Review by: Tom Golden (TractioneRag)
The Perfect Adventure Tires for every Bike and Rider do exist. They arrive on winged unicorns propelled by gingerbread-scented gastric expulsions. Garden gnomes spoon them onto your rims before sunrise. Leave a smooth pebble under your pillow for them.
Oh, shit…did I wake you up? Sorry. That sounded like a really special dream.
Here in the lucid world, I decided to spring for a pair of MOTOZ Tractionator Adventure Tires for my Africa Twin. The front is a 90/90-21 with a 150/70-18 tagging along behind.
They installed without profuse swearing.
The specs closely matched my riding needs on asphalt, gravel and dirt. Plus, I didn’t have to sell my only kidney to pay for them. (Ever since that time I woke up in an ice filled bathtub in Thailand with sloppy sutures and a note tied to my ankle, my buying power has been somewhat reduced).
In the dirt, my bike’s stock tires frequently get the ECU glowing red as it tries to process the traction control demands. Too distracting on a spirited ride. The additional bite with the Motoz Tractionator Adventures turned frustration into giggles. The feedback between the throttle and back wheel is impressive, even with the traction control switched completely off. The side walls seem stiff enough to prevent a tube pinch in the rocks at lower pressures, but they installed with regular tire irons without eliciting profuse swearing.
One of my test areas includes loamy double-track and a sandy MX-ish loop. The rear tire provides enough grip to loft the front wheel on throttle, while the front tracks straight and rails turns (as much as herding a rhinoceros around a track can rail). A long, deep sand downhill had had the front tire wandering slightly, but certainly nothing scary. With a decent dose of petrol, the climb back up was a cinch. In contrast, reaching the top of the same hill on stock tires had been a struggle.
The knobs (rear especially) have enough offset from each other to keep the bike from slipping sideways on off-camber traverses. Just weight the downhill peg and motor right across. Other big block tires I looked at didn’t have such a pronounced pattern.
Grip on gravel roads and hard-packed trails is solid. The front tire doesn’t push back or tuck, and slides with the rear are controlled. There isn’t a feeling that it’s going to swap out any second.
I’m not the type to use every asphalt corner to throw sparks from my foot pegs, so I was a little surprised to find the toe of my boots touching the road without really trying. However, the front end can get twitchy through the bars at higher speeds on grooved asphalt. Dropping the pressure a few pounds helped somewhat. With just under 4,000 km on them so far (about 60/40 asphalt to gravel), I’m very pleased with the wear and anticipated life span of my new shoes.
The unicorns give the Motoz Tractionator Adventure tires two tails up. I’d recommend standing back.
Link to original review: http://tractionerag.com/issue41/index.html?page=76