My first rear Heidenau K76 Tyre only lasted a couple of weeks on my Super Tenere but given the distances and conditions it was used in I was pretty happy so I put on another and this time a matching front. This time I was hoping to get the opportunity to see how it performed riding in less than the heat wave conditions I tested the last one out in through North Queensland. As Murphy’s Law would have it the new tyres were subjected to even more extreme high temperatures over 8,700kms in 5.5 days riding to Perth and back.
Here’s how it went.
There was no wet weather on this ride, but there were puddles of tar where the 46 degree temperatures in some areas melted the roads. I was concerned that the Heidenau K76’s would wear more in the higher temps than the last ones, they didn’t. I reckon I’ll get at least 10,000ks out of this rear tyre. I feel the reason for the longer life on this tyre might be the road conditions. In North Queensland the roads were uneven, riding on them you find yourself going up and down over bumps and dips constantly, particularly the areas around Hughenden and Richmond. The roads east west in Australia, even across the Nullarbor and into the more remote areas, are flatter by comparison and the surface of the road “seems” less abrasive but abrasive all the same.
Having said that, the cross winds on the Nullarbor plain played havoc with the tread. After a full day of a wild cross wind coming from the right the left most part of the external contact patches (tread knobs) on the tyre were worn unevenly on an angle reducing the tread depth and creating some uneveness or a ledge between these and the centre contact patches. YOu can see that in the photo above. I have to admit that I wasn’t really surprised and it didn’t seem to change the performance of the tyres dramatically in the curly bits but I’m thinking that for long distance all weather iron butt rides where dirt really isn’t a factor that I might consider a more road oriented tyre next time as a trial.
However whenever I touched gravel on this ride the tyres did exactly what they were supposed to. so at present I’m a little undecided about what to put on next, I’m not exactly sure my use case is what this tyre is designed for.
The front tyre overall was unexciting. I didn’t really notice any difference between it and the Battle Wing that it replaced as far as handling and performance and it didn’t show any significant wear on this trip. My only comment it that it’s a bit noisier than the Battle Wing, particularly at 90 – 100kph.
Riding at night between Wilcannia and Cobar provided me with an opportunity to test out how the tyres performed under emergency braking. On a melted road with the ABS going spare they held up very well to save some damage to the Super Tenere and a stupid Kangaroo playing chicken.
Hard cornering on hot roads through Horrocks Pass, both ways, proved no problem for the Heidenau’s, they are sure footed and gave no surprises as far over as I was game to take it. I’m not sure the Super Tenere is a footpeg scraper though.
So all up, I’m happy again with the Heidenau K76, but I’ll be putting something else on next time so I can start some proper comparisons.