Adventure Tire Buyer’s Guide

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By Tom Roderick

Want to make your old bike feel new again? Install new tires. Your current rubber hoops may have mileage left in them, but switching to new tires is an easy and affordable way to elevate the handling composure of a motorcycle. Fresh rubber not only increases both on- and off-road grip, but the manicured profile of new tires also smooths turn-in and transitioning, bettering your sense of control and feedback from the road.

On the flipside, the wrong tires can go a long way in ruining your riding pleasure. Installing a 10mm wider rear tire can so adversely change your motorcycle’s handling you’ll curse having ever made the decision to do so. Tire choice for Adventure bikes is compounded with the demands of not just street but off-road riding. How much grip do you want for street riding vs. how much grip you want in the dirt? Longevity vs grip on the street as well as longevity vs grip in the dirt. There’s also terrain types to accommodate: rocks vs. sand vs. hard-pack, wet vs dry.

Of course, there’s the adventure bike itself. The demands of a 350-pound Honda XR650L will be vastly different from those of a 525-pound BMW R1200GS. Aggression levels in the dirt vs. those on the street also go a long way in determining tire selection, as does tube vs tubeless tires.

We can no more choose the perfect tire for you than we can get our wives to turn off lights in an unused room. What we can do is suggest a few of the tire options available and hope they’ll help smooth your future tire buying decisions.



Avon has two models of adventure tires available: Distanzia (left) and Gripster (right). The Distanzia is the more streetable tire (80% on-road, …read more

Source:: Adventure Tire Buyer’s Guide


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