The more aggressive the tread pattern, the larger the air gap between the tread blocks means less actual rubber is in contact with the pavement. This is good for grip on loose surfaces but bad on dry pavement. Even tires like the Pirelli Scorpion (95% pavement/5% dirt) which I've used sacrifice some pavement grip to get improved dirt grip compared to sport touring tires. The TKC is designed for 50% off road use and limited pavement use. There is always a trade off and no magic bullet with dirt grip vs pavement grip.
I've read they have a fairly short lifespan (on WebBikeWorld
). Posted this thread as I was not aware they were avail in Versys sizes, possibly a great choice if you ride off pavement 50% of the time but a little too dirt oriented for my riding though.
MY experience w/ a 120/70x17 on the front of my AZ V, is that it gives a LOT of grip, paved or unpaved. I do NOT try to 'drag footpegs' tho'.... On the other hand - LIKE "AlaskaJeff" I have OVER 6K miles (6,289 actually) on my TKC80 front, and it appears NO MORE than half worn.
The rear BIG BLOCK Kenda looks like this (same mileage)
...These folks don't necessarily need an aggressive "Block Tread." Puncture resistance is key here. (TKC 80s, Shinko 705) (?) There have been reports of tread separation of 705s (FastEd on his KLR) (?)
The new tires out this year that might fit the bill for many people are the new "Tourance Next" and the new "Scorpion Trail 2", that are said to be now dual compound in the 160 size, like the Scorpion Trail 1 in the 180 size. Confused Yet?
I had "incipient" tread separation on a Shinko 705 on the front of my KLR (running tubeless) over about 12" (near as I can remember). During a ride the front would be VERY HOT after 20 minutes while the rear remained merely warm. A friend on a GS1200 had a strip (about half the tread...?) TOTALLY separate from his tire. To say he was p*ssed would be understating it!
Using Metzler Tourances, 130/80 rear on the front, and 150/70 on the rear, I'm getting 18,000 MILES on the 130/80 at aprox HALF tread life....
That's the 18K 130/80 on the left, and I BELIEVE about 4,500 miles on the rear 150. Gary in South America reported getting 36,000 miles from his 130/80 front....
BTW - I run 36 psi front, 42 rear on EVERY tire I put onto my bikes....