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Old 9th June 2009, 16:12   #1
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Default Review JK Elanzo, a grossly underrated tyre(EDIT: Rightly so!)

I lost two stock Bridgestone HTs early in the safari, one due to a blowout, other due to a bulge in the sidewall.
So with barely 14000kms on the odo, I was forced to buy two new tires.
With the economic situation being as it is currently, and no lottery wins in site, the choice went to the budget side.
After exploring various options, including second hand tires, one thing was certain, new tires would cost 5200-5600 depending upon the make.
The standard MRF/Apollo etc., costed 5300approx, and the bridgestones and other foreign lineage stuff costed around 5700.
Off road tires started from 5500 for BFG, all the way to 6200-6300 for the more exotic stuff.

Spending 10500 odd seemed inminant, but then JK came into the picture. I actually discovered it by accident. Looking at various tires heaped in the tire shops,. I noticed a JK Elanzo, with a very aggressive tread pattern.
Enquired the price, and got the shock answert 3800 odd.

I was wary, how can a tire be so cheap, is this guy trying to pawn of seconds to me? Enquiries at other shops also revealed that it costed 3750-3850 depending upon where you ask.

So finally I took the plunge, the the Safari rides, 2 Bridgestones(also due for replacement any time soon), and 2 Elanzos.
till date Ihave done around 6000kms with them, with a lot of the run done in Himalayas. Of these 6000kms except for the last few 100 kms, the duty was done by these Elanzos as rear wheels, which are also the drive wheel so fhe safari

Based on that I pen down my review. Its too early to talk about life and durability, but what I can talk about is Grip, noise and ride comfort, and off road traction

First the Grip part.
Safari is by no means a handlers delight. Its a ladder on frame chasis which will lose its tail the moment you try anything funny, and if you still insist on being funny, it will reward you by toppling over, thanks to high GC.
But still on the mountain roads, you tend to overshoot a little bit, overestimate your vehicle and this means you need to have grippy tires.
In this trip too there was no exception. The Manali NH21 is a very dangerous route, in the sense it can lull you into complancy.
Unlike other mountain roads which have hairpin bends and sharp turns to keep you on your tows, this road has level wide tarmac, long straight, sweeping gentle curves, and sometimes abdrupt turns.
So its not uncommon to be doing 80+, and then suddenly discover that the road angles 90 and the seemingly gentle curve is after all, not so gentle.
At times like these, its your tires which play a big road.
They should be grippy, and should not let the heavy tail fly around.
And to say the least the Elanzo's did not dissapoint. I was frankly expecting not much from them. They are taxi favorite tires, and supposedly built to last and last. which means hard compound, not really optimized for handling and grip.
So in actual conditions, they came out with flying colors. I had done similar driving earlier on Bridgestones HTs, and with the elanzos it was no worse or better. They performed as well as tires 50% more in price.
In case of hard braking too(I have had to do such braking twice) they performed well, and thankfully there was no flatspotting on closer inspection.

Next comes the road noise and ride comfort. Surprisingly these seem quieter than the stock bridgestones, but in a boomy diesel with turbo whistling at highway speeds, road noise is hardly a bother. Safari has lots of wind noise, and some engine boom to make the tire noise seem insignificant. In case of Elanzo's, for all practical purposes they can be considered equal to Bridgestone HTs. Howerver if you drive a quiter vehicle, this may be a factor to be considered.
Coming to ride comfort, safari has a long travel suspension, so a harder tire does not make much of a different, but on the smallish groove like bumps which are felt like a vibration rather than a "thunk", the bridgestones feel better. For example when driving on cats eyes at the center of the road, the thunk thunk is less in case of bridgestones, but not so much less that it would really be a bother.

Last but not the least, off road traction. Till now I have used these on 2 kinds of surfaces. First is sand. Deep vehicle swallowing sand. Due to the aggressive block patterm they may have a slight advantage here.
The other experience was at Rohtang pass, where there was a lot of snow on road, and lots of black ice and slush kind of snow. Here also they performed adequately. Surely there was slip, but same was the case with Bridgestone HTs.

So all in all I would call them a good value for money. Mind you, they are not performance or offroad tires. Also 6000kms is too short a time to judge durability or tire life. But if rated on Grip, Noise and Ride comfort, they are as good as tires 50% costlier than them.

Infact when I replace the other two duellers, I will be in a dilemma, get the Elanzo, or get the BF Goodrich All Terrain TA/KO. With a 1700rs price difference, its a tough decision, which till now is gravitating towards the BFG, due to their offroad status.

However if I had to choose between Bridgestone HT or any other HT tire, Elanzo would be my first choice.
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Old 9th June 2009, 16:27   #2
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Inspiring, one can take further inspiration from that the Scorpio M-Hawks also nowadays come factory-fitted with Elanzos. I too have a similar problem: I had to change my 2 ATs (thanks to a tear in one of the tyres) 12000 kms ago, but my replacements were HTs - which means I am now running on 2 HTs and 2 ATs! I need to change my ATs (worn out), but can't throw away the HTs (and ATs improve handling of my Scorpio dramatically). So looks like Elanzo could be a cheaper alternative and your drive experience strengthens my resolve to consider it ahead of the Bridgestones, Michelins and Yokos which everyone is raving about.

Anyone has fitted their Scorpios with Elanzo ATs?
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Old 9th June 2009, 16:33   #3
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Guess Autobild might be onto something after all
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Old 9th June 2009, 16:35   #4
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hvkumar, Elanzo is not an AT Tire. There is only one version available, but it does not have any HT AT markings.
JK claims it to be less noise, long life and great mileage tire. This usually means a hard compound tire.
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Old 9th June 2009, 16:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Infact when I replace the other two duellers, I will be in a dilemma, get the Elanzo, or get the BF Goodrich All Terrain TA/KO. With a 1700rs price difference, its a tough decision, which till now is gravitating towards the BFG, due to their offroad status.
In North Sikkim with rocks and slush and what not on the roads to Gurudongmar and Chopta Valley, the local car people were mostly using the BFG A/T tyres on the front and cheaper tyres like Elanzo or else on the rear. They were all praise for the BFG for handling mud and slush. But mixing tyres and types - is there any issues?

Another question, if one of the rear tyres of Safari is changed over to a tubeless one on steel rims, does it affect ride quality - The other tyres being tubed.

Last edited by adc : 9th June 2009 at 16:58.
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Old 9th June 2009, 17:27   #6
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As long as there is no mismatch between left and right tires, it should be okay.
For example I use HTs in rear and Elanzos in front, but earlier it was the other way round.
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Old 10th June 2009, 11:34   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Another question, if one of the rear tyres of Safari is changed over to a tubeless one on steel rims, does it affect ride quality - The other tyres being tubed.
Not sure about ride, but handling would surely get affected & especially if it is done to one of front tyres. In a big car like Safari, the difference in weights of tubeless & tubed type is quite reasonable, so using different combinations will make the handling pathetic.

I personally experienced this during a recent trip to Parwanoo in our company owned Innova when the driver put a tubed tyre on the front RHS after a big cut in the tubeless. The car was moving towards right & wobbling at lower speeds despite equal pressure in all tyres. And the driver told me that " tubeless lagate hi yeh theek ho jaye gi, ye to sab gadi me hota hai" i.e. the issue would be sorted out after putting back the tubeless tyre & this happens to all cars.
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Old 10th June 2009, 12:43   #8
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Very nice review.

I have always said that we TBHPians as a group tend to look down upon Indian companies. Sure, they do not have the outright grip as the Michelins/Yokos, but for our roads and our population(with their limited knowledge), MRF/JK/Apollo is the way to go for majority of Indians.

Edit: You can be assured of 60-70k kms on these tyres if maintained well. In your case, being a tbhpian and all, I would say 70k kms should be easy unless abused really hard(again, like TBHPian )

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 10th June 2009 at 12:50.
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Old 10th June 2009, 12:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Very nice review.

I have always said that we TBHPians as a group tend to look down upon Indian companies. Sure, they do not have the outright grip as the Michelins/Yokos, but for our roads and our population(with their limited knowledge), MRF/JK/Apollo is the way to go for majority of Indians.
Well said, Nikhil
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Old 10th June 2009, 18:24   #10
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One thing about JK's : They have a darn long life! My Classic was shod with JK Brutes from the factory and I was pretty satisfied with them. The Michelins were a massive improvement, but JKs were decent for the price.
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Old 10th June 2009, 18:31   #11
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One thing about JK's : They have a darn long life! My Classic was shod with JK Brutes from the factory and I was pretty satisfied with them. The Michelins were a massive improvement, but JKs were decent for the price.
Not only JKs. Most Indian tyres last practically forever!
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Old 10th June 2009, 18:38   #12
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@ Nikhil , the correct higlish should have been " theoretically" forever ?

@tsk , good review , can we have some pics in all directions with the truck ? . Thanks .
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Old 10th June 2009, 21:06   #13
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MRF's rock when it comes to longevity and taking abuse, downside they are hard and offer a slightly choppy ride and road noise. Dont know now things have changed.

JK i was never a fan due to bad experience with them.
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Old 11th June 2009, 13:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Not only JKs. Most Indian tyres last practically forever!
Including Indian made Bridgestones? The S322's were particularly long lasting tyres. Changed at 47K on my Vtec but still not a sign of balding (rubber had gotten hard and noisy though).
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Old 11th June 2009, 13:36   #15
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Indian made Bridgestones - the HT tyres on my Scorpio lated 75,000 kms! But teh ATs have hardly lasted 45K.

The problem appears to be that JK looks like a low-priced tyre, last real long, but its handling characteristics leave a lot to be desired? Would that be a fair assessment? Its longevity vs. handling?
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