Just how good are the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyres.

I had a phone call from our president Ben Probin a couple of days ago telling me he is lucky to be home safe and well. After taking part in the Grampians ride to remember last Sunday, 7 February and returning home from Ararat to Doncaster he noticed that his rear tyre was severely delaminating.  2 inch sections of rubber were coming away from the crown of the tread, that which makes contact with the road. Considering a good amount of the distance of the return home is at 110 km an hour, I shudder in fear, as I'm sure you all would, at the consequences of a blowout at that speed with that tyre condition would have been catastrophic to say the least. Ben was very lucky to make it home.

I believed Ben is now in the process of making arrangements to put his bike on a trailer and transport to a service centre to fit a new rear tyre.  Ben intends to take some photos also and when I have them I will add to this article.

Ben's experience serves as an introduction to why I write this article as it seems Ben is not the only one to have experienced the delamination of the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyre.  After doing a bit of a search across the Internet looking for similar failures of the same tyre, Google presented stories of other rider's experiences of the same failure. So it does leave one to wonder of the quality of the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyre and whether they are really suitable for the heavy cruisers such as the Goldwing, Valkrie and as it turns out some of the Harley Davidson motorbikes.

In fact Ben is not our first member to have experienced this problem. I was talking with Lindsay Carlyon yesterday and told him of Ben's experience with the tyre and as it turns out Lindsay had also had the same failure with his Metzeler Marathon ME880 on his Goldwing 1200. Lindsay dug through is photo album and sent me the following photos of his tyre, which he hastened to add that he did seek comment and an expected financial recovery from Metzeler only to be told by Metzeler that Lindsay had not correctly maintained the required air pressure and therefore the fault was with Lindsay.


Lindsay's Goldwing 1200

Below the tyre which tore the belts apart on a trip to Sydney in 2004






Whilst this article is not to defend either party I can say that I have not met anyone as meticulous as Lindsay in ensuring that his air pressure is correct prior to riding his Goldwing so I can only assume that perhaps Metzeler were not prepared to investigate the issue beyond blaming their customer for miss treatment of their product.

I suppose if that had been a one-off incident you could leave it at that, and put it down to the fact that it hasn't happened to other riders.  But with a little bit of research on the net you will quickly find that this is not the case and seems to be a failure trend with the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyre. Already two people in the Goldwing club of Australia have experienced the same failure and following this article others may also come forward.

This is a video I found on YouTube which shows the horrifying magnitude of the delamination that occurred to the Metzeler Marathon ME880 for this particular rider. He  even goes on to explain his thoughts on how the failure had come about.

This link is from the Harley Davidson discussion "blog" where the same failure is being discussed within their forum:


So, what can be drawn from this. Whilst it is not my intention to use the Goldwing club of Australia website as a forum to post a safety alert or defame the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyre rather I only write to present the experiences of others and hope to beg some consideration and attention to your own tyres, from those that read this and in particular those who have the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyre fitted to your bike.

Another comment that can be made in regard to Metzeler and the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyre is; I  have not been able to find any publications from Metzeler that inform their customers as to the correct care and maintenance of this tyre so that this delamination failure does not happen but I suppose if they were to do that, it would be an omission that 'normally undue' specific care must be taken in relation to the Metzeler Marathon ME880 tyre over and above the normal care and maintenance of other brands.

If you do have the Metzeler Marathon ME880 fitted to your bike please keep a close eye on its condition. I'm sure, like myself, the re-occurrence of this failure effecting so many riders, does beg attention to the risks of using this tyre.


Finally search "Metzeler Marathon ME880 failure" and see the results for yourself:


This article has been written by Shane Reeves.  Conclusions and opinions are solely mine and are presented here as a member of the Goldwing club of Australia.  I can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional experiences will not be added to this article other than those of Goldwing Club of Australia members, however any official comment from Metzeler will be added and is invited.