HEIDENAU K60 SCOUT TIRES | MC TESTED


Funny we have been using these tires since 2010 and surprised this reviewer just heard of them.  We get tons of mileage out of them and I would disagree on one thing.  Not a 50/50 tire, more like 60/40. ;-) We have them on our bike 24/7, 365 days a year.

Have them on our F800’s right now…and would only use these for where and how we ride.

Heidenau K60 Scout Tires

Motorcyclist, January 13, 2014
MCY0214 TEST 001

I had hardly heard of Heidenau before I started searching advrider.com for dual-sport tire recommendations for my BMW R1200GS test bike. Virtually unknown outside of the ADV underground, Germany’s other tire manufacturer has developed a cult following for excellent all-surface performance and legendary longevity—values especially important to long-hauling, hard-riding adventure-bike enthusiasts. The company has been making tires in the former East German city of Heidenau since 1946, but its wares weren’t widely available until after the Berlin Wall fell in the late ’80s. Heidenau tires have been available in the US only since 2007, when John Bettencourt at Moto Amore, a small importer in Santa Clara, California, discovered the brand while searching for replacement tires for vintage scooters.

Leslie’s rear K60

The K60 Scout is a 50/50 design meant for equal parts on- and off-road riding. (Heidenau also offers the K76, a street-biased, 90/10 option.) I mounted a 110/80B-19 front ($172.60) and 150/70B-17 rear ($224.90) because OEM sizes for the standard 2013 GS (120/70R-19 front and 170/60R-17 rear) won’t be available until early 2014. The 110/150 combination is actually better for off-road riding, delivering quicker turn-in and improved maneuverability without any appreciable loss in high-speed stability.

Rocks, sand, or mud, the K60 Scouts deliver sure-footed traction over any off-road surface

The front tread is a classic chevron pattern composed of large, segmented blocks; the rear is similar with one key difference: Center blocks are connected to create an uninterrupted contact patch for a smoother ride and better durability on asphalt.

Leslie’s front

The first thing you notice about the K60s are the unusually stiff sidewall, which accomplishes two things: One, it makes them a bear to install, according to my mechanic, and two, it makes them extremely stable, even at lower pressures. I ran mine as soft as 20 psi off-road without any stability issues, which is important on a 525-pound, 120-hp dirt bike. The second thing you notice, on pavement at least, is how the front tire sings above 55 mph. It’s never so loud that it can’t be muted with earplugs, but it’s strange if you’ve never experienced it before. That’s the cost of an interrupted tread on hard surfaces.

Ridden side by side with a KTM 950 Adventure shod with Continental TKC 80s—the current standard for 50/50 tires—proves that the K60s are significantly better on pavement, without sacrificing too much off-road ability. Heidenau’s knobs are larger and more closely spaced than Conti’s and so present more surface area at lean, improving cornering grip and stability, but there are still enough hard edges to grab rocks, roots, and soil when the going gets rough. Heidenau’s biggest deficit off road is that solid center ridge, which makes the rear quicker to spin up. Functionally speaking, for the type of off-road conditions most ADV bikes see, the K60 Scout is comparable to the TKC 80 everywhere except serious mud.

One area where the K60 Scout solidly out competes the TKC 80 is durability. After 2,500 hard miles in all conditions, the Heidenaus still appear almost brand new, with little center-flattening on the rear and no evidence of front cupping. The K60’s knobs appear to maintain their shape longer compared to TKC 80s, which typically round off the knobs over the same 2,500 miles and are usually toast around 4,500 miles. Advrider.com regulars report that 8,000 miles is normal for a pair of K60 Scouts. It looks like I’ll get at least that much out of the set I’m running now, if not more.

HEIDENAU K60 SCOUT DUAL-SPORT TIRES

PRICE: $133.90–$252.20, depending on size

CONTACT: heidenautires.com

VERDICT 4/5

An excellent if little-known option for heavyweight adventure touring motorcycles.

Read more: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/features/0214_heidenau_k60_scout_tires_mc_tested/#ixzz2qiEt9bH1

14 thoughts on “HEIDENAU K60 SCOUT TIRES | MC TESTED

  1. I have a pair on my Tiger 800 based on your Alaska experiences and my brother-in-law now has them on his DRZ 400. Fabulous tires on and off road.

  2. I have no complains about the Heidenau K60 what so ever. My Track T-800CDI has now worn out its second pair, again covering an amazing 25.000+km. . Performance on- and off road, wet and dry, is very good. Never had any nasty surprises, they give ample warning when needed. An A+ is well deserved :-)

  3. No complaints here either. As long as the expectation of this tire is NOT to be a true knobby then average AVD and above average riders would probably come to the same conclusion as you all.

  4. Like these tyres a lot on my F800GS – they are a nearly perfect blend of all round ability, not outstanding in any on area but very good in all areas.

    Because I like to try new things, I might try the Michelin Anakee Wilds when my current Scouts wear out, although the Wilds have a slightly more aggressive tread pattern. I was intending to try out the new Karoo 3s but am slightly put off by the fact that BMW mysteriously erased all existence of them from their recommended lists (and also the Tourance Nexts).

    On a separate issue, what I find interesting is that the author has mounted the wrong size tyres (110/80-19 and (150/70-17) on his liquid cooled R1200GS in order to carry out the test/report. This effectively renders the bike non-compliant to safety standards since the bike was engineered and calibrated for a 120/70-19 and 170/60-17 combination – and can lead to unexpected handling characteristics… Perhaps I’m conservative but I wouldn’t be taking this chance with my safety, especially considering that Heidenau allegedly will be releasing the correct sizes for this bike in the coming months.

  5. HI,
    I run a K60 on the rear and TKC 80 on the front of my 1200GS. I am happy with the combination. Although, I do notice that K60 150/70 does side out sometimes on the asphalt depending on the road condition. Nothing crazy, but something that never happened when I ran an Anakee 2 on the rear. The K60 does wear well. As far as off road goes, well a 500 lb plus Bike, is still a 500 lb Bike no-matter tire you have. :) For a Bike that I ride mainly on the asphalt, but I do ride stuff like Harrison West. The K60 on the rear is great.

  6. I just the comment about changing tire sizes and I have never encountered any safety problems in changing tires sizes on my Bikes. I just don’t ride to exceed my Tires, If its raining and I am on the asphalt running knobbies, I don’t lean over in the turns and scrape the foot pegs.

    • Of course that is the key (to ride within the means of the tyres, conditions, your own abilities etc)… The Scouts are rated for 110mph/180kph but they start to get a bit squirrelly above 95mph/155kph which I experienced in Germany last year. At 80-90mph they’re great though.

      But on the water cooled 1200 – I’m not brave enough to second guess the BMW engineers by mounting narrower tyres than for what the bike was designed… the tyre profile and will be altered due to the wider rims which has the potential to contribute to oscillations at higher speeds, especially with the added turbulence of panniers. Once the correct sizes are released this spring, I’ll definitely have another look though.

    • Actually forgot to mention another much more boring reason – in the UK if you fit non-approved tyre sizes and crash, your insurance will be void if the tyres were found to be a contributing factor to the crash…

    • For me, they have proven to be very good on anything milder than up-to-the-axles mud. Some of our byways become mud pits after any amount of rain and I have only had to be pulled out (by a sheepdog) once. Easy to handle in light sand (I have no experience in deep sand) and quite accurate tracking on loose/wet/slippery surfaces. Riding them on rocky surfaces can result in chucks of tread being ripped off, but this is the case with any chunky tyre.

      Riding sensibly, I’ve never had the bike step out in unexpected ways in any conditions – they grip as much as you could reasonably expect. Sometimes more than expected – in Germany I entered a decreasing radius curve a bit too fast (on road) and they still held on while leaning to the point the panniers were less than an inch off the ground :O

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