by Bret Tkacs, for Adventure Motorcycle Magazine
In early 2012, Kenda released the Big Block Adventure tire to compete in the emerging big-bike knobby market. ADVMoto put a set of Big Blocks to the test on the back trails of Baja, Mexico, and then continued north up the west coast to Washington state. Back then, the Big Blocks were good performers, and on par with the competition, but lacked mileage and shed their skins faster than other big-bike knobbies we’re accustomed to, such as the TKC80 and Metzler Karroo. Kenda took note of this and their engineers worked over the Big Block with a revised tread pattern and new compound.
The casual eye won’t see the difference, as the tread pattern looks very similar. The only way we could tell they were the new tires was by measuring the space between the tread blocks. The newer tires have a block pattern slightly tighter, which puts more rubber to the road/trail.
We recently mounted up our fresh set of tires and headed off to Moab to put them to the test. After riding 800 miles of jeep trails and gravel roads, as well as over 2,000 miles of pavement on our loaded test bike, the Big Blocks were still holding out.
The bottom line is that Kenda has a winner with good off-road performance, good street manners, and mileage that equals the competition. Highly recommended.
- Still a top performer off-road
- Performs well for a knobby on the street
- Improved mileage over earlier version
- Price point winner
- Less prestige than big name brands (ego)
- Like all big bike knobbies it has a short life span (equal to other knobbies, though)
Bret Tkacs works for PSSOR Training