The long-awaited ME888 Marathon Ultra arrives

04 February 2013

The long-awaited ME888 Marathon Ultra arrives

This weekend at the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati Ohio, journalists and dealers from around the world were given a peek into the inner workings of the Metzeler ME888 Ultra Marathon, the popular ME880 Marathon’s successor.  Engineers and marketing directors from Metzeler were on hand to answer questions, and on Saturday night, there was a party at the expo to celebrate the launch of this great-looking, high-tech new tire.

The Triple-8’s claim to fame is that it’s the most durable V-Twin tire on the market, anywhere in the world. However, advanced new compounds mean that in the quest for a long-lasting tire, it wasn’t necessary to sacrifice wet and dry performance.

Here are photos of the party and the Metzeler team, and the official word from the press release:


For the 13th edition of the exhibition held in Cincinnati this past weekend, the German tyre manufacturer introduced the new product dedicated to V-Twin enthusiasts

Cincinnati (Ohio, USA), 4 February 2013 – This past weekend Metzeler gave the world a sneak peek of the ME 888 Marathon Ultra, the new tyre from the manufacturer with the elephant logo dedicated to all V-Twin owners and custom enthusiasts. In fact, the new product, already nicknamed “Triple 8” by the American public, was exhibited for the first time at the 13th annual edition of the V-Twin Expo which was held last weekend at Cincinnati, in Ohio.

ME 888 Marathon Ultra is the appointed heir of the ME 880 Marathon, a tyre which is already quite popular with V-Twin owners and customisers all over the world where, whilst maintaining the popular characteristics of grip in both dry and wet, significantly increases mileage. In order to achieve this result the Metzeler engineers focused completely on selecting the materials to be used and fine tuning every feature of the tyre: compound, structure, tread and profile. Therefore, the goal of increasing mileage did not effect the features which made its predecessor, the ME 880 Marathon, so famous: stability, agility, grip and excellent performance on wet roads.

The improvement in terms of compound compared to the ME 880 Marathon was achieved by working on the materials used in the process. In fact, the polymers chosen for the compound have a greater resistance to abrasion and are therefore able to ensure more mileage, but at the same time the selection of appropriate resins allowed excellent chemical grip to be maintained, even on wet roads. Another objective which was achieved by Metzeler engineers was to make the abrasion resistance properties last for the entire life cycle of the tyre.

The increase in mileage was obtained in part by focusing on the structure and carcass with the choice of designing the profile of the plies wider compared to the one normally used in conventional construction.

The geometry of the plies reduces the amount of deformation in the tread contact area with benefits in terms of uniformity of the contact pressure and less heat generation, all to the advantage of mileage and consistent performance of the compound.

Deformation is therefore concentrated more on the sides where it is dissipated without interfering with the area that comes into contact with the road.

But the increased mileage was also obtained by acting on the tread pattern, thanks to more even wear of the entire tread. In order to improve even wear, the new tread pattern is more solid, thanks to the particular alternation of the grooves and sturdy knobs, and the compound itself is less stressed in the tread contact area, thereby reducing the transmission of the tread’s stressing forces on the belts and plies of the carcass. The new tread pattern not only gives the ME 888 Marathon Ultra higher mileage compared to the ME 880 Marathon, but it also provides better water drainage in favour of safety and the prevention of aquaplaning.

Last, but not least, the contact area of the ME 888 Marathon Ultra is 5% shorter and 15% wider than that of the ME 880 Marathon, thanks to its profile which has been entirely redesigned and the technical solutions in the carcass and structure area described above. This solution was sought after in consideration of the fact that the longer the contact surface is, the greater the wear on the tread will be due to the deformations the compound in contact with the road surface is subjected to. On the other hand, a shorter and wider tread surface like the one on the ME 888 Marathon Ultra helps to better distribute the force necessary for transferring horsepower to the ground, reducing overheating of the tyre surface due to sliding effects.

Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra is therefore at the top of its category for all intents and purposes in terms of mileage, allowing the biker to enjoy typical Metzeler performance such as agility, stability, safety and comfort, for the entire life cycle of the tyre.

The new ME 888 Marathon Ultra will be available from February and buyers will be able to choose it for the most recent Harley-Davidson® models, including the new FL Touring, Softail and Sportster bikes. The product will be available in the following sizes:


MT90B16 M/C 72H TL

110/90-19 M/C 57H TL

130/80B17 M/C 65H TL

130/90-16 M/C 67H TL


MT90B16 M/C 74H TL

MU85B16 M/C 77H TL

130/90B16 M/C REINF 73H TL

150/80B16 M/C REINF 77H TL

170/80B15 M/C 77H TL

180/65B16 M/C REINF 81H TL

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