MCN Fleet: The GS is booting up to go off-road
Back in June I took the F800GS and myself off-road for the first time at the Sweet Lamb Adventure Bike Academy. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done on a motorcycle and is something I promised to myself that I would do again with such a capable bike at my disposal. Which is exactly what I’m doing this weekend, so a tyre change is in order.
With the Michelin Anakee IIIs currently taking me through my road based duties on the GS. A recent trip to Germany proved them to be a capable touring tyre, with other normally aspirated touring tyres being quite hard to come by thanks to the choice-limiting 21-inch front wheel on the GS. They provide good feedback in the dry and better feel in the wet than the Pirelli Scorpion Trail tyres that came as standard on the bike and, after 4000-miles, are still in very good condition despite being worked hard. I wouldn’t use them for anything more than light gravel trail use though as they just won’t find any grip in anything more and weren’t designed for such use.
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Last time I went to the Academy, I was using Continental TKC70 tyres, billed as a 50/50 tyre that would work both on the road and off. I never got on with the them on the road though as the bike would weave quite badly above 80ish mph with panniers fitted, which didn’t prove to be that good when using them on my near weekly 500-mile slog to Devon and back. Nor did they prove to work massively well when faced with some more moderate mud slinging. Overall, I felt that though they did both disciplines as they did neither well, however I was impressed with the 7000-mile longevity that I got from the rear though.
This time round I’m opting for a dedicated off-road tyre in the Metzeler Karoo 3. They're proper kit that’s been designed to make mincemeat of muddy trails and lesser grip. Its deeply treaded profile looks as though it will do the business and I can’t wait to take the GS off-road with some rubber designed for the job this time.
Check back next week to find out how I got on with them.