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ADV NewsHeidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire Review

Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire Review

We see if Heidenau’s latest dual sport rubber both performs and goes the distance.

Published on 10.27.2022

In recent years, the number of dual sport tire options has continued to expand as tire manufacturers try to meet demand in the ever-growing Adventure Bike segment. One tire that has been a popular option in this category for the better part of a decade now is the Heidenau K60 Scout. While known for their longevity, the 50/50-rated K60 Scout does have limitations in deeper sand, mud and loose dirt where its road-oriented tread pattern struggles. Heidenau looked to improve upon this with the release of an all-new for 2022 dual sport tire — the K60 Ranger.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire Review
An alternating block arrangement in the shoulder area optimizes lateral climbing ability (e.g. in ruts) plus crossbars tie side lugs together for better stability while cornering.
Rated by Heidenau as a 30% street / 70% off-road tire, the new K60 Ranger sits next to the K60 Scout in Heidenau’s lineup, offering a more off-road biased design to help adventure riders explore further into the backwoods with more confidence to tackle difficult terrain. Like the Scout, the K60 Ranger also gets a reinforced carcass with high puncture resistance. Where it differs is a more-open, knobby tread pattern that utilizes large gaps between center blocks, instead of a continuous center strip, giving it the ability to dig into loose terrain more effectively. What’s more, the Ranger utilizes a softer rubber compound that helps increase grip both off-road and on the street. Plus alternating side lugs, tied together with crossbars, enhance the tires ability to climb out of ruts and improve cornering stability. 
Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire tested
A staggered and scooped block pattern offers better traction off road while providing sufficient contact surface for even rolling on the road.

Making a tire perform both off-road and on road is one thing, but the big question is always how much performance and how long will they last. For a recent comparo, we spooned the Rangers on our Aprilia Tuareg 660 and a Yamaha Tenere 700 test mules — sizes 90/90-21 front and 150/70-18 rear for both. After putting over 1,500 miles on the tires on nearly every type of terrain imaginable from rocks and mud to wet pavement and deep sand, we got a chance to truly understand what the new K60 Rangers are all about. Read on for the full breakdown. 

How They Performed

Having run the K60 Scouts on several different bikes over the years, I was aware of a few undesirable characteristics: First, the Scouts are hard to install because of their stiff carcass; the rubber compound can get slippery on wet pavement; the front tire can easily get overwhelmed in deeper sand; and the tires tend to square off near the end of their lifespan, which can cause the bike to fall into turns abruptly. During the test, I paid special attention to these issues with the hope that Heidenau addressed them with the K60 Rangers. So let’s see if they pulled it off.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure Tire
The Rangers feature an open knobby tread pattern that utilizes large gaps between center blocks, instead of a continuous center strip, giving it the ability to dig into loose terrain more effectively. 

Installation: Unfortunately that stiff sidewall hasn’t made installation any easier. I struggled mightily getting them mounted, even with a Rabaconda tire installer and lots of tire lube. It also required a ratchet strap to hold the tire tight to the rim to get them to hold a bead and air up on the Tuareg’s tubeless rim. Needless to say, we weren’t breaking any records for fast tire changes this time around, but go on they did. And once on, that heavy-duty sidewall pays dividends on the trail with extra puncture resistance, as well as improved grip from the greater tread stability.


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On The Road: One trait many dual sport tires suffer from in the 30/70 (street/dirt) range is road noise. While the tread pattern of the Scouts is fairly aggressive for an adventure tire, they didn’t make much road noise on the highway. Even on pavement with cut rain grooves, they didn’t seem to make any more noise than other more road-oriented adventure tires. They don’t get disturbed when running over cracks in the road like many knobby tires do either.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure Tire

As for cornering performance, the tires have a fairly knobby appearance which typically doesn’t translate into grip on twisty backroads. While not exceptional, the Rangers performed better than I expected. You could get them leaned over quite far and my confidence grew the more I pushed them. While they do slide a bit, the softer rubber compound offers decent grip on asphalt and the sliding is consistent. It’s a stable tire on edge that doesn’t produce unnerving drop-in or wobble like a typical knobby tire. While they wouldn’t be my first choice for sport touring duties, they do allow you to ride at a fast pace in the twisties and don’t hold you back much compared to a more street-focused tire.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure Tire

We also got in some wet-weather riding on the K60 Rangers. According to Heidenau the new tire compound is high in silica content to improve grip on wet roads. And I can attest, they gripped wet asphalt better than expected for a knobby-style tire — I was able to push the pace higher than I might normally dare in the rain. An improvement over the Scouts for sure and only on the tar snakes did I feel it get loose in the wet.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire

In The Dirt: Let’s start with sand since we all want to be better sand riders. Switching from the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires that both the T7 and Tuareg come standard with, was a noticeable improvement in deep, soft sand. Where the Pirelli (and the K60 Scout) had a tendency to tuck the front, making every turn an exercise in concentration, the K60 Ranger’s front tire had much better edge grip and allowed you to ride with less caution and stress. When the front tire did start to tuck, there was ample warning and time to recover. Forward propulsion in the soft stuff was also quite good as the knobby blocks dig in on each tire rotation.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire
Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire

Confidence was equally good in muddy terrain. Even through snow patches and mixed muddy rubble, where the old K60 Scouts might easily load up and start digging a hole, the Rangers were able to cut through it and maintain forward momentum. And when things got dry and dusty, that softer rubber compound maintained good grip, keeping the tire from spinning for the most part.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure Tire

They also seemed to handle rocks, even loose rocks, more like a true knobby and worked well to keep the bike in control on steep descents. While edge grip in soft loamy dirt or sand wasn’t as stellar as a dedicated off-road knobby tire at speed, the front wasn’t easily overwhelmed and it tracks fairly smooth and consistent through turns with good feel.

Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure Tire

Tire Longevity: With off-road performance this good, I wasn’t expecting these tires to last very long. After putting the K60 Rangers through 1,506 miles of rock gardens, deep sand hardpack, twisty tarmac, and mud, plus some long-haul miles in between, the overall percentage of asphalt to dirt mileage was somewhere in the range of 50/50. The initial tread measurements for the tires when new were 6.1mm front and 11mm rear. After completing the test, the tread depth dropped to 5.4mm in front and 7.2mm in the rear.

The rear tire measured 11mm of tread when new (left). After 1,506 miles (right), the rear tire had 7.2mm of tread left.
Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure Tire

Assuming the tires are worn out with 1mm of tread depth left and a constant rate of wear, the front still has 86.3% of its tread left and the rear has 62%. Calculating that out, it would mean the front tire will wear out at around 10.9k miles and the rear at 3.9k miles. That’s pretty impressive mileage for the front but nothing to write home about for the rear.

The front started with 6.1mm of tread when new (left). After 1,506 miles (right), it had 5.4mm of tread left.
Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure motorcycle Tire

Tires generally burn up more tread in the first part of their lifespan though, so you could easily expect to exceed those numbers. And as far as wear pattern, the rear tire still maintains a completely round shape and I can see no evidence of it starting to square off.

Who Are They For

Those riders who are looking primarily for a capable off-road tire but still want good performance on the street will be pleased with the K60 Rangers. Those on a budget will also find them reasonably priced compared to other popular tires in this range like the Continental TKC 80, Pirelli Scorpion Rally or Bridgestone AX41. 

Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure motorcycle Tire

Our Verdict

The new K60 Rangers have addressed the off-road performance woes of the K60 Scouts, yet at the cost of longevity. Rear tire life will be somewhere in the range of a Continental TKC 80, yet off-road performance in all types of terrain is exceeded and they cost less too. Performance is similar to more-aggressive dual sport knobbies in the dirt but without the common drawbacks on the street. An excellent choice if you put performance first and don’t mind swapping tires frequently. Just remember the K60 Ranger is not a tire you want to practice tire changes with. Drop your wheel off at the local shop and let the pros struggle with it.  

Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure motorcycle Tire
Heidenau K60 Ranger Adventure motorcycle Tire

What We Liked

  • Excellent off-road performance in a variety of terrain.
  • Great street manners with solid grip on wet or dry asphalt.
  • Reasonably priced compared to other adventure tires in the category.
  • Front tire longevity is very good.

What Could Be Improved

  • Stiff sidewall makes them difficult to install.
  • Would like more longevity out of the rear tire.

 K60 Ranger Specs

Off-Road / On-Road Rating: 70/30
Construction: Reinforced carcass with high puncture resistance. 
Price: $98-$200 depending on the size.
Sizes Front: 90/90-21, 110/80B19, 120/70B19
Sizes Rear: 130/80-17, 140/80-17, 140/80-18, 150/70B17, 150/70B18, 170/60B17

Shopping Options

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Photos Ely Woody and Rob Dabney

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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14 thoughts on “Heidenau K60 Ranger Dual Sport Tire Review

    • Hi Chris. Thanks for that! Yes, longevity is better than the TKC 80 in the front and similar on the rear (if not slightly better). As far as performance, I think the TKC has a little more feel and control on the street while the Ranger is a better performing off-road tire in more aggressive terrain.

  1. Thanks for the informative review Rob. I was thinking of going with these or the Karoo 4’s after my AX41 Adventurecross tires wore out but those have turned out to be most excellent both off and on road and for the money (even without a B’Stone rebate), can’t see running anything else. And get this; I have 9,500 miles on the rear on my KTM 790 Adventure R and not at the wear bars yet!

        • Most of the miles are commuting on billiard smooth highways droning along at a steady 70 mph but about 2-3 k are off road with back road blitzing too. Count me as shocked as well, was expecting about 5 K out of the rear. The front will get me about 12 K I figure. The newest crop of 50/50 ish ADV tires are very good for sure.

  2. Nice review, how do these compare to the mighty mitas e07 and Dakar?

    I would expect the mitas to outlive on the pavement, but I’m curious if you’d think these are a significant improvement on the sand/mud.
    Also curious to see if you’d think these are significantly out peaced on the street both wet and dry by the mitas (which looks more street focused).

    Thank you,
    Francisco

    • Much appreciated Francisco! The E-07s are great, but they are more of a street tire. I’d rate it a 60/40 street / dirt. It’s a long-lasting tire with decent off-road grip. However, the K60 Ranger will run circles around the E-07 in mud and sand. Grip on asphalt is a little better with the E-07. We’ve got a set of E-07s we have been running for about 4000 miles and the rear still looks pretty meaty.

  3. I just travelled around Australia on my Guzzi Stelvio shode with a Scout rear tire. The trip was 98 percent on sealed straight roads. After 12,000 km I still have 4mm wear left in the centre of my tire. I’m fairly impressed with that

  4. I’ve used K60 Ranger on my Husky 701 Long Range all summer, in the same dimensions you described here. There’s a vital point you’ve missed here. Look at the thread patterns front/rear and compare them. Notice that they are opposite in direction, making these tires fabulous in loose sand. You have to be brave and give throttle, but the more you do so, the more stable the bike becomes. I was a bit schocked when I discovered this. They’re like on rails in loose sand! Incredible.

    • BTW, I’ve used TKC80 for probably more than 20 years on my trusty Beemer 1100GS, and they’re great. I also had them on the Husky for the first 2 summers. But these new K60 Rangers outperforms the Continental Twinduros in gravel and sand by far, so for me there’s no way I’ll go back.

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