Tag Archives: Tire Reviews

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

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

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

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
street.

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

Michelin Anakee Adventure | Tire Review

Anakee Adventure Suzuki V-Strom
The new Anakee Adventure from Michelin is an 80/20 on-/off-road ADV tire, and we put it to the test in both scenarios. Photo by Drew Martin.

Adventure bikes have been gaining traction in recent years, with numerous offerings from BMW, KTM, Ducati, Triumph, Honda and Yamaha, to name a few. Tire manufactures have responded. Michelin’s new Anakee Adventure 80/20 ADV tire now gives riders with off-road aspirations a third option, joining the heavily street-biased Anakee III and the 50/50 on-/off-road Anakee Wild tires.

The Anakee Adventure features a new profile, tread pattern and silica compounds, and it includes a Two Compound Technology 2CT front and 2CT+ rear. Four separate compounds are used in a set, with the softest residing on the sides of the front tire for grip and the hardest being used in the center of the rear for optimal tread life.

Anakee Adventure
Michelin hosted a weekend riding and camping event in Death Valley to celebrate the new Anakee Adventure. Photo by Drew Martin.

To celebrate the launch of the new tires, Michelin held a weekend riding/camping event near Death Valley. With a fresh set of Anakee Adventures mounted on a Suzuki V-Strom 650, I was looking forward to seeing how these 80/20 tires would perform in a typical 700-mile ADV weekend ride.

Most adventures, sadly, start with freeways. The Anakees exhibited great high-speed stability, tracked well though a variety of man-made rain grooves and seams, were compliant over square-edged transitions and, most importantly, were not noisy.

After a few hours’ slog, finally: Nevada back roads. The Anakee Adventure’s tread pattern resembles a dry lakebed, with grooves that gradually open toward the sides for shedding water and dirt. They worked well and were predictable, admittedly at a restrained pace on one road in need of maintenance, with sand, rock slides and running water that covered the entire aging road surface.

Anakee Adventure Suzuki V-Strom
On hard-packed dirt, the Anakee Adventures shone, offering this experienced off-road rider plenty of grip and feedback. Photo by SixSpeed/Michelin.

With an experienced off-road rider on packed dirt, these tires punch above their weight. Throttle control and momentum are key, particularly in steep terrain whether descending or climbing. We sampled steep rock-embedded trails, jeep trails and high-speed desert roads. I did hit one well-disguised patch of deep sand at speed, causing the old “sand wash swap.” Thankfully, I rode it out.

Back in the twisting canyons near my home, it’s all grins, with the Anakee Adventures offering excellent turn-in, grip and feedback at a peg scraping pace. Both tires felt planted and stable under spirited corner braking and acceleration, thanks to bridge blocks that stabilize the tread where the grooves are at their widest points. Things went from dry to wet with a well-timed rain shower, providing the opportunity for repeated panic stops. The Adventures proved to offer impressive wet grip, and the V-Strom’s ABS kicked in much later than I expected. I wasn’t willing to push it to peg scraping pace, but at sane speeds cornering grip in the wet was more than competent.

Anakee Adventure Suzuki V-Strom
The group cruises along a graded gravel road near Death Valley. Photo by Drew Martin.

The Michelin Anakee Adventures are a solid 80/20 ADV tire option for those looking for impressive wet and dry pavement performance, along with the confidence to tackle some surprisingly rugged terrain, and they paired nicely with the V-Strom 650. We’ll check back in with an update on tread life once we’ve had a chance to put some more miles on them.

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

Anakee Adventure Suzuki V-Strom
It’s not a knobby, but with throttle control and some momentum, an experienced off-road rider can tackle some surprisingly technical terrain with the Anakee Adventure. Photo by Drew Martin.

Source: RiderMagazine.com

Continental ContiGO! Tires | Gear Review

Continental ContiGO! Tires.
Continental ContiGO! Tires.

My 2006 Triumph Bonneville T100 gets a good deal of use in the local area, putting on quite a few miles every month. And wearing out tires. The latest pair is from Continental, the ContiGO! series, which is advertised as an excellent all-around tire.

Read our First Ride Review on the 2017 Triumph T100 here.

These are bias-ply tires, or cross-ply as they are sometimes called, a type of tire construction that has been around for the better part of a hundred years. The concept may be old-fashioned, but the ContiGO! is very modern, the company promoting the use of the latest in compounds, excellent handling, longevity, the good water-dispersal qualities of the tread design, etc.

Back in the 1980s the radial motorcycle tire came along, intended for high-performance bikes as it dissipates heat better, and some folk thought the bias-ply was finished. Not a chance. Far more motorcycles come out of the factory equipped with bias-ply tires than radials. A radial is more expensive to make, which shows up in the selling price. And a bias-ply is more comfortable in ordinary riding, handling irregularities like potholes and railroad tracks with aplomb, and having no objection to my going two-up. Go seriously fast? Get a radial. Around town and touring? I like the bias-ply.

Read our Motorcycle Tire Buying Tips here.

I’ve put less than a thousand miles on the ContiGO! tires, so I am a long way from seeing how long they last. The tires are tubeless, but happy to carry an inner tube, necessary on my wire-wheeled Bonnie. These are H-rated for 130 mph, but the bike will never see anything close to that speed.

The first ContiGO! came out in 2009, and now there are some 30 sizes available, from a tall 90/90-21 to a fat 150/70-18. Mine are a modest 100/90-19 at the front, a 130/80-17 at the back, with maximum tire pressures (cold) of 42 psi. The tire pressures recommended by Triumph are 33 at the front, 38 at the back, and they suit me fine. The streets in the local towns tend to be under-maintained, and I like the feedback that the strong sidewalls provide. I also do a few miles every week on short bits of unpaved road, and have no qualms about that.

How are the sipes working in dispersing rainwater? I can’t really say, as we’ve had no rain since last May. Handling? The Bonnie was not intended to dominate the 13-corner chicane we have out by Calf Canyon, but I run up Rossi’s Driveway (a.k.a. State Route 229) a couple of times a week, a few miles of delightfully curvy one-and-a-half-lane pavement, and am perfectly content to be canted over at some serious degrees.

Continental has been in the rubber-manufacturing business since 1871, and is now the fourth largest in the tire-making world, turning out everything from bicycle to heavy truck tires in a dozen plants on five continents. The ContiGO! tires are made in South Korea, and the radials in Germany.

In short, my tires hold air and make me feel comfortable at middling tilt and bumping along poorly maintained urban roads. Run ContiGO! up on the computer, and a bunch of different prices will pop up, depending upon who is selling. My pair run about $200…not bad.

Visit continental-tires.com.

Source: RiderMagazine.com