So we’re talking about different tires and I was telling him I preferred Avons. They aren’t cheap and they don’t last as long as most, but they handle very well, especially in the rain. We end up talking about cheap tires and I enlighten this sales person to my attitude of “cheap ain’t good and good ain’t cheap”. Well, being he wants to sales us something, he takes exception to this and begins telling me all about Shinko tires. Waxing poetic about how great they are for the cost, how much they have improved and why, etc.
As I listen to all this I explain that, unlike a car, you only have two wheel, hence two tires, and I will stick with what I know. But it would be the sentence he spoke after that, which would get my attention. “If I gave you a set of tires for your bike would you run them?” “Hey, if you’re that confident in these tires, that you’ll give me a pair, why not?”
In about a week the tires show up and the first thing I noticed, they seemed taller than other tires I had run. I double checked the size and they were the right tires. So when I finally wore out the tires I had, I mounted the Shinko tires. When you mount a tire there’s a dot on it, usually yellow. This dot is for balance and is to be place in line with the valve stem. There was no balance dot, as they’re commonly referred too. So I took an educated guess, of which there was no “educated” to it, it was strictly a guess. I mounted the tires, hoping for the best. I had to add more weight than I like, but the amount needed was within specs for most tires.
So, I head home and the first thing I notice is I’m feeling every little bump in the road. I write this off to the tires being harder so they will last longer. It would ride this way the entire life of the tires. Other than that, they seemed ok.
Remember those October-November rains we had this last year? You remember them. Seemed like it rained every day. No drought here, the lakes were flooding. Yea, those rains. I got the privilege of riding in them. Of all the things I had to worry about, the tires were not one of them. They handled decent in both the heavy rains and high winds.
Then one day I’m minding my own business when Billy Blain, one of the techs walks up to me and says, “You seriously need a new rear tire.” “What?” “You need a new rear tire. Have you looked at it lately?” So off we go and sure enough, there’s threads starting to show. I hadn’t taken any kind of hard look at the tire because I literally had 4431 miles on the rear tire when this happened. I hadn’t planned on taking a serious look at the two tires until they hit 5000 miles. Just to give you a heads up, I don’t hot rod, do burn outs, or any other type riding that would put extra wear on the tires.
What’s up with the 9 times out of 10 remark in the opening? The front tire is still on the bike and about to approach the 9000 mile mark. I will replace it between that and 10,000 miles. I have one tire about to approach 9000 miles and another that couldn’t make 5000 miles. That’ll not get a recommendation nor an endorsement from me. That’s one decent tire out of two and if it was even 9 good ones out of every 10, not very good odds. Would you accept your banker telling you, “Why are you upset, we get 9 out of 10 transactions right?”
Tires are a personal thing, for me, I’ll stick with my Avons, Dunlop when I can’t get an Avon. And I’ll stick with my statement-Cheap ain’t good and good ain’t cheap.
Until Next Time,