Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
This time added another 1500km or so including some more dirt (roads).
I deliberately planned more dirt this time, as I'm convinced of the Shinkos abilities on bitumen. Using Tenterfield as a starting point again, I went looking for more local rural roads with a view to getting to Urbenville and Bonalbo (NSW border towns, where fuel choices consist of diesel or petrol).
Took Mt Lindesay Rd and soon found the conditions I was looking for. Unsealed granite with patches of 1" pebble, potholes corrugated a and clay mud shoulders.
Dropped pressure down to abt 27F 30R (psi), set ESA to enduro and generally handled the situation well, although the pebble is really a wildcard. Still a pretty good "feel" of the surface translated through the bike, and after a few k's able to relax and enjoy the ride and the scenery.
UNTIL I got to the grader. Guys were doing earthworks and grading in prep for sealing, grader had done his first full width of passes and we had about 6-10" of fine soft clay. Nowhere to go but through.
Very quickly I realised I had very little influence over where tf I was going, except to stay in the Komatsu wheel tracks. Slow and steady kept me upright I'm pleased to say, but it's more credit to the bikes geometry than my ability. I think this was where the bike's weight came into its own, and helps the tyre work by pushing it into the surface.
Which brings me to an observation that many of you already know, but comes under the heading of "until you experience it yourself" - these tyres are not suitable for much more than reasonably accessible and reasonably maintained surfaces. While the tread pattern is blocky enough for a short venture off the highway - and in fairness, that's mostly what I do - it's just out of its depth in any serious or heavy going. And I've gotta say that's never what it was designed for.
I have to point out here, that the shortcomings above really pertain to the rear tyre - not at any stage have I felt the front anywhere close to letting go. Anywhere. Amazed at this tyre.
Not making this a conclusion yet, but I'm certainly seeing a classification of the "big heavy" adv bikes like my 12GS as a sub group - because they are. We have to understand that what we're riding isn't a lightweight 650 we can chuck around and punt through anything. Guys n girls, we're riding a fkn tank so we've got to think out our setups a bit more carefully.
All the time I was in the graders wake, I was thinking " this weight would make a knobby work like a dream".
So I'm starting to think along the lines of maybe a second set of tyres. Spare wheel sets I can't justify. But if I've planned another ride like that, and I can slip on a more appropriate set of boots, that just might be the difference between a fantastic adventure ride or a gruelling punishment.