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“50/50” Dual Sport Tire Buying Guide

 Get into the groove with over a dozen different "50/50" dual sport tire options.

Published on 05.26.2015

1. Continental Twinduro TKC80

continental TKC80 50/50 dual sport tire

Mfr. On-Road/Off-Road Rating: 40/60
Tubeless Option: Yes
Wheel Sizes Available: 17”, 18”, 19”, 21”
Construction: Bias Belted or Bias Ply (depending on size)
Price Range: Fronts $91 to $176; Rears $98 to $234

Features:
  One of the most popular 50/50 dual sport tires On the market.
  Compound and wide-block tread-pattern deliver optimal on/off-road grip.
  Large spacing between knobs offers good self-cleaning properties.
  Fitted as OEM dual sport tire for many popular Adventure Bike models.


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Shopping Options:

RMATVMC Amazon Revzilla

2. Heidenau – K60 Scout

Heidenau K60 Scout dual sport motorcycle tire

Mfr. On-Road/Off-Road Rating: 50/50
Tubeless Option: Yes
Wheel Sizes Available: 17”, 18”, 19”, 21”
Construction: Bias Belted or Bias Ply (depending on size)
Price Range: Fronts $92 to $160; Rears $103 to $221
Features:
  The K60 tread-pattern is optimized for specific tire sizes.
  Utilizes a “chevron” style tread pattern similar to full knobby design.
  Directs sand, mud and water through open space between the tread blocks.
  Delivers excellent cornering stability and wet weather grip on asphalt.
  Known for good longevity and balanced on-road/off-road performance.

Shopping Options:

RMATVMC Revzilla

3. Metzeler – Karoo 3

Metzeler Karoo 3 dual sport tire

Mfr. On-Road/Off-Road Rating: 50/50
Tubeless Option: Yes
Wheel Sizes Available: 17”, 18”, 19”, 21”
Construction: Radial or Bias Ply (depending on size)
Price Range: Fronts $72 to $176; Rears $79 to $220

Features:
  Tread-pattern ensures progressive off-road traction at varied lean angles.
  Steel belted radial design gives excellent high-speed stability.
  Cutting edge tread design provides excellent grip and longevity.
  Suitable for both small and large Adventure Bikes.
  Read more in our full review of the Karoo 3 tires.

Shopping Options:

Amazon Revzilla Rocky Mountain ATV/MC

4. Mitas – E-07

Mitas e-07 dual sport tire

Mfr. On-Road/Off-Road Rating: 50/50
Tubeless Option: Yes
Wheel Sizes Available: 17”, 18”, 19”, 21”
Construction: Bias Ply
Price Range: Fronts $99 to $144; Rears $129 to $196

Features:
  Reinforced grooves between tread blocks.
  Reinforced central strip for better mileage.
  Thick puncture resistant sidewall on Dakar versions.
  Designed for high mileage and optimal grip in all terrain.

Shopping Options:

RMATVMC Amazon Revzilla

 
 
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Author: Kyra Sacdalan
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Comments
 39

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39 thoughts on ““50/50” Dual Sport Tire Buying Guide

  1. Metzler didnt pay you?i travel far so expected milage is much more important than price to me. You put tkc80 in the same ballpark one I suspect gets 5000km the other 20000km i know how can they be in the same ball park. Id put they K60 “SCOUT!” at 70/30 road/dirt because of this. The tkc80 would be 30/70 road/dirt in my opinion

    • Hi Bob. Mileage may vary based on your riding style and bike. That is why these tires are listed with the official manufacturer ratings.

  2. WOW! They put Bridgestone “Deathwings” in there but not the Kenda K270s or the IRC or Shinko equivalents?

    • Hi MotoViking. The Shinko 700 series and E-804/805 are there. We did not have confirmation on the 50/50 rating for the K270 until recently, and they have now been added. IRC has yet to confirm a rating in the 50/50 range for any of their dual sport tires.

    • After the purchase of Sava by Mitas, there have been some recent shuffling around of the ratings on their dual sport tires. Mitas has now confirmed to us that the E-07 is officially rated as a 50/50 and the E-10 is now a 30/70. We have updated the story to replace the E-10 with the E-07 because the E-10’s rating falls out of our 60/40 to 40/60 rating requirement for this story. However, we feel the E-10 may still be a good option to look into for anyone looking for a 50/50 dual sport tire.

  3. Great selection for adv bikes. Have tried many of the ones listed but my favorite have to be the TKC70. Very grippy especially when wet although I wish they would perform a tad better on mud.

  4. I LIKE my Heidanau K60 Scouts. I don’t love them. Just lie them. Yes do have great longevity and work well in damp off road conditions. But for the most part, it will do what it needs to do for the better than average ADV rider. New riders may not notice the subtle differences on tires other then the price.

    On the highway. These tires kick arse! On my most recent 2 week tour, riding back through Yosemite Hwy 120, I chased a couple fast guys on Duc’s through the twisties. They were a bit faster no doubt, but I was scraping my boot tips on the turns. The tires were amazing! These are fantastic “dry, warm weather” tires.

    But…. It’s weak point is it’s damp road traction. Because of its composition, it’s warm up period obviously takes awhile. Here in San Francisco, on cold foggy mornings the rear breaks traction too easy. Yes, I use both the front and rear brakes. But in the wet, I stay off the rears, especially in the damp. This, on my opinion is the weak point of the K60 Scouts.

    If these tires ever wear out I would probably purchase again.

    Bike: KTM ADV 950
    Experience: 29 years
    Calspeed Moto Studio SF

    • Eric I have Dunlop 606s and really enjoy them on my Suzuki DR200 (which I ride every day). I am curious if the author has actually ridden any of the above tires long enough to give a proper recommendation/review. In any case I hear the TKC80s are pretty good and I’m thinking I’ll try those next time.

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  6. I have been using Full Bore USA M-40 50/50 tires on my Super Tenere. I’m getting about 7500 miles out of the rear tires and have not had to replace the front yet. It has about 9500 miles on it and still looks and handles great. Great handling on asphault, and good handling in dry dirt.

  7. I had to chuckle at some of the manufacturer on Rd/off Rd ratings, some so shockingly far off as to absurd. I personally have had very good experience with many pairs of Metzeler on several heavy dual sport bikes but as of late have been surprised by how good Shinko’s offerings have been (and very low cost $110 for the pair!). As example letting air down to 18psi front / 17psi rear on Shinko’s 700 on a loaded XR675L (low compression big bore) produced remarkably good traction, acceleration & breaking in a wide range of off road conditions without any flats! On the street again these same tires produced surprisingly good traction (28psi front / 25psi rear) and the tires gave plenty of warning before entering the limits of their traction envelope… very nice! On the downside, I get 3000 miles on the 5.10 x 18 rear and maybe 5000 miles on the 3.00 x 21 front. Still, these feel like a very good value to me and I’m getting better and better at changing my own tires! Yikes! BTW, my last change I put ceramic beads (pre-measured by maker) in ultra heavy duty tubes and was shocked how smooth a ride I got without doing any balancing!

    • Bit of a worry for me with the reported short life of these tyres. The first leg of my trip across Australia is 3000 miles. I would hope to get a lot more than that. But if I keep my bike choice light then that would help. I am 65, 5’7″ and 70kgs. Even the WR250R seems huge for me. In the 70s I raced Honda Elsinores that came in under 100kg. I had a back Dunlop knobby that lasted two years.

  8. Currently running Dunlop 606’s on my DR-Z400. Surprised they didn’t make the list. My bike came with the “Death Wing” Bridgestones but they wore-out very quickly and were terrible off road. I’ve worn-out several pairs of the Kenda K270’s also. They are a very decent tire for the money, and grip well both on & off the road.

  9. Read carefully. …. I had Kenda 270’s on my KLR650 and it started chunking. Turned it in for warranty and the Kenda reps said they could not cover it because the KLR650 is too powerful for the Kenda 270’s and would not replace or refund them.

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  11. Shinko 804/805 every feature claimed about these tires are true. The best dual sport tire so far I had on my R1200GSA. Amazing price for such a high performance tire. don’t be fooled by made in Korea or not being a big European manufacturer tire. Handles great on tar and dirt. no problem in wet either.

  12. I ran the K60 Scout on my Super Tenere. Dry grip was just ok, the TC light would go on a lot, which it never did with Anakee 3s. Wet grip was very poor, lots of slides on wet asphalt. The hard compound is long lasting, but the tires square off so unless you don’t want to have fun in corners, you’ll toss them around 4000 miles like I did. Offroad grip is also compromised by that strip running down the middle of the rear tire. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.

  13. Great review, Kyra! I have found these ratings very subjective and disagreed with at least 5 of them but that’s cool. Tire and oil threads are usually the longest!

  14. Heidenau has a great reputation from their early tires. l have a large list of faults with them. No Confidence! On gravel was like riding on ball bearings with very little ability to turn/lean bike. ln mud the tire tread would ski out beneath and twice l had a bike on me… l thought it was me. l told people about it and they didn’t believe me…. l was in first gear riding down 18% when the tire gave putting me head first in ditch landing bike on me… l was seriously going to sell my bike!! The tires prevented me full speed and lean into paved corners.

    I asked my Mechanic to please find something to help me. He mounted a Metzier Karoo 3 90/90-21… He told me thats what a couple KLRs are using…. l rode on singles never before l could. l rode on coal dust mud, Gravel haul roads… OMG, l had a new bike. Gravel is like riding on pavement and l can cut into corners… On pavement l have freedom….

    l want the express my concern for those purchasing new bikes. Understand it’s important to ask someone that rides your or similar bike what tire he feels best for you… l had originally asked seasoned motorcyclist that never rode my style or bike, mistake. They meant well.

    What about my rear Heidenau tire on my DR650SE? lt made my bike feel l had to force my bike down in leans.. Now what? l’m going to have a Karoo 3 rear tire put on my bike tomorrow… l wish you all the best….

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  16. I’ve found the Metzeler Karoo 3 to be the most versatile (aka 50/50) of all. It’s a radial and top speed rated at 190 km/h (118 mph). Rides very well on asphalt and so far no scary shit during wet, of course I do take it easier than when I had the Anakee 3. Off road, it’s very good on gravel, loose dirt roads, much more fun than the Anakees.

  17. This doesn’t tell me anything more than I can derive from each tire brands marketing brochure. Have you actually tested any of these on the top selling Adventure bike brands. No???
    Get a set of each and fit them to BMW GS 1200/1250, KTM 1190R/1290R, Honda Africa Twin, Triumph Tiger etc. Then start a test from New. First some hard road riding in dry and wet, cold and hot road condition. Different speeds cruising highway, commuting, high speed country roads. then start with some off-road first normal dirt roads in dry and wet, then check grip and stability in sandy, muddy, rocky and river crossings. Go back to surfaced roads, how quick to tire elf clean, after some war how solid do they feel on the tar again, what is the road noise as some are horrendous after some mileage. Do you feel confident in hard fast corners after some wear and dirt road use. How quick do they respond and grip properly on cold road surfaces vs warm. what reasonable mileage can you get and while tires still show good tread, grip and stability in all the above conditions. then publish report.

    • Pierre
      I agree that this is a regurgitation of the tire manufacture’s advertising blurb.
      No different than most of the so-called bike reviews. Unfortunately.
      Mostly a waste of time. Income for the author though i suppose.
      But to do a test as you describe. WOW this would be hugely expensive, a logistic nightmare and lengthy. Likely have ‘new and improved’ tire models out before they publish the test of the tires they are testing 🙂
      The only way to get any idea of what the tires actually do and are like is from forums where Joe rider uses them and makes comment.
      Huge amount of subjectivity in what they think of the tires but read enough and you may see a trend resulting but still need to be skeptical. You will only truly know if you use them yourself.
      This in turn for me is hugely expensive, a time availability nightmare and a loooong time.
      What i do know, crap tires last forever whereas the good tires, the ones you like, wear out way too quick 🙁

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