When I purchased my BMW F800GS (2009 model, instead of this one), it came with Continental Trail Attack 2 tires on it. After having worn them out in various riding conditions, I think I’ve got enough information to write a decent review on them.
My Riding Style
About 70% of my riding is done on asphalt, with the other 30% on dirt roads and some single track trails.
The price for a set of these tires, for the F800GS runs around $300. The front tire (90/90-21) will run you roughly $100 give or take $20 depending on whether you buy online, or at the dealer. The rear (150/70-17) will cost around $190 give or take $25, again, depending on whether you buy online or from the dealer. Installation is where the cost will almost double, especially if you don’t have the tools to do it yourself.
According to the Continental website, their multi-grip technology provides more grip on the outer edges of the tire (softer compound), which provides greater handling in the turns. The harder compound in the middle of the tire provides longer mileage.
Normal: I found the handling of these tires in normal conditions to be fantastic, and true to the claims made on the site. By normal, I mean dry asphalt. Acceleration is great, taking corners is so good that I was able at times to drag a footpeg on the F800GS.
Rain: In the rain, the tires still performed quite well. I took a roughly 3000 mile trip from my house in Tucson, AZ to Seattle, WA during January/February and so I dealt with an enormous amount of rain. Given less aggressive riding when in the rain, I never felt in any danger when cornering. Tire grip felt good at all times.
Dirt – Hard Pack: These tires perform great on the hard pack dirt, both fire roads and hard packed single track. When taking the bike off-road with these tires, the only time I ever felt unsafe was when I was going faster than I felt my skill set allowed, and when I thought I might damage my suspension. But on a decent hard pack road, I could easily get up to 40 mph without feeling like I was going to lose control.
Dirt – Sand: In the sand is where these tires begin to show their weakness. These tires are obviously geared toward the road, and in the sand, I often felt like the front tire was simply there as a rudder. There simply wasn’t enough tread gap in the pattern to really make these worthwhile for anything other than hard pack. As you can see in the picture, I somehow got myself into a rut of sand, and then simply couldn’t keep myself going straight, and I ended up on the ground. I tried again about a week later, and ended up in sand that was even deeper than the photo, and had to get off the bike to push. Off the bike, as expected, the back tire didn’t have all that much grip, and it took a while to push myself out of the sand with those tires.
Mud: See above.
Here I have to say that the multi-grip that Continental mentions really comes into play. From the time I bought the bike until I changed them out for some TKC 70s, I put over 14K miles on the tires. I probably had another 1K miles left in them (at least the rear tire; the front was well worn); but I was leaving on a trip longer than that, so I felt the need to put new tires on. Still, given that putting these tires on runs roughly $500, I think that at 30 miles per dollar, these tires are well worth it.