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More than in any other segment of motorcycling, riders in the ADV/Dual Sport world look forward to the release of the latest and greatest products. Though this segment has been around since the dawn of motorcycles, ADV riding has seen a huge boom in popularity over the past few years and with it has come a slew of new bikes and products to fit them.
Tires are no exception and every year we are seeing more and more tire options available specifically for the new dual sport bikes. In the beginning, riders had to choose between a street tire and an off road tire. Now, we are seeing tires tailored to dual sport riding and even tailored to the percentage of street vs. off road riding that you do. Every year the choices of dual sport and ADV tires continue to grow and riders are getting better hookup as a result.
Below are two great new options for riders to choose from for this 2015 riding season. The Continental TKC 70 and the Kenda Big Block both aim to provide similar results in the dual sport world (both 60/40), but come at with completely different designs.
Continental TKC 70
Building on the immense popularity of the TKC 80 over the past few years, Continental has now developed the TKC 70. While the TKC 80 is still one of the most capable tires on the market, it may not be the best option for the riders of the heavier touring bikes that spend a bit more time on pavement than off road. The TKC 70 takes the best of the 80 and combines it with the best of Continental’s more street oriented dual sport tire, the TrailAttack2, to create a perfect balance of the two.
Riders who fall in the range of 60% street and 40% off road will benefit the most from the new TKC 70 tire. It doesn’t have quite the knobbies of the 80, but it has enough to get the job done on most beaten trail conditions. You can expect the 70’s longevity to be more in line with the TrailAttack2 as it should last much longer than the TKC 80, especially on heavier machines.
One thing that makes the TKC 70 unique is that it is a radial tire, which is quite rare for an off road capable tire. The radial construction will extend the wear of the tire, while also making for a smooth ride on the street. It also features Conti’s new MultiGrip and RainGrip compounds to ensure grip in a wide variety of conditions.
Kenda Big Block
To compete with the aforementioned TKC 80, Kenda has released their latest version of the Big Block dual sport tire. As a 60/40 tire with knobbies, the Big Block takes a little different route to capturing the best of both worlds compared to the TKC 70’s more street oriented profile. The tire gets its name from the “big block” tread pattern with a big block falling in the center of the tread every third row. That center block gives the tires enough of a center pattern to perform well on pavement at high speeds and also helps to improve tread wear.
Kenda developed the Big Block to excel in both wet/slick and dry hard packed terrains. The bias belted construction with high-impact casing allows the tires to take on rough terrain without the worry of damaging the sidewalls. With the tough design and the knobby pattern, rocks can be tackled with confidence, even on heavier, more powerful ADV bikes.
You shouldn’t expect the Big Block to hang with off road dedicated tires. That’s not what it’s designed for, but it certainly is a great compromise to be able to safely and successfully take on any off road terrain at reasonable paces. The same can be said for the on road performance. It does exactly what it should and is a great compromise.
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