Shinko 016 Verge 2X radials
Although I’ve been aware of the Shinko tyre brand for many years, it wasn’t until I had one fitted to the back wheel of my old XJ900 tourer 18-odd months ago that I got to check them out first hand.
The 18-inch Shinko Tour Master on the XJ has proved to be thoroughly satisfactory but, with the old girl on a limited-usage club permit these days, she isn’t racking up the kays to give a final verdict on the tyre’s life.
Based on my happy experience with the Tourmaster, I decided to try out a pair of Shinko radials when the Kawasaki ER-6 needed new boots.
After talking to the people at Bruce Collins Enterprises, the importers, I went for a pair of Shinko 016 Verge 2X tyres that are basically sports-tourer spec. The 016 features a dual-compound tread with the grippier compound from Shinko’s pure-sports 010 range on the shoulders for cornering grip and the more durable compound from its 011 touring range in the centre for improved life. That sounded like a nice compromise to me.
Hold one in your hand and check it out and you’re seeing a neatly and smoothly moulded tyre with a handsome-enough tread. The tread has extra sipes, or water draining grooves, compared with the 010 pure-sports version to promote wet-road grip. They have an adequate Z speed rating (270km/h max).
I noticed our expert fitter, Rick at Pablos Tyres in Mulgrave, Victoria, only added minimal weights to balance the Shinkos. This would seem to bear out my comment about the smooth, even quality of the moulding.
They scrubbed in well on my first ride and dealt with the usual suburban surface bumps with no sign of harshness.
On my first ride in anger through the hills I got the impression the little ER-6 was turning in a bit more willingly than it had on the superseded Bridgestones. While I wasn’t chasing ZX-10s I certainly wasn’t hanging around and there was plenty of grip for that sort of enthusiastic riding.
We’re now coming up to 2000km on the Shinkos comprising a mix of commuting and country rides, including a 1000km High Country trip before Christmas that exposed them to some enthusiastic work in the twisties, some highway touring and even a bit of dirt-road action. They’ve been fine in all settings and all weather. Time will tell how many kilometres they will ultimately achieve but, like the Tourmaster on the old XJ, there’s only minimal evidence of wear at this stage.
I’ve found no negatives to the performance of these Shinko 016 Verge 2X radials in commuting and sports-touring duties. If you’re a ten-tenths kind of rider, chasing ultimate grip, you’ll understandably go for a pure-sports tyre. But for the rest of us, these Shinkos look pretty good and represent decent value.
OUR RATING: 4/5 stars
PRICE: Front (120/70 ZR17) $158, rear (160/60 ZR17) $224
AVAILABILITY: Contact Bruce Collins Enterprises (Ph: 03 9645 2919) for your local stockist