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Discussion Starter #1
I am using Heidenau K60 Scout dual sport tires on my DR 650 and love them. I got to thinking that the 140/80-18 rear tire might make a good front tire on the TW. (They don't make a 130/80-18 but do make a 17. Figures....) My concern is compatibility and handling with the big rear tire on the TW and the Heidenau on the front. Anyone have any ideas what to expect? I'm concerned about going into and around curves on asphalt as well as in the dirt. Will the bike try to do something unexpected?



Here is what a 130/80-17 looks like.



 

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Those sure look wide! I don't know if its the tire or just the picture, but the tire looks kind of square (flat edges). I don't see why it wouldn't work.
 

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Looks like it would stop on a dime in the dirt. Looks rounder than typical DOT knobbies such as the K760, so probably not quite the ultimate anti-wash traction on the really slippery stuff as a K760, but probably much better road manners with less void in the tread. I expect the bigger solid blocks would feel a little more solid on pavement than the K270 and SR244. Definately looks like an excellent candidate for a replacement front tire for anything but the gnarliest offroad. Chose your compromises. I expect the $150 price will limit its popularity, but it's German, so you'll get what you pay for.
 

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Metzeler makes their Sahara 3 in 140/80/18. It's slightly more street oriented than the Heidenau, but a good tire off-road. I've used them on my DR650. It also is a rear tire and also fairly expensive at around $145.



 

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I've run a few of the K60's on my DR650 and my 1200GSA. We sell them in our shop so I've had access to them to try them out. They are a great tire, but like a Kenda Big Block I wonder if they aren't too stiff for our lighter weight TW's.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I replaced my front tire using a 120/90-18 Heidenau K60 Scout tire instead of the 140/80 tire. The 120/90 is a much better fit. It is a much stiffer and heavier tire and 5 mm wider than the Bridgestone 130/80-18 tire which measure about 117 mm across.



Knobbies are nice but realistically I need something that will do well on the asphalt and OK in the dirt and last a long time. I am hoping I have found the perfect compromise. Its manners on the street are perfectly acceptable though it isn't fully broken in yet I am sure it will be fine. Maybe next week I will head to Hollister and try it out in some dirt.



The salesman said he would be surprised if I didn't get at least 15,000 miles out of this tire and he said he would not be surprised if I got 20,000. If true it will make the cost ($110 OTD) to benefit ratio an extremely favorable one. He based his prediction on the fact that when this tire is used on the rear of heavier bikes they last about 7,000 miles. Since the TW is lighter and the tire is on the front he figured it should last over twice as long. Hopefully he is right.







 

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That looks good Tony, should do well in all but the gnarliest offroad, and looks well suited for the street.

I just put a Michelin AC 120/90 on my front, it measured 5 3/4 " and the 140 would not have fit. I believe the wider tires are great in the real tough stuff but become a liability on the front of these light bikes in soft dry terrain, but that tire has a round profile that should help.

Nice find!



Bag
 

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You are right, elime, selections for the rear tire is kind of slim in North America. The only DOT legal knobby available today is the stock TW34. Everything else available is pretty much a street tire. As for the front, any tread pattern from road race slick to hard core knobbies can be made to work, but most in our sizes are rear tires and some of the rear cross section profiles just don't work on the front in a variety of conditions. The secret to a good front tire is that it always has more traction than the rear, in any conditions. Washouts suck. Slideouts are fun.

The problem with wide front tires in soft terrain is our TWs do not have enough power to loft the front wheels and keep them on top of the sand rather than p[lowing trough. Ever see an ATV with skinny tires? No? Because tire width isn't the problem.
 

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Elime, I would mount that tire the other way around as a front tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Elime, I would mount that tire the other way around as a front tire.
Funny you should mention that. I flipped it around because it was wearing funny. I had the air pressure to low and was using the front brake to much. The wear pattern has normalized and I was thinking of flipping it back around. Honestly, riding it on pavement or dirt I can't tell the difference.

I have heard putting a back tire on the front the tire should be mounted backward. I asked the guy I bought it from and he said don't bother putting it on backwards. 5K miles later, when I showed him it was wearing funny he said the air pressure was to low. I now keep it at 30 psi. I have tried lowering the air pressure when riding in the dirt and again, I can't tell the difference. It is a stiff tire and already wider than stock so nothing is gained by lowering the pressure.

What have you heard and what has been your experience?

There are 9K miles on the tire now. I really hope to double that. We will see........Tony

Front.JPG
 

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I have heard putting a back tire on the front the tire should be mounted backward.

What have you heard and what has been your experience? ....
Hi Tony,

I put my front tire on backwards because of internet chatter, and the recommendation of a vendor.

When I checked with several tire manufacturers, there was no mention of reversing the direction of the tire.

In fact more than one manufacturer stated NOT to reverse the tire direction.

Personally, I can't tell the difference by riding on it, or tire wear.

jb
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
18000 miles out of a knobby? AWESOME!!!!
Reports to follow.........

Personally, I can't tell the difference by riding on it, or tire wear.

jb
Ditto for riding. The increasing tire pressure and using the back brake more made a big difference in how the front tire was wearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A quick up date. Just reached 12,000 miles on my Heidenau front tire and it has a lot of rubber left. I think it should easily last to 15,000 miles and 20,000 miles is a real possibility.

P7250817.JPG P5070003.JPG
 

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Thank you for the update.
Yes, that's quality made in (east) Germany.
The factory is in my neighborhood (less than 90 miles).
 
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