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Tread carefully – Adventure Tractionators

This entry is part 4 of 17 in the series Adventure Rider Issue #20

Can an Australian company produce a great adventure-bike tyre? If anyone can make it happen, Rick Atkinson and Motoz can.

There’s a few tread patterns available in the Motoz Adventure range. This one on the rear of the editor’s KLR is an aggressive Desert H/T. It’s a tyre that’s getting great reviews.

Some people lose themselves in imag-es of immaculately restored vintage bikes or go gooey at the specs on the latest Dakar bike. Rick Atkinson, an automotive engineer based on Sydney’s north-ern beaches, gets very, very focussed when it comes to tyre moulds. There’s nothing like a really well-sorted tyre production line to get Rick feeling really content.

Rick’s Managing Director of Motoz, so his fas-cination with tyre technology is a bit of a bonus, really. It sits nicely alongside his experience in the international business world, especially import/export and tyre production. Rick kicked off Hyosung in Australia, for instance, and although Motoz might seem a newish name Downunder, the company’s been producing and selling tyres overseas – very successfully – for yonks.

Now Motoz is offering a range of adventure tyres.

Rick’s the right bloke in the right place at the right time.

Here’s a couple of less aggressive, more general-purpose examples ideal for the big dualsporters.

Do it right

Development of the current range of Tractionator Adventures has been a bit of a rocky road. The Motoz development team thought they’d come up with some great tyres during the Australian drought of the early 2000s, only to find when the tyres hit the wet they were suddenly less than ideal. Not one to settle for a product that’s not the way he wants it, Rick went back to the drawing board – a computer with specialist design software, actually – and began looking for answers.

The only problem with making changes to tyres the way Rick contemplated was it meant making entirely new moulds, a very expensive and time-consuming process.

Having built the company in his spare time to start with, Rick had no hesitation in committing to the process again once he was full-time on the Motoz job.

Designs were refined, tyres were tested, huge investments of time and finance were made, and now, adventure riders can at last fit a tyre designed in Australia for Australian conditions.

Ready to ship.

The Tractionator Adventure range is not only made to handle the extreme terrain Australia offers, but the tyres are speed-rated to cope with the performance of the big-bore bikes currently ruling the adventure roost. Do some checking.

Chances are the tyres you’re using now with such confidence won’t meet those same standards. It’s not just the tread pattern and depth. The compounds are vital, and Motoz has spent many years researching, trialling and refining its construction and compounds to ensure the Tractionators do the job.

The result?

Motoz says its tyres are ‘technically 25 per cent stronger than many adventure tyres and feature deeper tread than most adventure tyres’. Tread design is unique.

The blocks self-sharpen for better grip through the life of the tyre and self-protect for longer tyre life.

Nick Selleck – on the cover of issue #18 – is a big fan of the new Tractionators.

You be the judge

There’s only one way to find out whether the Motoz guys have got it right, and that’s try a set. Adventure Rider Magazine’s publisher has a pair on his 990 and he’s sold on them. The editor has just slipped a new pair on his KLR and he’s still grinning at how easy they were to fit. Nick Selleck at Maschine is fairly handy sort of rider and he’s been using the Tractionators on his 1190 for a while. His opinions are fairly straightforward: “I’m really surprised by them,” articulated the incredibly well-spoken Victorian. “I first used them in November last year. I was just so impressed the first time I rode on them. I spent a week on that first ride on the KTM1190R, and where the stock TKC80s would last about 1500km for me, I get about 4500km out of the Tractionators.

The durability’s really good and the tyre grip’s really good. There’s tyres out there that last well but don’t grip. The Tractionators do both. And it’s an Australian company, so that’s a good thing.”

Grab a set and give them a try. They might be just what you’re looking for.

A tyre mould is a precision-engineered and expensive piece of equipment. Rick Atkinson of Motoz put a great deal of time and research into designing and refining the Tractionator Adventure moulds.

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