• Home
  • /
  • Adventure
  • /
  • ADV Moto Tires :: Ridden and Reviewed – UPDATED

ADV Moto Tires :: Ridden and Reviewed – UPDATED

Real World ADV Tire Ratings

Editor’s note: this article was updated on April 23, 2024 to include Motoz tires.

Choosing the right ADV tires for an adventure ride is a crap shoot unless you know the exact conditions you’ll encounter. Do you start with an aggressive tread and leave half of it on the highway just getting to the dirt? Or mount something less dirt-oriented and pray there’s no mud on your route? Will there be wet pavement or lots of sand? The answers aren’t always clear, hence the gamble.

Decades of dual-sport and ADV riding tell me that while there may be an ideal tire for the surface beneath my wheels at a given moment, many will provide a good, safe ride—and none excel in every condition. The reviews below intend to assist in choosing an appropriate tire for your next journey, no matter what kind of roads you anticipate.


I am basing this guide on my experiences using each set of ADV tires for several thousand miles in various conditions. They’ve all traveled pavement, dirt, gravel, rocks, sand, and more. All have crossed rivers or creeks, but only a few have seen much mud, as there’s little of it where I live or in the arid regions I favor. None of these tires failed me, and one that I pushed well beyond its rating—and my comfort zone—surprised me with a solid performance. Of the nine tires here, I ran five sets on my former BMW F 800 GS, three on my Yamaha Ténéré 700, and one on a BMW R 1200 GS. The mileage traveled by each set isn’t listed because I don’t have accurate information for all of them.

ADV Tire Info

This guide assumes some knowledge of tire rim size, tread width, and aspect ratio. Consult this chart for a concise explanation of all tire markings. These charts provide the load and speed index values for all the codes used on motorcycle tires. To simplify comparisons, the guide expands these into of pounds of load capacity and miles per hour for each tire.

Some manufacturers make all their tires for tubeless wheels (TL) or tube type (TT), while others make both depending on the tire size or other criteria. While you can run a tube in a tubeless tire, doing so essentially lowers the tire’s speed rating and load index due to increased friction-induced heat.

Tires marked “M+S” (or MS, M&S, etc.) are considered “snow tyres,” per Regulation No 75 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations. To wit:




No ADV tire review would be complete without mentioning that the on-/off-pavement bias of ADV tires is often stated as a street/dirt ratio, such as 60/40 for a tire that is slightly more street biased. In some cases, I’ve suggested a different ratio. Your mileage, traction, judgment, and overall experience will undoubtedly differ. That’s just part of riding.

ADV Tire Reviews

Avon AV84 and AV85 TrekRider

TrekRiders took me to Oregon’s Lookout Mountain for the Great American Eclipse. Three days of mostly pavement showed me how quiet they are and how well they grip in the corners. Their rounded profile aids cornering, and there’s plenty of shoulder rubber for sporty behavior. Mushy gravel with street pressure made for an exciting ride, but the Avons took charge of the road after airing down, allowing a fast, safe pace. Their biggest challenge was approaching our mountain-top viewing site—five miles of sharp, embedded rocks. The Avons provided excellent grip and stability on the obstacle course, making the first-gear ascent not only manageable but fun. The stones left some scars, and the TrekRiders were noticeably worn, but not worn out, after a swift pavement ride home to SoCal.

TrekRiders have a blended synthetic rubber high in durability-enhancing carbon black laid over three nylon tread plies front and rear. A rear tire has three nylon sidewall plies; a front has two. The result is a sturdy carcass with enough give for a comfortable ride, but one that could be challenging to mount in the field, as it was in my garage. Avon calls them a 50/50 tire, which agrees with my experience. TrekRider ADV tires are made in the U.K.

Types: TT, M+S

Front: 90/90-21 54V (467 pounds/149 mph); 4 sizes across 19- and 21-inch rims

Rear: 150/70-17 69T (716 pounds/118 mph); 6 sizes across 17- and 18-inch rims



Continental TKC 70

Continental says their TKC 70 tires are “positioned for light to medium off-road use with extraordinary street performance.” Having used them for the Colorado BDR, I think that underestimates their off-road ability. Over the high passes, sometimes in the rain, I never felt that they held me back. One slippery downhill had me briefly rethinking my tire choice, but I managed a clean descent with the Contis. For muddy conditions, something more aggressive would be appropriate. Their pavement manners are top-notch, wet or dry. It rained all but one day on this BDR adventure, and tarmac traction was never an issue. The 70s were also pleasantly quiet on the road, especially for ADV tires.

Continental builds the TKC 70s with a 0-degree steel belt for stability, then applies high-silica tread compound in an angular design to create the rain performance I experienced. They use a harder rubber for the centerline tread to enhance mileage, while the shoulders are softer for confident cornering. The 70s are well suited to an adventurer who does a lot of paved miles but still requires good traction in the dirt. Based on their COBDR performance, I’d rate them a 70/30 tire. TKC 70 radials are made in Germany. A more aggressive TKC 70 Rocks rear tire is also available.

Types: TL, M+S

Front: 90/90-21 54T (467 pounds/118 mph); 8 sizes across 17-, 18-, 19- and 21-inch rims

Rear: 150/70R17 69V (716 pounds/149 mph); 10 sizes across 17- and 18-inch rims



Continental TKC 80 Twinduro



The TKC 80 Twinduro is a legend in the dual sport/ADV world. I mounted a set to my DR-Z 400S in 2003 and have worn out several since then. This is the tire that extracted my GS from a bovine-fouled mud hole in western Utah, plowed through miles of Nevada sand, and gave me the confidence to tackle whatever cropped up. With that level of dirt/gravel capability, you might expect the Twinduros to slip-slide away on the pavement, especially in the wet. Not so. While they aren’t sport-bike sticky, the 80s are sporty and steady, if a little noisy, and take to soaked pavement better than a knobby should. They are probably the most popular 50/50 ADV tires out there.


Twinduros are also tough. Flash floods in eastern Nevada turned a road into a river bed a few days before my group arrived, leaving a rocky mess crisscrossed with foot-deep channels. Bashing through was the order of the day. Later in the trip, sharp volcanic rocks sliced the sidewall of a companion’s front tire. Through it all, the TKCs prevailed, taking a beating but providing traction in every condition we met, including (gingerly) crossing a paved mountain pass in the snow. They are made in Korea.

Types: TL & TT, M+S

Front: 90/90-21 54T (467 pounds/118 mph); 10 sizes across 17-, 19- and 21-inch rims

Rear: 150/70B17 69Q (716 pounds /99 mph); 17 sizes across 17- and 18-inch rims



Dunlop Trailmax Mission

The Trailmax Mission is a beast of an ADV tire. I destroyed one outside of Tonopah, Nevada, probably due to a slow leak mixed with hot pavement—and barely noticed. The stiff sidewalls held up the bike even after the tube had melted. After installing a new tube, I rode the compromised Trailmax a slow 130 miles ride to the nearest motorcycle shop with a replacement tire, Mammoth Cycle Works.

Before the meltdown, we’d ridden rough desert roads, high-speed gravel, and plenty of sand. I was impressed with the Trailmax Missions’ overall ability—especially in sand. Dunlop rates them as 50/50, which seems spot-on. Their chunky tread has a “Staggered Step” pattern of large rubber blocks angled for grip and separated by deep voids. Heavy side lugs, akin to overland vehicle tires, help to exit ruts while increasing stability and protecting the sidewalls. Most Trailmax Missions are bias-ply, with the largest sizes bias-belted. They are a challenge to mount by hand.

Made in the USA, Missions have gained a reputation as high mileage tires. My unfortunate rear had only 3,000 miles on it when it failed and looked good for twice that. The front had gone 6,300 miles and had more to go when I installed a new set of tires.

Types: TL, M+S

Front: 90/90-21 54T (467 pounds, 118 mph); 4 sizes across 19- and 21-inch rims

Rear: 150/70B17 69T (739 pounds, 118 mph); 6 sizes across 17- and 19-inch rims



Heidenau K60 Scout



Though not a household name, German company Heidenau has been building tires since 1946, putting rubber on everything from go-karts to farm machinery. They promote their K60 Scout as a true 50/50 ADV tire, and my experience on a Scout-equipped BMW R 1200 GS in Patagonia bears this out.

Road surfaces ranged from packed dirt to smooth, serpentine pavement, all connected by long stretches of gravel. The Scouts took it all in stride. No one in our eight-rider industry group, all on BMW GS models with K60s, complained about the tires.

Polyester material in a belted or bias ply configuration (depending on the tire) supports the Scouts’ stiff sidewalls, which carry a tread with a high natural rubber content. Heidenau credits that tread compound with the high mileage they are famous for. They are the only tires here that are also offered with a cold compound tread and are recognized as a solid choice for long trips.

Heidenau changes the rear tread patterns based on the tire size, with the larger ADV tires getting a center rib. My rear Scout had the rib, which no doubt increased the tire’s useful life since spinning the rear wheel in gravel was the order of the day, every day. Heidenau makes its tires in Germany.

Types: TL, M+S

Front: 120/70B19 60T (551 pounds, 118 mph); 3 sizes across 19- and 21-inch rims

Rear: 150/7B17 69T (739 pounds, 118 mph); 10 sizes across 17- and 18-inch rims



Michelin Anakee 3



For a tire that looks more like a street fighter than an adventurer, Michelin’s Anakee 3s did a yeoman’s job of powering me to places far beyond the pavement. Much of that, plus many miles of asphalt, were at elevated temperatures—like a 115-degree run through Death Valley. They handled the famously rough road to the Racetrack Playa and gripped the dirt tracks of the surrounding mountains. A sandy 4WD road in the Southern Sierra was initially intimidating, but the aired-down Anakees made the 20-mile round trip with little drama. For that kind of performance, I’d bump their rating to 80/20 from Michelin’s suggested 90/10. Not to take anything away from their pavement cred—they delivered confidence in spades on the road, wet or dry, and their rounded profile makes for sport-like cornering.

That excellent traction comes from Michelin’s silicon-enhanced tread compound. The Anakees feature a “variable groove ratio” tread pattern designed for road grip, mud release, and water dispersion. My experience says that’s not marketing hype. A day-long loop of desert riding with an industry group proved my initial assessment was correct. I negotiated the same sand and hills on these ADV tires as riders with much more aggressive treads. Anakee 3s may not look the part of an adventure tire, but they play it well. The larger sizes are made in Spain, all others in Thailand.

Types: TL & TT

Front: 90/90-21 54V (469 pounds/149mph); 3 sizes across 19- and 21-inch rims

Rear: 150/70R1769V (716 pounds/149mph); 2 sizes for 17-inch rims



Mitas E-07 Enduro, E-07+ EnduroTrail


Mitas E-07s are near and dear to me. They’ve seen me through endless miles of sand on the Utah BDR and taken me safely down that route’s rock-strewn slopes in the rain. Mitas makes two versions of this tire, the E-07 Enduro, a 50/50 tire, and the 60/40 E-07+ Enduro Trail. Enhanced Dakar versions of some sizes of each type have reinforced carcasses, a harder tread compound, and better resistance to punctures for longer, harder traveling.

My friend Sto Smead at Motorace recommended running the Enduro up front for better dirt traction and the blockier tread Enduro Trail (shown) at the rear to maximize mileage. Both types have a chevron pattern of angular tread blocks, which are larger on the Enduro Trails. I had my best sand riding ever on these ADV tires and found them capable both in mud and on wet and dry pavement.

The wide voids between the blocks expel water and mud effectively and provide substantial pavement grip for confident cornering. The E-07’s grip on wet rocks was crucial when the rain started falling halfway down Utah’s La Sal Pass. I credit it for keeping me upright while descending the steep, slippery road. Mitas makes these bias ply tires in the Czech Republic.

Types: TL, M+S

Front: 90/90-21 54T (467 pounds/118 mph); 3 sizes across 19- and 21-inch rims

Rear: 150/70-17 69T (716 pounds/118 mph); 7 sizes across 17- and 18-inch rims



Motoz Tractionator GPS and Dual Venture

Australian company Motoz specializes in tires designed for dirty work, from adventure touring to motocross. I ordered a set for a tour of the Mojave Desert on my T7. Wanting good traction on the sketchy roads to come, I chose the 30/70 Tractionator Dual Venture for the front. The Motoz 50/50 Tractionator GPS’s combination of traction and longevity made sense for the rear.

Motoz builds their bias-ply Tractionator in a privately owned Thailand factory using a proprietary, high-denier ply material and their own molds. The tread and sidewall each have four nylon plies to create a strong carcass, while silica-infused natural rubber takes credit for good traction in all conditions. They handled wet roads quite well.

The ride to the desert comprised interstates and twisty canyon roads. Both tires hooked up well in the corners, though caution prevailed with the front knobby until I was convinced of its street manners. The GPS’s rounded profile and hefty tread blocks instilled confidence at every turn, with no slippage coming out of corners on the throttle. Off the pavement, the Dual Venture stood up to constant pounding by the fully loaded Ténéré while crossing washouts, and the GPS powered the bike through miles of sand and gravel. These ADV tires lived up to their 30/70 and 50/50 ratings with excellent performance on a multi-surface adventure.

Types: TL, M+S

Front: 90/90B21 54Q (467 pounds/99 mph); 4 sizes across 2 rims

Rear: 150/70B18 70T (739 pounds/118 mph); 13 sizes across 5 rims



Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR


Scorpion Rally STRs were the stock tire on my Yamaha Ténéré 700 and a good choice, in my view. I was pleased to see dirt-worthy rubber right out of the box since my GS had come with tires marginally capable of leaving the pavement. Large, centered tread blocks give the STRs a purposeful look and follow through with good off-pavement traction and street manners. Pirelli asserts that those wide blocks help dissipate heat, preventing tire damage. While assessing the T7, I coursed across sandy Mojave washboard and skimmed along miles of other California dirt and gravel roads. Deep sand was (as always) challenging, but the STRs easily handled every other unpaved surface I tackled.


The Pirellis were just as good on the pavement. With a cross-section designed to provide a large contact area even when leaned over they turned in easily, held a line well, and allowed me to carve deep into turns. Their tarmac performance equaled their dirt abilities, providing confidence in the corners and maintaining high speeds on a loaded bike for miles on end. Pirelli doesn’t rate this Scorpion model, but given their multi-surface competence, I see them as a 50/50 tire. They are made in Brazil.

Types: TL, M+S

Front: 90/90-21 54V (467 pounds/149 mph); 10 sizes across 17-, 18-, 19-, and 21-inch rims.

Rear: 150/70R18 70V (739 pounds/149 mph); 8 sizes across 15-, 17-, and 18-inch rims.



With street bike tires, the major trade-off is traction versus mileage. Traction takes on a new meaning in the adventure world, where the many surfaces we ride require more than just the grip of rubber on the tarmac. We want ADV tires that handle anything we encounter, both before and after passing the “pavement ends” sign. Dirt, rocks, gravel, sand, mud, plus combinations and permutations of those elements face us at every turn. So congratulations to those companies who have given us tires that do most of it very well. And good luck to them in coming up with one that does it all perfectly. Watching the evolution will be interesting.

In the meantime, we have a lot of good rubber to choose from, so no matter what you ride into the boonies, how far you go, or what the conditions are, there’s a tire out there for you.


Our No Compromise Clause: We do not accept advertorial content or allow advertising to influence our coverage, and our contributors are guaranteed editorial independence. Overland International may earn a small commission from affiliate links included in this article. We appreciate your support.



Arden’s first motorcycle was a Yamaha Enduro, obtained while in high school. It set the stage for decades of off-pavement exploration on dual-sports and adventure bikes. Camping in the middle of nowhere became his favorite pursuit. As a former whitewater river guide and National Park Service seasonal employee, Arden believes in wilderness, wildlife, and being kind to the earth. A self-taught writer who barely passed English classes, he has contributed adventure stories and tested motorcycles and accessories for Rider Magazine and other outlets for nearly 30 years. In that time, he’s worn out two KLR 650s and is currently following the road to the middle of nowhere on his Ténéré 700 and an aging but reliable DR-Z 400S.