PRODUCT TEST: KENDA BIG BLOCK

 
(9/6/2011)
 
PRODUCT: Kenda’s “adventure” tire is tagged the Big Block. It is designed specifically to meet the demands of the high-powered adventure motorcycle and serious adventure rider. The Kenda Big Block is DOT approved (60-percent street and 40-percent off-road), and there are applications for larger ADV bikes. The aggressive tread pattern is designed for traction on a variety of terrain, but targets more dirt than your normal adventure rubber.
POSITIVE: We’ve put quite a few miles on the Big Blocks, both with our own KTM EXC dual-sporter and our big buddy Mental’s BMW that he recently took to Alaska. These tires feature “Big Blocks” in a semi-knobby pattern, though the large footprint of each knob gives adequate grab on the tarmac. The big win comes in two areas: wear and versatility. When you get a 540-pound adventure bike on a dirt road, it can get unnerving. Get stuck on the same terrain with weather that turns ugly and life can get seriously morose. We’ve actually witnessed grown men bawling like children after throwing their 12,000-dollar machines repeatedly to the ground. Big bikes need some bite, and the Big Block does it pretty nicely when you get off the pavement. For an aggressive pattern, the tire holds up quite well.
NEGATIVE: This tire is not a great street tire, but it is adequate. While it’s rated for speeds up to 100 mph, stay within the speed limit and don’t push it in the canyons.
BOTTOM LINE: For the price (retail for a rear is $136.99–$208.99, and the going web price is $93.99–$142.99), this is a good, strong tire intended for the versatile adventure pilot. If your plan is to never stray from the highway, the Big Block isn’t a strong performer. But when any dirt comes into the fray, the Kenda Big Block will let you survive the inconsistencies of loose conditions on your behemoth.
RATING:
Durability: 8
Value: 8
Performance: 8 (dirt), 5 (street)
Overall: 7/10
Contact: www.kendausa.com

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WARNING: Much of the action depict­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.

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