Tag Archives: Motorcycle Tires

Continental TKC 70 and TKC 70 Rocks Tires | Gear Review

Continental TKC 70 Rocks review best adventure tires
Continental TKC 70 (front, on left) and TKC 70 Rocks (rear, on right)

Adventure-touring tires are usually rated in terms of their ratio of intended use on-road and off-road. Many are 90/10 tires, designed for roughly 90% on-road use and 10% off-road use, such as Continental’s ContiTrailAttack 3. They have large tread blocks and look more like sport-touring tires than the aggressive knobbies on tires like Continental’s popular Twinduro TKC80, which is rated 40% road/60% off-road. Road-biased adventure tires are smoother and grippier on pavement and deliver higher mileage than knobbier tires, but knobbies provide more traction off-road.

Between the two options is Continental’s TKC 70, which is rated 80/20 road/off-road. After putting 3,500 miles on the 90/10 Michelin Scorcher Adventure tires that came on my Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special, I wanted something more aggressive for off-road riding. I opted for the TKC 70 front and rear-only TKC 70 Rocks, which is rated 60/40 road/off-road. With a little over 1,000 miles on the Continentals, they fit the bill.

Continental TKC 70 Rocks review best adventure tires
We tested the Continental TKC 70/Rocks tires on a 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special.

Both tires feature zero-degree steel belt construction, which Continental says improves stability and comfort, and MultiGrip technology, which transitions from a harder, high-mileage center to a softer, grippier shoulder without the abrupt step from hard to soft with multi-compound tires. The TKC 70 front and TKC 70 Rocks rear have large tread lugs in the center that suppress the whirring road noise that can plague knobbier tires, and smaller lugs on the shoulder provide extra grip off-road.

Thanks to its prodigious power, the Pan America accelerates aggressively in sand and on dirt/gravel roads, and the Continentals dug in well, providing good grip in dry, low-traction conditions. Since it’s the dry season where I live in Southern California, I wasn’t able to test them in mud. But when contributor Arden Kysely tackled muddy trails in Colorado with TKC 70s on his BMW F 800 GS, he reported good performance.

On the highway, the TKC 70 and TKC 70 Rocks were quiet and composed with a little tendency to deflect in road grooves. On tight switchbacks and fast sweepers, the road-biased front and more aggressive rear paired well, offering predictable, stable handling all the way to the edge of the tread and minimal squirming on greasy tar snakes. The TKC 70 front felt especially compliant when navigating over sharp-edged features such as curbs and rocks embedded in the road surface. And even though I have pushed these tires hard, they are holding up well with minimal wear.

If you are looking for a solid tire pairing for your large adventure bike, the TKC 70 front and TKC 70 Rocks rear are worth considering. MSRP ranges from $148.50 to $243.50 for the TKC 70 front and from $259.10 to $314.80 for the TKC 70 Rocks rear.

For more information: See your dealer or visit continental-tires.com

The post Continental TKC 70 and TKC 70 Rocks Tires | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Dunlop D404 Tires | Gear Review

Gear Lab | Dunlop D404 Tires
The Author’s 2006 Triumph T100 Bonneville, fitted with D404’s. Photo by Clement Salvadori

I’ve worn out a lot of tires in the last 66 years of riding, and I have no real memory or record of what I used when and on what bike. I am sure I had a lot of Dunlops, as they have been around a long time. Back in the late 1880s, John Boyd Dunlop made the first practical pneumatic tire for bicycles, which were a lot more comfortable to ride than bikes with solid rubber tires. In 1901, he started the Dunlop Rubber Company, which now belongs to Sumitomo Rubber Industries. 

Dunlop describes these D404s as fitting “standard” motorcycles, and they don’t get much more standard than my 2006 Triumph T100 Bonneville. I call these tires universal-use, reasonably good at everything, from wet pavement to dirt roads. My Bonnie is pretty much an all-around, local-use machine, happy with doing errands or a 200-mile day. Around here we do have all sorts of roads, from smooth asphalt to pothole specials, and lots of good dirt roads, from Gillis Canyon to Cypress Mountain. 

I find the tread to be pleasingly chunky, and Dunlop says the design enhances wet grip and water evacuation. Since we are in a drought here in our part of California, I can’t attest to those functions. The off-set center groove is intended to improve straight-line stability, and I can’t fault that, as on some deserted back roads I just might exceed the speed limit. 

The carcass is a bias-ply design, which means that the fiber belts, or plies, go from side to side at an angle, hence a bias. About half the tire is made of rubber, both natural and synthetic, and the rest is mainly the fabric body plies that go between those wire bead bundles that keep the tire properly attached to the wheel. Dunlop says this compound will give excellent mileage; you are reading this report after a mere 800 miles, and I’ll let you know when I will need a new rear tire. 

Speaking of which, the official Triumph size for my ’06 rear wheel is 130/80-17, with that 80 being the aspect ratio. And just what is the aspect ratio? The height of the sidewall expressed as a percentage of the width of the tire. The closest the D404 comes is a 130/90-17, which means the tire will be a smidge taller. 

New tires are on, new inner tubes are in. Picked up the bike late in the afternoon, and after a relatively calm 40-mile break-in, went home and had a glass of wine. In the morning, I checked that the tires were at proper pressures, and then went with a friend to do a run over Rossi’s Driveway, as we call the eight miles of Route 229 going from Route 58 to Creston. Guilty fun, with just one car on the road, quickly dispatched. 

MSRP on these tires are $118.81 front, $132.01 rear, but if you shop around, you will pay less. 

For more information: visit dunlopmotorcycletires.com

The post Dunlop D404 Tires | Gear Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

When Is The Best Time To Buy Motorcycle Tires?

Contributed post for our northern hemisphere readers

Just like with lots of other things, people’s buying habits for motorcycle tires go in phases. Or cycles, if you don’t mind a terrible play on words. And, just like with lots of other things, a lot of it comes down to personal preferences and habits.

There are different kinds of riders with different motorcycles, different styles, different expectations. They’ll all have different motivations for buying tires, other than “the old ones were worn out.” So, let’s break it down a little.

  • Retailers run sales periodically. The problem is, “periodically” also means “sporadically,” and there are only a few predictable seasons where you might see a deep discount on motorcycle tires. Spring and Christmas sales come to mind, or of course, the post-holiday sales where retailers need to move that old unsold stock out the door. For instance, February is commonly a time for motorcycle dealers to start pushing bikes, and as you can see from the chart below, there’s a pretty sharp spike in motorcycle tire sales in March likely from this February push. It makes sense since February means that Spring is right around the corner and everyone is ready to get out of the house and get on those bikes.

tireSource: Simpletire.com

  • There’s also the occasional special where manufacturers will discontinue a model of a tire, which is closeout time. The best thing that a rider can do is to just keep checking back for sales, or maybe subscribe for emails or push notifications about upcoming sales and discounts.

Different Riders, Different Bikes, Different Tires

Regardless of what type of motorcycle you’re into or what your demands are, tires are going to be one of the biggest ongoing expenses you’ll have.
Grand touring tires on a car can last 60k miles, but sport touring tires for a motorcycle might last a fraction that long. Rubber formulations have a lot to do with that life expectancy for tires, and they have a pretty profound effect on handling and ride quality as well. And, of course, that soft
rubber compound on a sport-bike tire is going to be stickier for killer handling ability, but it’ll also wear a lot quicker.

  • The right choice of tire makes a big difference in your safety, especially in wet weather. Just like with automotive tires, the depth and design of tread grooves have a lot to do with how well tires channel water from the road and evacuate water from the grooves. That, of course, is to prevent hydroplaning. So, if you’re setting out on a weeklong cruise on your touring bike, those sportbike tires with the minimal tread pattern are probably not the best choice.
  • Lots of guys want to customize their bikes, starting with a wider set of tires or just a wider rear tire. If there’s something like that to be done to a bike, you can bet that someone has done it already and put it on YouTube.
    Just remember, though, that a motorcycle is designed for a certain type and size of tire. A deviation from that can have unexpected results in terms of handling, road manners, and cornering. If you’re contemplating a wider tire or a change from factory spec, be  sure you research it carefully for your year/make/model of bike.

A Few Great Picks For Tirestires

Let’s get a quick rundown of a few top-notch picks for tires, across several different tire types:

  • Bridgestone Battlecross X40: Designed on the rigors of motocross, the Battlecross features chunky, aggressive tread blocks to dig into soft soil, as well as fins to dissipate heat on harder surfaces. This tough tire offers exceptional cornering ability and unparalleled wear characteristics.
  • Continental ContiTour: Excellent design for heavy bikes and touring. The ContiTour features a long-wearing rubber formulation for long service life. The rear tire is designed with no grooves in its center tread band for lower rolling resistance and better directional stability.
  • Bridgestone Battlax BT-016: This ultra-high-performance tire features an innovative tread pattern and durable rubber compound for long life and enhanced performance even in wet weather. It’s hard to beat this one for handling, style, and overall value.

Safety First, Last, and Always

Regardless of what kind of motorcycle you ride and what your demands are, there’s one thing you don’t want to do, that is, over-stretch the life of your tires. Riding on worn motorcycle tires is just plain dangerous, as you compromise traction and risk having a tire failure. Either one of
these can be catastrophic, obviously.

Don’t take that chance. If your tires are in need of replacement, don’t put it off until it’s too late.

Go ahead and pull the trigger on a new set of tires.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Bridgestone BT-45 Tires | Gear Review

Bridgestone BT-45
Bridgestone BT-45 tires.

If you’ve got an older sportbike with 16-inch rims, your tire choices nowadays are rather limited. Yet the right tire can make all the difference in your bike’s handling and safety — in fact, your tires are one of the most important parts of your motorcycle. For that reason, if I’m going to splurge, tires are one place I do it.

Not that these high-quality hoops from Bridgestone are expensive. In fact, they can be found online for about $80-$90 for the front and about $100 for the rear. But they offer proven performance from one of the top tire manufacturers in the world.

My 1985 Honda Nighthawk 700S project bike had a decent set of tires on it when I got it, but they were date-stamped 2016 and I wasn’t terribly happy with their performance when I was sport riding in the canyons. So I ordered up a set of Bridgestone Battlax BT-45s.

Bridgestone describes these bias-ply tires as being designed for mid-sized sport-touring bikes and older sportbikes, so they offer a good balance of tread longevity, grip in a wide range of conditions and sticky sport riding capability. Once scrubbed in, I found them to be very quiet, with a nice rounded profile that offered a neutral feel and easy turn-in, and grip for days. They complement my Nighthawk’s raked-out geometry nicely, giving it a sporting feel that the original designers in the ’80s probably wished they could achieve with the tires of that era.

BT-45s on a 1985 Honda Nighthawk
BT-45s on a 1985 Honda Nighthawk.

Bridgestone offers the BT-45s in a wide range of sizes from 16 to 21 inches in the front, and 16 to 18 inches in the rear, to fit just about any small-to-midsize sport tourer or older sportbike like mine.

The best part is, Bridgestone is not forgetting those of us with older bikes. In the works for release soon is an updated Battlax BT-46 tire, and we can’t wait to try it out next!

For more information, see your dealer or visit bridgestonemotorcycletires.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

3 of The Best Motorbike Tires You Should Look for Your Cruiser

(Contributed post for our North American readers)

The thrill of riding a motorbike is unmatched by any other riding experience. There is something about driving your bike on the asphalt for long stretches with the wind in your hair. There is sort of a freedom in it. 

It is as close to flying you can get while being on the ground. The feeling of taking your cruiser motorbike out on the highway for a cross country ride is one of the best things you can do. But for that, you need your bike to be perfectly adept to handle all road conditions. One of the major aspects of this is to have good tires.

Making sure your bike tires have optimum pressure. Along with that check the bike tire size and guarantee other aspects of it so that your bike can perform at its best. You should also try keeping a spare tire and spare tire bike rack for emergencies for those long trips on the highway. 

If you need to find discount tires for your motorbike you can simply search the term “motorbike tires near me” to get suggestions. Now I know what you are thinking, that is only half the story, right? 

You want to know what are the best motorbike tires. Well, the following passages are made up of the best road bike tires available on the market so check it out:

Dunlop D404

Dunlop is one of the most renowned tire brands in the world. They are known the world over for their world-class tires for trucks, cars, and bikes. And it is no surprise that a Dunlop tire has made it in this list. The tire we are going to look at is the Dunlop 404. 

It has become a phenomenon due to its consistent performance and class. Something we expect from a Dunlop tire. These come with intricately designed treads that allow for greater traction across all surfaces. However, its performance is amazing on wet surfaces. 

It has amazing versatility that is rarely seen in the tire industry for motorbikes. It comes in a one size fits all format which makes it a viable option for your cruiser bike regardless of its model and manufacturer. 

While these tires do offer ample mileage it is a bit less than a few of its major competitors. Even though it was specially designed and marketed as a touring bike tire. Along with this, another let down is the fact that it is priced high but does not offer the mileage is often a deterrent for the average buyer.

Pirelli Diablo Rosso II

Pirelli needs no introductions. It has been a premier tire company for as long as it has been around. And its innovative designs and products have kept it relevant even to this day. Diablo Rosso II is one of those tires. 

These were designed as racing tires which is why they provide amazing grip on the track and road. So whenever you drive you will see that aspect showing through on every type of road condition. Because of this grip, the bike feels more balanced and it was designed in a way so that it does not slip when taking tight corners. Tires

This tire has been consistently performing in the market for a number of years and its track record is what made me add to this list of the best motorbike tire list. However, one thing that I don’t like about this is the longevity of the tires but it may be because it receives a higher dose of abuse than regular tires. 

Another thing is that the tire just takes a long time to warm up but other than these minor problems overall the tires are amazing.

Continental ContiMotion

One of the most obvious candidates when talking about best motorbike tires is the Continental ContiMotion. There are no tires available in the industry that comes close to its performance in regards to price.

This you can say is the best value for your money motorbike tire you can find. Continental has one of the best traction control systems in the market. This is why it is considered as one of the best motorbike tires for your cruiser.

Their performance is admirable in both dry and wet conditions. And will last you thousands of miles before even showing the slightest sign of wear and tear. However, once they start deteriorating they deteriorate really fast.

Another thing that you may find hard to deal with is when they are new they don’t perform well enough. But once they are used a little bit they will outperform almost all other motorbike tires in its class.

Cruising with The Best Tires

So there you go; these are the 3 best motorbike tires in my opinion for cruisers. I myself am using the Continental ContiMotion and I am loving the performance I get out of it. But there are plenty of other great tires you can look at. There are plenty of online auto parts stores that sell car and motorbike parts who also have motorbike tires.

Try going to your local motorbike tire store to find the one that is the perfect fit for you. Take great care into finding the right tire so that you get the best out of your cruiser the next time you hit the road.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tires | Gear Review

Dunlop Trailmax Mission 50/50 tires
Rather than producing yet another pair of DOT 50/50 knobbies that wear like soft cheese, Dunlop’s Trailmax Mission tires take an innovative approach to providing good on- and off-road traction with longevity, claiming as much as 8,000 miles for a rear.

Adventure-bike tires are always a compromise, so they’re often categorized by their intended “mix of usage,” e.g. 50/50 for a tire that is good for someone who rides 50% on-road and 50% off. Know anyone like that? Neither do I, especially among riders who pilot larger ADV machines. For most of us spending even 10% of our time off-road would be a challenge, but few riders want a “90/10” tire that just barely cuts it in the dirt.

We could just run 50/50 tires all of the time, but the good ones wear out too fast, and the bad ones suck on the street. What we really need is a “60/60” tire, one that works 60% as well as a full-on knobby off-road and 60% as well as a sport-touring tire on the street, with the longevity of 90/10 tire on the rear.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission 50/50 tires
Dunlop’s Trailmax Mission tires work nearly as well off-road as more knobbed 50/50 DOT tires, without sacrificing much performance on the street. Photo by Simon Cudby.

After two years of development—a year spent on the aggressive Staggered Step tread pattern and compound alone—Dunlop has plugged the “50/50” hole in its ADV tire lineup with its new Trailmax Mission tires. Using the criteria I suggest above, these are really 60/60 tires, since they deliver close to DOT knobby-like performance off-road and footpeg-dragging levels of grip and stability on the street. They also promise better wear—Dunlop says independently contracted test riders got 8,000 miles out of a rear on a Suzuki V-Strom 1000.

Designed and manufactured at Dunlop’s factory in Buffalo, New York, the Mission’s start with a rugged bias or bias-belted construction rather than radial, since the tread area and sidewalls are a single tough unit and can be thicker to resist cuts and punctures. Construction varies based on fitment—some sizes have reinforcing belts and others don’t depending upon how much load capacity and/or compliance is required—but all can be used with or without tubes.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission 50/50 tires
Large off-road oriented bikes with 21-inch front wheels like the Africa Twin need a carefully engineered set of tires for the best handling on-road. The Missions are stable, even under a load, and provide excellent grip in the dry. We’ll let you know about their wet weather performance soon. Photo by Simon Cudby.

Some elements of the Mission’s tread design were inspired by the Wildpeak light truck tire from Falken, Dunlop’s sister auto tire company. In combination with the large stepped tread blocks and deep grooves, the Mission’s prominent side lugs shared by the Wildpeak are said to add rigidity and durability in rocky terrain; allow lower pressures off-road with less risk of pinch-flatting; help provide steering stability in sand, mud and gravel surfaces; and help steer the bike out of ruts off-road, even on big ADV bikes. Mounted on my Honda Africa Twin and ridden on rocky, rutted fire roads in the San Bernardino Mountains near lake Arrowhead, California, I found the Trailmax Missions delivered nearly as much traction off-road as a knobby 50/50 competitor on the same bike. That may change in muddy conditions I have yet to ride, when a grooved tire is more likely to pack up than a knobby, but the Missions have wide grooves and a 60/40 land/sea ratio, so they should still do quite well in the sloppy stuff.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission 50/50 tires
Staggered-step tread blocks, hollowed-out areas on fronts (except 21-inch) and prominent side lugs all contribute to the Mission’s solid off-road performance.

Although not as road performance-oriented as Dunlop’s 90/10 Trailsmart radials, after several hundred miles of Interstate, highways, surface street and twisting backroad I found the Trailmax Missions offered all of the grip and stability I could use on the pavement, even with the 21-inch front/18-inch rear combo on my Africa Twin carrying loaded panniers. It helps that Dunlop engineered a specific tread pattern for the 21-inch Mission front, which has larger tread blocks that don’t require hollowing-out to achieve enough grip like the 17- and 19-inch sizes do. The Mission fronts also have a symmetrical tread pattern that helps reduce uneven wear.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission tires are available in a wide size range that covers most ADV bikes, scramblers and crossovers. According to Dunlop, sizes will arrive in phases, with most available in November and the rest landing by January 1, 2020. MSRP ranges from $131.21 to 285.23.

For more information see your dealer or visit dunlopmotorcycletires.com

Dunlop Adventure Tire lineup
The Trailmax Mission fills a need in Dunlop’s lineup for a more do-it-all street/dirt tire, and if it lives up to the mileage claims, could be a go-to choice for a lot of ADV riders. By the way, a good combo for serious off-road ADV work is a D606 front and D908RR rear tire combo.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

New Gear: Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 Tires

Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2 Tires
Dunlop Roadsport 2 Tires.

Dunlop has announced a new Sportmax Roadsport 2 tire that slots in between the GPR-300 and the higher-spec Q3+, giving sport riders better performance than the GPR-300, with more grip and stability under braking, nimble, predictable handling and quick warm-up, all at a great value. The Sportmax Roadsport 2 is available in many popular sportbike sizes to fit machines such as the Yamaha YZF-R3 and Suzuki SV650. See website for details.

See your dealer or visit dunlopmotorcycletires.com

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Shinko 700 Series Dual-Sport Tires | Gear Review

Shinko 700 series dual-sport tires
Shinko’s 700 series dual-sport tires are suitable for light or heavier dual-sport and ADV machines.

When it comes to dual-sport tires, there’s a sliding ratio based on their intended on-road vs. off-road use. Most adventure touring bikes are fitted with 90/10 tires as original equipment, on the assumption (backed up by market research) that most owners do 90 percent or more of their riding on pavement and only about 10 percent off-road.

Such tires typically have large, closely-spaced tread blocks with a tread pattern that has more in common with a sport-touring tire than a knobby, and the tire compound(s) favor on-road grip and longevity. Most 90/10 tires work great on the street or well-graded dirt roads, but you’ll want to avoid sand or mud.

But in the case of an aggressive dual-sport bike like my 2017 KTM 690 Enduro R, its OE tires were 10/90 knobbies with small, widely spaced tread blocks. (Unable to bear parting with the 690-R at the end of our long-term test, I bought it from KTM.) They hummed and squirmed on the street, but were fantastic off-road. The biggest downside of 10/90 tires is that they don’t last long–the rear was shagged after 1,600 miles, and the front tread blocks had become wedge-shaped due to aggressive braking on pavement.

Needing fresh buns for the KTM, I opted for the middle ground. About two-thirds of my miles are devoted to commuting or just getting to/from off-road riding areas, so tires with a slight on-road bias should be quieter, provide more grip on the street and last longer than the 10/90 knobbies.

Shinko’s 700 Series tires have a 60/40 on-/off-road ratio and a heavy-duty four-ply carcass. The tread is made up of irregularly shaped blocks arranged in an interlocking pattern, with larger tread blocks in the center of the tire, smaller blocks on the shoulder and half-depth reinforcements connecting the blocks on the shoulder for cornering stability.

At freeway speeds, the Shinko 700s are quiet and smooth, and on dry and wet twisty roads they lay down a well-planted footprint with minimal squirm. Off-road they perform admirably, scrambling over rough, rocky terrain, dirt tracking around corners and slicing lines through muddy sections with confidence. 

With nearly 600 miles on the Shinko 700s, they’re well scrubbed-in but show little wear. It’s too early to tell how many miles I’ll get out of them, but other Shinko dual-sport tires we’ve tested have lasted at least as long as major competing tires.

One of the most attractive features of Shinko tires is their price: 700s retail for $61.95 for the front (one size: 3.00-21) and $73.95-$85.95 for rears (four sizes: 4.60-17, 5.10-17, 4.60-18, 130/80-18). With a load index of 51 (430 pounds) for the front and 62-67 (584-677 pounds) for the rears, Shinko 700 Series tires are suitable for heavy adventure bikes as well as lighter dual-sports. 

For more information, see your dealer or visit shinkotireusa.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Continental TrailAttack 3 Tires | Gear Review

Continental TrailAttack 3 Tires
Most people go to the Greek Isles for sun-drenched beaches and blue skies, but we were there to try Continental’s new TrailAttack 3 tires, and Crete obliged with some wet, cold weather perfect for tire testing.

For most adventure bike riders, choosing the right tires
boils down to a thoughtful assessment of the types of riding you actually do
versus the extremes of which your bike is capable. If that assessment includes
some off-road riding, among Continental’s lineup for example, there’s the
well-known TKC 80 knobby for 50/50 on- and off-road riding, the ContiEscape for
a 70/30 mix and the TKC 70 for roughly 80/20 paved/dirt. I’ve had experience
with all three, and though they sacrifice varying amounts of on-road
performance in order to work to some degree off-road, most riders won’t miss it
at all, even in the rain.

Continental TrailAttack 3 Tires
A new compound and construction help the Continental TrailAttack 3 tires meet the needs of large adventure touring bikes with lots of power and electronic intervention systems.

On the other hand, if that self-assessment reveals that you
love your adventure bike but care very little for riding it in the dirt and
want the most wet/dry on-road performance you can get, the best choice for its
shoes would be a 90/10 tire like Continental’s new TrailAttack 3. Although a
skilled rider can dance on them in the dirt fairly well (assuming there aren’t
steep hills, or lots of mud and sand), tires like these primarily have
increased “chip resistance” and self-cleaning ability as their 10-percent off-road
component. This lets you take them on a graveled or mildly rocky road without
damage or collecting a quarry’s worth of pebbles and mud in the tread. The flip
side is that 90-percent of their design is devoted to on-road wet/dry grip,
agility, comfort, stability, a quick warm-up and maintaining handling over
time/wear, important properties for both touring and sport riding on the

Continental TrailAttack 3 Tires
Conti’s MultiGrip tread curing process seamlessly creates a longer-wearing center area and grippier tire shoulders for cornering.

Handmade in Germany, TrailAttack 3s start with a radial
carcass wrapped in a zero-degree belt for high-speed stability. A new compound
offers 8-percent more wet grip than the TrailAttack 2 and still uses Conti’s
MultiGrip curing process that results in longer wear in the center and more
grip on the shoulders of the tire. “One-hundred-percent trust in the tire from
the start” was a big design goal this time around—in addition to Conti’s
Traction Skin, a micro-rough tread surface that eliminates the need for
mold-release agents or break-in, the new compound is said to achieve full
warm-up in less than a mile. The TrailAttack 3’s carcass construction, tread
pattern and MultiGrip design also help them maintain consistent performance
even after thousands of miles, which means your bike will corner just as well
after 3,500 miles as it did when the tires were new. In addition to all of the
usual testing for wear, agility, grip, comfort, bump absorption and so on,
today tire companies also have to contend with electronic intervention systems
on modern motorcycles like traction control, ABS, MSC and their cornering
components that put huge loads on tires.

Continental TrailAttack 3 Tires
Extra chip resistance and good self-cleaning ability are two strong points of a 90/10 on-/off-road tire.

I got to witness firsthand how the TrailAttack 3’s deal with
such interventions—and rain, mud, gravel, high speeds and hard
cornering—several times during our daylong test ride on the mountainous Greek
island of Crete. We were greeted with perfect Mediterranean weather upon
arrival, but the next day Zeus opened the floodgates, dumping several inches of
rain on the test route. No one in the large group complained, though, because
the conditions were perfect for tire testing. Continental had teamed up with
Edelweiss Bike Travel to provide a fleet of BMW R 1250 GS models for the ride,
a good representative choice as it’s a big, powerful ADV bike with large load
capacity expectations and different riding modes, traction control and
cornering ABS. Coincidentally I had just finished a U.S. road test of the bike,
so I knew what its stock tires felt like.

Crete had been lashed by several powerful storms prior to our arrival, and many of the mountain roads were damaged by slides and lined with snow in places, and we frequently had to ride across swaths of mud and rocks. These bikes were not equipped with Dynamic ESA, which could make tires carved from stone feel compliant and comfortable, so I got to experience their bump absorption and comfort straight up and in corners without any interference. Both on the wet pavement and in the slippery mud the TrailAttack 3s did their job without fault, giving me the confidence to ride a little faster and more aggressively as the day wore on. Their grip “from the start” is indeed excellent, a good thing since the cool wet weather and frequent stops meant several starts on cold tires. Pushing into each corner and braking a little harder each time, they stuck fast and gave excellent feedback, and I felt the front in particular is more agile than the BMW’s stock tire. Although we still need to try a pair on some dry, clean roads and corners to fully gauge their grip and wear, overall I’d say that Continental’s TrailAttack 3s are a perfect match for the demands of today’s large and powerful adventure tourers that are primarily ridden on the road. See the website for available sizes.

For more information see your dealer or visit Continental’s website

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Michelin Scorcher 31 Tires | Gear Review

Michelin Scorcher 31 Tires.
Michelin Scorcher 31 Tires.

Touring tires on large bikes undergo a torture test every summer. Weighing 900 pounds or more fully loaded, these behemoths of the two-wheeled world place a huge demand on tires, which also have to provide long life, excellent traction and grip–even in the rain–at an affordable price. For a recent cross-country trip from Southern California to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and back, I decided to give Michelin Scorcher 31 tires a try on my Road Glide Ultra. Recently approved for use with the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, Road Glide and Street Glide, the 31s are also the original equipment tire for almost all of the Sportster and Dyna models and made for the Harley brand with small “Bar and Shield” emblems molded into the sidewalls.

Road conditions varied significantly from state to state on this cross-country ride, from horrible to smooth as glass. The Scorchers handled it all with aplomb. Bumps and potholes were dealt with smoothly with little directional deviation, in part thanks to Michelin’s Amplified Density Technology (ADT), which gives them a stiffer carcass. In curves up to and exceeding floorboard contact with the road, they always maintained a steady lean angle, which was particularly noteworthy during spirited riding on California mountain back roads. There were even a few sections of unanticipated dirt road in New Hampshire (thanks GPS) on which the tires felt well planted and stable, with little loss of traction even under (intentional) hard acceleration. There was naturally some slippage but they were predictable and didn’t kick out to the side.

Riding two-up the Scorchers were comfortable and handled freeway rain grooves with just a little wiggle, although on severe grooving such as the Mackinac Bridge metal gratings, they did wander a little bit. Again, nothing alarming, but enough to let you know you had better pay attention. Temporary patches in the roadways, also known as “tar snakes,” resulted in a little bit of a squirm but nothing unnerving, and on rough freeway roads throughout the New York area my Road Glide kept its solid footing when dodging large potholes. On the back roads of Michigan, which are treated quite roughly with snowplows, the Scorchers did not seem to be adversely influenced by grooves in the roadways. They remained well planted and responded well to input.

Overall, the Michelin Scorcher 31 tires are a nice upgrade from the stock tires on touring bikes. Michelin put quite a bit of R&D into these tires and it shows. Depending on size, prices range from $187 to $347. 

For more information, see your dealer or visit motorcycle.michelinman.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com