Spring-Summer 2013 tire spotter’s guide

Publish Date: 
May 23, 2013
By Bruce Steever

IT CAN BE HARD to keep track of all the new products that launch in the off-season, especially once spring finally rolls around after a long winter.

Tires are easy to lose in the shuffle. To keep you abreast of the latest releases, we’ve gathered some of the newest street tires available.

Big adventure-touring bikes continue to be a growth segment, and tire manufacturers have responded with several new options for 2013. Each tire is primarily aimed at the heavyweight machines like the Triumph Tiger Explorer, the KTM 1190 Adventure and the new R1200GS. These tires are built to fit the role most adventure-bike owners are looking for: a dirt-styled tire that is primarily a street-worthy, sport-touring tire.

Mileage is a priority, but the tire needs to be able to find grip in the dry, in the wet and off-road as well.

From Michelin comes the Anakee 3, obviously the third revision of the Anakee adventure tire and chosen OE fitment for the new R1200GS. The most distinctive aspect of the Anakee 3 is the undercut tread pattern, which is claimed to enable the tire to better shed mud and dirt off-road while still providing the rubber-groove ratio needed for decent grip on-road. An updated profile front and rear promises additional handling agility, while a stiffened carcass aims to maintain and improve overall stability.

Finally, a refined silica blend improves both wet grip and mileage. And since the Anakee 3 functions as the primary street tire for ADV bikes, Michelin also created a special version called the Anakee Wild that is capable of serving as a true 50/50 street/dirt tire for the big bikes.

Flying the flag for Continental is the new TrailAttack 2, designated as the OEM fitment for the new KTM 1190.

The new KTM packs 150 horsepower and, judging from the initial videos coming back from the European launch of the KTM, the TrailAttack 2 is capable of providing the traction to handle it. The new tire uses several of Continental’s proprietary technologies such as Continuous Compound to give progressively increasing grip levels toward the shoulder without compromising tire life, and “Black Chili” compound for good all-around grip with quick warm-ups.

One of the best features offered by the Continental line is its unique Traction Skin technology, which all but eliminates the usual slippery break-in time for the new tire, making the first miles on the new tires that much safer. Like the Anakee 3s for the BMW, the TrailAttack 2s are also available in the 120/70-19 and 170/60-17 sizes for the new KTM and BMW adventure bikes. (Continued)