TKC 80 vs TKC 70 in Rock / Gravel ?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by kschatzle, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. kschatzle

    kschatzle Adventurer

    Aug 25, 2015
    Colorado USA
    Yesterday to avoid a large forest fire I had an unplanned trip over Buffalo Pass in Colorado which is about 5 miles of light to intermediate Rock plus 30 miles of gravel/dirt on my 09 R1200gs. I have mostly worn (7k miles) tkc 70 tires that I aired down to 34 R 30 F since I also had about 140 miles of high speed pavement.

    I was quite surprised that they seemed to grip better than the new TKC 80's on my Tiger 800 over the same pass and was quite happy with the performance on the GS. I was worried that I would be picking up the bike, but went for it anyway as I did not want to breathe thick smoke for 100 miles. I have been considering swapping the tires on the bikes to evaluate them on the GS but it is expensive and a hassle.

    I realize they are different bikes and the TKC 80's will probably out perform the 70's in deep sand and mud but would be interested in opinions on those that have both.

    I am thinking of just putting another set of 70's on the gs as I use my other bikes for extremely difficult terrain. It seems that the pattern on the 70's might actually grip dry rock and gravel better than 80's and offer higher mileage and better road performance.

    If the GS gives me everything the Tiger offers and the extra 55lbs of real world weight is carried lower on the BMW than the Tiger it may be redundant and should be removed from the fleet.
  2. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

    Feb 9, 2009
    Top Hat - Seattle Wa.
    I’ve run a shinko 70 rear in everything just fine for what you’re doing. Knobby front you pick. The fun is that power slides are readily available. 24f 30r psi

    Orbdr Wabdr Continental Divide Olymipics Buncha Back Country
  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

    Feb 29, 2016
    Hanover, NH USA
    One is a knobby and one isn't. The knobby will give you about 3K in the rear and the TKC 70 at least 5K.

    The TKC80 is the best dirt tire for ADV bikes but you pay for that grip in tread life. Throwing a TKC80 up front and a 70 on rear is a good compromise though.
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  4. rboett

    rboett posser noob 205

    Nov 5, 2002
    On my 08 gsa I'm liking the motoz tractionator adventures. I am expecting 6 to 7k out of the rear
  5. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer Supporter

    Nov 30, 2012
    Lincolnville, Maine
    It all depends how you ride. If you have street tires off-road you'll probably pay more attention and not spin things up as much. You can get away with a lot if you're smooth.
  6. buzzd

    buzzd Been here awhile

    Jul 14, 2014
    I had TKC 80 front and rear. Pretty good in dirt. Turned the big GSA from a hang on and hope to reasonably predictable and capable. Rear TKC80 on road ok in dry, not so in wet. Wore out the rear in 5k (actually 3k but kept using it). Threw on a TKC70 on rear and kept the 80 on the front.

    Much better for the 50/50 use. Spent a day in rocks and gravel roads. Actually found the combo of TKC80 front and TKC70 rear pretty good and more predictable traction. I think where the rear 80 would be better is when the side knobs would give traction, ie deep sand or mud. Otherwise, no diference.
  7. Beils

    Beils Been here awhile

    Feb 18, 2007
    I installed TKC 70's on my 2012 GSA because I intended to tour on paved surfaces and dirt/gravel roads in VT/NH.

    My 2007 GS has TKC 80's F&R, and hooks up in dirt, mud & gravel with great confidence. It is an ideal combo for Vermonts 80% dirt and 20% paved roads. The TKC 70 front left me puckered on anything approaching marbles, with the front end pushing and vague breaking. Not comfortable... So 1000 miles into it, they're switched out for MotoZ GPS. These have a much stiffer sidewall, deeper tread and the option of 50/50 rear or more dirt oriented direction for the rear tire. Again looking for versatility with VT roads on the touring GSA, I found the road performance acceptable. On gravel, the front tire had trouble hooking up, and stopping with ABS was a poor option, and nearly impossible on intersections where the TKC 80s had no issue. Within the first 150 miles, the front MotoZ developed a substantial howl and threw the wheel weights...

    My next experiment is TKC80s on the front and MotoZ GPS on the rear for mixed road GSA riding. The fall back for me is TKC 80's, and change. the rear out at 3500 miles. I back off a little in the wet, but damn the TKC 80s stick in the dry!
  8. Gundy

    Gundy Long timer

    Nov 6, 2010
    Philly 'burbs
    For me the TKC70s did surprisingly well on DRY rocky/gravel roads. Anything wet and unpaved was sketchy. The front howled. The rear was shot after about 4500, but a decent amount of that was two-up. And the front was worn enough that it wasn’t worth stretching I’m a Shinko 804/805 fan now. Actually quieter on pavement than the TKC70, or at least a less annoying howl. 2500 miles in, mostly 2up, and the rear could go another 2k, I hope. For the price it’s nice having the confidence off-road and they lean over surprisingly well on pavement. Wet pavement you should use common sense, but no issues with that either. I only ride about 4k miles per year so no big deal if they wear a little faster; I’ll take the versatility.
  9. texas_aggie

    texas_aggie Been here awhile

    Oct 2, 2011

    Drop the mic, walk off the stage. This is the correct answer.
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