Heidenau Tires: K60 Scout 50/50
Motorcycle tires are like food choices, there are so many options and most often driven by personal taste, experience, and brand loyalty. To be sure, there are big differences in tires. For me my ideal tire is a 50/50 or 60/40 – on-road/off-road. Since I ride long distance and long term, and it’s not just a weekend getaway, I gotta be smart, prudent, and responsible.
As much as we adventure riders had to admit it, but the world’s greatest dirt roads are slowly being paved over. For example, the great road from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa in Sudan, where I dropped my motorcycle more than a dozen times and where famously Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman (Long Way Down fame) continually cursed the road—and they had a support team following them. That road is now paved. So a tire must be good on pavement and have good longevity.
Great off road tires are typically soft and wear quickly. Pure street tires will tense the rider on dirt and gravel roads. For these reasons I’ve started using Heidenau K60 Scouts, front and rear. I like the K60 Scout’s by Heidenau because they direct sand, mud and water between tread blocks that are in a “chevron” type pattern, which in many ways mimics a pure knobby off-road style. They have unbelievable longevity, too. I get more than 7,000 miles on the rear and the front even longer.
Of course when it comes time to change a tire, a rider doesn’t always have a choices—especially if you’re in Tanzania or Peru. I’ve done it plenty of times, but I’m not fond of carrying tires. I try to balance the need to change a tire, versus the miles ahead to the next location and whether or not I’m going to find sufficient tires in my sizes. In some cases, I might toss a tire to a local motorcyclist that still has decent tread and buy a new one with complete tread for the longer journey ahead where tire options are likely minimal.
When I can, I’ll use Heidenau K60 Scouts.