The E-07's are marketed as a 50/50 tyre; "Excellent riding properties both on the road as well as on less demanding terrain. The perfect tyre for hard packed, dry dusty, rocky and gravel surfaces. The Adventurers choice where distance is more important than off road capability" They're also significantly cheaper that the Conti's. I figured it was worth the punt to see what they're like. I had been planning a few mild dirt roads as well as looking into a future trip to the Alps to ride some of the dirt roads over there. My main worry was that the Mitas E-07 were shite on the tarmac and ditchfinder dangerous in the wet. The internet has mixed reviews with some riders finding the E-07s great and others slating them. As I said, it's a bit of a punt.
I opted for the standard E-07s. There's also a "Dakar" version available with much stronger, stiffer sidewalls. You can tell the Dakar version by the yellow band that runs around the tyre.
One thing everyone said was to make sure they were scrubbed in properly. A few hundred miles around the borders saw that done. Even while scrubbing them in I was surprised. The tyres gave plenty feedback without any unpredictable movement. They handling characteristics was totally different my previous more road based tyres, the E-07's really feel like they tip in to a corner, they also howl a bit. Once I was used to it neither of these characteristics bothered me. The E-07's are nice and stable under braking, the rear locking up, or setting off the ABS a bit easier than with the Contis.
Next up was to see how the E-07 (and my body) coped on rougher dirt roads. Once more I was surprised, the E-07's didn't lose grip under braking, traction was good, even on looser surfaces, I would even go as far to say that I was in control! There was no sudden tucking of the front that I'd experienced in the past and once I got used to weighting the pegs and getting my body in the right place I even had the back end sliding out a few centimeters. Hey, I'm not Mert Lawill, I was chuffed!
Back on to tarmac and I headed down the coast for some chips. The only thing making me tentative about the Mitas E-07's was me. I kept expecting a big, unsettling twitch when crossing over banding or white lines but the E-07's were solid.
If you don't have broon chippy sauce on yer chips yer a heathen.
About a week later I led the Africa Twin Scotland group on a trip to Applecross with my tour company, Passing Places Tours. Even on the wet roads we encountered the E-07's gave me confidence, no arse like a rabbit's nose moments at all.
Happy customers. Tom had ridden all the way up from Wales for the trip.
I'd definitely recommend the Mitas E-07's if you're looking for a decent tyre that'll handle some rougher conditions. They're not as good on the road as the Trail Attack 2's, but they're far better than the stock Dunlop rubber the Africa Twin comes with. They should last way longer than Continental's TKC80s too. Mine have done just over 1000 miles, I'll do another write up when they're gubbed to see how they fair as they wear.
Want to come on a trip with Mike? Check out www.passingplacestours.com for more info.