Did you know that motorcycle tyre discussions account for more than 50% of social media conversions between bikers. It appears it is one of the most talked about accessory (or necessity) for motorcyclists.
Here’s a review from a tour guides point of view of the Continental TKC70 Tyre fitted to an Africa Twin CRF1000 (manual)
I have been riding with Mitas E07’s for some considerable time now, in fact I think I have chewed up 6 pairs in total over the last couple of years on my travels around Europe and through Morocco. I have always found them to be an odd choice for touring but they had always performed well in my humble opinion. I guess I am one of those riders who has a “get on with it” attitude, very few things faze me. I’m not worried about wind noise or buffeting and I’m not overly worried about Vibrations, or spend my time worrying about how the bike handles, I just jump on it and ride and somehow always manage to get to my destination with a smile. I’m sure if I was introduced to a more comfortable option I’d be grateful but in all honesty I like the feedback I can receive from having what some consider to be annoying factors.
The Mitas were great tyres off road, on dry tarmac and even in the wet, but it was like being a kid introduced to fire, you have to respect the fact they are a hard compound tyre and treat them with respect or you’d get burnt!
I took the plunge as my colleague was running TKC70’s on his BMW R1200GSA and from where I was Sat they looked to be keeping him firmly on the tarmac. My other reason was to reduce the vibrations the Mitas caused due to their chunky tread pattern. Riding such considerable miles each year I was beginning to feel the vibes more so than ever and concluded this can’t be good for my aging joints! 30,000 miles on a motorcycle each year without creature comforts does, after a while, have an impact on your health.
So I wrapped a pair of the TKC70 Tyres around my rims and set off to Ireland on a tour. I was initially very impressed, less vibration and more “road like” feel to them. I would say they are more of a 80/20 tyre, 80% being In favour of road riding having taken them onto a hard compacted dirt road one afternoon I was a little disappointed by the lack of traction. They didn’t seem to “bite” like the Mitas did. This was understandable and acceptable, as I knew they were more biased to tarmac riding and touring than they were for off tarmac use.
However, on the tarmac the TKC70 performed incredibly well indeed. I was very impressed, both in Ireland and through the Vosges Mountains in France as well as the B500 in Germany. The tyres didn’t feel too hard, soft enough to give you reassurance when entering into a tight hairpin and confidence to allow you to twist the throttle just a little earlier to pull you out of a lean and power up.
On many occasions my footpegs on the Honda Africa Twin CRF1000 scrapped the tarmac as I leaned the bike hard into the hairpins, I believe I could have kept leaning over as the tyres never gave me any indication that they were about to disappear off into the grass verge. They remained firmly planted against the tarmac surface. I was impressed.
I’ve had plenty of chance also to ride with the TKC70 in the wet and I’m pleased to report they performed better than expected. Whereas my Mitas E07 tyres were like melting icrecreams on a plastic bin bag, the TKC70 stayed where I expected them to without any indication that they were going to slip or slide taking me and the bike with them. I have noticed some squaring off though but again, this is acceptable as I have completed many motorway miles since they’ve been on unfortunately.
I have yet to wear my first set out, so I shall update this with a mileage report at some point but so far I am very pleased. I have not seen any cracking or splitting between the tread blocks either, which is very common for these tyres to do on larger adventure bikes. There still seems plenty of tread left even after 3,500 miles.
I am a progressive rider. I ride hard and probably gave the tyres the thrashing of their life, so I am suitably impressed so far. Well done Continental, you may have well converted all of us at GMT to using your tyres. Good job.