When comes to choosing your next tyre, the options on the market are numerous.
Everybody has a very unique style of riding and some people prefer to stick to tarmac more than going offroad.

In a certain sense, If you buy a 220kg, 1200cc motorcycle, I don’t think you intend to use your vehicle to ride in dry river beds; for this reason I believe the perfect tyre for these kind of machines are the popular 70-30, 60-40 or 50-50 (where these values stand for the percentage of the intended use of the tyre road-offroad).

Most of the popular brands offer options in this sense, to fit the “big feet” of these huge adventure motorcycles, that usually have size 170/60 or 150/70 at rear.
In my travels, and during the past 4 years of adventures, I had the chance to try most of the available choices out there; of course I missed some, but certain brands are not available everywhere, especially in latin america.

I will mark each aspect of the tyre with a value from 1-10, so you can more easily relate to the feature you require the most.

TKC 70. Photo Credit: Continental

Continental TKC70
One of the top quality 70-30 tyre on the market; regardless of the very minimal thread, it provides a great grip both on wet and dry tarmac, and a fair traction in light off road conditions. This said, I used it on sand and wet mud and still performed quite well. Very quiet and smooth on tarmac, it delivers always great power and response in every situation. It’s price is equal to its quality and it’s longevity, i have to say, is not its strength, due to the very soft compound.

Tarmac Dry Grip: 9
Tarmac Wet Grip: 9
Off-road: 7.5
Longevity: 7
Price: 7

Heidenau K60. Photo Credit: Heidenau

Heidenau K60
Sold as 50-50 tyre, its german technology rubber provides one of the best performances for the long distance riding; this tyre is the absolute winner for “longevity”.

The K60 provides a great grip overall on dry surfaces, both on and off road, but its “kryptonite” is water. In this sense, my excitement of riding with this tyre went away pretty fast, with the first rainstorm. Aquaplaning is pretty much guaranteed at high speed. A bit disappointing, in my opinion, for such a great tyre overall!

Pricewise also, it is also not very friendly.

Tarmac Dry Grip: 8.5
Tarmac Wet Grip: 5
Off-road: 7
Longevity: 9
Price: 6

Mitas E-07. Photo Credit: Mitas

Mitas E-07 Dakar
This Czech 50-50 (more like 60-40) tyre provides one of the best overall on-off road traction and durability on the market. This tyre is HARD!

I was able to put a lot of miles on this and it had a very good grip overall, on both dry and wet. Offroad it behaves well, but it’s definitely not a fully knobby tyre so, it will loose grip easily if you are not too gentle on your throttle. Not greatly available worldwide, you’ll easily find it in Europe but not so easily in the USA.

Pricewise will not make you very happy, but in return you’ll purchase something of great quality that will last quite a while.

Tarmac Dry Grip: 8
Tarmac Wet Grip: 7.5
Off-road: 8
Longevity: 9
Price: 7

 

Shinko 705. Photo Credit: Shinko

Shinko 705
There is no secret about the fact that I love this tyre: It’s cheap, it has grip, and it lasts enough for the price!

Yokohama, started to produce this tyre in Korea so It was able to distribute it all over the world for a very reasonable price. What is astounding about the 705 is the overall great performances delivered on all surfaces and the superb quality, in my opinion, considering the price.

I’ve been using these on snow and heavy rain and they were absolutely great. They are (incredibly) marked as S+M so, technically, compliant with snowy and muddy conditions.
Great grip on dry tarmac and astounding grip on wet. I would feel confident to bring my knee down in any situation.

Off road, they have sufficient grip to have fun with it, but obviously not designed to go crazy.

Tarmac Dry Grip: 9
Tarmac Wet Grip: 9
Off-road: 8.5
Longevity: 8
Price: 9

 

Anlas Capra X. Photo Credit: Anlas

Anlas Capra X
Recently I had the chance to try the now popular Anlas, the famous tyre made in Turkey. A lot has been said about the Capra X that, being a “pure” off road tyre, delivers optimal performances also on tarmac.

The thread, with knobs that cover the central part of the tyre, alternatively, provide a smooth ride, without too much vibrations, and almost a noiseless experience on tarmac. The vibrations increase once the tyre wears out a bit. Great grip also on dry and wet surfaces and, of course, excellent performances off road. I’ve been riding in snow and mud and I have to say that it behaves 90% like a dirt bike tyre.  Price wise it’s halfway between the expensive ones and the cheap ones. Longevity, obviously, is not its strength but If you are gentle with your throttle, you can stretch probably 6-7000km with it.

Tarmac Dry Grip: 8
Tarmac Wet Grip: 8
Off-road: 9
Longevity: 7
Price: 8

 

Metzeler Karoo 3. Photo Credit: Metzeler

Metzeler Karoo 3
I would say that the Karoo3 are probably one of my favourites tyres on the market.
Great looks, great grip, great performances off road. Its very unique patterns, provide excellent grip on dry and wet tarmac, and excellent grip off road. Its weak point is probably the vibrations that occur riding at low speeds, up to 80km/h. Also, it won’t last very long, being made of an extremely soft compound.

But it you want the best of the best for every terrain, I would say that this is it. You just have to cope with vibrations a bit, but you’ll ride out of anything you put yourself into.

Tarmac Dry Grip: 8.5
Tarmac Wet Grip: 8.5
Off-road: 8.5
Longevity: 7
Price: 7

Michelin Anakee Adventure Photo Credit: Americanmototyre.com

Michelin Anakee Adventure
Sold as 80-20 tyre, this french technology beauty performs like a street tyre on tarmac and like a good light offroad one, on dirt. Precise, smooth, almost noiseless and great on wet, this tyre will make you twist your nose only on purchase, in case you are not in France (where is clearly cheaper).

Longevity is quite good but, being a mostly road tyre, it is quite an obvious advantage, compared to the other more offroady competitors. Michelin studied the compound precisely to deliver higher longevity and more grip; in this sense, they perform quite similarly to the continental TKC70, which have less thread but stick very well in all surfaces.

Tarmac Dry Grip: 9
Tarmac Wet Grip: 8.5
Off-road: 8
Longevity: 8
Price: 8

Notable mentions, which I haven’t tried yet, would be the MotoZ Tractionator GPS, which I heard perform quite similarly to the Heidenau k60, the Pirelli Scorpion Rally, the Avon Trailmaster, which could probably compete with the Shinko 705, and finally the Kenda Big Block. 

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