Monday, October 3, 2011

New Tires!

new winter tires

It’s getting to be that time of year again. The air is getting cooler. The leaves are changing colors. The Ural is coming out of hibernation which can only mean that snow is just around the corner.

Kevin at Scrambler Cycle called me up and let me know my new tires for the Ural were ready to be picked up. I ordered the new Heidenau K37 Snow Tex tires. They are specifically designed motorcycle tire for snow as the snowman on the label would indicate. I have high expectations for these tires given Heidenau’s reputation and the crazy price tag. (nearly $200 per tire!) The tread looks really nice too.

new winter tires

ural at Scrambler Cycle

I pulled into the shop and Kevin set to work on some small outstanding warranty issues. The rear brake switch had failed (stupidly common). The 2011 model finally copies the ultra-reliable Japanese design. There will be an upgrade kit for older models in a few months. I will be buying that upgrade when it is available. This is the third rear brake switch I’ve had since Dec 2009.

New vs Old:

rear brake switch

My left mirror also ate itself from the inside out. This is the second or third time. I’d swap to something with a better seal, but warranty costs me nothing.

New vs Old:

new mirror

Kevin also replaced the boot on the drive shaft.

scrambler cycle

I was feeling lazy, so I also had him change the oil, check the valves, and check the alignment. The valves hadn’t moved since last time. (yay!) The alignment was also right were we left it. Things are settling down with the Ural.

When it was time to go, Kevin wrapped the tires up to make the ride home easier. They fit so nicely in the sidecar.

new tires

Since they are proper winter tires, I will have to wait a bit for it to get cold. (around 30F) before I mount them on the Ural. This is the time I wish I had a second set of wheels, so I could change them while it is warm out. Alas, wheels are $300 a piece.

I’m very excited to try these tires in the snow. If they work as good in the snow as the regular K37s work in mud, I will be a very happy rider.


  1. the Uralisti I ride with love the Heidenaus....

    good tires, but pricey.

    I need to put a new shinko 705 on the front of my tug, then I'll be all set for winter.


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  2. Oh no, is it that time of the year again? I hope you still get some good riding weather. I would love to have the Heidenaus for my scoot but not sure I can get them.

  3. Dear Chris:

    Thank God I do not have to worry about snow tires for a motorcycle. The tread on your Ural's new kicks is one of the most aggressive I have seen on a tire, motorcycle or not. Now this begs the question: assuming that the roads get plowed to blacktop as often as possible, does the dry pavement eat these tires up rapidly?

    Fondest regards,

  4. Dom: I've heard the same feedback which was what steered me towards them. They are expensive. I don't mind if they work well as the tire is the only thing holding the bike on the road.

    Lucky you, I still have a few more things to prep the ural for winter yet.

    SonjaM: It's getting there. The leaves are all orange and yellow today, but the temp is 90F !? Good luck finding them. They seem nice. :)

    Dear Jack: They are aggressive like the K335s I had last year or the blizzaks I used to have when I had a car. I imagine they will work like snow tires on a car, the air/road temp is the main concern. They are a softer rubber so they will work better in the cold. If it is too warm, they will wear very quickly. I won't be putting them on until it's about 30F out. I don't know how long they will wear as they are new in this size. Never read anyone putting the SnowTex on a Ural. I will be one of the first.

    I hope they last at least through the winter, and for sure, longer than the K335s which only made it 2000kms.

  5. I had to laugh. It sounds as if you are actually looking forward to the snow coming!

  6. Gary: Using the tires in the snow yes, the snow.. sort of. Its 75F the last few days; it'd be nice if it was like this all the time.