Adventure Bike Tires

CCI

Messages
249
Location
New Mexico USA
Thread starter
There are a bunch of superb street tires available these days and some first-rate off-road tires, but what about tires that are reasonably comfortable on the highway and safe on a poorly maintained dirt road? Anyone got any experience with this? It's probably a 95% / 5% split at best, probably more like 98% / 2% but the good highway tires are awful in the dirt. Assuming that there will be a price to be paid in trad life, what's a good tire for this?
 
Messages
1,879
Location
NoVA
Whats your tire size? There are hybrid tires with a flat run in the center and some teeth on the sides that may work. Look for a tire with a tread like that.
 
Messages
5,570
Location
New Zealand
A huge range available in adventure tyres, from street legal knobs to road tyres with a slightly more aggressive tread. So it really depends on what you want. If the centre is solid you will get good tyre life on road, but almost no traction off road. I currently have a Shinko E705 on the front, and not able to find a match in a rear size, bought a Bridgestone TW42 for the rear a couple of days ago. Both are probably 80/20. I do mainly gravel roads, both not the best there, but better than road tyres, and do well on my bike for seal. For gravel roads I've found the best tyre is the Dunlop K70, a '60's road tyre. It's the profile working here, not tread design.
 
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Messages
4,932
Location
the canyons
I have quite a few friends that are serious about their ADV riding. They ride long distances on dirt and paved roads. One of the tires they like for that mixed use, with the inevitable bias to pavement, is the Heidanau K60 Scout tires. Heidanau K60 Scout
 
Messages
5,570
Location
New Zealand
Looks impressive, but with that centre rib is mainly a road tyre. Sure, there are rugged looking side knobs, but you need to get away from that centre rib to get any bite. But if you want a 95/5 %, you'll really look the part.
 
Messages
4,932
Location
the canyons
Originally Posted by Silk
Looks impressive, but with that centre rib is mainly a road tyre. Sure, there are rugged looking side knobs, but you need to get away from that centre rib to get any bite. But if you want a 95/5 %, you'll really look the part.
That's exactly the point, it IS mainly a road tire, and what the OP requested. According to my friends, they do surprisingly well in dirt. But they also have lots of experience riding in dirt, and having their tires slip and spin a bit is no big deal. They do have more dirt-biased tires, too. Anyway, it's just one more suggestion.
 
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5,301
Pirelli Scorpion Trail II or Avon Trail Rider Whatever you get make sure it's a dual compound design which means softer compound at the edges and firmer compound at center. Most are dual compound but just saying. As with all things take internet posted buyer reviews with grain of salt. One rider will praise for long tread wear and the next will be upset claiming to have only gotten 2000 miles out of the rear or something. So many variables factor into tread wear that I pay little attention to field reports like that.
 
Messages
2,119
Location
Arizona
I suspect the Shinko 705 and Heidenau K60 outsell every other tire model combined, in the target market you've identified, OP.
 
Messages
165
Location
California
Originally Posted by JetStar
I installed Shinko 705's on my DR650 two years ago. I was apprehensive about using Shinko tires, but they seem to get good reviews when used within their limits. So far I like them and would use again.
I've got them on my Africa Twin, and I'm really happy with them. Easily the best value in their segment. OTOH if I go adventure touring this Summer I'm swapping them out for a more aggressive tire. And there are plenty of tires a bit more aggressive.
Originally Posted by CCI
What's the difference between the K60 and the K60 Scout?
Aren't they same tire?
 
Messages
353
Location
Central Texas
I started out with a pair of 705's on my tiger, but swapped to K60 Scout rear and Karoo 3 on the front. When my wife and I bought an NC700X, it had a pair of stock street tires. We swapped those for a pair of 705's. The 705s are very grippy, and I find that due to their tread/macro-keying, gravel roads tended to be their threshold. I would softly wash out but re-catch the front while on a gravel campground road that had been filled with a bunch of rocks about the size of my thumb. Hopefully that paints a picture well for you. That said, I trust them to handle anything I will throw at them on the street, including hard leans. Given choppy, imperfect streets, gravel on streets, and the desire to ride hard on-road, and judiciously off-road, we picked them to put onto the NC700X. Its been probably 1200 miles since then, and I regret nothing with that. The K60 Scouts are great all around. I watched FortNine's review of them, and think he is spot on. Plus with the mileage you can get out of them, I think they are competitive in cost effectiveness. Their large lug gaps (again, macro-keying) don't restrict you a whole lot in what you can traverse. The Karoo 3's were picked for a similar reason, although fronts always last a long time. I wanted a large lug and valley tire that didn't compromise grip in leans, and the chevron'ed lug pattern helps to ensure that there is no moment that the contact patch fluctuates in support/grip. It is slightly buzzy on the front, but I'll take it if it means I don't wash out the front while braking hard offroad. What reviews say about the buzziness is misleading though; the buzziness is so miniscule, that I have completely forgotten about it--it tends to dampen out when >25mph. Food for thought and I hope this helps
 
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Messages
55
Location
Michigan
Originally Posted by BigJohn
These are the next ones going on my adventure bike. [Linked Image]
I have a Motoz GPS rear tire in my DR650 with a Pirelli Scorpion STR on the front and it's an excellent combo. Both are smooth and handle great on the pavement while also offering great traction off-road. The GPS is a chunky tire but doesn't feel like it on pavement. I just did a 900-1000 mile trip on the setup with the first day being cold and all rain. Not once did I feel a loss of traction and most of the trip was on pavement. I highly recommend both. The DR650 is smooth for a thumper and with those tires I had zero complaints after that mileage on road. I just received the new Continental Trail Attack 3 for my 2014 VStrom 1000 and I'm anxious to try them. I'll be mounting them soon. Just picking them up they feel tacky and the surface is rough right out of the mould.
 
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Messages
229
Location
Greece
One of the main selection for me in the next change will be TKC's 70. A friend of mine was very satisfied but I haven't tried them yet.
 
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