Adventure-touring tires are usually rated in terms of their ratio of intended use on-road and off-road. Many are 90/10 tires, designed for roughly 90% on-road use and 10% off-road use, such as Continental’s ContiTrailAttack 3. They have large tread blocks and look more like sport-touring tires than the aggressive knobbies on tires like Continental’s popular Twinduro TKC80, which is rated 40% road/60% off-road. Road-biased adventure tires are smoother and grippier on pavement and deliver higher mileage than knobbier tires, but knobbies provide more traction off-road.
Between the two options is Continental’s TKC 70, which is rated 80/20 road/off-road. After putting 3,500 miles on the 90/10 Michelin Scorcher Adventure tires that came on my Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special, I wanted something more aggressive for off-road riding. I opted for the TKC 70 front and rear-only TKC 70 Rocks, which is rated 60/40 road/off-road. With a little over 1,000 miles on the Continentals, they fit the bill.
Both tires feature zero-degree steel belt construction, which Continental says improves stability and comfort, and MultiGrip technology, which transitions from a harder, high-mileage center to a softer, grippier shoulder without the abrupt step from hard to soft with multi-compound tires. The TKC 70 front and TKC 70 Rocks rear have large tread lugs in the center that suppress the whirring road noise that can plague knobbier tires, and smaller lugs on the shoulder provide extra grip off-road.
Thanks to its prodigious power, the Pan America accelerates aggressively in sand and on dirt/gravel roads, and the Continentals dug in well, providing good grip in dry, low-traction conditions. Since it’s the dry season where I live in Southern California, I wasn’t able to test them in mud. But when contributor Arden Kysely tackled muddy trails in Colorado with TKC 70s on his BMW F 800 GS, he reported good performance.
On the highway, the TKC 70 and TKC 70 Rocks were quiet and composed with a little tendency to deflect in road grooves. On tight switchbacks and fast sweepers, the road-biased front and more aggressive rear paired well, offering predictable, stable handling all the way to the edge of the tread and minimal squirming on greasy tar snakes. The TKC 70 front felt especially compliant when navigating over sharp-edged features such as curbs and rocks embedded in the road surface. And even though I have pushed these tires hard, they are holding up well with minimal wear.
If you are looking for a solid tire pairing for your large adventure bike, the TKC 70 front and TKC 70 Rocks rear are worth considering. MSRP ranges from $148.50 to $243.50 for the TKC 70 front and from $259.10 to $314.80 for the TKC 70 Rocks rear.
For more information: See your dealer or visit continental-tires.com
Thanks. Be good to know what mileage you get on the rear.
I ended up getting about 4400 on the rear tire. It had a little left, but I replace tires in pairs. The front was down to the wear bars…I’m heavy on front brakes.
Just a note: If you’re a serious touring rider, beware that these tires a NOISY !! You will get constant front tire thrum that is very tiresome (no pun intended) after about an hour in the saddle. That is also typical of the Michelin Pilot 5’s versus the Pilot 4’s: NOISE. So , if you do MOST of your riding on pavement, find a less aggressive and quieter tread. JFYI (very familiar with these treads after many, many miles of riding).
Great point. I didn’t notice too much noise from them, but had previously run the Shinko 804/805 combination which really kicked up the volume.
Interesting – I’d have to say that mine are quiet. No annoying noise to speak of.
Gerald I had these tires on my bike for quite some time and there is hardly any road noise at all.
I like the TKC70s in front and rear as 80/20 but haven’t tried the TKC70 rocks at 60/40 yet… again I am mostly a road rider on my GS and wasn’t really looking for something beyond a 80/20.