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Discussion in 'Equipment' started by KEN PHENIX, Dec 24, 2012.
Groovy, ain't it.
Alright, alright. I had grown weary of waiting for somebody to produce a 180/55/17 with a bit more aggressive tread. I wasn't ready to go full bore with the TKC80, especially at well over $200 a copy. I settled for the Dunlop D616 which was ok but I couldn't make it to 4,000 miles. The Shinko 009 Raven reviews well, has a harder compound and is way cheap. I got the idea about a year ago when I put a set of Ravens on my son's bike and noticed the relatively deep grooves and angular tread pattern. Months pass and rather than feed more D616 rubber to the beast, I decided to go for it. I clicked on the Ravens and a tire groover.
Granted, this is an experiment, hell the tire could fly apart tomorrow. There's a learning curve too. I filleted my finger loading the blade, in spite of the explicit instructions to wear gloves and use caution. I practiced on the old Dunlop.
I realized this would take lots of practice. The cuts are not picture perfect but the tire should function - as well as it will. I'll order my next one early and take my time. I'll get better at it.
So, If you're crazy enough to try this, I suggest making a few identical cuts at a time allowing rest in between. I can see getting fatigued and getting in a hurry and making mistakes. I was prepared to risk ruining a cheap tire but nonetheless, didn't want to. I'll tackle the front in a day or two. It will be more delicate.
Good job Ken!
Should work well. Are those V Strom wheels?
Thanks. No, it's the 919's original 6" wheel. I had to make a choice of either fitting the bike with a 4.5" wheel and any of the 150/70 dual sport tires off the rack or come up with a suitable 180/55 and keep my wheel. I chose the latter.
I had to proceed more gingerly as the front Raven isn't nearly as robust as the rear. I elected not to cut as many grooves as originally planned leaving the center for upright highway wear. I learned the blades should be changed often, with each tire I guess.
The new front tread pattern isn't exactly what I had in mind but I'm pleased. I consider the rear a success because there is no adventure touring tire on the market in that size. For the front though, I'll have the option to do this again or simply buy a 120/70 Distanzia or something. We'll see.
Tried them out on the road yet?
I did about 50 highway miles right after I did the rear and it was no different than before. I'll take 'er out again in a day or two and report.
Update? How well did these work out, especially off pavement?
Yeah, take her up to buck twenty, and let us know if they hold together.
Very curious to hear a review as well too!
For me my choices are pirelli scorpion trails, or continental trail's, and always looking for more options!
Interesting that grooved rear looks really similar to a scorpion trail.
Hmm, no update in a while. Maybe the tires didn't work very well.
GREAT idea! Reminds me of when I was a kid and my dad and his buddies ran a sprint car, they were always going at the tires with one of those tire siping knifes.
Where did you order that tire groover?
Did... did he died? :eek1
Oops, no replies to this thread for a couple of weeks. I figured everybody thought I was crazy - and they'd be right.
Anyhow, I have about 600 combined miles on the groove job. I didn't expect to but I felt no difference in wet pavement handling. It rained quite a bit here lately and I managed to do a few familiar back road miles on wet washed out asphalt and slick hard pack. I must say the bike felt more planted than with any street tire I've used. So while I focused primarily on rear traction, the front tire showed the most improvement - more than I expected.
Most importantly, another inmate quoted an earlier post of mine where I described the bike as a bit twitchy over 80mph. I dealt with it by playing with the tire pressure but now I know the problem was caused by the Dunlop D616. Any hint of twitch is gone now thanks to the Shinko. The ride is much more solid at high speed - the bike feels good.
More to come . . . . .
Ebay, of course. I got the Ideal 250w gun with 2 different heads and 2 dozen blades for $90. I figure it came pretty close to paying for itself right out of the box.
Yeah, I considered the Scorpion Trail when I started this bike project but they didn't review all that well, not that I had such good luck with the D616 either. I read almost nothing bad about the 009 Raven and saving fifty bucks a copy is a good thing too.
This is cool! I'm due for tires, this spring. I'm thinking I'll grow a pair and buy a groover, as I'm not happy with what's available in a 120/180.
Alright, this is the part where I get you to sign the disclaimer.
The Ideal groover comes with a #4 head. I used #6 head and blades which makes a 3/8" wide cut. It's pretty easy to follow the Shinko Raven's angular tread lines - just don't cut deeper than the existing grooves. I thought about cutting a groove to zig zag down the middle but I decided I didn't want to compromise the tire's upright highway wear.
Once I finished hacking on the Shinko Raven rear, I realized how much it resembles the Avon Distanzia which is available in 120/70/17 to fit the front of your 1050. I may do that next time too however, the Raven front is way cheap.
Grooved Shinko Rear:
Grooved Shinko Front: