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Adventure Bike Tires

Posted By: CCI

Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 12:34 AM

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?
Posted By: Jimzz

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 12:40 AM

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.
Posted By: Silk

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 01:32 AM

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.
Posted By: CCI

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 01:36 AM

140/80-17 rear 110/80 R 19 front
Posted By: 02SE

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 04:28 AM

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
Posted By: Silk

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 06:49 AM

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.
Posted By: 02SE

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 08:20 AM

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.
Posted By: Silk

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 10:04 AM

I wonder what the bike is.....?
Posted By: LoneRanger

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 11:02 AM

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.
Posted By: JetStar

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 02:17 PM

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.

https://www.shinkotireusa.com/product/705-series-tire/211929

Posted By: bulwnkl

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/19/19 08:03 PM

I suspect the Shinko 705 and Heidenau K60 outsell every other tire model combined, in the target market you've identified, OP.
Posted By: CCI

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/20/19 02:09 AM

What's the difference between the K60 and the K60 Scout?

That looks like what I had in mind.
Posted By: David_g

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/20/19 02:42 AM

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?
Posted By: CCI

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/21/19 01:25 AM

Heidenau makes a distinction but they don't explain it on their website.
Posted By: BigJohn

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/23/19 04:48 AM

These are the next ones going on my adventure bike.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Brian553

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/23/19 03:39 PM

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
Posted By: CCI

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/23/19 11:27 PM

Very interesting. Any idea who makes this?
Posted By: Goodkat

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/24/19 03:11 AM

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.
Posted By: berlyn

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 05/24/19 03:47 PM

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.
Posted By: bonjo

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 06/10/19 03:05 PM

Metzler tourance is excellent. Didn't like my Conti trail attack 3

Pirrelli and avon also have a good product
Posted By: Goodkat

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 06/10/19 04:59 PM

Originally Posted by bonjo
Metzler tourance is excellent. Didn't like my Conti trail attack 3

Pirrelli and avon also have a good product


What didn't you like about the Trail Attack 3?
Posted By: bonjo

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 07/09/19 09:21 AM

they made the ride harsher and less damped. I assume it was because they were tubeless type compared the tubed OEM on my bike

I got around 5000 miles from the rear compared to 8000 on the OEM

Not much better handling & grip on tarmac but much less grip on dirt
Posted By: Quattro Pete

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 07/09/19 05:46 PM

The OEM tire on my BMW GS bike was Bridgestone Battle Wing (BW-501/502 I think). I actually liked them on the pavement, where I did majority of my riding, but I don't think they're designed to handle off-roading with any sort of confidence. The Heidenau mentioned earlier might be better at this, if you're willing to give up some highway performance.
Posted By: Gillsy

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 07/09/19 05:58 PM

Originally Posted by CCI
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?

My 2016 Versys 650 LT came with Dunlop Q3's that I didn't care for.The first replacement was a Battalax T30 on the rear, then came a T30 Evo on the front. The next will be a T31 (T30 Evo replacement). I am very happy with the Battalax tires, and do not plan on trying any other manufacturer. Not really sure what you're looking for, but maybe if I shared my experience you might glean something from it. Regards!
Posted By: BigJohn

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 07/22/19 02:52 AM

I'm closing in on 3,000 miles on the Motoz Adventure GPS, most of which is loaded and 2-up.... close to the max GVRW. And the rear tires only show a tiny bit of wear. I have zero doubt the tires will go 8k miles and they may eclipse 10k.

They are outstanding!!!!
Posted By: Goodkat

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 07/25/19 10:04 AM

Originally Posted by BigJohn
I'm closing in on 3,000 miles on the Motoz Adventure GPS, most of which is loaded and 2-up.... close to the max GVRW. And the rear tires only show a tiny bit of wear. I have zero doubt the tires will go 8k miles and they may eclipse 10k.

They are outstanding!!!!


I only have the rear and it is a really good tire. Nice on the pavement but grabs the gravel roads and off-road terrain well too.
Posted By: BigJohn

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 07/27/19 03:10 AM

Normally, I am 50/50 here in Colorado, but I just finished a 900 mile trip that was 100% pavement..... to Albuquerque and back. I now have 3,000 miles on the MOTOZ Adv GPS and.... most which is heavily loaded and 2-up. I'm guessing the tires are about 30-40% done. I think they will last to 8-10k miles. Really impressed with them.
Posted By: BigJohn

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 11/16/19 02:00 AM

I continue to love the GPS's..... They now have 7,000 miles on them and still going strong!!!!


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: Bonz

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 11/19/19 04:10 AM

Hey Big John where are you located in Colorado, I'm over on the front range in Palmer Lake.
Posted By: CCI

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 11/19/19 03:35 PM

Thank you for the follow-up. I think those Motoz Adventure GPS will be the next tires.

As a matter of convenience and expediency we replaced the Pirellis and Michelins (90/10) with the Shinko 705 and while the improvement off-road was certainly significant, I would rate the Shinkos as very good but not great.
Posted By: Bonz

Re: Adventure Bike Tires - 11/20/19 02:10 AM

Really like the Bridgestone Battle Wings for a more road oriented tire on the V Strom 1000 I had.

Ran a Maxis Detour, however barely five thousand miles out of the rear on the same V-Strom 1000. Nothing wrong other than crappy tread life.
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