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Tips to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Dual Purpose Tire.

What tire should I buy for my motorcycle? Every day our clients ask us this question and we do not always have the same answer.

The best word to describe the choice of tire for our motorcycles is: sacrifice. Particularly when we are talking about dual-purpose or maxi trail motorcycles that will cover a variety of terrains and conditions. Why sacrifice? Because we are never going to find a tire that does everything exceptionally and we are going to have to sacrifice in some area.

The areas that we must consider when choosing the tire for our motorcycle are generally: durability, off-road traction, on-road traction and in some cases price. (although in our experience maxi trail motorcycle tires tend to be in a very similar price range.) There is no one tire that does everything well, but there is a tire that does the best possible based on our route preferences, riding style. management and needs. The best way to illustrate sacrifice is as follows:


Better off-road traction = less durability and less on-road traction

A tire with exceptional off-road traction will not have the same performance on pavement as a 100% on-road tire. Because due to the design of its treading, with space between the studs, we are putting less rubber on the floor which is equivalent to less traction. But less rubber and more space between the knobs and tread means that we can evacuate mud and loose stones more efficiently, which in off-road conditions means that the tire will give us more grip when there is less traction on the ground. Off-road oriented tires tend to last fewer kms. Better on-road traction = longer life and less off-road traction


A tire with exceptional traction on pavement is not going to perform as well in off-road conditions. Their tillage tends to be more uniform and there is less space between the grooves, which translates to more rubber on the ground. Which equals more traction. Pavement-oriented tires tend to last longer miles.

Longer life = less traction

Less duration = more traction


The components that translate into traction are the compound used and the tread design. A tire with a softer compound will give us more traction, but it will wear out faster. Vice versa, a tire with a harder compound will last longer but we will sacrifice traction. A softer compound tends to heat up faster and the more heat the stickier it becomes. Tires with a more off-road focus tend to last less than tires focused on pavement. Their compounds are softer and also having more space in the tread makes them wear much faster than a tire with a less aggressive tread. Especially when we ride many miles of pavement with this type of tire. It is worth keeping in mind that tires that are more oriented toward off-road use begin to show traction weaknesses when we have rainy and wet pavement conditions.

In the world of dual-purpose tires for maxi trail motorcycles there are several categories:

- 100% on road (Example: Metzeler Road Tec)

- 80% on road / 20% off road (Example: Continental Trail Attack)

- 50% on road / 50% off road (Example: Heidenau K60)

- 20% on road / 80% off road (Example: Continental TKC 80)

- This is mostly determined by the tillage.




What is the Heidenau K60 Scout?


It is a tire classified as 50/50. A style that is aggressive enough for off-road but with excellent performance on on-road. A “Bias-ply” construction tire that helps prevent deformation and tolerates high speed. Another benefit of this tire is that the sidewalls are quite hard which prevents the tire from getting bumps. At the time of its launch, the Heidenau K60 Scout became very popular among the long-distance travel community because its compound was quite hard and a rear tire could last 20,000 km. However, that same compound meant that the tires did not have good grip in pavement conditions. For this reason Heidenau modified the compound to make it softer and offer better traction while sacrificing durability. Today it is a tire with excellent on- and off-road performance and, in our opinion, offers the best durability for a tire with a moderately aggressive tread.

With this in mind. Why at Elephant do we choose the Heidenau K60 Scout for our fleet? First we must understand our needs.

What are Elephant's needs?


- A style that gives us a good balance between off road and on road. Our tours always take us on a good mix of routes between pavement and unpaved.

- A good duration for a tire that behaves adequately on off road. As we mentioned above, a tire with a very off-road focus is going to wear out very quickly. (TKC 80 approx. 4,000 km rear tire) With the Heidenau K60 Scout we are achieving about 10,000-12,000 km with a tire that behaves adequately in off-road situations.

- Not having to constantly change between off-road tires and on-road tires. A 50/50 tire that can always be installed.

- Excellent grip on dry pavement that is comparable to 80% on road tires.

The Heindenau K60 Scout has given us at Elephant the best response to our needs. We have used it for thousands of kilometers and we are very satisfied with its performance in the areas critical to us. This does not mean that we have also consciously accepted some sacrifices. Which are?

- In extreme off road situations: deep mud, deep sand and VERY slippery surfaces we are sacrificing some grip. This is due to the continuous central band in the tread of the rear tire. Which helps to last longer, but affects traction in these conditions.

- On rainy pavement we are sacrificing grip, compared to a tire 100% focused on pavement.

Remember when choosing tires to take into account your needs and with those needs keep in mind that yes or yes you are going to have to accept some sacrifices. On the Heidenau Colombia page you can find more information about the catalog and points of sale.

We know that the topic of tires is one of love, hate and passion. Driving style also has a lot of influence. A tire that works great for one person turns out to be terrible for another. Write us in the comments which are your favorite tires and why.


*Being transparent we must inform you that we made an approach with Heidenau Colombia knowing that it was the tire we wanted in our fleet. They give us discounts and some sets of tires at no price for our fleet of motorcycles. However, the purpose of this article is not to sell you Heidenau brand tires, but to provide you with information so that you as consumers can make the right decision as to which tire you want to put on your motorcycles.

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