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ADV ProductsADV Bike AccessoriesKenda Big Block K784 Adventure Bike Tire Review

Kenda Big Block K784 Adventure Bike Tire Review

 Stiff-carcass dual sport tires designed to meet the demands of ADV Riding.

Published on 06.02.2017

The K784 Big Block is Kenda’s entry in the adventure bike tire segment. As the name suggests, it’s an aggressive, knobby-style DOT design aimed directly at riders who take their adventure bikes off-road. It looks similar to a Continental Twinduro TKC80 or a Dunlop D606. Kenda says it’s a 60/40 street/dirt design, which flips the TKC80s claimed 40/60 (street/dirt) ratio around. The Dunlop is more dirt oriented with a manufacturer rating of 10 percent street and 90 percent dirt, so it’s really targeted to a different market.

The TKC80 is well-known and lauded among adventure riders, but one common complaint is it doesn’t last long, especially on heavy bikes that log serious street miles. Of course results vary with some riders getting 4,000 miles out of a set and others logging under 2,000, but look around and you will see people griping about longevity.

Kenda says the “true adventure” Big Blocks are designed for high-powered motorcycles. They feature a stiff carcass to help prevent punctures and damage, bias construction, four plies of nylon in the tread and two in the sidewall. The rubber compound is specifically formulated for good performance in wet or dry conditions. Is the Kenda the answer? We mounted a pair to find out.

How They Performed


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Kenda Big Block K784 Adventure Motorcycle Tire on Street

On the Street: All DOT knobbies are a compromise on the street, and the Big Blocks are no exception. At high pressure (30 psi) they caused a rumbling vibration in the front end of the bike, but dropping the pressure to 22 solved the problem. They roll into corners smoothly and stick well. The stiff side knobs and tough sidewalls don’t flex in hard cornering like some DOT knobby designs (the Kenda K270 comes to mind). They do display a slight weave lightly on grooved roads, but most knobbies do the same so it’s hard to fault them for that. And they were surprisingly quiet, with only minimal howling from the back tire at speeds above 35 mph. Compared to Heidenau K60 Scouts, they were practically silent.

Rain performance was average, on par with TKC80s and slightly better than the Heidenaus. Our unscientific “ABS” test (grab a big fistful of brakes and see how quickly the ABS kicks in) showed that the Big Blocks should be treated with care on rain slick roads. Traction is there, but it is limited and it tends to go away quickly. The Big Blocks are Q-rated, good for speeds up to 99 mph. We didn’t quite get them going that fast, but can report that they handled an 85 mph freeway sprint just fine.

In the Dirt: The Kenda’s really come into their own when the pavement ends. We ran 22 psi for most of the 1,000-mile test and never felt the need to go lower off-road. The front feels predictable at speed on gravel roads. The back steps out just as it should with the application of throttle, and is easy to control in a slide.

The tires also worked well in mud, with the alternating center-block pattern clearing quickly. They struggled a bit in sand, with the front end plowing instead of floating through the deep stuff.

Kenda Big Block K784 Adventure Motorcycle Tire in Mud

The Kendas really exceeded expectations on steep climbs more suitable for dirt bikes. On one occasion, we encountered a make-or-break hill climb where the Kendas proved their worth. We’d reached a dead end at the bottom of very steep hill and there was no way out except the way we came in. The fully-loaded bike clawed its way up the loose rocky hill without ever breaking traction in the rear. In fact, the front wheel came up before the back spun.

Tire Longevity: We put 1,000 miles on our Big Blocks riding roughly 60 percent street, 40 percent dirt. Visually, the tires were in good shape with only minor cuts on a few rear knobs and some noticeable squaring off of the center knobs. The front showed no appreciable wear. Given how rocky it can be on Arkansas trails and dirt roads, the tires came through looking very good.

Our ruler showed a loss of 4mm of rubber on the rear (out of 10mm), and 1mm in the front (out of 7mm). At that rate, we’d expect the rear to be pretty much done after roughly 2,200 miles. The front should last longer than two rears.

Kenda Big Block K784 Adventure Motorcycle Tire
Kenda Big Block K784F front tire in size 90/90-21 used only about 14% of its tread after 1,000 miles on the KTM 690.
Kenda Big Block K784 Adventure Motorcycle Tire
Kenda Big Block K784 rear tire in size 140/80-18 used about 40% of its tread after 1,000 miles on the KTM 690.

Who Are They For?

Adventure Bike Riders that do more than half of their riding on gravel roads or trails. Overall, we’d recommend the Kendas to anyone looking for a less-expensive, better off-road performing alternative to the TKC80, with one caveat: longevity may be an issue, particularly for riders that log a lot of highway miles.

Our Verdict

The Kendas are relatively inexpensive for a big adventure bike tire. For example, the 140/80-18 rear we ran has an MSRP of $130.99 but can be found for between $78 and $97 from online retailers. The same size TKC80 has an MSRP $164.95 and can be found online between $91 and $106. Price differences vary between the sizes but the Big Blocks are less expensive than the TKC80s in most cases. Longevity isn’t quite on par with the TKC80s, but the Kendas exhibit excellent dirt performance, street grip that’s in the upper tier in this segment, and tough, quiet construction.

What We Liked

  • Quiet on the street.
  • Impressive traction in the dirt.
  • Good street performance for a knobby-style tire.

What Could Be Improved

  • Longevity on the rear tire.
  • Traction on wet roads.

Kenda Big Block K784 Tire Specs

Construction: Bias belted casing
Speed Rating: Q-Rated (up to 99 mph)
Front Tires: 90/90-21, 100/90-19, 110/80-19, 120/70-19
Rear Tires: 130/80-17, 140/80-18, 150/70-17, 150/70-18, 170/60-17
Pricing: $108.99 – 196.95 (MSRP) $64.98 – $148.98 (Online)

Shopping Options

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Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

Author: Bob Whitby
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8 thoughts on “Kenda Big Block K784 Adventure Bike Tire Review

  1. I was really liking these based on the review until I got to the part about the longevity of the rear tire. 2200 miles won’t cut it. I’m going to try the Mitas E-07 on my Tiger 800 XCA this Fall and see how it does. I don’t do “intense” off-roading on it so I hope it’ll be fine. For more intense stuff, I’ll ride my DR650.

    Great review though!

    • Just finished my first pair of E-07 on my Tiger 800xc. Got about 6k good miles before they really needed to get swapped out — I ran them up to 7k, but they were pretty squirrelly by then. They were excellent 50/50 tires, but I’m more a 70/30 rider, so I returned to my favorite Tiger 800xc tires: the Shinko 705. Cheap, really good on pavement at sportbike speeds in dry & wet, handle gravel, hardpack and light sand fine unless you’re going full enduro; just not deep sand or mud. I run mine at 32 front and 36 rear pavement and dirt most of the time. I “may” try the new Avon TrekRider’s next go around to get more 50/50 tread.

  2. I’m running Heidenau Scouts on my KLR currently and figure I do roughly 60/40 street/gravel. Thoughts on a switch to these? Looking for just a bit more aggressive pattern of the pavement.

    • They’d be a great choice if you find yourself struggling for traction off road running the Heidenaus, but just keep in mind that they aren’t going to last as long. The Scouts are known for longevity, but the Big Blocks will give you better traction in the dirt.

    • I used D606’s on my KLR all the time. With so little HP on tap they did very well on the road, but the did rumble a lot. Off-road they were unbeatable, and lasted a LONG time. I used them from March through November, switching over to Shinko 705’s during the Winter (read: pavement) season. On a GSA now, which would shred those 606’s. With TKC’s, the big boxer has yet to stumble…anywhere!

  3. 2200 miles out of the rear (projected) on a KTM690? What can one expect if that tire is on the rear of a R1200GSA…..1200 miles????? I’ll stick with the TKC’s and spend the extra money, no contest.
    Marginal traction in the wet to boot. That’s where I want the BEST traction I can find. The TKC’s are remarkably well-planted in the rain. Saving a few bucks is great, until that savings helps to put you down hard on the road – then you curse your shortcuts.

    • I have been running the Kenda Big Blocks on my 990 Adv and absolutely LOVE them. I have not had any traction issues on any surface, including baby head rocks, mud and even some sand. I have about 1400 miles on them and the rear still has more than 50% tread left. Got about 2700 out of my TKC80, so trending to about the same.
      I am all over the Rockies (ColoRADo and Utah) mostly off road and would buy these again in a heartbeat. Best value out there for superior traction and durability.