‘Tis the season for tires that can handle gnarly terrain like dirt, mud, and snow, but still get you from point A to point B on the pavement. We give you the rundown on 5 dual-sport/ADV tires you really should know about!
Continental Twinduro TKC80 Motorcycle Tire
The Conti Twinduro TKC80 is pretty much a living legend in the world of adventure touring and dual sport tires, and consistently our best selling tire in the segment. Rears come in both 17 and 18 inch sizes, and fronts come in 17, 19, and 21 inchers, so from small KTM EXC 450 dual-sports to those big BMW 1200GS adventure bikes, Continental has just about every fitment you can think of covered.
The TKC80 has massive blocks for great bite off road, but in a sticky compound that will keep you glued to the asphalt when you’re riding on the street. These tires will run for thousands of miles, or you can smoke them quickly depending how heavy you are with your right hand; but no matter what, these Contis will be great on the dirt and great on the street, whether in wet or dry conditions. If you want a proven performer in the DS/ADV segment with a huge following, this tire is guaranteed to deliver!
Dunlop D606 Motorcycle Tire
The Dunlop D606 has been around forever, and with good reason; it’s an awesome tire all around. The Dunlop comes in 17 and 18 inch sizes for rear wheels, but only in a 21 inch size for the front. Definitely not made for those 600-plus pound ADV machines, but for lighter dual sports like the KLR 650or the XR650, this is one of the best tires on the market.
This is a 90/10 tire, so it leans very heavily toward off-road; this is a tire that is just barely street-legal, so if you’re a serious off-road rider that just needs to ride a little street to get to your trails, this is gonna be the perfect tire for you.
Michelin T63 Motorcycle Tire
Similar to the Dunlop D606, the Michelin T63 is a dual sport tire that has been around for years and is one of the best values in the segment. The T63 is made for bikes closer to the dirt bike end of the dual-sport motorcycle range (think 450cc-650cc bikes); the big boys in the liter-plus ADV side of the off-road spectrum aren’t this tire’s forte.
The T63 is a solid all-round performer, but not the best dual-sport tire in any one area. Where this tire really shines, however, is in value; for a little more than a tank of gas, you can be spooning on a new set of these high quality street-legal knobbies. When it comes to bang for the buck, not much will compare to the Michelin T63!
Pirelli Scorpion Rally Motorcycle Tire
The Pirelli Scorpion Rally is the winning tire from the Paris-Dakar race; both first and second place riders were on these exact tires in last year’s event. Pirelli has these in 19 and 21 inch sizes for the front, and 17 and 18 inch sizes for the rear, so you can spoon a set of these bad boys onto your big liter-plus size ADV world traveler-type bikes without a problem.
These tires are very capable in rough terrain; the front tire is just about a full-on motocross knobby, but the rear has that bigger blockier tread for great on and off-road performance. The Scorpion Rally is definitely an off-road oriented tire; it’ll hook up in sand, mud, rocks, and snow, but is still streetable enough to get you to your favorite trails and back comfortably.
Metzeler Sahara Enduro 3 Motorcycle Tire
The third generation of Metzeler’s Sahara Enduro line, this tire is a 50/50 tire that behaves very well on the street, but has enough bite to get you through some trails and fire roads. The Sahara Enduro 3 is a tire that does nothing great, but can do it all well; if you’re a true dual sporter that really racks up miles on and off road and goes wherever the wind takes you, this Metzeler tire is going to be one of the best tires you can get for your adventures.
Fronts come in only one 21-inch size, but there are two separate speed ratings, so make sure you choose the right one for your style. Rear sizes are par for the course, with both 17 and 18 inch variants available.