Metzeler Karoo 3 Tires
50% of the time it's a great 50/50 tire
KTM 990 ADV
As many other reviews here point out, this tire is surprisingly grippy on pavement once broken in and warmed up for such an aggressive (at least in appearance) tread pattern. I was very pleased with the cornering performance on road, although be sure to warm them up properly. My initial on-road ride had me pumped on these, and they had to be decent off-road, right? I mean, look at 'em!
Off-road the Karoo 3 left me disappointed, especially if your off-road isn't just nice packed dirt trails or jeep roads. Wet offroad conditions with mud and rocks will quickly highlight the shortcomings of this tire. In mud, the lack of a central directional tread in front results in a tire that likes to 'push', while the paddle-like layout in the rear works pretty nicely and has plenty of space between treads to avoid packing.
In the rocks, it's the opposite; the front does a respectable job but when climbing anything with a square edge the rear likes to swing side to side, probably due to that same offset-paddle layout.
I'll leave most of the wear conversation to others as that's not something I really consider with tires too heavily, but I will say I had significant rear center wear after a single two-day ride consisting of about 100 miles of pavement and 180 miles of dirt including dirt roads and rough trail.
Overall I give these tires a 'meh'. If you are looking for a tire setup that can handle some slab then let you ride your big bore dual sport in the woods (including mud, roots, rocks) like the manufacturer intended, there are better choices, namely a TKC 80 front with a Dunlop D908RR rear. If you are looking for a tire that will be comfortable on road and make occasional dirt roads or jeep trails a little more fun, then maybe these are worth considering although frankly I thought my stock Pirelli Scorpions weren't much worse offroad and were better on.
July 25, 2016
When they first arrived in the mail I was surprised by how aggressive the tires are, much more so than they look in the pictures. Once I had them on my 2015 ktm 690 enduro I was impressed with how smooth they were for such aggressive tread. Since then I've put approximately 1500 miles on them and they're holding up well. I've also ridden in the rain without the slightest problem. As far as off road they're not quite as good as the Pirellis that came on the bike stock but they're still very good and everything else about them is better.
June 21, 2016
Solid 50-50 tires
I switched out of the stock street tires for my BMW R1200GS. I was taken by surprise initially by how easily you can lean on these tires, as the old one were a bit...square.
After riding for a few weeks and breaking those in, I feel comfortable to lean on curves on pavement.
June 1, 2016
Amazing tire for the KTM 690
I've put about 2500 miles on these now, and continue to love them to death. The rear is just starting to show some wear. Works fantastic for twisties, highway, and challenging off-road. Truly the best do-it-all tire I've tried so far!
I'd previously run MT21s, and although they were perfectly comfortable in the dirt, I would feel them slip and slide in the twisties, and wander at high speeds. The Karoo's seem to handle everything with perfect aplomb.
I'm pretty sure I will be buying this tire as long as I ride the 690.
April 16, 2016
This tire was pretty easy to install was real slick at first, but after breaking in awhile these things are STUCK excellent traction and an aggressive tread pattern. Really like these tires!
March 2, 2016
Great tire for the right situation.
Purchased a set of Karoos for my '12 Triumph Tiger XC. I do 80% pavement, 18% dirt and two tracks, 2% more gnarly two-tracks/single tracks. Exactly 5700 miles on the set and am replacing both with a set of Tourance Nexts. The front probably has around 3000 miles to go...I could probably squeeze 1000 more on the back.
The good - these tires rock on dirt roads and easy fire trails. I have done several long trips, the most memorable running the Apache trail in AZ. We went past Tortilla Flats and did the trail to Globe. I felt so confident in the grip we were getting some real nice speeds on some of the tougher sections. On the pavement they gripped well and did equally as well in the rain.
The bad - the more they wore down, the louder and buzzier they became. If you have an adv bike but have buddies who you travel with on sport tourers, you will not feel confident running these at higher speeds. Above 85 I would not go with these shoes and a loaded bike...so I got left behind quite a bit. Use the Metzler comparisons tool on their website...I would say these are a great 50/50 tire versus 70/30. Given the type of riding I do i think the Tourances will be a better fit. I will still be buying a new rear Karoo since my front still has some miles as i will swap them out for a few dirt trips i have planned.
The ugly - no ugly to report.
January 31, 2016
not bad for the price
I'm only at 1500 miles and my back tire is getting close to needing a replacement, probably another 500miles, but for 100$ cant complain. I also have been doing a ton of whoolies, so that probably doesn't help. 140/80-18 on a 690 endro r @26psi
November 12, 2015
Front only - great street tire and good on gravel too
I have about 4K miles on this now. Mostly pavement, where it performs admirably - not as glued to the road as the TA2 that came on my 1190 non-R, but I don't have trouble keeping up with my buddies on street tires.
Whenever an un-paved sideroad beckons, this tire gives WAY more confidence than the TA2 (no surprise given the more open tread). Makes checking out fire roads and service roads much more fun.
There is a little bumpiness to the ride from the open tread, but I've ridden many 200+ mile days without it being a bother. I can feel the tread under braking, but again it's not a problem, just different than a street tire.
Would definitely go with this front tire again. Right now it's paired with a TKC70 rear and I'm very happy with the combination for ripping around mountain roads and occasionally exploring where the pavement ends.
July 30, 2015