Manufacturers of adventure tires strive for the holy trinity of performance: traction on and off the road, performance in the wet, and longevity. Bridgestone comes very close with its Adventurecross AX41 tires, which are rated for 40% on-road and 60% off-road.
I tested these tires for nearly 1,000 miles on my KTM 1190 Adventure R with tubeless spoked wheels (21-inch front, 18-inch rear) in various conditions – solo, solo with luggage, two-up, rain on- and off-road, and in temperatures from the 30s to 90s – and at stock tire pressures (36 psi front, 42 rear). Most testing was completed on the BDR-X PA Wilds, a 500-mile loop in Pennsylvania that’s about 80% dirt and includes a few optional expert sections.
For those who crave serious bite off-road but don’t want to sacrifice on-road performance, the search for optimal adventure tires never ends. Even though the AX41s are rated 60% off-road, I was able to push them hard on pavement. They turn quickly and remain stable at triple-digit speeds. The staggered knob pattern provides good surface contact, and the tread blocks on the shoulder provide a solid feel when cornering.
Performance could be better on wet pavement, but I experienced minimal slippage out back when traction control was turned off. And despite the aggressive tread, tire noise on pavement is reasonable.
Off-road is where these tires truly perform. I tested them on slippery clay, river crossings, sharp rocks, sandy sections, and deep gravel. The big tread blocks provided confident grip and traction, even when conditions got greasy in wet clay or loose in sand. With TC off, I was able to push hard through slippery corners and enjoy some big, well-controlled power slides. On slick river crossings, the tires deflected as expected. They also tracked where I pointed them when rolling over big rocks on steep declines and self-cleaned well in mud.
When new, the front tread depth is 7.9mm, and the rear is 9mm. After 1,000 hard-charging miles, with about 600 of those off-road, I measured 4.6mm front and 3.8mm rear. At that rate, I can probably get 2,500 miles out of the front and 2,000 out of the rear. Lighter bikes and less aggressive riding can probably double that.
Choosing the best tire based on your adventure riding style is crucial for a positive experience. I’m pleased with the performance and reasonable longevity of the AX41s, and I’ll spoon on another set when these are roasted.
Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross AX41 adventure tires are available in various sizes and are priced from $160.86 to $340.42.