I've had M5's in the past, didn't mind them as a quickish street tyre but I found them too hard to really push on.
I'm glad you said that because you mentioned something I picked up on and never fully realized. When I was going into corners really hot, and on a sharp lean, I always felt they should have less air in them. I tested that theory a lot but came to the conclusion I had it right and so I left it there. I never found them to be harsh and they did everything well but now that you mention it, it's clear that I was trying to soften them up
The M7 RR is way softer
- I noticed that right away. It really digs in. I did my standard weaving routine and it was very different due to the tire digging in so well.
I chose the M5's primarily due to their rain performance. I started riding a few years ago and blew through an intersection because I could not stop even though I was going very slow for the conditions. I backed off the throttle, geared down, and the rear wheel slipped. I then used the rear brake and once again, the tire slipped. I then tried the front - same thing - all the while getting closer and closer to the red light until finally I coasted through at a very slow speed because I could not stop. Mind you, it was the first rain of the summer and had been dry for 3 months. The pavement had that tell-tale foam on it. I learned a lot that day.
That's how I found the M5's and I've run 6 in a row now back to back. In fact, when the M7's came out I was very hesitant to change - why mess with a good thing?
Knowing that the silica content is the main reason the M5's worked so well in the rain I'm certain that the M7 RR's will be better because the front is 100% - which will be interesting in it's own right. With the M5's I don't have any wet weather issues at all
Now it's improved!
Judging from how well the M7 RR dug in on the test ride, which was in the dry, I'd say if they last as long as the M5's it will likely end up being my new go-to tire regardless of Metzeler claims of 20% longer life. Once the weather improves I'll see what it's like on high speed tight corners but my guess is that the new softness of the tire, and the fact that it really, really digs in, will result is some pretty wild corners.
One corner that I did on the M5's sticks out in my mind, I nailed it so hard and I was so low down I could see the exact composition of the road surface, every rock and pebble embedded in the ground. I was really flying, had it right on it's side, I was on the wire and then some. The thing is, I knew that the M5's, coupled with that road surface, would never let go and I could have gone through even faster. That image is burned into my mind, I'll never forget it, it was one of those rides. Thing is, when I think about how much softer the M7 is, coupled with that road surface (typical around here) I'm certain that the grip has gone up several orders of magnitude. It should make for some interesting corner carving when the weather gets better!