Shinko Tour Master tyre
I’ve been seeing Shinko motorcycle tyres in magazine ads for 20 years or more but I’ve never got close to one because they don’t seem to be widely stocked. That left me curious about them.
Recently while looking for car tyres I found a dealer who also stocked Shinko bike tyres. This coincided with returning from a weekend trip on the trusty XJ900 that left the rear boot looking more than ready for immediate replacement. So I took the plunge more out of curiosity than anything else, although the price was right, and shouted the XJ a new Shinko for the rear.
Being precise it’s a 120/90 x 18 Shinko Tour Master that informs me via a message on the sidewall that it’s rated for a maximum speed of 249km/h, a reassuring tit-bit of information since that’s a wee bit above the numbers I generally see on the old girl’s speedo.
According to its website, Shinko is a Japanese tyre company that manufactures most of its products in Korea. It’s a large business that has apparently been making tyres since 1946. In 1998 it seems to have got serious about motorcycle tyres by purchasing Yokohama’s bike tyre division.
Now to my observations about my new Shinko. To the naked eye the manufacturing quality is good judging by the smooth, even, moulded surface and the fact that it required no balance weights when fitted.
Aesthetically, I like the look of the tyre – the tread doesn’t look as staid and utilitarian as some touring tyres. It’s even a bit sporty looking.
I initially put about 200km on it around town, shopping and commuting. It performed fine and ran smoothly and quietly. Then we did a two-up trip with luggage through the mountains clocking up about 1800km. All but the last 100km was on dry roads where it performed well, teaming happily with the nice Avon Roadrider on the front. Running 38psi it gave me every confidence in the corners and felt good accelerating hard out of bends – obviously we weren’t the fastest bike through the hills, but the co-pilot and I do like to get into it a bit through the twisties. Why would you ride a bike through the mountains otherwise? A few kays on dirt, at modest speeds, were completed without issues. Then coming through the foothills in heavy traffic, getting pretty close to home, the last question was answered when the heavens opened. The Shinko was fine in the wet. No dramas. I tried provoking it when stopping and taking off in the rain, but the grip was fine.
It’s showing little evidence of wear now at the 2000km mark and it still feels smooth and balanced.
Time will tell how it pans out in terms of longevity, but at this stage I’m more than happy with the way it’s shaping and pleased to finally be satisfying my curiosity about Shinkos.
Available: Contact Bruce Collins Enterprises (Ph: 03 9645 2919) for your local stockist.