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Just Arrived – some new knobbies
Kenda redesigns the Parker DT to give it the Carlsbad tread pattern
It has been just about 10 years since Kenda really started to make an impact on the off road motorcycle market. With the introduction of the Carlsbad and Millville models Kenda showed they were serious about the motorcycle business. Both tires became instant successes for a company that had always been a small player in the market. The Millville continues to be a popular choice for eastern riders.
The Carlsbad found a home in the west as a tire that would do most everything. I remember a motorcycle editor claiming he would rather use it than any Dunlop available. There is not doubt that in certain conditions the Carlsbad was an excellent performer. I used it as my primary desert racing tire for a number of years. Were it suffered was in durability, to be more specific it would start to “look” bad after too few miles. What I mean is that some of the knobs, both front and rear, would start to tear and the tires would become rather unsightly. The reality was that is wear did very little to affect the tires performance, why, I don’t know. I ran numerous sets to oblivion and for the most part the performance did not significantly drop off until the very end.
After a few year success with these two models Kenda went on to introduce a number of additional patterns. Among these the Washougal became a very nice all around tire also. In an effort to build a stronger desert terrain tire the Parker was developed. The Parker just never quite worked for me. It was heavy and shared the tread pattern with the Budds Creek tire. The pattern was a little to open in the rear to hook up in desert terrain well and I felt the front deflected in the rocks.
About two years ago Kenda made the choice to drop the Carlsbad design. I was left without my favorite tire. I moved to using the Washougals and they have fared well. Although recently I was riding a friends bike in Baja to test his suspension, for some reason he still had some Carlsbads mounted and I was somewhat surprised to realize just how much I missed the design. For overall Baja conditions I think they provide the best performance.
So I was delighted to learn that Kenda has revived the original thread pattern from the Carlsbad into the new Parker DT. This gives it the natural rubber compound aimed at extending the life of the tire. So I have mounted up a set on my Baja trail bike and hope to hit the dirt with them shortly to be able to give you a report on performance and wear characteristics. So stay tuned