EZ ADV Upgrades: The Ever-Present Hunt for Traction

Ryan Adams
by Ryan Adams

MOTOZ Tractionator Tires and Fastway Footpegs

For this four-part series, we take a look at five easy bolt-on parts that will transform your ADV bike from a Starbucks-destined road queen, to a Dakar-ready desert blasting rally winner. Or something like that. This series is designed to show how much of a difference a few well-thought-out adventure bike upgrades can make to the off-road prowess of your big ADV bike.

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Traction. It’s something motorcyclists of all kinds rely on. From commuters to racers, traction is an important part of maintaining control of your motorcycle across varying terrain. In terms of off-road riding or racing on asphalt, the role of traction and grip becomes even more important as you push yourself and your tires to the limits.

One of the easiest and cheapest way to vastly enhance the off-road performance of your large adventure bike is to swap in a set of tires that are more specifically created for on/off-road use with the percentage matching your intended use. There are many tires available on the market that range from 90% street/10% dirt to 90% dirt/10% street and everything in between. The key to choosing the correct tire for your ride isn’t perhaps so specific to brand, but to your intended use.

Another, often times overlooked area where more grip and traction will help you wrangle your ride through various terrain, are footpegs. Rearsets for sportbike racers offer tons of adjustability and ample grip as riders hang off of the motorcycle. For off-road purposes, footpeg grip is just as important whether it be peg-weighting your way across steep goat trails up the side of a mountain or standing for dusty fire roads while you pound out the miles. Larger footpegs will help you maneuver your motorcycle as well as lessen fatigue from long stints of standing while riding.

Let’s take a look at the two options we chose to use in our EZ ADV Upgrades series.


MOTOZ Tractionator Adventure Tires

MOTOZ is an Australian brand that manufactures tires for purely off-road and dual sport markets. The Australian company has been gaining traction (pun intended) stateside with customers raving about grip and long tire life associated with its adventure tires.

As mentioned previously, tires are probably the cheapest and most substantial upgrade you can make to your adventure motorcycle. The MOTOZ Tractionator Adventure tires seemed as though they would provide me with the grip I was looking for while still having the on-road longevity I need to put down the miles on my way out of the greater LA area.

If anyone knows the rigors of the harsh environs that some push their ADV bikes to it’s the Aussies, hopefully the Australian MotoZ tires go the distance.

The Tractionator series is designed to give long tire life in enduro conditions. According to MOTOZ, the Tractionator line does this by using Super Heavy Duty ply construction, puncture resistant casing, reinforced sidewalls, rim protectors, and natural rubber anti-chunking compounds. They may be heavy, but they’re designed to last under a 540-pound motorcycle with 140 horsepower in extreme conditions.

The front tire didn’t provide as much bite as we had hoped for, but the nicely spaced large blocks down the center of the rear tire provided ample straight line acceleration and the side lugs hooked up well in the soft stuff while turning.

The MOTOZ tire we ordered is rated as a 50%/50% dual sport tire. The company touts the Adventure as a “technically stronger” and more heavy duty tire than others on the market in the same class. MOTOZ also claims the Tractionator Adventure has superior cornering off-road capabilities as well as a deeper tread, all of which are said to contribute to the off-road characteristics of the tire.

We installed the 90/90 21 and 140/80 18 Tractionator Adventure tires as the first upgrade to transform our already capable KTM 1190 Adventure R into a truly dirt worthy machine. I would have liked to run the same stock 150 tire, but the size wasn’t available at the time of ordering (the Tractionator Adventure is now available in 150/70 18). On our first ride out of the garage and onto the freeway, it was quickly apparent the MOTOZs weren’t as stable at highway speed as something like the Continental TKC80, which has been a dominant figure in the 50/50 market since its inception.

They may be heavy, but they have proven to last longer than many other tires on the market. We still have a lot of miles to put down in order to attest to their longevity.

Thankfully off-road, the Tractionator Adventure was able to gain back some of the points it may have lost on the road. The rear hooks up nicely with large blocks generously spaced down the middle while also offering good cornering traction from the big ol side lugs while leaned over. The front tire wasn’t as impressive as the rear in terms of bite, yet still offered substantially more grip than the Continental Trail Attack 2s that came stock on the motorcycle, or the TKC 70s mounted previously.

We haven’t been able to put enough miles on the tires to speak to their longevity, but the unfortunate fact of living next to the ocean in Los Angeles means you have to pound some pavement to get to the trail, so we should get a good perspective of this tire’s life used on-road and off as the miles stack up.

Pricing: Front 90/90 21 $139.95, Rear 140/80 18 $229.95
For more information check out www.motoz.com.au/product/tractionator-adventure/

Fastway Adventure Footpegs

Pro Moto Billet has been around since 1997 and first started when Lynn Hodges machined a billet aluminum cargo rack and decided to begin selling them as a division of Production Automation Inc. In 2006, Pro Moto Billet purchased Oregon-based Fastway Performance, company that has enjoyed a long history of national championships with its product. Fastway footpegs are synonymous with motocross, dual sport, and adventure riding, and the company has racked up more than 40 national championship titles to prove it.

MOTOZ tires would be helping us put traction to the ground, and the Fastway footpegs would help us maintain traction while straddling the big orange beast of a bike.

The Fastway Adventure footpegs are made in the USA out 2024 aluminum, a material used in aircraft applications due to its high strength-to-weight ratio. While installing the footpegs, we weighed the stock footpeg (with rubber insert) and the much larger Fastway footpegs to see how they compared. Each Fastway Adventure footpeg including all of the necessary hardware weighs 8-ounces, 2.3-ounces less than the stock components.

The Fastway Adventure footpegs are big, which may be something you want to consider if your ADV riding takes you into tight rocky single track. They do add to the bike’s width down low.

These footpegs are big, in the best way. Measuring in at 2.25 by 4.75-inches, you’ll have plenty of room to move around on these bad boys. Fastway also provides 36 10mm cleats and 36 12mm cleats with information suggesting ways to mix and match the screw-in inserts depending on your desired traction specifics. Cool, right? The adjustability doesn’t end there, though. When installing the pertinent Fit Kit, which may be needed to install the footpegs to your motorcycle, you have the option of using them two ways to keep the footpegs at the standard height or move them a bit lower for more leg room. There is also a bolt referred to as the FKMS (Fast Kamber Mounting System) on the side of the footpeg that allows you to adjust the upward or downward tilt of the footpegs.

Room to sprawl out.

Riding the 1190 R after swapping the footpegs was a night and day difference while standing and even while sitting, giving more room to move around while on-road. Of course, riding off-road proved to be the real test of just how much performance a footpeg can add. In off-road situations, weighting the pegs is crucial whether it be to gain traction on the side of a hill with loose terrain, or railing through corners and staying planted firmly on the bike. The Fastway Adventure footpegs provide tons of room to really push your foot down into them in order to keep the bike where you want it.

Fastway makes a pointier, more boot-sole-ravaging cleat which you can pick up separately, but I found the 10mm cleats to work just fine for my mix of on and off-road riding.

It’s incredible the amount of confidence that can be gained from having a more sturdy base while riding a big adventure motorcycle. The adjustability offered by the Fastway Adventure footpegs allows the rider to fine tune the set-up to best suit their needs and preferences, keeping your mind off of footing and focussed on the trail ahead.

Pricing: Adventure Footpegs $255.95, Fit Kit $19.00
For more information regarding the Fastway Adventure Footpegs click here.

Next up in the series, we take a look at Black Dog Cycle Works’ Ultimate Skid Plate as a relatively cheap way to ensure you don’t end up stuck trailside with a busted bike like Dirty Sean.


Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams

Ryan’s time in the motorcycle industry has revolved around sales and marketing prior to landing a gig at Motorcycle.com. An avid motorcyclist, interested in all shapes, sizes, and colors of motorized two-wheeled vehicles, Ryan brings a young, passionate enthusiasm to the digital pages of MO.

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3 of 4 comments
  • Spiff Spiff on Jun 22, 2018

    I like the project bike format.

  • Old MOron Old MOron on Jun 22, 2018

    Good article, Ryan. Looking forward to the next installments.

    And here's another vote for the TKC80's. I've only used them on 17-inch wheels, so I can't say what they're like in other sizes.