As of late, Rosie the Scrambler has been wearing some pretty aggressive off-road shoes; that choice in rubber has also led to yours truly pulling out the tire spoons more often. The real insult to injury is the fact that I’m forced to practice a bit more throttle restraint in adverse weather conditions as grip, while usually good, is still obviously limited. What if I could have the best of both worlds, while only sacrificing a little off-road prowess compared to knobbies? Enter the Avon Trekrider AV84 and AV85.
I heard news early last year that Avon was releasing a new tire. Considering Avon is British, and I own a British bike, I’ve found they’re often the brand of choice in my riding circle. The only problem for me being that, until just recently, Avon hasn’t offered a more off-road oriented tire for big bikes. When I heard news that this new tire was actually a 50/50 dual sport tire, needless to say, it grabbed my attention. Lo and behold, right at the cusp of spring, a set of Trekriders arrived on my porch, just in time for my birthday.
Improving on the popular Trailrider, the Trekrider tread pattern mirrors the same chevron configuration of similar 50/50 tires, but with more distinct, mostly unbroken blocks. Spooning on a fresh new set of Trekriders turned out to be one the easiest set of tires I’ve installed. The sidewalls are compliant and pliable (not bad for an afternoon in late February); I would equate them to installing a set of Shinko 705s that I’ve run in the past. Running my hand across the tread while balancing the wheels, the “stickiness” was quite evident straight away; I was anxious to hit a long stretch of twisties the following morning.
As a birthday treat to myself, I decided to take trip to northern Kentucky to visit a few covered bridges for the Trekriders maiden voyage. Within moments of crossing into the Bluegrass State, the road manners of these British shoes became evident. The Scrambler carved through the corners with a surefootedness I’ve not felt since the Anakee 3. I often run “a size up” on the front wheel, so the initial turn in takes a hair more effort than the stock size (I’ve mentioned this before), but what I lose on the initial tip in, I gain in high-speed stability and overall cornering grip. In fewer words, with the Trekrider, I leaned the bike into the turn and it effortlessly held the line until I stood it up at the exit; just the way I like it. Looking closer at the shape of the tire, the source of these superior road manners is clear, similar to some of the 80/20 tires on the market, the Trekrider has a more aggressive, rounded profile compared to more angular competing dual sport tires.
This spring has been pretty brutal in the weather department. Per my recent comments, when it wasn’t snowing, it was raining; in fact, record rainfall for the last three months. Fortunately, I’m told the British know a thing or two about rain; the rainy commute proved to be where the Trekrider really shined. Despite riding like an idiot in conditions I ought to know better, the Avons relentlessly gripped the tarmac. Hard braking, hard acceleration, steep lean angles (…not quite peg grinding), road spray on the highway, and downpours on the backroads, I couldn’t break a tire loose; the Trekriders simply don’t flinch.
These new Avon shoes also had the pleasure of escorting me to March Moto Madness in Tennessee this spring. On the local fire roads, dirt trails, and water crossings, I was very happy with the Trekrider’s grip. Despite having what I would consider large contact patches for ADV tires, the grooves between the chevrons are large enough to hook up predictably on the gravel. The front wheel also tracked well on both the gravel and the loose dirt, considering the aggressive tire profile, I was actually really impressed with the front end bite, even without lowering tire pressure. I admit, mud can pose a bit of a challenge on a big bike for the uninitiated; without sufficient wheel spin, the tread gaps can have a harder time self-cleaning. Now, this opinion is formed after slogging through Tennessee clay, so results may vary (depending on bike, wheels sizes, and skill); ultimately if you pick a good line and maintain speed, these tires will get you through the wet stuff.
Some folks might suggest that the front tire is a little “noisy” when riding on the highway. I did notice that the front tire did have a particular “whir”, however after running knobbies for most of the last twelve months, I personally feel the Avons are considerably quiet by comparison. I generally don’t complain about road noise for dual sport tires more aggressive than 80/20; it comes with the territory and ear plugs are just good “riding sense”.
It should also be known that, like most dual sport tires, the Trekriders are constructed with single rubber compound. That in itself is not a bad thing, these tires are arguably the “stickiest” set of shoes I’ve ever put on the Scrambler. I mention this because long distance and ham-fisted riders will potentially put a hurting on that rear tire if they don’t practice a little throttle-discipline.
Having run several tires in and around the 50/50 range, I feel confident saying that the Trekrider is quite literally the antithesis of the Heidenau K60 Scout. With these Avons mounted on the Scrambler, the tire gave up absolutely nothing in on-road performance, be it grip or confidence, and yet still handled respectably off-road. While friends have complained about wet weather performance of the K60 Scout, the Trekrider was absolutely fearless in the rain. In dry conditions, when the pavement got twisty, the bike cornered like it was on rails; these tires always asked for more, unquestionably the fastest tires I’ve ever ran. Off-road the Trekriders were fun and predictable; I was continually impressed by how confidence inspiring they were in the dirt and gravel, despite what I thought appeared to be a more road biased profile with absolutely irreproachable road manners. As 50/50 tire, they’re obviously not as surefooted in the more difficult terrain as a full on knobby, but that’s also to be expected considering this is a 50/50 tire; and yet the Trekrider makes zero on-road performance compromises.
Who’s the target audience for these tires?
Taking a glance at the available sizes, this tire is targeted at the middle weight adventure bikes and heavier dual sports wearing 21 or 19 inch front and 17 or 18 inch rear wheels, along with “standard” motorcycles sporting the 19/17 wheel combo. I assume based on successful sales, Avon may expand the line to accommodate a larger range sizes in the future.
While dual sport tires are often rated by percentage of street versus dirt, after spending so much time on a variety of tires, I will say that even inside of that classification, certain tread patterns are better than others for various jobs. If a given rider has ran 50/50 tires in the past and has been unhappy with the road manners or wet weather performance, the Trekrider is unquestionably a leading contender. Off-road I found the Trekrider to be on par and at times better than the comparable K60 Scout. However, riders that value longevity over road manners and wet grip may have a harder time seeing the longevity of the K60. Inversely, as the K60 wears, it tends to square off like a car tire, making curves a bit unnerving as the bike “falls into the corner” and the rider can feel the knobs flex under the weight of the bike. The Trekrider on the other hand maintains its round profile much better with age and doesn’t sacrifice confidence or grip. At the same time, the Trekrider is also cheaper than the longer range competition in some sizes, so it really comes down to miles per dollar, not just gross range.
I will also add, I’ve read comments on social media platforms from various motorcycle owners shopping for a more aggressive “looking” tires, but yet they don’t intend to go off-road. While I don’t personally subscribe to this line of thinking, I will say that the Trekrider offers the best option in that department considering its faultless on-road performance. I certainly don’t want that comment to overshadow anyone’s perspective on the Trekrider, it’s a great off-road tire, especially compared to the competitors in it class, it’s simply that its performance on the pavement is so much better than theirs; a testament to this tire’s flexibility.