As a rider who is inexperienced at riding the simplest of off-road conditions, I find a lot of comfort in the Continental TKC80’s aggressive tread. These tires grip like crampons on a glacier, and they surely help me handle the bike more confidently in gravel, sand, and soft dirt where a more street-oriented tire like the Shinko e705 falters.
Arguably, the Shinko e705 is a different league of dual-sport tire. It’s a budget tire meant for casual dirt. It performs well on the street, and it lasts many miles. Off road, the tire needs an experienced rider to make it float in sand, stick in gravel, or bite in the mud.
When I ditched the stock front and rear Metzler tires at 7,200 miles for TKC80s, I did so to ride the Dalton Highway, a road notorious for dreadful mud. Only I found it to be paved a lot more than I expected, and the dirt parts were wonderfully smooth even when slightly wet. When dry, the Dalton Highway was a freeway made for speed. And yet I wouldn’t ride the Dalton again with anything less than the grippiest of tire available, if only for the peace of mind.
This comfort does come at a cost, for the TKC80s are pricy! Still, for a tread meant to handle mad dirt, the tires handle very well on the road and seem not to suffer for it. The rear TKC80 lasted 7,700 miles, and the front lasted 11,400 miles after riding predominately paved roads from Alaska to California.
When the TKC80s wore out in the Lower 48, I switched to the much more affordable Shinko e705s. After three rear Shinko tires, I’m averaging 6,500 miles. Only one rear went bad early, and SW Moto Tires sent me a new one to Moab, Utah for free. The one Shinko front tire I’ve owned lasted more than 20,000 miles and 32 months on the road! For budget tires, the Shinko durability is spectacular!
I’ve since replaced the rear and front tires with TKC80s in preparation for Mexico.
I buy my tires at Southwest Moto Tires and RevZilla depending on price. RevZilla will price match the lowest price, ship in the United States for free, and give you Zilla cash on your order. Amazon occasionally offers deals on dual sport tires.
My motorcycle tire history for Shinko and Continental tires to date:
Odometer: 39,399 miles
Date: 2014 Mar 09
Front tire: replaced with Continental TKC80 110/80BQ-19 in Houston, Texas (20,729 miles; 32 months)
Odometer: 34,583 miles
Date: 2013 Jun 12
Front tire: not replaced; worn and shows cupping but will still ride for a while longer (15,930 miles; 23.5 months)
Rear tire: replaced with Continental TKC80 150/70BQ-17 in Houston, Texas (7,593 miles; 18 months)
Odometer: 26,990 miles
Date: 2011 Dec 16
Rear tire: replaced with Shinko 150/70-17 E705 69H TL Radial in Falls Church, Virginia (6,452 miles; 4.5 months)
Odometer: 20,538 miles
Date: 2011 Aug 03
Rear tire: replaced with Shinko 150/70-17 E705 69H TL Radial under warranty due to visible delamination at center of tread in Moab, Utah (5,538 miles; 9 months)
Odometer: 18,670 miles
Date: 2011 Jul 02
Front tire: replaced with Shinko 110/80-19 E705 59H TL Radial in Bishop, California (11,400 miles; 12 months)
Odometer: 15,000 miles
Date: 2010 Nov 12
Rear tire: replaced with Shinko 150/70-17 E705 69H TL Radial in Corvallis, Oregon (7,730 miles; 4 months)
Odometer: 7,270 miles
Date: 2010 Jul 12
Front tire: replaced with Continental TKC80 110/80BQ-19 in Palmer, Alaska (7,270 miles; 15 months)
Rear tire: replaced with Continental TKC80 150/70BQ-17 in Palmer, Alaska (7,270 miles; 15 months)
Odometer: 0 miles
Date: 2009 Mar 30
Front tire: 0 miles, new with stock Metzler tires
Rear tire: 0 miles, new with stock Metzler tires