Friday, August 19, 2011

A Beautiful Morning & K60 Review

It looked like we were getting a little reprieve from the rain and even though it was a bit chilly (41°F  5°C), it seemed like too good of a morning to not go for a ride. I turned left out of the subdivision instead of right and went out towards Chena Hot Springs. At 6 mile CHSR, I took the newly paved, nicely curvy Steele Creek Road back to the Steese Highway. Last Tuesday on the group ride, we rode downhill on this road and this is where I felt "rushed". Today, I rode uphill and felt much more "in control" plus there was no one right on my back tire. I then took Goldstream Road back into the University. It made for a much more interesting commute. Fifty miles to go five seems about right...

Old photo from back in July
when they were new
I think that I am finally used to the new Heidenau K60 tires and Troubadour and Charlie6 have asked my thoughts about them. I mentioned the installation difficulties in an earlier post due to the stiffness of the sidewalls. Shawn from Adventure Cycleworks said that you can almost run them flat at low speeds due to their stiff sidewalls. I did air the rear down to 15 psi (half of normal) and tried it up and down the street and they do flatten out a little for more surface area but at the speeds I was going, you couldn't really tell that the pressure was low. Normally, I could feel tell if they are 5 psi low. You would do this for better floatation in soft stuff. I tried out my CyclePump compresser and it refilled the tire very quickly.

Right after the K60s were installed, they felt really "squirrely" as it took very little counter steering pressure to initiate a turn. Now that I think back, it was the old tires that really took a whole lot more pressure due to the squared off cross section. It's been a while since I've been on tires that still have a round cross section. They now have over 1000 miles on them (the majority of that has been in the last week) and I love the handling. Especially on loose surfaces. Last Sunday on my trip up the Elliot Highway, there were quite a few stretches of loose gravel most of it wet and muddy. You can still feel the bike dance around especially if you give it a little too much throttle coming out of a corner but you don't feel out of control. With my old tires, you could tell that the front tire was sliding sideways on the gravel and I never got that feeling with the K60s. On the highway, they do generate some noise and you can feel a little vibration at lower speeds and in corners. I have no idea about how long they are going to last. They are heavier than the stock tires and you can really feel that weight when braking. It takes more force on the brake lever to slow down at highway speeds. But I would classify this experiment a complete success.

Museum of the North just across the street.
Still a nice day in the afternoon

7 comments:

Bluekat said...

Sounds like a nice ride. Fifty for five is perfectly right!
No comments for the tires. They look very cool, but probably wouldn't work all that well on the Ninja...or maybe... ;)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Richard:

While I hate the hot weather, I am not yet ready for mornings at 41º degrees yet either. I found this product review of these tires to be very informative. Though I would never have use for tires (not right away), I like knowing about stuff.

The Cycle Pump is a pretty amazing tool, isn't it. I have one in my tail-piece.

Fondest regards,
Jack/reep
Twisted Roads

Conchscooter said...

I wonder what else riepe has up his taipiece?

RichardM said...

Kari:
Yes, all week it's been fifty for five (or thereabouts) fog, rain or shine.

Jack:
It has been in the forties every morning since I've been back. And the leaves are starting to change. I originally picked up the CyclePump based on one of your blog posts. It is amazing. Last week, I even used it to pump up the pressure tank for my well.

Conchscooter:
There are some questions which shouldn't be asked and that may be one of them...

Thank you all for commenting.

Unknown said...

Richard,

Best of luck with the new skins, I hope they work out. It's an expensive experiment.

At this point, I don't know if I'd rather have 41 or 101, I really don't care to ride in either. If there's sun at 41, it's doable.

Brady
Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life
http://www.behindbarsmotorcycle.com/

RichardM said...

Brady:
Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Personally, I prefer the cooler end and it doesn't seem to matter much if it is raining or not. Sure beats the heat. Easy for me to say that since the temperatures are still above freezing...

Unknown said...

I'm starting to acclimate, but I spent five years in Virginia - too hot there. By the time winter rolls around you say, "50? No. Nooooo. No." We'll see what I'm saying about 90 when I get back from Germany next year.

Brady
Behind Bars