Heidenau K60 Scout – the first 600 miles

I’ve been interested in these Heidenau tires for a while now. I’ve been loving the Shinko 705’s on my DL1000, both for the performance and the price. They’re let down only by poor mileage – I get about 4000 miles out of a rear. The theory behind the Heidenau is that I should be able to get close to the same performance on road, better performance off-road, and double the mileage (but at double the price). Will the theory translate to reality?

In case you’re wondering what this has to do with the Super Tenere, I figure the V-Strom is a pretty close approximation as a platform to test these tires for future use on the Super Tenere. Given that there are no S10’s here yet, it’s the only choice!

I took a weekend trip out to West Virginia the day after fitting the K60. I still have a Shinko 705 on the front, and the combination seems ok. It doesn’t do anything weird, at least.

This was a typical trip for me – a couple of hundred miles of interstate and back roads getting out there, 70 miles of good hard-packed dirt road with some slippery and rocky sections, then back on road and interstate for the trip home. Some fun in the twisties is mandatory.

In general I liked the K60. In comparison to the Shinko 705, it’s a tad better on the type of dirt roads I was riding, but a tad worse on tarmac. This is to be expected with the deeper and wider grooves in the tread, of course. I think the K60’s would be much better in sand and mud – the trouble is, I generally avoid the sand/mud scenario whenever possible, so for my style of travel this is not huge advantage.

On the road they are squidgier than the Shinkos – they probably have a bit less ultimate grip but I never got to test that because they tend to walk around a bit underneath you, and I can take a hint.

I’ll be interested to see how they work in the rain. The solid bar around the middle of the tire reduces noise and vibration significantly compared to the Shinko, but I wonder how it will move water? It’s a German tire, so I have to believe it’s been thoroughly rain-tested.

They other thing I’m interested to see as I put some miles on this tire is whether or not it wears unacceptably square. I’ve heard the previous version did this. I’m thinking that if the Shinko only lasts 4k, and the Heidenau lasts 8k but the handling is shot after 5k, and costs twice as much, where’s the advantage? I’d rather just fit a new Shinko at 4k.

The shot below shows a black area on the sides of the blocks where they’ve been deforming when pushed a bit on the road.

Many more miles to go, but so far I think the Shinkos probably will suit me better overall. Especially considering I’m a tight-arse…

Testing the K60 on the V-Strom

Testing the K60 on the V-Strom

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