In the US, the very lucky team at Cycle World magazine have been running a long term comparison test on the BMW R1200 GSA and the KTM 1190 Adventure R, the two ultimate big ADV machines.
In a year long test, they have cruised all over the western United States and Mexico, survived the Adventure Rally in Gunnison, Colorado and another rally in the Californian Sierras. Even Baja 1000 first-in-class finisher Ryan Dudek gave the bikes a spin, getting Cycle World photographer Jeff Allen so stuck down a very difficult dead end trail that Dudek had to ride both of the bikes back out again, saving the BMW and it’s less experienced rider from a helicopter rescue.
In that time they have eaten their way through several sets of tyres on each machine, and they decided to name the Continental TKC 80 as their “favourite ADV tyre”.
Explaining why, they said:
“Not only do these tyres bring out the very best in these bikes off highway – clawing for traction in Mexican silt, climbing up slickrock faces in Utah, plowing through boulder gardens in Colorado, and hopping over tree roots in the Sierras – but they work well on asphalt too. They are easily the single best performance modification you can make to a big ADV machine.”
They were also impressed with the all-round performance of the new TKC 70, and are looking to try a TKC 70 rear and TKC 80 front combination to deal with the ample sand and silt of the Baja peninsula.