Price: CAD $129.95 – $174.95
Original Post: May 8, 2015
Mitas you make good tires.
I now have a little over 650 km on the set of Mitas E07 Dakar tires that I had mounted on my V-Strom 1000 last Wednesday.
The Dakar version of the E07 have a 4-ply side wall as opposed to the 3-ply of the standard version, making them substantially stiffer – and more resistant to sidewall tears and pinch flats. This is the main reason that I chose this particular version of the E07 tire, as I will be riding an 8,000 km Epic East Coast and Trans Lab Adventure in July, and the Trans Lab can be hard on tires – or so I have heard.
Up until this week, I have been riding on the stock Bridgestone Battlewing tires. All-in-all, the stock rubber are a satisfactory road tire. They provided good grip in hard cornering, and I was never afraid to lean the big girl over in the twists. Wet traction was likewise satisfactory – though not as confidence inducing as on dry asphalt. They also managed most gravel and hard packed dirt fairly well, especially considering they are an 80/20 tire.
Where the stock rubber failed, of course, was mud. Big Ethel ended up laying on her side on several occasions after rolling around in the mud on various local adventures, and I came to expect that if we were going to be riding in any slick stuff, i was going to be picking her up.
I ordered my Mitas E07 tires online from MX1 Canada for CAD $129.95 (front) and $174.95 (rear) and they arrived within 4 days. For the last 2 days, I have been putting these Mitas 4-ply tires through their paces.
I spent the first 100+ km riding asphalt on a warm Thursday afternoon. The temperature was hovering around the 30 degree mark, and I knew that 100kms of super-heated asphalt would be enough to scuff-in the new rubber. I headed west from Ottawa on the 417 to Calabogie Road, and it was on that fine little piece of blacktop that I first got up the nerve to lean over on these almost-knobby tires.
So far, so good. Running at just a little over the speed limit, and accelerating fairly hard while leaned over coming out of some of the grin-inducing curves along the 508, I never once had a feeling of anything other than ‘hey, I like these tires.’
After about 106 kms of asphalt riding, I turned south onto highway 511 and made my way to the Barryvale road trailhead of the K&P Trail. It was time to see what these tires were like in the mild-to-medium off-road conditions.
I am still smiling when I think about those first impressions.
I am not one to take it easy and pussy-foot around a new product, handling it with kid-gloves lest it disappoint too quickly. No, I like to see how my new purchase is going to perform – whatever the item.
And in this case – boy, do they perform!
Admittedly, I only have the stock rubber as a benchmark for a comparison. So it is no surprise that I really liked the way these new 50/50 tires handled the K&P Trail. But let me tell you – I think that my impressions are real-world accurate.
The K&P Trail is a re-purposed rail bed that is now a multi-use trail. As such, it has quite a bit of everything scattered along its length – from pretty deep water crossings to deep, loose gravel to thick mud to sand to slick mud to shale to river stone and everything in between. And the new tires handled all of it without so much as a single ‘holy-crap-that-was-close-butt-cheek-clenching’ moment.
I went through the water crossing with the confidence of my KLR riding buddies, flew through the loose gravel at the posted 50 km/h speed limit, navigated the mud-holes without once getting squirrelly, and had the time of my life.
This is how riding a big adventure bike is supposed to feel!
I exited the trail yesterday at South Lavant Road and headed back towards Ottawa. By now I was so happy – and confident – with these new tires that I thought it was time to really push them on the asphalt – and South Lavant Road is just the placebo do that. One of the more exhilarating stretches of asphalt in the Lanark region, this little road has some of the tightest hairpin-like twisties to be found, most of them starting on the uphill side of the many, many steep hills that pepper this road like some far-fetched creation of an old roller-coaster designer. I have no idea why South Lavant was surveyed and laid out the way that it was – but I’m sure happy with the result.
I pushed Big Ethel, and the Mitas E07’s, as hard as I felt comfortable – and safe – in doing. And just like the manner in which they left me smiling on the trail, the E07’s lef me smiling on the asphalt.
I am not a track-day rider. I am not a 120 km/h on the off-ramps rider. But I am an enthusiast. And I do seek a thrill.
I am pretty sure Big Ethel and I will be finding those thrills on Mitas E07 Dakar’s for quite some time.
UPDATE – August 4, 2015
Well, Big Ethel and I are a little over 17,000 kilometres into the E07 Dakar tires that I reviewed above.
That includes my recent 8,300 kilometre East Coast and Trans-Lab Highway Adventure – and a sizeable portion of that was, as you know, gravel along the Trans-Lab Highway. Several hundred kilometres of that was ridden at 18 psi on a fully loaded 228 kg adventure bike, plus an 85 kg rider = we are talking about some 360 kgs of weight all told.
Riding hard – often with a bit of roost – I really did put these tires through the paces.
The Mitas E07 Dakar tires have yet to disappoint me.
The front likely still has another 5,000 to 7,000kms of life in it.
The rear, alas, is approaching the end of its useful off-road service. On the rear of most of my friend’s bikes the E-07 Dakar lasts for an average of 20,000 to 25,000 kilometres.
I am a little harder on my rear tire.
I have recently ordered a new rear tire for Big Ethel, and like the E07 Dakar’s I have ordered my new rear from MX1 Canada in Richmond, BC. Their service is excellent, and my last order arrived at my door 4 days after purchase; unfortunately, the E07 is currently on backorder and I will be have to wait until September for their arrival.
Oh, and I think I will like this new rear tire when it arrives . . .
It is, after all, a Mitas E07 Dakar.