Adventure tires, like the motorcycles they’re designed for, are a compromise. Most adventure bikes come with 90/10 tires intended for 90-percent street riding and 10-percent off-road riding. Typically 90/10 tires grip well on dry or wet paved surfaces and hold up well to high mileage, but their high land-to-sea ratio (larger blocks of rubber with smaller grooves) limit traction in the dirt.
Many adventure riders who venture off-road, especially technical trails with steep climbs and descents, are willing to sacrifice some on-road performance for off-road capability. Mitas, a tire manufacturer based in the Czech Republic, offers a 50/50 bias-ply tubeless adventure tire called the E-07, as well as a modified version called the E-07+ for heavy, high-displacement bikes.
The E-07+ has large, irregularly shaped tread blocks in a chevron pattern with wide spaces between them to allow water, dirt, rocks and mud to be displaced and the edges of the blocks to dig in for traction off-road.
We fitted a set of E-07+ tires to our KTM 1290 Super Adventure S test bike and rode more than 1,000 miles on a variety of surfaces–mostly pavement of variable quality, but also on hard-packed dirt and the dry sand and gravel that’s common here in Southern California. With as much as 132 horsepower and 81 lb-ft of torque sent to its rear wheel, the big KTM places high demands on tires.
When cruising on the freeway the E-07+ tires are smooth and reasonably quiet, and when cornering on pavement at a mildly sporting pace they provide confident grip. When powering hard out of a corner, however, the rear tire has a tendency to squirm around–nothing the KTM’s traction control can’t handle, but it’ll make me think twice before chasing down a sportbike on a canyon road.
Off-road, at both street pressures and with them aired down a bit, the E-07+ tires provide a reassuring amount of traction on the very loose sand and rocks found on local national forest and farm roads. During bursts of acceleration, power slides and hard braking they exhibit no squirrely or unexpected behavior.
On adventure bikes that weigh more than 500 pounds, a good set of knobby tires like these can make pucker moments less frequent and help you avoid the sweaty, embarrassing exertion of picking up a horizontal motorcycle. Although we didn’t get a chance to evaluate wet grip, after 1,000 miles the tread blocks are still in good shape–at least as good as other 50/50 adventure tires we’ve tested.
Mitas E-07+ adventure tires are available in four 17-inch sizes, three 18-inch sizes and one 19-inch size.
For more information, see your dealer or visit mitas-moto.com.