As we organise tours in Morocco 10 months out of 12, our fleet and guides cover a rather impressive mileage each year. We ride all kind of terrain, from perfect twisty tarmac roads, through potholed small roads, rocky riverbeds fast gravel tracks to deep sand. We therefore use dual sport tires as those offer the versatility needed in Morocco.
Over the years we have tested many brands when it comes to tires (without the full list, we ran Michelin, Metzeler, Continental, Heidenau, Alnas, Pirelli, Motoz and many more) and we could provide a great deal of input on each one of those.
Some are great rubbers. The TKC 80s for instance are as good as it gets, but with the grippy, abrasive tarmac, dry, rocky off-road sections, they last a mere 3000km on the rear of a 12GS. Metzelers and Michelins are good tires as well but again, the durability is the weak point.
Some are less efficient or less suitable for our use, like the Anlas as they are too stiff and offer less grip than others on tarmac. The Heidies for example are a great compromise on most of the bikes and offer good grip (save for wet tarmac) and duration but put them on the front of a heavy 1200GS/1250GS and you get a deafening noise between 70km/h and 110km/h on tarmac. Just the range of speed we usually ride.
We usually go through a set of rubber every second month on our fleet bikes. As consumed several sets of tires in the first years, we got hold of the @Mitas E-07s (and the Dakar version) and the more we put them to the test, the more impressed we were. No wonder why many opt to use them on RTW travel. Durability is impressive, especially the Dakar version. We ride hard, most of the times, whether on tarmac or off-road and the Mitas lets you lean in until you think you’ve fallen over, still gripping on the rough tarmac. The compound is excellent. Over the last 2 years, we had one flat tire, despite crossing the desert about 7 times on those tires.
They were not yet available at that time for the big GS so we had to wait and use other brands or the equally great but less durable E-10s. When Mitas Moto finally came with the E-07+, we immediately tested them. They are as good as it gets and offer great durability as well as excellent grip. Both on and off-road. The E-07+ Dakar is even better.
Part of those who join our tours are sometimes scared to tackle the twisty tarmac sections on dual sport tires but Morocco offers great quality tarmac and the tires offer impressive grip. On a usual tour, by day 2 or 3, many riders swear to change once they are back home.
The Mitas tires are best suited for our use and have very little noise effect. That said, there are of course better specific tires for those only riding tarmac or those who primarily ride off the beaten path. On smoother tarmac like Europe, these tires might offer less grip than on the abrasive surface of Morocco’s roads, but we are satisfied with their performance and keep them when we venture to Europe.
The only drawback we experienced, is that the front tires
Although every rider has a different style and uses the throttle differently, on average, we get the following mileage out of the E-07 Dakars (based on average of 40-50000km/year on each bike for the last two years, with different riders):
F800GS – front: 20000km, rear 15000km
F850GS – front: 18000km, rear: 13000km
R1200GS/R1250GS – front: 16000km, rear: 9000km
We usually ride 2,2 and 2,5 bars on front and rear, respectively when on tarmac and 1,8 and 1,5 off-road. For pure sand riding,
Some would still run the tires we change as they would still have enough profile for shorter rides, but for safety and also comfort, we provide our clients with good quality rubber and we rather change a tire before the tour, then having to fiddle with tire change during a trip.
The above is just an opinion. We are not paid by Mitas or other manufacturers. We are however interested to know your experience or your preference when it comes to tires.
Those of you who have ridden with us can confirm or deny the above ?