So far I’ve put 103 miles on these with everything from loamy singletrack to packed dirt, packed small diameter gravel/limestone, larger diameter thick gravel, broken pavement, asphalt highway and 1 open grate metal bridge. Nothing really surprising results wise. Overall I was very nervous at first but am getting more confident as I go. Definitely a learning curve here. It feels like the tires are just starting to come in and feel better on pavement. I started off with 36F 34R, moved to 32F 30R and am now at 26F 24R which seems to be best so far for mixed surfaces.
They really do well on loamy dirt, are pretty good on highway up to 75 mph with no balancing weights except Ride On balancing liquid/sealer, worse on gravel than my Shinko 244’s and downright scary on an open grate bridge that I never really noticed before with the 244’s. I liked the extra grip in the dirt over the 244’s though, which was my main reason for changing.
I think it’s premature to give a good opinion as I'd like to wait until they come in more. I started some higher speed sweepers this evening and they are getting better. For the record, although I’ve ridden for years this is my first dual sport and I’ve only had Trailwings (probably an 80/20 tire), Shinko 244’s (I’d rate as a 60/40) and now these which I’d rate as a 20/80 tire. There is a different feel with a heavy bike on knobs with hard surfaces and honestly they were not good at first on pavement and gravel. I know from experience though to take my time and to give them a chance to come in and for me to adjust. I think the higher rear sidewall changes things a little.
Being that this a new tire model from an unknown Chinese supplier I was reluctant to take Paul’s very sound advise on mounting the front backwards. I saw some things online about the splice and how Kenda doesn’t recommend it and I chickened out. I own a tractor with Ag tires Paul so I agree with the importance of tread direction because I’ve experienced it. I just figured that in reality I don’t ride a lot of mud or rain and my primary surface is pavement so I went with the sidewall suggestion. I may reverse it soon.
I definitely feel more “wandering” of both ends on gravel and I’m considering changing the front rotation as he suggested. I truth though, I mounted the rear first then took it for a ride to see how the taller sidewalk affected engine rpm (minus 100 rpm at 60 mph) of which half is probably attributed to new tread and the other half to the higher profile. Immediately upon riding my gravel road with the new rear and old Shinko 244 front I felt more float. Once i mounted the front also and at full road pressures it was worse but again I want to get some more mileage and play with pressures to be sure.
The open grate bridge though was really bad. I crossed in second gear and wondered if I would make it. I immediately turned around and crossed again in first which felt safer but it drifted noticeably. This was never an issue with the 244’s. In summation nothing really unexpected. I will continue to experiment and see how they do.
I mounted them by hand with Motion Pro levers and rim protectors without putting so much as a scratch on the rims. I used silicone spray as a bead lubricant. I had to use a large c clamp and an oversized pair of channel locks to break the rear bead in the old Shinko. Good luck to anybody who thinks they will break a rear bead loose on a tubeless tire trail side. If you can you’re a better man than me.
2015 KLR with in intermediate/experienced 195 pound rider. I’d like to think I’m an advanced rider but I see these humbling videos of what other people can do and my ego gets knocked down a few points.
Last edited by EricZ; 09-22-2019 at 11:10 PM.