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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Extended Tire Review: Anlas Capra X "50/50" Tires

I don't really have enough experience with different tires to make much of an assessment, but here's my initial thoughts of the Anlas Capra X tires I had installed today, replacing my Metzeler Roadtec 01s. Yes, these are two very different tires! The tech at Ottawa Goodtime called me back to the service desk to confirm I really did want to make this change. Haha.

I went down a few mostly straight dirt / gravel country roads. Did a few basic rear wheel brake slides. I don't have the off road experience or confidence yet to really say much here. I was certainly more comfortable on these vs. the Roadtecs (I had previously been down the same roads with them), but that is stating the obvious I suppose.

Highways and controlled access freeways: I was surprised by how smooth these tires are at speed on pavement. I would have no trouble doing long distance freeway stuff on these. Again, there's an obvious difference going from the Roadtecs to these, but there's nothing bad to say. Maybe a wee bit of noise but not so much that you don't forget about it after a a few minutes / it is drowned out by all the other noises. Some rumble at very slow speeds.

Leaned over: I am not a very aggressive rider. I don't drag knees or bike parts. Being leaned over on these tires was definitely an experience. The motion involved in leaning in and then straightening back up is wildly different compared to the Roadtecs. I have to admit I was a little weirded out by it, but I am guessing that is life with a block / knobby-ish tire with a flatter cross sectional profile vs. road tires.

Besides the foreign feeling while leaning over and straightening back up, it felt like I was doing a lot more work to get leaned over, to stayed leaned over / keep the line, and to straighten back up. In particular my offside hand (left hand when leaning right) seemed to be doing a lot more work.

Also they look pretty good on the bike which is what really counts. Caramel Machiattos anyone?

Looking forward to getting more gravel & dirt experience.
 

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They do look impressive.

It's funny how every tire has different characteristics when it comes to handling. A few hundred K's and I bet you'll adjust to the difference.

Keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Low Speed Exercises

Addendum 1 - Low Speed Exercises

Local College has one of their parking lots painted up for low speed motorcycle work and I go up there to practice now and then. Happy to say the Capra Xs don't appear to be much different vs. my Metzeler Roadtec 01s when doing low speed work. Probably a little more work flipping from left lean to right lean and vice versa, and maybe a hair more work holding a line doing tight u-turns / circles / figure 8s. But otherwise, two thumbs up.

Urban speed brake tests: these things stop good.

I'm doing an 850km Cannonball** on Sunday, combining controlled access freeways and what appears to be some decent twisty stuff. I really need to find more dirt roads though.

Aside: Is the ABS light not supposed to flash when ABS kicks in? Was practicing hard braking, could feel ABS doing its thing, but no warning light. Same thing when I was doing the RTI Technical Skills course in Scarborough a couple months back. The traction control light flashes as expected, and both of them work as expected during start up / self-test. But I never see the ABS light flash no matter how hard I hammer the brakes.

**Cannonball: Any single-day big mileage ride, which is obviously relative. For me, 850kms is a pretty serious cannonball. See also: The Cannonball Run starring the Lamborghini Countach, and a bunch of actor people.
 

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My ABS flashes, but I can't remember if it flashes when I'm in Enduro Pro mode.

Those Canonballs are great, only done the one so far this year
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Cannonball

Addendum 2 - Cannonball

2016 R1200GS w/Anlas Capra X tires + rider, tankbag, full set of BMW Vario luggage, lightly packed

The Cannonball was a bit shorter than expected, ~770kms (479 miles), but still a good challenge. That might be my longest single day since I started riding in 2011. I was in bed early!

I have exactly 1170 (!!) kms (727 miles) on the Capra Xs now, almost entirely pavement. They performed really well on the Cannonball route which was all controlled access freeway, secondary highways, and some urban stuff. Some of the pavement on the route was really nasty... rutted and pitted, crap patch jobs. The bike & tires soaked it all up nicely. Smooth and comfortable at all speeds, from puttering up to a red light to ~130kph (~81mph) on the freeway. At puttering speed you get a nice little rumble from them which makes me feel cool.

I seem to be getting used to the different experience / motion involved in leaning these tires over. I'm now very comfortable on the larger sweepers at speed, and getting used to the tighter sweepers. Overall I would say it seems I need to be more actively involved on the bars vs. how the Roadtec 01s turned in. It is not bad once you get used to it, but something to keep in mind. This may be a common thing for 50/50-ish tires, dunno.

Really happy so far, especially for $100CAD per tire (on sale). Really need to find some more gravel & dirt. I have a ~2,200km (~1,400 mile) trip coming up soon, but that too will be all, or nearly all, pavement... my buddy's Road Glide Ultra doesn't lend itself too well to off-pavement experiences! (We recently took a wrong turn and found ourselves in a few inches of sand ... the GS had a slightly easier time of it, but with the Roadtecs on at the time, it was not fun!)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
An Unscheduled Dismount

Addendum 3 - An Unscheduled Dismount


So, I had my first ever motorcycle accident today. Just me, lowsided going through an intersection.

I don't have a lot to say about it, as I am still processing it. I was going through an intersection, turning left. The back end went out on me and down I went. Other than an injured pride I seem to be A-ok. No bumps, bruises, scrapes or scratches. On me that is! If you looked at my gear you'd never know I went down. No damage whatsoever to the nylon of my Klim jacket or pants. A little scuffing of the leather on my left boot, but hardly noticeable.

The accident took place here: https://goo.gl/maps/oos9m1cxd9bEfMrV7. I was pulling out of the Tim Horton's heading South on the side road. I had a green light and proceeded through the intersection turning East on Bell Blvd. I don't recall exactly when I lost traction but I'm pretty sure it was quite late in the turn. GPS data had me at 24kph (15mph) going into the intersection, then 34kph (21mph) at around the time I went down. One of the people who stopped to help me out, also a rider, mentioned the pavement was uneven in that corner ... those undulations you get where the pavement compresses.

I suspect the outer edge blocks / knobs were possibly still a bit greasy / not scrubbed in. Perhaps the pavement was wavy as mentioned above and I crossed an undulation while leaned over and caught the greasy / not scrubbed in knobs. At the same time, I am not an aggressive rider and it doesn't take much lean to give me the old 'no' feeling. I definitely did not feel at all uncomfortable with the speed and angle I was at going through the intersection. I didn't think to take a close look at the intersection before I left.

The left side cylinder head is scraped up pretty bad, but not cracked or otherwise damaged. Some other cosmetic damages here and there. My left side Vario pannier took much of the hit and it is destroyed. Mechanically everything seems to be in order. I rode the bike home, which was about 80kms away at the time. No weirdness in the steering or other odd behaviours or sounds

The important thing to note here is, this is the second time I've fracked up my bike right before a scheduled moto tour. I am supposed to be heading out for a loop around Lake Huron starting Wednesday. So hopefully my nearest Motorrad shops have another pannier in stock!

Anyway... I should really gets some crash bars installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After a good close look, I'm fairly certain the unscrubbed / greasy edge of the tire was the main issue. Add in the relative lack of traction on the blocks / knobs, and possibly uneven / dirty / slippery asphalt, and all that is left is the crying.

Hard to see well but a few pics of the tire edges at the link below. I took pictures of what I am pretty sure were the blocks in contact with the ground during the slide, and the blocks on either side of them. You can see pretty clear lines across the unscrubbed knobs vs. the now fully scrubbed (!!) blocks.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/eld3745vyjac33w/AABkvuJqEzH8CLXE6Rvg0XjMa?dl=0
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Lake Huron

Addendum 4 - Lake Huron

I'm back from my Lake Huron tour. I now have 4,453kms (2,767 miles) on the Capra Xs. The tires performed very well on the trip, which was almost entirely rural highways (some of rather dubious quality!), with short jaunts on the I-75 and highway 404 in Ontario. We also ran part of the outstanding highway 118 in Ontario. Highly recommended! Aside: I must admit I'm a little more trepidatious in the corners since my little slip n' slide incident mentioned above.

Mr. Obvious says: The tires certainly seem to be wearing faster than my usual road tires. I doubt I'll be getting anywhere near 20,000kms out of a rear. I'll update this post with pics and tread depth measurements tomorrow. As the tires have worn I think I have noticed an increase in noise and "rumble". I'm guessing this is expected... as they wear, more of the blocks / block pattern comes in contact with the road? Might be talking out my ass here... at any rate, it is certainly not a problem. I kinda like the rumble. I occasionally notice a slight"howl" coming up through the front end, possibly similar to the issue others are reporting with their 1250s. It's mild, and certainly a product of the tires. I've never noticed it with street tires.

It was a bit silly to put the Capras on right now ... I knew I had a ton of pavement riding coming up, with more to follow (club ride this weekend and then a run up to a Motorrad shop for my 40,000km service). Really need to get out on some unpaved roads but this week is mostly a bust. I might be able to get out on some dirt roads tomorrow.
 

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low side

Was there any manhole covers, painted crosswalks, any paint where your first started to low side ? It does not take much while on the edge of the tire to lose traction.
2 thumbs up on hwy 518, one of our favourites.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Was there any manhole covers, painted crosswalks, any paint where your first started to low side ? It does not take much while on the edge of the tire to lose traction.
2 thumbs up on hwy 518, one of our favourites.
Unfortunately I did not stick around to survey the pavement where I went down. I may go back to have a look at it, as it is just ~45 minutes down the road and I'd really like to know if the road surface was a factor.

That said, one of the gents who stopped to help me out (fellow rider, used his truck to block traffic for me, a big thank you to him) said the pavement was uneven on that corner, like it had those undulations that pavement sometimes get (longitudinal ruts, like in the picture at the link below, though definitely not that severe!). If true, that might have helped to catch the still-slick outer edges of the tire.

Ruts in the pavement (example only, not where I had my slide out): http://www.pavementinteractive.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/Mvc-037s.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The Scene of the Crime

Addendum 5 - The Scene of the Crime

I returned to the scene of my slide out. The pavement is rutted as the good samaritan who helped me out had said, but the rutting is very slight. I suppose it may have played a factor in my losing traction, but the main culprit is still almost certainly: 1. I was leaned over farther than I realized and 2. the outside edges of the tires were still greasy. You can see the ruts in the Google Streetview link below:

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.1857785,-77.4067334,3a,75y,51.78h,62.79t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sg73EKLAq35wrSA42F2AEOg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I, uh, navigated the corner successfully this time. :grin2:

Still need to measure tread depth and take pics, but I'll do that after my BMW Club Ride tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
A Little Dirt

Addendum 6 - A Little Dirt

Was out to ride some nearby dirt / gravel roads today. Super easy 100% newb stuff.

Started with California Road (north of Yarker, Ontario, Canada) which starts as a wide dirt / gravel road and turns into a narrow closely tree'd in dirt / gravel road. Being a moron I did not wear my rain gear, despite the overcast skies, and it started to rain when I got to the start of California Rd. I had planned to carry on to McLean Rd, but bailed as the rain was coming down pretty good, I was getting wet, and I did not want to push my luck on the now wet dirt / gravel roads.

Told the GPS to give me the fastest route home. Forgot I did not have dirt road avoidance on, and ended up on Fourth Lake Rd, which is all dirt / gravel then on to Wilkinson which is partially dirt / gravel, then finally back on to pavement the rest of the way home.

As I was riding I thought, given my near zero off-pavement + knobby / blocky tire experience, how the heck am I supposed to provide meaningful feedback on their performance? I can't really, but this is what I came up with:

  • I felt almost 100% comfortable at all points, even as the roads started to become slick,
  • I believe I was as comfortable as someone with near zero off-pavement experience, and no crash bars on his expensive motorcycle, could be under these conditions,
  • At no point did I notice any loss of traction, or slipping beyond the usual squirminess on gravel.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Tire Wear

Addendum 7 - Tire Wear

After ~5,707 kms of mostly pavement riding:

Minimal wear on the front.

~3mm of tread lost along the centre line of the rear tire, from ~11mm new to ~8mm.

If this pattern holds, the rear will be down to the wear bars after about 17,000 kms, which seems pretty good for such an aggressive tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Off Road

Addendum 8 - Off Road

Did a 1 day basic off road skills course yesterday with my local BMW Motorrad club. I'm no expert on knobby tires and don't have the experience to make comparisons, but IMO these tires performed admirably. We spent most of the time riding around some horse fields doing exercises, and finished the day with a short but demanding trail ride.

Specific points I recall: hill climbs through loose stuff like leaves and beds of pine needles were no problem at all. Excellent stopping distance when emergency braking on soft ground and grass. Plenty of traction when bliping the throttle going over (small) obstacles.

My next set of tires will likely be more on the road side of 50/50, but if you are looking for alternatives to TKC 80s, Shinko 800s, etc., I suspect you'll be quite happy with the Anlas Capra X's.

Doing another 1 day off road training event next weekend with my dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Addendum 9 - Off Road 2

Addendum 9 - Off Road 2

Yesterday I did a one day off-road skills training event with Claude Gagné of Académie Ridaventure (not to be confused with the ridaventure.ca forums) organized through Ottawa Motorrad / Ottawa Goodtime Centre. This event was significantly more "hardcore" vs. the event from the previous weekend. All "level 1" content but included forest single track on slippery / muddy trails and a dirt bike track with both deep sand and deep mud sections.

The tires tore through the loose stuff with no problem. As mentioned, I'm a novice so I have no experience with other off-road tires, but I was very happy with the results. There was much falling down but I never got stuck. Fell over in the deep mud and deep sand but powered out of both no problem. Likewise on a hill climb with deep sand. Just gave it the beans and away I went. Front wheel tracked very well, rear had a tons of traction under all conditions.

Two thumbs up.

Aside: My new Touratech crash bars have been thoroughly tested and passed with flying colours.

(dude in photo is not me ... someone helping me pick the beast up)
 

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