new tires, tusk handguards/brushguards! (review-ish)
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  1. #1
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    New parts showed up today.. one order of two, anyway: kudos to rockymountainatvmc for the free shipping offer: unfortunately tires don't qualify for 3-day free shipping, but it was still free!



    Items that showed up:

    * Bridgestone TW34 + tube

    * Kenda K270 + tube

    * Tusk D-Flex handguards (minus plastic.. wasn't in the budget)



    I installed all of these items myself, and took the opportunity to inspect and see how the new brakes that I put on in the fall are wearing: not bad, but uneven: one of the shoes is wearing faster than the other on both front and rear. Re-adjusted for good measure.



    Impressions:



    Tusk handguards:



    Relatively easy install, unfortunately you have to cut the ends off the handgrips to open up the bars, and on the right side you have to hacksaw off the end of the throttle tube: wasn't thrilled with this, but I'll take it for the added improvement.. the grips weren't in great shape anyway.

    The bar clamps are moved as far as possible, that is, at the end of the guard's adjustment. This doesn't appear to be a hindrance, just a note. Their instructions advise to keep them at a slight downward angle, and to put the bar clamps inboard under the cross-bar. This works fine, but the rear allen-head screw is hard to get to, so snug it first, then tighten the other. This is the case on both sides: the cross-bar gets in the way.

    Once mounted, they're solid, feels like you could (almost?) pick the front of the bike up with them; exactly what I wanted. They're extremely light, and total install time was maybe 30mins. It would be less if the kids didn't need a bath halfway through

    Some slight issue with rerouting the brake cable: the left guard seems to get in the way of it a bit. Still works fine, no sharp bending or kinking.



    Kenda K270:



    Nice tire, a little glossy from packaging, but good soft compound. I haven't taken it for a test ride yet (its after midnight and I don't care to wake anyone up), but it looks like a great upgrade from stock for my use. Tire seems to have gone on the rim easier than the old one came off. Total install time maybe 1 hour, since I had a moment and couldn't remember how to deal with the brake cable. No problems seating the bead: it popped around 12-15psi.



    Bridgestone TW34:



    Upgrading from a bald TW32: we'll see how it rides later. Installation was as expected: quite a bit more difficult than the front tire. Didn't flake and have brake issues though, so install time was around 45 minutes. Tire feels very stiff compared to the Kenda front. No problems seating the bead on this one, either: around 12-15psi again. The tube was remarkably difficult to get into the tire.. be prepared for a bit of frustration. What worked best was to lock my knees into the rim and push downward toward the floor while holding the rim mostly upright, then stuffing the tube in with my third and fourth arms.



    Hopefully I didn't pinhole either of the tubes during installation, and they'll still have air in the morning..

    Keep in mind: I've never changed a motorcycle tire before, but have done dozens of car/light truck tires, and similar numbers of bicycle tires.

    Beads broke easily, I have a cheap auto/light truck manual tire machine anchored to the floor in the garage that worked great for this.



    I'll update with pictures later.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rohnsman's Avatar
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    I see the Kenda 270 comes in both front and rear varieties. Any reason you didn't go with the Kenda for the rear tire as well?

  3. #3
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    I honestly like the TW34 rear design a lot.. and don't have enough experience on this bike to say whether or not I made a good choice. At the time I ordered, I didn't see a Kenda K270 rear setup for a 14" rim.. got a link?
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truelight View Post
    I see the Kenda 270 comes in both front and rear varieties. Any reason you didn't go with the Kenda for the rear tire as well?


    You're right it does, but the TW needs the rear Kenda tire to fit the front.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  6. #5
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    I'd like to hear your impressions between the TW32 and TW34. I'll need to replace my TW32 within the next year as well.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  7. #6
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    Well, I'll warn you: my TW32 was pretty worn when I got the bike, and I put maybe 400-500 miles on it total before parking it due to it being so bald.. so no matter what the TW34 will be an improvement..
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontow View Post
    Well, I'll warn you: my TW32 was pretty worn when I got the bike, and I put maybe 400-500 miles on it total before parking it due to it being so bald.. so no matter what the TW34 will be an improvement..




    Ok, sounds good. Sounds like any tire would be an improvement over what you had.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  9. #8
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    Well.. I had a few moments to take it for a blast out back: I've got ~10 acres with a few jeep trails and a few short motorcycle/snowshoeing trails that I built specifically for the TW. The terrain is mostly broad-leaf trees with semi-spongy topsoil and lots of rotted and half-rotted leaves. The main line back into the woods is a very bumpy/rocky road with hard-packed soil. It's been raining all morning, so all of the leaves are good and slippery (making this a fine test). Unfortunately, my TW trial-type trail (lots of down logs to bump over, muddy one-track ruts, a few nasty short hill climbs) is too muddy: its about 2ft deep with water at the moment.. spring melt still hasn't dried up.



    The Kenda front is a remarkable change: very solid feeling, almost seems to add resistance at slow speeds to the steering it has so much grip. I'll be interested to see how this feels on pavement. I've got ~16-18psi of pressure in it, and it feels a little stiffer as far as ride quality goes. I should like to give it a shot with a bit less when I've got more time.



    The TW34 rear isn't as remarkable of a change: much improved side-to-side traction, but doesn't feel that improved with spinning traction. This might be a bit too subjective, and hard to compare without riding one after the other, but the old tire wasn't bad, and the new tire is certainly an improvement. I'm just having a hard time gauging how much. I'm running around 16psi in it. I also haven't worn the weird glossy coating off it yet.



    Anyone have something in particular they'd like to know/have me try and report on? Pavement results will come later, though I'll admit, the old tires had the knobs worn down pretty well: they were really quite good on pavement.
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  10. #9
    Senior Member jontow's Avatar
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    Put 15 or so more miles on the new tires this evening, about 50/50 on/off pavement.. Still feels pretty good, the slippery is starting to wear off and they're starting to grab like crazy



    Bike seems stiffer, goes into turns slightly different: it wants to stay upright.

    Got a good variety of terrain in today: fine loose sand, logging (skidder) trails with lots of brush/large trees/sticks and other debris: no problems there either.

    Plenty of loose and sticky mud, as well as shallow slippery type: both feel fine as well, the Kenda is a monster in this stuff: tracks dead straight with no wandering like the old original TW tire.



    A lot less road noise, now, too: the Kenda is quite a lot quieter: this might be attributed to the fact that it actually has tread on it. It rides quite a bit more smooth on pavement: small bumps/grooves/cracks in the road are nearly nonexistant now.



    Oh: and thanks to the tusk guards, my gloves aren't torn up after my blast through the brush
    --

    1997 TW, well loved, a bit modified.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Trail Woman's Avatar
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    That TW32 looks like a good dualsport match to the shinko 244. I've heard it may cause vibration on pavement. Any truth to that? How's it treating ya?

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