Heidenau K60 Scout or Conti TKC70?



“Riding on-or off-road is all about managing traction. That’s why tires are one of the most important choices you’ll make for your motorcycle. Along with suspension and brakes, they are key to your bike’s performance, as well as your safety and comfort.”

BUYER BEWARE: even if you are a capable rider, the uncertain feel of the Continental TKC70s outweighs the benefits and it's worth considering something else!

June 2018 update - after the deliberations of last year, I'd just switched onto a new set of Continental TKC70s: after 8,000 miles, they'd worn well and provided confidence in their slower speed and grippy road performance. I'd almost forgotten stability issues at motorway speeds - experienced when riding up through Scandinavia on the first set in 2017. Around 70-80mph, the front wheel becomes very unstable; this then transfers to the rear and the whole bike begins to fishtail - the workaround last year was to drop the GSA screen to the lowest position. On this new set, screen height becomes irrelevant. Moreover, the instability is occurring through a range of speeds.

 

ORIGINAL POST

Let’s be honest, I’ve never had any real reason to switch from Metzeler’s great tyre, the Tourance Next. Inspiring more confidence than the Michelin OEM equivalent, why on earth consider compromising road performance with a 70/30 or 50/50? With the exception of skills training on the ‘mud slinging’ Karoo III, my personal off-roading experience has been limited to the occasional trail or campsite!

Because, in keeping with the GSA, they look great! When PP switched to the K60 Scouts last year, there’s no doubt they ‘fit the bill’ on that front. Their legendary longevity has been true to all the reviews also. A very capable rider, PP has managed to adjust his riding style when necessary, even fully loaded; great on some dirt across the Spanish mountains, the only negative is the occasional slip across tarmac taped seams and a little more caution in the wet.

Realistically, I should probably stick to a 90/10, though I’m keen to follow suit with the aesthetics, as well as providing further options for a little off-road riding, when away this July. Though, a little less confident in the corners, I'd like a little more grip in the wet also…enter the Continental TKC70!

Impressed by the reviews, whilst subjective, many seem to prefer the TKC70 over the K60 on tarmac. Whilst the K60 may be slightly more capable off-road, the Contis seem better for asphalt, quiet, working well on trails, in all but slippery wet mud.

So the last of the criteria affecting decision is longevity…at 5,500 miles, we’d like to avoid 'new boots' on our circuit around Sandinavia! Recently meeting a fellow GSA rider at the Ace, anecdotally he'd only just changed a set after 7,000 around France and Spain…he seemed unlikely to be a shabby rider either!

Let the comparison begin! PP on the K60 Scouts, me on the TKC70 Contis…both booked to have them fitted at the same time, we’ll have one week to scrub them in before setting off…we’ll report back upon our return!

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Conti TKC70s tread depth at the start of our Scandinavian trip (mm centre / side) Rear-10 / 8; Front 5 / 4...

 

well...the tyres have held up pretty well after the first 3,000 miles. Rear-8 / 7; Front 4 / 4...

Down by a couple of mm in the centre, there's some mild scalloping that you'd expect from any pronounced tread pattern; though certainly no excessive wearing that causes concerm



 

So, the verdict after 5,500 miles is the Continental TKC70s are a very good tyre. Sticky, even in the wet, I didn't once lose confidence in them, the whole tour around Scandinavia. As expected and without doubt, the Heidenaus have also proven reliable as ever, plenty of tread all around.

With a significant amount of straight line riding the last 2,000 miles, the radial shape of the Continental means the rear tyre has squared off a little, though still 5mm of tread left and the sides have barely reduced in depth.

Initially thinking it might be an idea to swap them out, lets see what the verdict is when serviced in a fortnight...I suspect they've reasonable life left in them and a few curvy roads should even out the wear!

NB: At a service after around 6,000 miles, lowest tread depths were gauged at 3.71 Front and 5.84 Rear...still plenty of mileage left in the boots yet!