Editors’ Choice: Adventure Motorcycle Tires & Tools

Photo By: Matt Beaty

Whether you’re picky about your tires or don’t care what sort of rubber is wrapped around your rims, you’re bound to burn through quite a few sets of shoes while ripping around on your motorcycle. For adventure riding you want a tire that’s designed specifically for big adventure bikes and performs well both on-road and off. Following are some of our favorite tires for whatever adventure you have in store.

Photo by Matt Beaty

When you’re choosing tires for ADV riding, you’ll notice the balance between on-road/off-road use ratio referenced and adventure tires often fall into the 50/50 or 40/60 category, with more purpose-driven outliers in the 80/20 range. This is because, like all things in life, there’s a bit of a compromise when it comes to choosing tires. Your 50/50 tires are going to last a little longer than the 60/40s and will inherently perform a bit better on the tarmac. 60/40 tires will give you the upper hand in the dirt, but are generally made of a softer compound with deeper treads, so you’ll burn through them quicker than a set of 50/50s.

Bridgestone Battlax Adventure Trail AT41

bridgestone battlax at41

When your next adventure calls for tarmac touring, you don’t have to stop when the pavement ends if you’ve got a set of Bridgestone AT41 tires. This 80% on-road / 20% off-road ADV tire features a more aggressive tread design, suited to light off-road and backroad conditions, and maintains great on-road performance. Bridgestone’s 3LC dual compound construction hits the sweet spot between performance and mileage. Perfect for forest roads and light duty off-road riding, the AT41 features enhanced wet traction and a tread design built to give you an extra bite on off-road surfaces.

MSRP: $154.79 – $259.92

Continental Twinduro TKC80

Continental Twinduro TKC80 Dual Sport Tires

No list of ADV tires would be complete without the Continental TKC80, easily one of the most ubiquitous and best performing set of skins on the market today. Also falling into the 60/40 category of adventure tires, the TKC’s block-pattern knobs excel off-road while hinting at a street-tire profile to maintain tarmac traction. What this tire lacks in longevity, it makes up for in performance. The big block pattern scares the dirt into submission and gives you tons of grip, braking power, and traction on a wide range of surfaces from loose to hard pack. 

MSRP: $100.04 – $239.01

Photo by Matt Beaty

READ MORE: Editors’ Choice: Adventure Motorcycle Helmets and Accessories

Dunlop Trailmax Mission

dunlop trailmax mission tires

The Trailmax Mission Tire is one of the best 50/50 adventure tires on the market today. A relatively new addition to Dunlop’s lineup, the Mission delivers knobby-like performance off-road, has impressive grip on the street, and the darn things last forever! Dunlop claims that you’ll get an impressive 8,000 miles out of the rear tire, virtually twice the longevity of the TKC80. The tread design uses deep, widely spaced lugs cut into the tire’s profile to deliver sure-footed road carving. The wraparound tread blocks reach around the sidewall, increasing puncture resistance and traction while ripping off-road.

MSRP: $112.39 – $235.33

Kenda K784 Big Block

kenda big block motorcycle tire

Designed to meet the demands of adventure motorcycle purists, the Kenda Big Block takes you from the tarmac to the trails with ease. This 60/40 tire has powerful puncture resistance and a versatile tubeless design. Though the rear tire isn’t known for its long life, these Kendas perform on par with their more expensive counterparts, so plan on going through two rears for every front tire you replace, just like you would with the TKC80. The Big Block is designed for superior handling, even at high speeds on the heaviest bikes, and delivers great traction on the street and rugged terrain alike.

MSRP: $45.95 – $144.59

Photo by Matt Beaty

Mitas E-07

mitas E 07 motorcycle tire

The iconic Mitas E-07 is a 50/50 tire developed with the weight and power of big adventure machines in mind. Due to its hard-wearing bias-ply construction and optimal on- and off-road performance, the E-07 is a popular ADV tire for round the world trips and home turf adventures alike. The chevron tread arrangement maximizes biting edges with sufficient gaps between tread blocks to ensure good traction in tricky off-road situations. Suited for tubeless and tubed tires, on pavement, the versatile E-07 instills confidence when cornering and in wet conditions with stability and comfort even at highway speeds.

MSRP: $105.95- $219.95

Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR

The Scorpion Rally STR is another 80/20 tire that offers decent off-road grip and longevity that goes the distance. The Rally STR features a road-derived profile and a silirich compound that works well on the pavement, even in wet or cold conditions. This profile and compound, combined with a unique tread design, results in a consistent contact patch that delivers serious canyon carving performance. When your adventure takes you off the tarmac, the refined knobby design makes quick work of gravel, sand or dirt, especially if you air down a bit. 

MSRP: $123.89 – $264.69

Tire Tools and Accessories

Photo by Matt Beaty

Slime Power Sports G2 Tire Inflator

The Slime Power Sports G2 Tire Inflator is so compact, not to mention essential for emergency tire repair, there’s no reason to leave home without it. The built-in gauge allows you to observe the increased pressure with a reading up to 100 psi and the bright, built-in LED sheds plenty of light on the situation. This powerful mini-pump will inflate your motorcycle tire in a jiffy and then stow away neatly in its rigid carrying case.

MSRP: $57.95

BikeMaster Tire And Tube Flat Repair Kit

With space of the essence when adventure riding, making your tool kit as bike specific as possible is always a good idea. That said, looking out for yourself and your buddies on the trail is always worth the extra ounces and I always carry tire repair for tube-type and tubeless tires. The BikeMaster kit comes with all the patches, plugs, and tools you need to take care of everyone on the trail, no matter what type of tires they’re running.

MSRP: $42.26

Motion Pro T6 Tire Levers

The Motion Pro Tire Levers have a space-saving dual-ended design with a tire spoon on one end and hex wrench on the other. Trailside tire changes are always a pain, but the clever lip design on these tire spoons makes things a little easier. The hex end comes in a variety of sizes so you can select the most useful set for your individual bike.

MSRP: $33.99

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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