I’ve been battling a little with tyres lately.
The dilemma for me is the choice between a durable tyre that will truly cope with 50/50 on-road/off-road use, but won’t be impossible to change when I get a flat. A knobby is unpleasant on the road and tends wear fast. A road tyre is near-useless off-road. These days the dualsport tyres all seem to be impossible to get off the rim. A lot of them are becoming unmanageable when it’s time to set the bead, too.
I was given a pair of the new Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41s to try for work.
A few weeks ago I had a flat on the rear of the KLR and was stuck in Maitland because I couldn’t break the bead. To get out of trouble I had to find a bike shop to get the tyre off. A tyre I can’t repair myself is useless to me, so my new rule with tyres is if I can’t fit them myself, I won’t be running them. Back to the KLR in Maitland, and I had the shop fit a TKC70.
It was the only 130/80-17 they had, so even though it looked very road-oriented, it was fine with me. It actually reminds me a lot of the dualsport tyres the guys with money used to run when I was a kid. I think it was a Metzeler back then, but it had a similar shape and pattern, and the good riders used to go everywhere on them.
Anyhoo, I’ve really enjoyed the way that tyre sticks to the road. The shape makes the handling of the bike feel good, too…at least I think that’s what it is. The tyre’s more rounded than the square-shouldered Mitas models I’ve been using, and the bike snakes its way around the tarmac very nicely. It’s actually not too bad on the dirt, either, but I haven’t had it in mud or sand.
Hang in there with me. This gibber is heading somewhere.
So I need to fit the Bridgies to the KLR, but the Conti on the rear at the moment is fairly new. I think it cost me $230, so I’m reluctant to chuck it in the corner of the shed and let it perish. The obvious use for it is on the rear of the Dominator. That bike doesn’t go off-road much any more, and the Mitas 07 on the rear is about three-quarters worn. I could stand chucking the old Mitas. It’s been on there quite a while.
So that’s a good, cost-effective solution.
The KLR is in with Dan Vaughan having some Denali D2 lights fitted – another expensive opition. That bike is costing a fortune! – and I hope to have the bike back tomorrow so I can flip the Bridgestones on it and use it on Wednesday. Naturally, at the same time I could swap the Conti from the rear over to the Dominator and feel very efficient about everything.
But this morning I had to bolt into Bunnings, and on the way back I got a flat.
Aside from the undies-soiling experience of the bike doing it’s Mark Marquez impersonation at the roundabout, the thing had to have a repair when I was planning to take the tyre off tomorrow anyway.
Spewin’ or what!
At least I stayed on at the roundabout, and fortunately there was no other traffic at the time.
I see Coffs City Moto – the Yamaha/Suzuki dealership – is running customer rides. I’m really keen to support dealerships who make an effort to do something for customers, so if I can make it I think I’ll join the next one. It’s scheduled for June 3. Get the details from the Coffs City Moto Facebook page.
See if can get through that one without a puncture.