Metzeler ME 880 Donuts & the Case of the Head Shaking Nightster
One thing that annoyed me about my 2007 Harley-Davidson Nightster was a small head-shake when I would do 75mph+ in sweepers. On one crisp Saturday morning I made a cup of steaming Road Rage coffee  from my friends at Garage Coffee and sat down on the porch to review my options. I thought about re-balancing the wheel, adding a steering damper, replacing the front springs, installing a set of RaceTech Gold Values or replacing the oil in the forks.
What I did first was install a new set of ME 880 Metzeler donuts.
The results were nothing less than inspiring. After installation I found that the steering became crisp and more responsive. The front end feels planted at all speeds and the headshake went away.
I spoke with Chris Wall, the head donut for Metzeler, he said that the way the tires are constructed delivers excellent handling in corners. In addition, the tread design provides outstanding wet weather riding as well as keeping the tire from wandering over grates or grooves in the road. The ME 880 is a radial construction and is Metzeler’s most popular tire.
It’s constructed with a single ply of steel cords wrapped around a radial carcass. Steel provides greater stiffness and reduced weight compared to the stock tires. Wall reports that the steel radial belt reduces the dynamic deformation of the tire under centrifugal forces (donut tech for the tire doesn’t grow) giving it an excellent high-speed stability.
That ability not to grow is why you see the tire on so many custom motorcycles. They can put the rear fender almost on top of the tire and give it that killer look and still ride across town on it.
Metzeler tires cost more than stock replacement tires but they also deliver a better riding experience, and isn’t that what we are all looking for?
Metzeler ME 880 Article Commentary:
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