June 27, 2012
Tyres for big enduro/dualsport motorcycles are the real all-rounders in the market. They need to combine equally high levels of grip during the summer and winter with the ability to carry maximum loads on long journeys – all the while delivering outstanding durability. So who has managed to strike the best balance? The staff of our partner magazine TOURENFAHRER put enduro, on-road and off-road tyres to the test.
It is a tough challenge for tyre developers – the tyre pairings for big enduro/ dualsport motorcycles have to tick more boxes than virtually any other compound on the market. The requirements profile is multi-faceted – just like the purposes to which these bikes are put.
It’s no surprise then that we decided to opt for the top seller in this segment of the market – the BMW R 1200 GS – as this bike is synonymous with wideranging application potential. And, of course, this bike has done a lot to ensure that a good selection of tyres is now available in the right sizes (110/80 R 19 at the front and 150/70 R 17 at the rear) – after all, no tyre manufacturer can afford to ignore this segment today. The bigger players in the market are even using enduro and on-road tyres in the race to win customers‘ favour. We hope that this tyre test offers a representative insight to the full range on offer.
We put 13 test pairings through their paces and sent eight of them on longdistance journeys specifically designed to highlight strengths and weaknesses in terms of wear (refer to the following pages for the full article). We focused mainly on the enduro tires, as they are generally the most popular.
These six representative tyres were put through the full test procedure: this means that once the endurance test was completed it was straight on to the Contidrom handling track for grip, handling and stability trials. The small handling circuit was also completely under water, so it also told us a lot about the different tyres‘ wet-grip properties.
We took the new Michelin Pilot Road 3 along as a reference tyre for the group of on-road tyres, and again we put this tyre through the full test programme. Time constraints meant that we were unable to put the remaining three on-road tyres – the brand new Bridgestone BT 023, the Dunlop Roadsmart and the new Conti Road Attack 2 – through the endurance/wear test, but we thoroughly put them through their paces on the off-road test course.
The same applies to the group of chunky off-road tires, which were also represented in the endurance/wear tests in the form of the brand new Heidenau K 60 Scout, which had to face up to a stiff challenge presented by the more established rivals – Continental’s TKC 80 and Metzeler’s Karoo (T) – on the off-road and handling course.
All in all a colourful mix – and we are happy to report that not one of them disappointed on the GS. The latest generation of enduro and onroad tyres has taken another clear step forwards in terms of performance. Particularly in terms of grip – specifically under extremely wet conditions – it is now possible to lean into corners in a way which would have only been possible with special rain tyres just a few years ago, and then only briefly.
However, demands have risen significantly in the age of ABS and traction control – and this is reflected by these tyres.
Filed under: MCR News