance in a wider range of temperatures.
The new tyre arrives in March 2022 in all the popular sizes for adventure bikes and scramblers.