Heidenaus? What for?
My '13 650 came to 10,000 miles and the OEM Bridgestone Trailwings were done. I looked at options for weeks and weeks on this site and others. A lot of options, but I had to read between the lines--especially on the Heidenaus that were being praised and discounted by one and the other. But these Scouts appeared to most closely match my needs. I finally got a pair and ran them this weekend. Here is my assessmet, for what it's worth to anybody who might find value in it.
I found that if I want traction on a road that stays muddy, then buying Heidenaus really works. The rain left and the road dried up just as soon as I installed the tires! Excellent cause and result! :-)
But now for the serious part--
I bought this Strom so I could get to more remote areas than most people go. I don't have any interest in dirt bike trail riding; I just want to get off the main road, and off the secondary roads, and off the heavy-traveled gravel roads. And since I go alone, I wanted to be able to keep the bike upright and in one piece and able to get back out again The Bridgestones just couldn't hack that kind of expectation.
1. Are NOT a first-class freeway tire! I have to travel 50 miles on the freeway to get to the mountains every weekend, so I hoped the Heidenaus could do that for me. They can! But a freeway tire they just ain't!!! A lady can go down an airport concourse a long way in nice-looking heels (which is what the Heidenous feel like on the freeway--at least to me). But if she wears cross-trainer shoes she can handle that concourse a lot more comfortably.
2. Are not first-rate knobbies. But what these tires did for me in the dirt, gravel, embedded stones, ruts, mud, etc. was so outstanding good that I got the very foolish idea that, "Wow! There ain't no place this bike can't go with these tires!!!"
Now my many years informs me what a foolish idea that is. But I *know* that I am going to have to find out what the limit is for this bike with these tires. I sure didn't find the limit yesterday! The bottom line I came back with is this--Where I wanted that bike to go, it went!
Ruts? I purposely put it into ruts and then climbed out of them. The bike did that without argument (or me cussing at it). Big pitrun rip-rap rocks through washes, slowed me down, but the tires ground right on through. A big trench of slimey black mud six inches deep got me stressed out a bit, but not stuck and not tipped over. I came out the other end, and kept right on riding. Gravel and washboard on a hard surface was a little bit of a dance floor, but definitely not riding on marbles like I did on the Trailwings. (And I think 35 pounds of air might be a little bit high.) Side-hill roads with one side a foot higher than the other was just a matter of choosing whether I wanted to ride the high side, or the low. Riding ridges between ruts was a matter of whether I believed I could balance on the ridge, not a matter of trying to keep the tire out of the ruts.
In summary, I ride 50 miles of concrete and asphalt to get to the forest roads. I listen to 50 miles of howling tread on that hard surface at whatever speed I want to pitch the howl, and I enjoy the sound of the rough tread. Then I get to the gravel, dirt, mud, rocks, and all of a sudden I have the bike I wanted to buy! Not a racer, not a single-track dirt bike, and probably not as secure on the paved twisties as it used to be--I'm still a bit reluctant to push the Heidenaus on a sharp bank at speed. But for an excellent use of maybe 30% to 50% rough and the balance at high speed freeway, these tires sure did me well yesterday.
One scarey part still bothers me. They drop right into a bank. The radials I ride on my cruiser and that I had on my Strom helped control a banked turn; these drop right into it. They seem to hold their traction, but they freaked me out at first--and still do. Oh! And I need to mention that they like to "seek" on grooved pavement. No big deal, but at first it can startle a person.
If you're trying to decide on tires, and most of your riding is on pavement, don't bother looking at the Heidenaus. They'll do it for you, but you'll enjoy the ride a lot more on something else--like the Michelins I ride on my cruiser. On the other hand, if you don't want to slip and fight the bike on anything that is not paved, and you still have to run on the pavement to get where you want to go, or if you want to do long distance adventure riding that will include on and off road, the Heidenaus are in a top position for that class of riding.
Oh yes. One other point. These tires throw rocks! Not the little pebbles the Trailwings picked up. These are real rocks--an inch in diameter! And they really pop when they hit something. I have a lengthened fender so they don't get to the radiator, and the engine guard stops them from knocking chips off of things on the lower end. But they do make noises at times.
Hope this helps anybody who was like me--wondering if the expense of the tires was worth it, and if they would perform ok. They sure are worth it to me for my kind of riding--not any question about it anymore.
Last edited by Vangky; 11-09-2014 at 10:37 PM.
Reason: Title dropped off when posted.