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XS650: Winter Tyres   Leave a comment

I don’t fit my neighbour’s norm. They’re all old. Mostly their kids never visit them. I have long hair. Work from home. Look after the kids (preschool) while my wife goes to work. Listen to ‘loud’ music (means: non volks-musik, non schlagermusik). And ride motorcycles. As do most of my friends. They really don’t understand that I choose to ride the whole year. Also in winter!

Mostly the weather is user-friendly. A few days of snow. Melts in a day or two. What really gets up my nose, literally, is the fucking salt. You don’t see it (until the bike begins to rust). But, you sure can taste it. Give me fish’n’chips any day. No vinegar.

The last couple of winters were snowy. Last year was particularly cold. And I got caught a couple of times. 100-200mm fresh snow. Just as I was about to head home. A 20 minute trip took 3 hours. Mostly I laid the rear wheel in the gutter for traction. Driveways were a killer. Off-camber corners deadly. Rising and dropping slopes a challenge. Both feet skimming the ground. Tyres crunching virgin snow. Pedestrians and cagers both, jaw-dropping unbelievers. The worst were the last 200m. Our street. Never cleaned by the city. Underlaid by ice.  !!FUN!!

2010 the German Govt made winter tyres compulsory. Or did they? “ bei winterlichen Straßenverhältnissen geeignete Reifen zu verwenden sind ” by winter road conditions appropriate tyres are to be used.

  • winter road conditions … Glatteis, Schneeglätte, Schneematsch, Eis- oder Reifglätte … black ice, hard-packed snow, snow slush, ice or heavy frost
  • appropriate tyres … winter or all-weather tyres, marked M+S, M.S  … basically these have a higher silica content, hold better at lower street and tyre temps, deeper profiles
  • penalty … minimum €40 and 1 point … in practice this probably wont be controlled except if involved in an accident or your machine is left stranded
  • interesting perspective here … there is provision for road-tax reclamation for the days you are not able to use your machine if tyres are not available for it

Problem is, these are hard to find. Many bikes are simply not catered for.

For the XS650 I found Heidenau K60 Snowtex. 4.00/18 64S for the rear. 100/90-19 57H for the front.

The SR500 was more of a problem. Heidenau K60 Snowtex 4.00/18 64S for the rear (same as the XS). Heidenau K37 3.50/18 62P for the front (drum brake). Profiles don’t match but are a TÜV accepted match.

Not even bothering for the SRX600.

I found these tyres on offer in the internet. Reifen.com was offering the K60 for €71 and the K37 for €68. I went to my local branch to see if they would order them. Wanted €134 for the K60 and about the same for the K37. Just for the K60 – over €200 mounted! Cash up front. And they wanted to data-mine my name and address – said it was for warrantee purposes. What a croc-of-shit! All I need for that is the receipt. Needless to say I walked. Got back on the internet – €127 delivered. Total price. For both. From someone else.

So – Reifen.comgo fuck yourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am interested to see how these perform. Good that I had an extra set of wheels for both.

K60 Heidenau silica

K37 Heidenau silica

When you get them make sure they have the MS sign on them. Summer and winter profiles are identical.

It’s been a while since I rode with enduro style tyres. The difference was startling at first. Especially the front. Until the block edges began to wear the wheel wanted to track straight. I literally had to slown down, steer and consciuously use my body to negotiate corners. A bit like sidecar riding. This didn’t last. But I wasn’t prepared for it.

And I’m still waiting for the snow!

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Posted November 14, 2011 by xscafe in Frame - Handling, Frame - Tyres

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