New tires for new adventures: Motoz Tractionator GPS
We have chose to start our trip on Heidenau K60 (Scout) tires, because we used them for many years and knew what to expect in terms of performance on a different terrain and various weather conditions. They proved to be a very long lasting and reliable tires. So first 22 000 kilometers of our trip were ridden on those tires.
When time came to change the rubber we were in South America and it didn't take long for us to discover that our beloved Heidenaus are not easy to find there and nor they are cheap in Latin American countries... so for those reasons I decided to try something new and this is how we shod our bikes with Metzeler Tourance on the front and rear wheel for F800GSA and Metzeler Tourance on the front and Metzeler Sahara on the rear for F650GS.
We wanted those tires to last at least until we reach the USA, which was 10 000 kilometers away, hoping that in the States we would get a better choice and more reasonable prices so we could switch back to Heidenaus which has more aggressive thread and is better suited for the roads we travel.
By the time we entered California, we had ridden over 10 000 kilometers on our Metzelers and still had some thread left. Those tires were nice on paved dry roads. Little vibrations, smooth handling and good grip. We even took them on sandy roads in Baja California in Mexico and managed to get through, but of course, that is not what these tires were meant for. Although we did have a few situations in Mexico, where we would both feel the loss of grip while cornering on the wet pavement in the rain. We never had that with Heidenaus! Also, from the moment when we changed to Metzelers, my front forks on F800GSA started "acting strange" - almost on every curve, my handlebar would wobble to the sides, sometimes reaching the level, where I would have to hold it really firmly to keep it straight. I even complained to several BMW dealerships about that and all they could do, is change the oil in front forks or adjust the air pressure in the tire, hoping that it would fix the problem... I was suspecting the tire to be causing this, but had no chance to check how the forks would work with a different tire before the time came to fit the bikes with new rubber.
During our trip we heard about the Motoz tires which we had never seen in Europe and the people we spoke to were really positive on how they are performing. I went to read more about them online and decided to try them out. Motoz TRACTIONATOR GPS are supposed to be in a direct competition with Heidenau K60. They claim to be able to last the same mileage or even more, providing a better grip at the same time! This is what we need now as we are heading towards Alaska where distances are long and part of the roads are unpaved.
So the two sets of Motoz TRACTIONATOR GPS were received and put on both bikes in half a day with a help of a friend and here we are, riding our first hundreds of kilometers on the new, never tried before tires. So far we have tested them on paved curvy roads of Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks and on dry gravel tracks in the nearby National Forests - they are a bliss! They are perfect for our riding style! By the way, the wobbling of my front forks while cornering is also gone. I now only feel a slight vibration when riding at very low speeds in traffic jams, but that is normal, having in mind how does the front tire thread look like.
In a while I'll post an update on how they are wearing and what is the performance on wet pavement or wet mud (if we meet any of that on the way), so stay tuned!