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With winter nearly kicked out of here on it's rear (finally), I figured it was time to swap out the winter Blizzak for the Summer Kuhmo.

For starters, the Blizzak on the left has 2,448 miles on it and shows considerable wear. My guess is that it is already 1/3 gone. Unfortunately for this shot, I had let the air out to get it off the bike. The Blizzak is mounted, but with only about 5# of air. The Kuhmo has 30# in it.



B L I Z Z A K _ T R A C T I O N _ R E V I E W:
Some fun in the Snow....

The motorcycle parking at work doesn't get plowed. The week before this picture we had nearly identical snow while I still had the 704 Stone on the rear. The Stone cut through the snow, but had almost no traction. I could freely spin the tire with almost no effect. The Blizzak had to dig its way down, but then had better bite. I could get both tires stuck in 4" - 6" of snow, but the Blizzak could definitely dig its way out.


Ran out to the farm where I've gotten stuck in the winter trying to get up the driveway. It wasn't as bad as I was hoping for this year, but still worth some play time. Stopped several times going up and it took right off without spinning.


Growing up, we always had mud in the spring until things firmed up. When I left, the spot I turned around in had about 2" of mud over frozen ground. Tried spinning the tire several times and the bike just jumped forward. A big surprise in traction here.



K U H M O: In the mud.
I swapped out tires this last weekend, so I only have a couple hundred miles of testing on the Kuhmo. One thing I did was to run out to the inlaws cabin by St. Anna to see how bad the flooding was. Sorry, but no pictures. I nearly got the Kuhmo stuck in the lake access driveway. There was 2"+ of slimy muck on top of frozen ground. I managed to dig through to the lawn, but the tread on this tire is definitely less aggressive than the Blizzak. Still, a motorcycle tire is basically useless in the mud, so the Kumho did fine. And really, how many times does a Goldwing rider play in the mud anyway?

K U H M O vs. Blizzak: on gravel
I ran about 50 miles of gravel on the Blizzak. About 15 miles was following the Minnesota River along a scenic byway. The road was wet from some rain and still muddy in spots from the snow melt. The front end was squirrely, but was held together by the Blizzak. Speeds were in the 40 - 60 mph range and the bike handled it fine (considering that I personally hate muddy gravel roads).

The only gravel I could find locally for the Kumho was about 5 miles of dry, glazed hardpack with a sprinkeling of loose gravel on top. The Kumho handled this very well. The one thing I did try while accelerating (doing about 20 in 2nd) was to punch it. The Kumho definitely fishtails way more than the Blizzak. I guess aggressive forward bite also gives side to side stability when accelerating.

K U H M O vs. Blizzak: handling
I really was convinced that all 195's would feel the same. I may only have a couple hundred miles on the Kuhmo, but it definitely has a smother side-to-side transition. The Blizzak is a very flat tire and it turns out that I can definitely feel the difference. Coming off the Blizzak to the Kuhmo is sort of like going from a worn out tire to a new one.

Except for tread wear, the Blizzak is a great winter tire. Based on feel, I think I'm going to enjoy the Kuhmo as my summer tire.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the Kumho holds up through the summer. Hopefully, the days will be long, warm and dry with lots of opportunity to look for those elusive twisties that must be hiding around here somewhere.
 

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Great review. Loved the snow report.

Looking at the tire wear on the Blizzak, it looks like the pressure was too high. I appears the center is wearing faster than the edge, but winter tires are softer, which would normally, wear faster.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I started with 30 pounds at a temp around 20. The pressure was about 32 when I took it off with temps above freezing. For much of my riding, the temps were in the 40's and 50's. I remember reading comments about the pressure changing with the temp. I never checked it when it got warm out, so I could very well have been running it high. It's easy to have a 30 or 40 degree swing every couple of days (or even on the same day) this time of year.

I will make sure to adjust the Kumho as the temps go up. I'm starting to think a monitoring system with a pressure readout might actually be worth the cash.
 

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How refreshing.....Someone who isn't intimidated by a 900lb motorcycle and goes where the hell he wants to when he wants to. Someone who knows that the Wingabago is capable of a lot more than most would ever ask of it.

Thanks for the reviews. You have my :bow::bow::bow:

Ever get down in my backyard, N. Ga., let me show you around.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ever get down in my backyard, N. Ga., let me show you around.:thumbup:
Be careful what you wish for....:lol: You might regret having to spend the day teaching a flatlander how to get these square tires to go around all those beautiful curves.
 

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I read some really good reports on the Kumho Ecsta and can't find anything negative in the writings, which means it is a likely candidate for my next run-flat. One question is how does it handle in the rain?? I don't see any treads in the center, other than the 2 circumfrence grooves around the middle of the tire. Thanks
 

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I read some really good reports on the Kumho Ecsta and can't find anything negative in the writings, which means it is a likely candidate for my next run-flat. One question is how does it handle in the rain?? I don't see any treads in the center, other than the 2 circumfrence grooves around the middle of the tire. Thanks
I"m on my second Kumho and have ridden many miles in the rain with it. It is a very good wet weather tire. Those two large groves in the middle channel the water well. Snipes on the side take it out the sides.
 

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If we're not careful, and keep ranting about how good our Kumho's are behaving, they might start selling them to us as MT's, with MT price tags!
BIG $$$$$$$$$$! :22yikes:AAAaaarrrggg!:22yikes: What a thought! :joke:
 

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You definitely have my, congrats on being able to ride in those conditions! I would not even consider riding in those conditions.:bow:
 

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I read some really good reports on the Kumho Ecsta and can't find anything negative in the writings, which means it is a likely candidate for my next run-flat. One question is how does it handle in the rain?? I don't see any treads in the center, other than the 2 circumfrence grooves around the middle of the tire. Thanks
I have ridden in some very wet conditions on the highway and I can tell you that I have'nt been able to make the tire slip. I have down shifted hard and up shifted hard trying to see how far that I can go but have'nt found out yet! I would have slipped on the Stone on many occasions where I have'nt with the Kumho. I Likey......
 

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Shiver

Shiver, I also play spin the wheel. Yesterday on the runway (green

wet grass) I could do 5th gear. 100+ mph showing

while only doing only about 50 mph.

Try that with a MT.

Stopping gives the ABS a work-out. :doorag:
 

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If we're not careful, and keep ranting about how good our Kumho's are behaving, they might start selling them to us as MT's, with MT price tags!
BIG $$$$$$$$$$! :22yikes:AAAaaarrrggg!:22yikes: What a thought! :joke:

You don't know how true that is..:eek:4:

Four months ago I bought two Pirelli [email protected]'s at $137 each.
I just put on my second one a few days ago.I always have a spare set of F/R tires on hand..
The Pirelli is now at $148

I guess they saw how popular the Pirelli is and jacked up the price.(Ya I know there are other factors in a price increase)
 
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