Am already having this tyre on my 2011 Yamaha LC135ES. Sizes are 80/80-17 front and 100/80-17 rear. Recommended by Mr. Chua at Ah Hong Motor. Please see Mr. Chua (Kok Sing) for great Shinko tyre deals. Tell him Crazy Wahid sent you.
I apologize for my worded (read: long-winded) review below, but when people say “it’s grippy” I’ll always ask in return “what exactly do you mean by grippy?”
First of all, let me say that I’ve been very, very used to the venerable Dunlop TT900 for many, many years. So I had initial doubts when mounting these “Korean tyres” called “Sheen-Koh.” (http://motomalaya.net/blog/
Having ridden a month on them, I’ve tested them by riding to Genting Highlands via Ulu Yam and Bentong, also via the Karak Highway (at least 5 times already), plus twice through Kuala Kelawang.
In the dry, the amount of feedback while leaned over isn’t too much nor too little. Too much will overwhelm your senses, making you think you’re too fast into the corner, while too litlle gives you no confidence in whether the tyres are gripping. Both extremes will trigger your fear responses and making you close the throttle and losing midcorner speed, and ultimately hurt the drive out of the corner. Most riders compensate by downshifting hard and using the engine as a brake, in order to feel the tyres bite.
Also, do understand that when fully leaned over, the job of absorbing mid-corner bumps has to be handled by the tyres and chassis. This is where these tyres really excel. Road ripples and bumps are just rolled over without altering the cornering line. Only thing that’s robbing a bit of that confidence is the lack of compression and rebound damping on both ends of the LC (the rear bobs up and down after a bump. Sheesh!). Heavier springs/fork oil and a good rear shock (switching to YSS soon) will definitely sort it out. The TT900 on the other hand, while able to handle mid corner ripples, do kick the tyres off the ground sometimes.
The other thing is stability when flicking the bike over quickly. There’s a certain sureness that the front won’t wash out under you. Especially helpful when you’re tackling those decreasing radius turns. Once you’ve chosen your line, it just stays there, but will change lines the moment you instruct it to. No hesitation. However, the Shinkos do feel heavy for low speed turns, while just nice for medium- to high-speed ones. That’s because of the rounded profile.
The transition from fully leaned over on one side to the other (meaning changing directions) is also very commendable, needing just modest amounts of countersteering. The TT900′s on the other hand, need a hard shove and big shift of bodyweight to change direction.
But the one thing that amazes me the most is the way the Shinkos handle damp roads. I mean damp, not fully wet with standing water. I’ve taken a few corners at 110-120km/h in the dry, but I found i could still blast through them at 90-100km/h! On fully wet roads, under pouring rain, I could still tackle these same corners at 70-80km/h, but with the throttle constantly and smoothly rolled open. (Chop the throttle and you’d go down – NOW!) They do slide around (front and rear), I won’t lie to you, but with a relaxed body and good throttle control, those slides are FUN! They offer great feedback before sliding, so the confidence to ride fast in the rain is a bonus. However, the TT900s don’t slide around on standing water at all, honestly.
On the subject of braking, the Shinkos don’t stand the bike up if you braked in mid-corner. It’ll definitely handle trail braking but again the soft front suspension of the LC lets it down. This is a plus point for daily city riding, cos there are instances where braking while cornering is needed to avoid obstacles. They perform so good under extreme braking that the forks actually flex inwards and outwards, making the front hop, without the tyres locking up. I’ve yet to lock up these Shinkos under braking…
Durability is subjective and relative, really. Anyhow, I’ve worn the rear down to 1mm to the wear indicators. Credit that to the heavy rear end of the LC135ES, my weight (80kg) plus high cornering speeds.
The TT900 is still good but getting a bit old-school when it comes to the new generation of Kapcais. Plus, the quality is inconsistent.
The Shinko SR877 on the other hand are superb tyres. Great looking and quality to boot. Go for it.