Before heading to eastern Oregon for the solar eclipse, I updated my BMW F 800 GS rubber with a set of Avon TrekRiders. Motoring out of town on the freeway, I had a sense that something was missing. A hundred miles later I realized that the something was noise—tire noise. Even with earplugs firmly in place I can usually hear the whine of typical 50/50 on-off-pavement adventure tires rolling beneath me, but not the TrekRiders. I credit their stout chevron tread for the gift of quiet travel, and for the smooth ride I enjoyed on paved surfaces. That same pattern provides a wide swath of rubber on the edges for good sport performance, which I took joyful advantage of on several twisty roads along the way.
Our first day out was a pavement slog in temps of more than 100 degrees until a dinner stop. Later, in the dark and dust, and with full 38 psi street pressure in the Avons, I cautiously negotiated several miles of loose gravel to our remote camp. Able to see the road the next morning, I used more throttle and pushed the TrekRiders on the mushy surface without incident. Back on the highway we made haste northward to our date with eclipse totality. A gravel farm road near the Oregon border had the Avons scratching for traction on its skittery surface. Reducing pressure would have helped, but the sun was setting and camp was…up the road somewhere. Control improved greatly on the all-weather forest track that followed, with its hard-packed dirt and occasional loose sections. We climbed endless switchbacks without a slip or unintentional slide.
My GS uses a 90/90-21 54T TrekRider up front, with a 150/70-R17 69T at the rear. Those tires carry 467 and 716 pounds, respectively, more than enough for me and my 70 pounds of gear for the tour test. To build a TrekRider, Avon lays a blended synthetic rubber high in carbon black over three nylon tread plies front and rear, supported by three nylon sidewall plies for a rear tire, two for a front. The carcasses are stiff but compliant and easily handled airing down to 30 psi for the final assault to our 8,000-foot viewpoint. On this intense five-mile stretch taken mostly in first gear, we maneuvered through—and occasionally bashed into—the sharp, stationary rocks that litter the road. The Avons took their licks, but held up to the abuse, and a quick 1,200 miles of highway home. The fast pavement work wore down the rear tread, as it is has done to most of the capable adventure tires I’ve sampled.
Overall, I was impressed with the TrekRiders’ all-surface dry traction (no rain or mud thereabouts), lack of noise, and all-around good manners—just what you want in a 50/50 tire. TrekRiders are made in England; MSRP for the front tire is $158, the rear is $210.
For more information, see your dealer or visit avonmoto.com.