Should I go for a 50/50 tire? Or maybe street tires with enduro back-up? Tough decision
The Continental TCK 80 Twinduro is one of the most acclaimed dual-sport tires. And there’s a good reason for that. But it also comes with a short lifetime. Then it’s the Michelin Anakee III capable of 20,000 km, but it’s just a street tire with enduro marketing. And there’s Heidenau K60 Scout which gives you proper wear and decent off-road performance, but that comes with poor road performance. So, what’s the best decision if leaving on a 10,000 km trip on a big adventure bike?
Honestly, I don’t think there’s something right and something wrong, but I will tell you my point of view. It’s all about circumstances, personal taste and being able to face a compromise.
Last year I traveled to Georgia and Armenia, via Cappadocia on my BMW R1200GS. It was an 8,500 km trip, mostly on paved roads. In fact, 90% of those 8,500 km were only on the tarmac. But that 10% of dirt was the best part of the trip – the unpaved roads to the medieval Georgian villages in the Caucasus. And with a heavy-weight R1200GS, it’s not the best choice to go on muddy roads with street tires. That’s where my Heidenau K60 Scouts made the difference. For the rest of the trip, they were useless and annoying due to the vibrations and noise. But if leaving again on a 10,000 km adventure, I would have chosen the same tires.
If I were to ride some Continental TKC 80 or Metzeler Karoo 3, they would have been gone long before reaching the off-road segment of the trip. If I were to choose Michelin Anakee III, Pirelli Scorpion Trail or Metzeler Tourance Next, well… bye-bye, Ushguli!
Also, I’m not the guy to carry another set of tires and the time was too precious to lose a day finding a set of tires over there and putting them on. So I faced the vibrations and the highway discomfort without regrets.
It was also clear to me that I made the best decision when I met two Dutch guys riding some badass single-cylinder KTM motorcycles to Mongolia. They already changed a Karoo 3 rear tires, and the other one was waiting for its turn.
Now let’s get back to the header idea. It’s just my choice, but when going for an under 4.000 km off-road ride, I’d choose renown dual-sport tire, such as Continental’s TCK 80. If there’s a longer trip ahead, I’ll change them for K60 Scouts. For street use, I’ll choose the Metzeler Tourance Next, Pirelli Scorpion Trail or Michelin Anakee III.
What’s your choice?