A plethora of features exist on dirt bikes that are important for how the bike runs, and this especially rings true for dual sport and enduro bikes. The main difference is the variety of terrain you’ll be riding on, since both enduro and dual sport exist for purely off-track usage. Texture, debris and distance can go a long way to wearing down your dual sport tires before their time.
This ultimately brings us to how to find the best dual sport tires that’ll fit your bike and the activities you’ll need them for. Even among dual sport and enduro tires, there’s clear variation in the rides you pursue. Before moving ahead to the specifics, there are a few questions that TeamMA gets asked on the regular that we’d like to address right off the bat.
Top Tips for Dual Sport Tires
1. Riding & Tread Type
The first thing to consider when perusing and purchasing new dual sport tires is the type of riding you’ll be using them for. Looking to go on a long-winded road trip? You’ll most likely want less textured dual sport tires that are meant for gripping the road. On the other hand, knobby tires are ideal if you’re looking for more of an off-road adventure. Certain patterns are more ideal for traction in wet, sandy or muddy conditions depending on the terrain you’ll be riding on.
As with any dirt bike accessories, your budget should be taken into consideration when you buy dual sport tires. While it’s nice to find an ultra-affordable option, your safety and grip on the road should not be compromised! Dual sport tires will run you anywhere between $100 to $400 respectively, and it’s your job to figure out what your needs are within that range.
3. Manufacturer Tire Rating
Tire manufacturers have done some of the hard work ahead of time to make enduro tires easy to categorize. Since you most likely know your riding type from answering the previous questions, the chart below will help you categorize the exact type of tire you need based on their numbers & features. Check out our handy guide on Tire Sizes & Numbers to make sure you’re in the know about the exact dual sport tires you need.
Once you’ve answered the above questions and selected your tire rating of choice, you’re ready to check out some of the best dual sport tires on the market today.
Best Dual Sport & Enduro Tires for 2022
While there are plenty of tire brands around, a few industry leaders have shown us at TeamMA that they know their stuff about dual sport tires specifically. Below are our chosen dual sport tires for both road and off-road conditions.
Michelin Dual Sport Tires
Michelin has been a heavy hitter in the tire market since 1889, and the vast variety of tires they carry can be a bit overwhelming. While there are plenty of tires that are worth noting, the two options below highlight the best dual sport tires for each type of riding.
Best Road Tire: Road 5
Designed for a variety of conditions on the road, Michelin’s Road 5 tires are the real deal for weekend touring. Since these dual sport tires are known for their enhanced grip in both wet and dry conditions, we put them to the test on our latest jaunt and they held up beautifully in slick conditions. Even in dry conditions, the ride was smooth and easy to manage. We’ve heard rumors of the Road 5 set lasting over 10,000 miles, and although it remains to be seen for our team, it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable feat.
A pair of new Road 5s will set you back almost $400, but knowing their durability, it’s worth forking over the extra cash.
Best Enduro Tire: Starcross 5
Ultra-knobby and ready to play rough, Michelin’s Starcross 5 tires are an excellent bet for traversing the outdoors. Whether you’re eyeing a day on the dunes or some backcountry exploration, the Starcross 5 tires were a blast to ride on. Thanks to the generous knobs, the traction on the Starcross 5 is unmatched by most conventional enduro tires. Even in murky conditions, these tires held their own for the whole ride and showed no signs of wearing out.
Michelin has done a great job of securing a solid range of sizes and hardness ratings across their range, and the Starcross 5 is no different. Despite the enhanced durability of these tires, a set of them will only cost a little over $200, and that’s money well spent on fun days out.
Dunlop Dual Sport Tires
Predating Michelin by only a year, Dunlop came about in 1888 after John Dunlop sought to improve his son’s tricycle. Fast forward to a century later, and Dunlop has cemented their status as an industry leader of tire manufacturing. Both of the Dunlop dual sport tires featured here are solid options whether your next day out is on the road or in the back country.
Best Road Tire: Sportmax Q3 Plus
Upgraded from the previous version, Dunlop’s Sportmax Q3 Plus tires have been redesigned to include carbon fiber reinforcement for easier cornering on the road. Since the Sportmax Q3+ are softer dual sport tires, we can say they do indeed provide enhanced grip and road feel as you’re riding. While there seem to be differing views on the longevity of the Sportmax Q3+, it’s widely noted that tires with soft rubber generally have a shorter shelf life, and this is something to be aware of especially when storing your tires. There are always other options if longevity or inclement weather are deal-breakers.
Though you’ll have to form your own opinion on this factor, the Sportmax Q3 Plus will cost you about $400 for a set, and the enhancements are hard to resist.
Best Enduro Tire: D606
If you’re looking for a decent road tire and aggressive enduro tire in one package, look no further than the Dunlop D606 tires. Some off-road tires can be downright nerve-racking on the road, but Dunlop has seemingly done the impossible in engineering a tire that’s solid in both conditions. Our time with the D606 dual sport tires lived up to all the hype we heard, plus even more versatility on different surfaces. Whether you’re riding on pavement or cushy ground, the D606 tires adapt and offer a comfortable, maneuverable ride.
The D606 dual sport tire gets our vote for the best if you’ll be doing mostly enduro mixed with a little bit of road riding. They’ll run you about $250 for a full set, but the on-road ease of riding is worth the extra investment.
Continental Dual Sport Tires
Though Continental has been around since 1871, their major break came when they manufactured the first pneumatic bicycle tire in 1892. Even though times have changed quite a bit since then, Continental has never stopped delivering quality dual sport tires for good times of all kinds. Check out their best road & off-road options below.
Best Road Tire: Trail Attack 2
The Trail Attack 2 tires are classified as being 85% road & 15% off-road tires, and they are insisted by some to be the best road tire around today. We were lucky enough to be able to test the Trail Attack 2’s out after a particularly rainy day, and we can confirm that they held up to wet conditions like a dream. The grip is a huge selling point on the Trail Attack 2 tires, and we were even able to cross running water a couple times without any loss of control. It’s no wonder these dual sport tires have a cult following among the touring crowd.
Depending on your specific requirements, these dual sport tires can run anywhere from $200 to $400, and a good deal never hurts when it’s coupled with great performance.
Best Enduro Tire: Twinduro TKC 80
Yet another contender for both usage types, the Twinduro TKC 80 tires are considered to be 40% road & 60% off-road. We found this combination to be perfect if you’re depending on your bike to both ride to your outdoor destination and remain reliable in the backcountry. We saw zero punctures even when we encountered a number of sharp debris on our ride, and this is a huge selling point considering the rating of the Twinduro TKC 80.
Though they may look cool, the Twinduro TKC 80 tires are not meant for long-term road wear. They won’t last like standard road tires and instead will wear out anywhere between 2000 to 4000 miles. That being said, for a dual sport tire that makes both riding styles look easy, a $300 to $400 price tag is more than reasonable.
Kenda Dual Sport Tires
Later to the game than their competitors, Kenda was founded in 1962 in Taiwan. While they originally set out to produce bicycle tires, their first motorcycle and scooter tires came only eight years later in 1970, and the rest is history. The Kenda dual sport tires below are some of the most specialized tires on our list, and TeamMA is proud to back them as the best.
Best Road Tire: K673 Kruz
Over 1000 five star reviews made us very insistent to give the K673 Kruz tires a try, and wow were they worth the wait! While some riders may try these dual sport tires purely for the aesthetic tread pattern, the real quality is in the all-weather traction. Cornering is a breeze in any condition and they were reliable the whole day. After our test ride, we noticed that a nail had gotten lodged in our rear tire and we somehow had no idea when this had happened. To say the rubber on the Kruz tires is robust is a serious understatement, and the knowledge that these tires can be used underinflated offers much peace of mind.
Compared to many other road tires, the K673 Kruz tires are an absolute steal. A set of standard road tires normally runs about $400, but Kenda offers the combination of front and rear from $150 to $200 total. The K673 is, without a doubt, the best road tire package deal on our list.
Best Enduro Tire: K760 Trakmaster II
Based on our time with Kenda’s K673 Kruz tires, we were super stoked to try out the K760 Trakmaster II tires on our off-road adventures. Judging from their equally high marks and knobby appearance, we knew we were in for a treat. Even on the road, the Trakmaster II dual sport tires held up relatively well and they weren’t overwhelmingly hard to maneuver, though they were quite loud. Once we got off-road, we were able to easily slog through mud, sand and gravel with relative ease. Though we’ve heard mixed reviews on longevity, the Trakmaster II can take abuse and ask for more from our experiences, and that’s something to be happy about.
Though the Trakmaster II wasn’t quite as spellbinding as the Kruz’ performance, we can get behind the low price range of $120 to $160 for a pair of these enduro tires. Even if these tires bite the dust after a short while, the affordable initial investment is worth giving them a try.
Best Shinko Road Tire
Shinko 705 Series
Though tires and tubes are their specialty, Shinko has exclusively made motorcycle tires since they were founded in 1946. Many of their current dual sport tires are excellent for road conditions in particular, and the 705 Series tires are no exception.
Considered best for 70% road & 30% off-road, the 705 Series tires held up well on pavement as well as gravel and dirt. Muddy riding isn’t to be expected with the 705s, but that’s a reasonable standpoint from a mostly-road tire. While the tread isn’t outright knobby like enduro tires, the extra grip of the tread comes in handy on unexpected terrain. Shinko 705s also feature an exclusive rubber compound that resists tearing in more rugged environments.
Like Kenda, Shinko is well known for their superb price compared to value. A set of 705 Series tires will likely cost anywhere from $150 to $200, and that’s insanely reasonable for road tires that will go the distance on a variety of terrain.
Best Motoz Enduro Tire
Tractionator Desert H/T
Motoz came about in much the same way as Shinko, and they’ve been producing tires in Thailand since 2006. Motoz mostly specializes in of the off-road and desert tires as opposed to road types, and we think their Tractionator Desert HT tires are just about the best you can get.
Since this is lauded as a desert tire, we took the liberty of riding over more rocky terrain to really test the Tractionator’s limits. They performed like a dream and made it super simple to take whatever route we wanted, and that’s an exciting prospect compared to many competitors. We had a bit more trouble on some sandy parts, but this is a welcome compromise for the ability to ride over almost any other large desert terrain. The Tractionator is a beastly enduro tire that offers unmatched durability in almost any off-road environment.
It’s no surprise that since the Tractionator is a more specialized tire, they’re also a bit more expensive to compensate for these features. A pair of these enduro tires will most likely run you about $300, but we bet you won’t regret that investment when you’re in the thick of it.
Essential Tire Accessory – Rabaconda Tire Changer
Tire maintenance can be time-consuming, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. We’ve got one more trick up our sleeve before we leave you to your decisions, and that’s to consider investing in a tire changer. While you’ve probably changed your dual sport tires yourself until now (and why wouldn’t you?), the Rabaconda Tire Changer specifically is extremely well-made and comes in handy especially if you regularly tend to multiple dirt bikes.
Boasting a super-quick 44-second change time, the Rabaconda handles all dirt bike tire types and tire sizes from 16 to 21 inches. The pieces are compact, a lifetime warranty is included, and it even comes with a Cordura carrying case so you can take it along to your next enduro race.
Though this option may not be ideal for everyone, it’s a handy option for those who find dual sport tire changes to be time consuming or too much work to manage by themselves.
We hope you garnered some useful feedback on the type of tires you need for your next dirt bike update. We’ll be back soon with more Motocross Advice!