A few months back I wrote about changing out my front tire from the Metzeler ME 880 to the new ME 888 Marathon Ultra. This year’s trip to the Dragon Raid had a few casualties, my rear ME 888 that I mounted last year (just prior to my first Dragon Raid) was one of them. The trusty 888 took a licking and got me home, but it was time for retirement shortly thereafter. Like both of my ME 880 tires, the new 888 “ultras” have amazing tread life. This rear tire was the was the first I’ve replaced, but after 19,000 hard miles, it was time. Looking over the profile I still think that I could have got more miles if I didn’t spend so much time commuting to work on the freeway.
read several reviews where guys have complained about the handling in wet conditions; from my experience I think that has a lot to do with individual comfort, taste, and throttle discipline. I have experienced the rear tire breaking loose in the rain; more often than not because I got on the throttle too soon after executing a turn. The 888 that I just replaced took me through “The Tail of the Dragon” (US-129) no less than three times in the rain with no issues. If guys are looking to ride in the rain the exact same way they ride when it’s dry, then yes, these tires could probably use a bit more grip. In my opinion, any traction issues I’ve experienced in the rain have been 99% my fault, not the a result of poor performance from the tire. Riding year round, I’ve experience zero issues with grip in dry conditions, whatsoever.
At any rate, I’m officially on my third rear motorcycle tire (ever), so I won’t claim to be the expert on tires; but I will say that if Metzeler doesn’t have a reputation for longevity, they should. The ME 880 and 888’s have both tracked true and provided reasonable surface feedback for a cruiser tire. I don’t deny that there are better, stickier, and cheaper tires, but the Marathon series tires are worth the money; and in my opinion are the best at their intended purpose.