March 07, 2009

Green laning on an R100GS with Continental TKC80 tyres

Follow-up to Travel Report: using Metzeler Tourance tyres off–road from Transversality - Robert O'Toole

Last week my GS was serviced by the very good Behind Bars trail bike shop in Kenilworth. I also asked them to change the tyres. In the last few years I've had several sets of Metzeler Tourance tyres that have worn far too quickly. On a couple of occasions, lumps of rubber have actually peeled away from the carcass - once in the middle of a dash across France. The Continental TKC80 Twinduro tyres are now standard fitment on the R1200GS Adventurer, the modern equivalent of my R100GS Paris Dakar. They seem to be popular. If they are fine on a 105bhp modern bike with lightning fast brakes, they should be OK on my 65bhp airhead with almost no braking power.

Here's a photo of the GS with TKC80s:

TKC80 rear

Today I went for a test ride, on tarmac (not too fast until they run in) and along a green lane. As one would expect, they proved to be much better in the mud, with no sliding at all. However, surprisingly, they give better grip on the road as well. I suspect that is down to softer grippier rubber. They will last for only 3000 miles, much less than the Tourance.

Here's a close up of the front:

TKC80 front

Compare that to a Tourance front, and you can see why they are like tractor tyres off-road:

Metzeler Tourance


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