Since I’m not much of an off-road rider, I bought my Vstrom 650 primarily for street use. Its comfortable, upright seating position and wide bars make it a great traveler and backroad blitzer and that’s what I got it for. Consequently, my search began for some more street-oriented tires. For a while Bridgestone offered the sport touring BT-020’s in the Strom’s 110/80-19 front size and while I previously had them, I felt they were just OK, nothing to really write home about. While the more common 150/70-17 rear has made it through the generations, going as far as the new BT-023’s, the front unfortunately has not. What to do? I knew Continental had the Road Attack’s, but I thought I might want something that can at least be in the spirit of the bike’s dual-purpose nature. Well a few years ago, I saw that Continental was coming out with the new Trail Attack, which would be expressly made for the Adventure Bike market. I got on board right away, pre-ordering a set before they even came out. When was the last time a tire made you grin? Well that is exactly what happened to me the first time I took the bike out with the new tires in the twisties. To prove this seat-of-the-pants judgment wasn’t just a figment of my imagination, I found out that the highly respected German Motoraad magazine had named the TA’s top runner in a multi-tire, Adventure Bike shoot out. Oh, and while my definition of off-road is the gravel driveway that leads up to a campground, truth is I have been dragged reluctantly on some pretty good dirt and gravel roads. While I am sure there are more dirt-oriented tires out there, I am happy to say the TA’s are just fine for occasional off the beaten path exploration, as long as the path isn’t too beaten. The tires have 6,000 miles on them now. While there appears to be approx 2,000 more miles tread-depth out of the rear, the dreaded flat-spot has appeared, an indication of too much slab and not enough twisty riding! The front still looks nice, with no cupping, though I am meticulous with monitoring air pressure. On that note, I run 36 PSI front and 36-40 PSI rear depending on load. I should also report that wet weather riding has been completely confidence inspiring. All in all, a great tire and my favorite out of the 4 different kinds I’ve had on this bike.
Written by Doug Posner at Competition Accessories, (800) 543-3535 EXT. 2021