Kenda Kruz K673 Cruiser Motorcycle Tire Review: All Condition Rubber
I have a stable of a bike – my 2007 Yamaha Royal Star Venture which I love to take long rides (no, not beach rides or romantic movies). I did all the little things that make it a very comfortable bike for sitting on, as well as for cruising on the freeway and at parking speeds.
One of the big changes my Venture has from the stock is to use a narrower sized front tire. It alleviates the entry force requirements to move the beast out of the centerline. I’m talking about this because it’s a change from the stock and may give me different feedback than you might get from the standard size front tire on your bike.
My Pirelli MT 66 Route front and rear tires were level with the wear bars at around 6000 miles, so I decided to test another budget-priced tire, the Kenda Kruz K673. This is a shoulder belt tire with what Kenda says is a “new rubber compound for improved mileage”.
The Kenda Kruz K673 tires arrived at my doorstep, and on my first inspection of the rear tire, I was surprised to see such a deep tread. Yes, I had recently looked at end-of-life tires, but the rear did look like a very deep tread tire. I checked the correct size and model – Kenda Kruz K673, 150/90 x 15, with a good H rating for 130mph.
I then turned my attention to the front tire. It’s hard to describe a double take on words, but looking at the shallow tread depth of the front tire, I refocused my eyes and turned the tire toward the sun to get a better view. My first impression was that I had received a used tire in error. I searched for a wear bar and it turned out that the tread depth was only slightly more than about twice the height of the wear bar.
I replaced the front tires with more tread than I saw on this brand new tire. If I was going to Sturgis and knew I would be going about 3,500 miles that week, I would have bought a new front tire before setting off if it was on my bike. A quick sidewall check confirmed the correct Kenda Kruz 673F tire, dimension 130/90 x 16, with a speed rating of H.
Confirming that the front tire was new – no signs of wear and the shiny items you need to watch out for for the first 100km were all over the tire. I went to my local independent motorcycle mechanic to get them up. Although I attached new tires to my back seat, this time I had my wife drive them for me.
If you’ve never fitted fresh rubber to your rims before, you’re in for a treat. The extra cushioning you get from the new tires makes your bike feel like it has developed micro-shocks. Remember I am a long distance and comfort cyclist so when I have new rubber under me it feels the same as when I fall into a La-Z Boy recliner after a day out. complete work in the garden. I’m not trying to feel the road surface the way a sportbike rider might. Instead, I’m looking for a feeling of confidence in the turns, wet traction, braking, non-intervention stability, low-speed balance and not being pushed by side winds or crazy airflow. around the car carriers.
Due to the winter weather in Oregon and a prolonged cold, it took me three months to get to this test drive. With the Venture sitting for 90 days, I found that the front and back were losing one psi per month, which I always understood to be an average pressure loss.
My trip would be about 50 miles of freeway, followed by 88 miles of mountain freeway, then coming back on a different route with roughly the same mountain and freeway distances.
The freeway slip road is about two miles from my house and it is a 180 degree right turn going uphill. Knowing that these new tires must be scuffed, I calmed down until I straightened up to merge. I immediately noticed that the handling was neutral. No additional entry was required to get into the correct sweeper and keep it in line.
As I exited the right bank vertically, the entry was lighter than I expected. I rode about 48,000 miles on my Venture, and even though I hadn’t ridden in three months, the muscle memory comments were there.
The freeway was pretty empty so I did weaving all the way (I practice weaving like something was falling in my way) to see what the control entrances looked like. Pushes and pulls were light with immediate responsiveness. I think these tires feel really good under me.
I turn on my cruise control to 65 mph on my GPS – my speedometer is very optimistic no matter what tires I ride – and let go of the handlebars. The Yamaha Venture was going straight ahead, and didn’t feel like it was going to start to lean to one side or the other.
I still ride with at least my right hand on the throttle with two fingers covering the brake lever, so it’s nice to know the bike is true to these new tires. It is about 11 miles from the first freeway transition – a 55 mph left-hand sweeper.
My Venture has a stock exhaust so it’s pretty quiet when cruising at constant speed. I had used Metzeler ME 880 Marathon tires up front for 24,000 miles, so I used to hear the front tire âsingâ in fast corners. I was curious if this Kenda 673 would make similar sounds. This is not the case. Everything is calm during the transition.
Settling in for about 45 minutes on the highway, I rode on divots and lane separation reflectors, and they all felt smooth with no front tire deflection. I couldn’t tell the direction and speed of the wind, until I saw a flag blowing in a direct crosswind in my direction of travel. I didn’t have any crosswinds on the bike with these Kenda Kruz tires.
The 130 width tires that I’ve been using since the first tire change have a smaller contact patch than the stock 150, so crosswinds and car carriers tend to push the bike. I spotted a car carrier in front of me and accelerated to grab it and play in its wake. Nothing. I could feel the turbulent air pushing me a bit, but my bike was totally stable. The tread pattern and texture of the rubber adhere very well to asphalt.
I realized that I had not done a severe brake test yet. Since there was no one behind me to exit the freeway, I hit the brakes – no panic stop, just loud. The Venture slowed down as expected, without slipping or going off the track.
I turned left onto the 88 mile mountain road and really enjoyed the ride. The pavement was dry in the sunny areas, not dry in the uneven, tree-lined sections, and the running water was wet on some tighter turns in the deep forest portions. I’m a conservative touring motorcyclist so I went over the speed limit in dry areas and about 15-20% below posted speed limit in wet areas. I never felt the front or the back slip, so my confidence in these Kenda The Kruz K673 tires grew as the miles went on and the wet areas were accumulating. The control entrances were light and secure. The tight turns and wide sweepers felt normal and as expected, no surprises.
Where I took my turn for the return trip, I wanted to take a selfie with a location sign. It has put me in the wrong direction since my return leg. I’m pretty comfortable doing tight U-turns, so I waited for all the traffic to clear and executed a tight U-turn. Throttle, clutch friction zone, rear brake, look where I want to go and turn sharply. Again I noticed that the handlebar entry was very light. The Venture didn’t feel like it wanted to fall on the inside of the turn and just went where I pointed it. No surprises.
The roughly 88 mile return leg had tighter turns and almost all of the tree covered turns were wet. In addition, there was a thin layer of soil between the auto tracks for about 30 miles. I stayed on the car tracks on the bends and crossed the dirt on the straights. I didn’t have any traction feeling going through the dirt, but I wasn’t going to roll over it in a turn either. I thought as I got back on the freeway that those 176 miles of turns are fun, with no adrenaline rushes.
I hadn’t thought of it before, but the 4pm rush hour is just around the corner, and I know from experience that the closest highway to my house will be hop-on hop-off for 11 miles. I spent about 30 minutes practicing my slow speed driving. My Venture is known to be a tough bike at low speeds, so having the front 130 tire helps.
I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the Kenda Kruz K763 tires made very low speed driving much easier than other brands I have owned. I was able to blow and putter just above the âstop and put your feetâ speed quite comfortably. Growing up in California, I really missed dividing the lanes, but had 30 minutes of low speed driving to write about here.
The Kenda Kruz K673 touring tires tick all the boxes for me on that 276 mile first try: highway stable, wet cornering traction, as well as good low-speed handling and crosswind grip. I don’t know how many miles I will be driving, but when I do find out this review will be updated.
Can’t wait to go on longer hikes as spring and summer arrive. I now know that I can be sure that the Kenda Kruz K763 tires will serve me well, and I have no hesitation in recommending them for all riding conditions on a touring bike.
Highlights on Kenda Kruz K673 tires
- 130 / 90×16
- 150 / 80×16
- 120 / 90×17
- 140 / 80×17
- 110 / 90×18
- 120 / 90×18
- 130 / 70×18
- 100 / 90×19
- 110 / 90×19
- 80 / 90×21
- 140 / 90×15
- 150 / 90×15
- 170 / 80×15
- 130 / 90×16
- 140 / 90×16
- 150 / 80×16
- 160 / 80×16
Maximum air pressure, front and rear: 40 psi