Monday, January 20, 2014
My V-Strom had Shinko 705 tires at that time. Although they are considered more of an 80/20 tire, and they do fantastic on rainy pavement, they aren't very good in snow.
I have new tires now. Heidenau K60 "Scouts", with a knobby 50/50 tread. They actually do very well in snow, but snow is snow and it's still a slick proposition on a motorcycle regardless of tread.
This past weekend, I rode up the Clackamas River Highway east of Estacada, and turned right across the river up Memaloose Road. It was paved the whole way (except for a quarter-mile stretch of packed gravel), which was kind of a let-down. I wanted to get some more off-road practice. Once I was above 3,400 feet elevation, I started riding through patches of snow with bare lanes of pavement where truck tires go. I came to a junction with NF 4550 and it was covered with snow, and both roads leading away had snow as far as the eye could see.
So I turned around and headed back down toward civilization. On the way, I saw a gravel road going up a steep, rutted hill. I cut a hard right, stood up on the pegs, and climbed the hill. My Heidenau's worked great and I navigated the ruts and slope with ease. It wasn't a long climb, maybe 100 yards, so at the top I did a four-point turn and headed back down. Again, the Heidenau's did a fantastic job of giving me good grip and control.
This off-road stuff is a lot of fun!
Monday, January 13, 2014
I rode up the Clackamas River highway and headed off on an unpaved Forest Service road. There had been a big rain and wind storm the day before so there was a lot of tree debris everywhere. Soon the one lane paved road ended and I was on gravel and mud.
I practiced a few slow speed turning maneuvers, then started veering off the side of the road through big puddles and shallow mud bogs. The Heidenau K60's gave me tons of grip and really inspired my confidence in what the bike could do.
So far, I'm very impressed with these Heidenau K60's. They buzz slightly at moderate speed, but any knobby tire will do that and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I look forward to seeing how many miles I can get on them with the upcoming riding season.