Aug 10, 2006

Tyre-ing out the Gladiator

Yamaha GladiatorA magazine recently said that the Gladiator's tyres were crappy. I think it was Bike India. The contention was that its performance and handling feel improved dramatically once MRFs were spooned on. I don't disagree. The OEM Dunlops do feel a bit squishy and I'm sure a slightly more 'spineful' tyre, with the same levels of grip would improve the proceedings infinitely. However, the Mumbai rains have showed me that all is not lost for the Dunlop. Because they're absolutely bloody brilliant in the wet and the mucky. They're almost like frogs in the way they perk up in the slidey stuff.

Seriously, I've found myself using almost all of the front-end braking I would use in summer without a second thought. I've felt sideways movements and twitches when I'm passing over loose gravel (available freely around all potholes) and metal plates (usually used to cover all manner of deep holes in Mumbai). But on concrete, tarmac, any combination of the two, the Dunlop is the best tyre I've ever used in the wet so far.

Won't stop me swapping to the MRFs later in the year, though.



A said...

I agree altogether. I had the OEM Dunlops on my CBZ for the first few years. I'm not sure if it was beginner's overconfidence or the tyres themselves, but I *never* had a slide, even taking corners fairly fast in the monsoons.

Two years or so into the game, though, the Dunlops began to fade pretty quickly and I had a few frightening and painful slides in the wet. The MRF Zappers aren't even in the same ballpark on wet roads, and I'm keeping my hopes up for a set of Pirellis.

Great blog, by the way - love your writing, and I'm a regular visitor.

rearset said...

Why, thank you! Pirellis are available now in India. I've tried them, and they are damn good. You should however, skip the sporty looking Sport Demons and spring for City Demons instead. They're the really sticky ones.