Alright, alright. I had grown weary of waiting for somebody to produce a 180/55/17 with a bit more aggressive tread. I wasn't ready to go full bore with the TKC80, especially at well over $200 a copy. I settled for the Dunlop D616 which was ok but I couldn't make it to 4,000 miles. The Shinko 009 Raven reviews well, has a harder compound and is way cheap. I got the idea about a year ago when I put a set of Ravens on my son's bike and noticed the relatively deep grooves and angular tread pattern. Months pass and rather than feed more D616 rubber to the beast, I decided to go for it. I clicked on the Ravens and a tire groover.
Granted, this is an experiment, hell the tire could fly apart tomorrow. There's a learning curve too. I filleted my finger loading the blade, in spite of the explicit instructions to wear gloves and use caution. I practiced on the old Dunlop.
I realized this would take lots of practice. The cuts are not picture perfect but the tire should function - as well as it will. I'll order my next one early and take my time. I'll get better at it.
So, If you're crazy enough to try this, I suggest making a few identical cuts at a time allowing rest in between. I can see getting fatigued and getting in a hurry and making mistakes. I was prepared to risk ruining a cheap tire but nonetheless, didn't want to. I'll tackle the front in a day or two. It will be more delicate.