How to Choose the Best Adventure Motorcycle Tires (Tyres)

How to Choose the Best Adventure Motorcycle Tires (Tyres)


oh man I’m tired today. speaking being
tired we should talk about tires what better place to talk about tires then at
a dealership where they have tires What I want to do today is talk about
adventure tires so I found a nice collection here of some of the most
common types that we can play with selecting the right tire for your
adventure bike is easily one of the most important things you can do as far as
bike setup and we’ve got four different tires here and they really fall into
three different categories we’ve got one that’s a road bias tire for touring
we’ve got one that’s a 50/50 tire that crosses both lines and then we’ve got
two tires here for more aggressive off-road use the road biased tire
especially the one that’s 90% Road maybe 10% off road it’s gonna have much more
surface area in contact with the road the block patterns going to be much wider and
the siping or the channels are gonna be much narrower and not as deep the reason
for this is it makes the bike feel more stable when you’re cornering braking and
accelerating on pavement it doesn’t move and wiggle as much and they can use a
shallower tread and because they have so much contact this spreads all the heat
and all the way over a larger area it allows them to get a much higher mileage
out of a tire with having less depth as you move up to the 50/50 tire this one
here is the heidenau k60 and it’s very popular out there there’s some other
tires it’ll like it and it’s what I would consider a true 50-50 tire this is
for the person who’s gonna do a lot of long mileage and a lot of travel and
needs it to be both good on the pavement and decent offroad and this tire really
bridges the two it’s decent and both not great and either compared to the street
tire it’s gonna be a much thicker tread and that’s how they’re gonna get more
miles out of it the thicker tread also means when they put these large gaps in
the tire here as it rides through mud and dirt
it’s more likely to sling all of that out so you keep an open tread and you
can use the sharp edge where it can dig in and get grip off road the reason it’s
not great offroad is what makes a decent on-road which is the center bar that
runs all the way down the center that center bar allows us to have more
rubber in contact with the road at all times it makes it quieter for the road
but more importantly allows the mileage of the tire to be much greater it’s
gonna last a long time and that’s why this is a great travelers tired because
they get something decent on both and they’re not worried about running out of
tire a lot this particular tire here is a knobby it’s got a pretty good street
bias to the knob it’s a very large tread block and there’s similar to the 50/50
tire what they’ve done is remove the center block of rubber
now it’s gonna make the tire a little louder and it’s gonna have more flex the
bike is gonna feel a little squirmier when you’re on the road braking and
cornering on pavement but it also means that you have a sharp edge and you have
more tire to grip into the ground and to dig in so when you’re offroad you have
that traction and this is very common in its dimensions to most of your adventure
knobby tires so they’re trying to make some kind of compromise here because
there’s less in contact than these other tires it’s going to wear out faster and
because of the knobs free-floating and not being connected they twist and turn
while you’re on the street going through corners which is going to make the bike
squiggle and wiggle more now one of the myths is that you have less traction on
a knobby tire the reality is the compounds on these are all going to be
fairly similar the way they get the mileage out of them it has to do with
the tread design and the depth of the actual material or the rubber they’re
the most aggressive tire we have here today is the Metzler Karoo 3 and this
one is just about to the limit as far as having a street-legal tire the amount of
tire in contact with the ground and the width of the actual gap between that is
almost equal that means it’s got the maximum amount of space to fling out mud
and muck and it’s got a better opportunity for each one of those to dig
into the ground and give you a good grip now the depth of this actual rubber is
the same almost identically within two millimeters as both of these other tires and again
that’s how they’re going to help get mileage but because it has less surface
area in contact it means that all the weight all the heat that’s generated by
riding this bike down the road it’s going to wear out a lot faster than
these other tires so if you’re going to be mainly offroad or if you’re doing
some kind of event or trip where it’s really important that you have maximum
traction offroad you start on the aggressive side and you work your way
down if you’re a touring rider and you’re just doing gravel roads heading
out to ghost towns you might want to go all the way down to this ninety ten or
down to a fifty fifty because they’re gonna give you that mileage but they’re
gonna feel much better on the road itself if you’re very aggressive or if
it’s very muddy those blocks can still clogged up and it doesn’t matter what
tire you have if it’s full of mud and and it’s all blocked up
you have no traction whatsoever how you ride your bike and how you load your
bike is gonna make a difference if you’re really heavy on the throttle and
you’re spinning the tire all the time it doesn’t matter these tires are gonna
wear out much faster either on the road because it’s flex or off-road because
they’re gonna be spinning them and rounding off the edges and once you
round off the edges here this tire is not gonna have the same traction as when
it’s fresh loading is gonna make a big difference if you load your bike heavy
if you have big panniers and you pack everything you possibly can on the bike
or even carry a passenger that’s gonna create more flex in the tire and that’s
going to generate more heat that’s gonna wear your tires out more so the lighter
your bike the lighter your pack the longer these are going to last so the
greatest wear factor on these tires really has to do with heat when you drop
that air pressure and people will do this and it’s okay to get better
traction off-road but that means more flex more heat and if you run those low
pressures when you go on the pavement that flex will wear out your tire much
much quicker also hotter temperatures will wear them out as well as sharp edge
rocks and these sort of environments that you might ride in if you’re new to the
adventure world stepping up to a more aggressive tire may help you learn as
you’re gaining those techniques and gaining those skills and give you a
little more room for air but as you get better as your skills improve
you can get less and less aggressive in your tire because in the end it’s the
skill that’s going to make the greatest difference so be honest with yourself
and buy the right tire for your adventure

Only registered users can comment.

  1. That was a really great explanation thanks so much. I'm new to adventure and there is a lot of sand here. I went in the wrong direction after stock to the 705

  2. I think the anakee wild, shinko 705 and certainly the mitas e07 deserved to be shown to fill the gaps that were displayed here.

  3. I was just thinking about shopping for new rubber, so this is a timely video. Thank you!. I have the K60 scout on the rear right now, but I think I should go a little more aggressive as I plan to learn how to ride in sand this spring. All the off road trails around my home are soft sand.

  4. Another excellent and informative video, Bret. Can you elaborate a little further on how to evaluate the wear on a 50-50 and more aggressive tire? I have a tire that has done about 7500kms and the knobs are getting rounded off on the rear. You mentioned that this will reduce the traction. Even though the treads are still very deep, is this tire done or close to being done? I do only gravel roads (though some forest service roads are steep and poorly graded here in BC).

  5. Excellent description of major tire types and their application. Appreciate your informative videos. Am looking to go less aggressive than D606 on my 640 ADV.

  6. My first tire was an Shinko 705 and I mostly rode on the highway so I switched to a Metzeler Tourance. It only took one short trip on dirt for me to realize I wanted my Shinko back 😂

  7. I ran the tkc70, 70/30 tire, for the first half of my world ride (europe, middle east and asia to australia) and did really well both on road and offroad. They only fall short a lot when you hit deep sand or mud, but I was able to do 40k kilometers on them. I switched to the karoo 3 and they are simply amazing in sand and mud! Can't speak for the mileage yet as don't have so much mileage on them yet.

  8. Wow! You're a couple of miles from my place on the river! I remember, as a "kid" riding my honda 350 scrambler, it had a pair of street tires and when it came time to play "tag" in the cow fields , us guy's would ride around to the cow "pies" and rip it up onto the closest rider! I got covered with cow crap that day! I also learned how important knobbies are to the off road motorcycle experience!

  9. What's your opinion on the TKC80's? I have been running these for years and I'm really happy with grip, both on pavement and offroad. My rear does not seem to last more than 4000 km (2500 miles) though.

  10. Another great video Brent. Found you through ARR podcasts. The more I ride and practice the better my Bridgestone 502's work🙂

  11. I've been running 804/805 Shinko's for 2 years 50,000 miles and counting. I'm getting 10k on a front and 5k on the back with 60/40 riding. They handle just as well on pavement as the 705s but are better off road. I've ridden over 75,000 miles on 705s. They need to stagger the rear blocks for more lateral stability and they'd be perfect. They cost less than half the other tires you showed. Less than $300 a pair. I've owned all of them and will use the Shinko's until I either die or they quit making them. The ONLY disadvantage to the Shinko's are all the smartass comments from BMW riders about them, STINKOS, CHEAPOS, etc. Current bike 2016, Tiger 800XCa – Frisco, Colorado.

  12. Great info Bret. Just about to change my front tyre for another Avon Trailrider, got 16,000 miles from it and 11,500 from the rear.👍☘

  13. Another terrific video. Explaining the plain facts about tires and tire selection are tremendously appreciated. Keep them coming.

  14. If there is a "subject" subject to being the origin of a world war, it is precisely: TIRES! Excellent, the initiative to use the "weapon" of the armistice, in this "subject" so sensitive! I think everyone understood well, PEACE BROS!

  15. Ive tried the k60 and shinko 804/805 on my scrambler. The k60 squares off really fast and cost twice as much as the Shinkos. I was a big k60 fan…until I tried the shinkos. In my case the shinko wears more evenly and the rear lasts just as long. The front k60 wears like iron but still way cheaper to go with the shinko and they perform just as well in all conditions.

  16. I bought my 2015 GSA used , and I have Anakee 3 now. This spring I will have Conti TKC 70. Thank’s , you helped me here 🙌.

  17. K60 have different tired tread depending on the size, 130/80/17 is much more "off" than 150/70/17 , even though not specialised.

  18. Michelin Pilot 4 Trail – excellent for 90/10 riding . . . an amazing tire. For some “adventure” bikes a Pilot 4 Trail front and a Pilot 4 GT rear will work – but off pavement isn’t what they’re designed to do.

  19. great vid as always! when my streets wear out i'll be getting some tkc80s for my tranny and start tearing up the Pyrenees 🙂 Love your presentation and editing, would love to see some hands on mechanic type videos – repairing a tyre/inner tube in the middle of a dirt road, fork seals, and other servicing stuff related to adventure bikes 🙂 looking forward to the next vid!

  20. Hi Bret. I really like your ADV focus videos. I'd love to see a video about how to load, strap, and balance a bike and also how you and a passenger get on and off a fully loaded bike.

  21. I did around 7,000 miles over most of the western US this summer, only about 500 miles of that off-road on a pair of Shinko 804/805, riding my R1200GS Very fully loaded. I chose these because I had planned some VERY demanding off-road portions of the ride and felt based on many comments out there that the 804/805 combination would be good enough for road work and a real asset in the off-road – this turned out to be the case and the perfect choice. Considering my nearly 600lb GS + 230lb me + 70lb of luggage, say 900lbs on the 804/805 combo, both pressured to 32/30psi respectively – I, simply put, had the best most comfortable ADV ride I've ever had! Road noise initially was surprisingly good (subtle but pleasant), handling was Very surprisingly good at speed with tires giving lots of indication when they were at adhesion limits in high-speed corners… The rubber compound once warm was quite sticky, performed reasonably well in Very intense rain (3hrs of torrential rain at 80+ mph thru Wyoming). Off road was marvelous with only the slightest extra drift sideways, accelerating thru corners but very acceptable and easy to handle. My only real complaints were speed rating of only 99mph which I occasionally exceeded while passing a grumpy senior citizen out in the middle of nowhere who was determined not to let me pass – I clicked 110mph and did pass, keeping speed high till he was a 1000 meters behind… People can be so funny sometimes… Felt a little nervous once I exceeded 100, briefly imagining my entrails dangling from the speed limit sign down the way… Yikes! The other annoyance with these came when the front had worn enough to cup pretty bad, by then progressively causing more and more uncomfortable noise and vibration until I simply could NOT take it anymore – stopped over in Spokane, WA and got the front replaced (still with about 30% or it's life left) with a Shinko 705 (all they happened to have that day in my GS size)… Overall I'd have to say without reservation that the 804/805 is the Best value in a more off-road oriented ADV tire! I might also add that I installed "Ride-On" sealent in both tires to Ride-On spec for off-road use. This produced superb smoothness and produced a little extra insurance against a puncture ruining my fast ride sections – highly recommend this addition to my fellow ADV riders! (I did also have a professional grade tire plug kit and electric pump with me at all times, tucked in nicely right next to my first aid kit with additional field triage kit since I rode the entire nearly 8,000 miles solo, much of it outside of cell range and some of it without GPS signal)…

  22. Just to let you know that the Karoo 3, in spite of their agressive look, are 70% road tire and only 30% off road. Been riding those tires for 7000km on my DR650 and they do great on tarmac and just ok off road. Lateral traction just plain sucks (no side blocks). They do ok in sand and dirt. Not that good in mud either…

  23. Nice jacket, and the contrasting cap looks good too.

    I’m a little disappointed in my K60 Scouts because of the centre line being unbroken. Otherwise they’re a great tire, but they don’t give enough grip in wet off-road environments. I might try Mitas next, or maybe Shinko

  24. I’ve deem ADV riding for a year and this is by far the best tire summary I’ve ever seen. Am a little impatient with Youtube for not having shown me your channel earlier!

  25. This is a great video thanks! Wish I'd seen it before I changed my tyres. I don't understand why Revzilla and Fort9 says Karoo 3 are 70/30. I ordered them and when I received them I knew right away damn! Too aggressive for my riding. But I'm using them anyways and they are nice only a bit hard initially and bike feels heavy at low speeds – could it be a tyre pressure issue? Any tips on tyre pressure for Karoo 3 on a Honda Africa Twin?

  26. Nice video I just came across your channel . I'm new to the Dual Sport world. I road off road all my life .With a back injury no longer competition. My wife said you need to ride so I chose a Xr650l set up really nice . I wondered what those charging wires were on my XR you answered my question.Racing off road and ISDE is a little different than packing tents and tools. Dual Sporting is A new world that I am quickly falling in love with. Thanks for the info. God Bless """RIDE ON"""

  27. I will be riding from the continental US mid-west up to Alaska this summer (12K miles) – going through the Yukon and up to Prudhoe bay and back. I'm not going to be in dirt very much at all, but on a LOT of their gravel roads. What tire would you recommend for a first time adventure rider on my '12 V-Strom DL650?

  28. Please be aware that the K60 is designed to be used with it's matching front. That solid center strip tends to hydroplane. This is (supposedly) mitigated by following in the "clear" path created by the front tire

  29. I run K60s. IMO weight of the big adv bike makes up in some ways for lack of knobs off road riding straight.Important thing to me on dirt are side knobs for cornering. That’s talking about dry stuff not greasy mud.

  30. Great video. I've recently subscribed to your channel and it's found your videos quite useful and entertaining.

    I was originally looking very hard at getting the Karoo 3 but after some research ran across the Avon Trekriders. The karoos looked a little more aggressive than what I was wanting and the Trekrders follow the same vein of design but leans a little more towards the tarmac. I've been thoroughly pleased with the Trekriders on hard surfaces and surprised at how well they perform on dirt roads and some of the softer singletrack type terrain. They are newer to Market and you don't hear too much about them. Though being marketed as 50/50 tires are probably closer to 70/30 but for my riding purposes they work really well.

  31. U left out the best adventure offroad oriented tire : dunlop d606 (rear only). And the all round best adventure tire which sticks to.the pavement like glue (better even than less aggressive tread tires) and works very decent offroad also : continental tkc80

  32. Hi Bret
    Can you recommend an all round Tyre for a Yamaha super tenere that carry's heavy loads e.g large panniers and wife , an 80/20 or 70/30 Tyre I have the Mitas EO7 awesome Tyre and have 10000km on them ,they are just a bit to noisy on the road
    Thanks
    MR DJ

  33. I just bought a 2013 Suzuki V-Strom 650 and it came with Michelin Anakee 3 tires. There is only 6000 km's on that but I'm looking for a tires that can do a bit more off road then those. My boyfriend has a KLR 650 with the K60 Scout tires, would that be a good choice for the V-Strom? Thanks.

  34. Hello Bret here is a question for you, I own a super tenere 1200 which weighs 260Kg, i have just bought a set of Metzeler Karoo streets the load rating is 325Kg if I fit all 3 Kappa panniers and myself with out the wife ,its all ready way over that limit or can you please explain regards Paolo

  35. Hi Bret, any chance you can explain or give recommendations about when is safe to exchange your tires? I have different opinions with friends about when is the right time to get new tires!

  36. I had the Heidenau Scout K60 on my GS Adventure. They wore like steel and were good both on the road and off. One thing to note, the front tire howled like a hunting beagle chasing a rabbit at highway speed 60-80 mph

  37. Bret, great advice. Any possibility of a more in-depth video on the tires YOU use for different riding conditions/trips/terrain? I often see you on what look like mainly street tires but you're off-road in the videos. Perhaps some tips on traversing off-road with such tires without large knobbies, etc.? I ride an adventure bike but also (mainly) use it for commuting on tarmac and can't switch back and forth between tires all the time. I know there are no tires that do everything perfectly, but perhaps some tips from you about your preferences might help. Just a thought. Great channel!!!

  38. So you can balance tyre aggressiveness with skill level – that must be why I keep using the Dunlop 606 front & rear.
    Thanks for the awesome explanation, appreciate it.

  39. The best adventure videos on Youtube. I have a question, IO recently changes from touring to adventure and bought a Versys 300x, I changed the stock tires to new Shimko 705 and now at speeds over 100ks the bikes feel like it weaves, I have also checked the front and rear alignment and all is OK, the dealer has no clue, would you have a suggestion as to why? your input is appreciated.

  40. tire compound matters quite a bit. heidenaus use a harder compound and, for how i ride, they're a scary when wet and when cold. less aggressive riders, heidenaus work fine.

  41. Look at the range from MOTOZ. An Australian manufacturer. Tractionator GPS is my go to tyre for my BMWG650gs. https://motoz.com.au/product-category/adventure-tyres/

  42. I have a question maybe even a review/explanation video…. tubed vs tubeless tyres (unless its already been done and ive missed it)….im moving away from sport bikes and im currently (18/8/19) looking at buying an Africa Twin. Now most of my riding is going on street, trips and tours etc…firstly round the UK but then maybe further afield. And i will be taking loaded panniers and the wife quite a bit…. i know there are better "touring" bikes but i like the look of the ADV bike! The Honda has tubed tyres. I've heard they run hotter on street, harder to fix punctures and my main concern, which is why i hit YouTube and the trusted MOTOTREK comments section, ive heard that IF you pick up a nail for example and 70mph, a tubeless tyre can handle punctures better. When a tubed tyre takes a nail at 70 mph, the tube can deflate instantly, collapsing the tyre with it. A tubeless tyre can capture the nail (screw, or pointy road debris of your choice) in the tyre’s thick main layer, sealing around the intruder to keep the air inside, It doesn’t always work out that way, but a tubeless tyre gives you better odds of experiencing a slow deflation that gives you a chance to get off the road safely, instead of sudden and total deflation. Any advice greatly appreciated… 🇬🇧✌

  43. I found happiness with the Mitas E07s however I took a set of Shinko 804-805s with me to the Dempster and found them surprisingly good. The Shinkos cost me less then $200 shipped to my door. The K60s are great for high mileages but lack in traction because of the center bar.

  44. Riding gravel and forest roads on Pilot Road 5 on R1200GS this whole summer after starting my motocross training. Sure I have limited turning capacity and I won't be able to get anywhere when the surface is wet yet I'm really aware how bad it might end up and pay alot of attention to what I'm doing. And yeah, I had dropped the bike alot.
    Gonna buy some Pirelli Dakar starting next year season in spring and just have a blast enjoying that difference in traction 🙂

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