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Old 12th June 2009, 00:19   #1
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Talking MRF ZVTS Review !

Hi Guys,

I just read the review by tsk1979 about the JK Elanzo tyres and though I'd post my review of MRF ZVTS.

I've been shuttling between GOA-BLR for the past one and half year(since I moved to bangalore) with an esteem shod with 175/70R13 MRF ZVTS and they've been absolutely superb esp when it comes to taking abuse, let me start with some background...

Before buying the ZVTS, the only tyres I had experience with was Bridgestone(s322) and Goodyear(GPS2) and JK Tyre(Ultima) , the worst experience was with the JKs, they have always ended up losing their round shape and developed bulges on the side walls. The Bridgestones and Goodyears were quite good except that I had noticed that the bridgestones ended up with cuts on the sidewalls due to my hard driving over bad roads - but their grip was pretty good (compared to the JKs)

I changed my job to a bangalore based company in late Jan of '08 and moved to bangalore, I had come back to Goa for the weekend and decided to take my (t)rusty esteem to bangalore. But the esteem had really bad tyres (the JK Ultimas on their last leg!) I was worried whether I'll make it to Bangalore with them.

So Went around in Ponda searching for tyres - had decided to upsize to 175/70R13 instead of the 155/80R13, Ponda is a small place and I couldn't find any place that had anything other than JK, MRF and CEAT ! And it was already 7pm so there was no way I could go to Panaji and hunt for tyres there (as almost all shops in goa shut down by 8.00pm ).

Since tyres are something you have to live with for quite some time and I was looking to buy the Turanzas, I was very sad and disappointed!

However since it was late in the evening on Saturday and I had to leave for Bangalore the next morning - I decided to buy the ZVTS consoling myself that they'd wear out soon if I drive hard enough and the next set I can buy better tyres. The cost for ZVTS was something like 2.4K per tyre+tube combo and I bought 4 tyres as the spare JK was pretty decent.

Now for the actual review...

Positives first:

The tyres are virtually indestructible !

I've driven through bad roads, no roads, at insane speeds so much that I've had bits fall off the interiors and even have ended up with bent suspension lower arms on two occasions!

The the tyres have gobbled up whatever I've thrown at them, they've been driven on very rough roads at triple digits speeds(where people wouldn't think of doing even 50!) with me pretending to be a rally driver

I've driven at 3 digit speeds in the night through the hubli-yellapur stretch, and bent suspension lower arms going over potholes covered with water - but nothing, I mean NOTHING happened to the tyres, they just chewed all the abuse I threw at them!

After 30K KMs of hard driving(Mostly GOA-BLR runs), there no signs of anything abnormal like bulges, tears, cuts or anything ! In fact there's a lot of tread left - discounting one tyre which got a little abnormal wear due to a bent lower arm and wrong wheel alighment, the other 3 tyres look like they can do at least another 40K kms of abuse if not more!

Another good thing is that on mildly rough roads, I "feel" the ZVTSs absorb some of the roughness, I don't know if this is really happening or I feel that way because of the ad about "the most comfortable radial"

The negatives:

The ZVTSs have scared the daylights out of me when I've had to brake hard in a couple of tight situations and a few times when cornering at the limit in the anmod ghats.

The way the ZVTSs grip is a bit weird, at least my experience - when they give up and lose traction - instead of gradually losing grip they just snap. For example, in the ghats when cornering hard, the rear would hold for sometime and when it was too much to handle, they abruptly snap free! The rear end slides and then I have to frantically turn the other way round and floor the accelerator holding on to dear life - the first few times it happened, I had my entire life flash in front of my eyes in a split second, but later on I got used to tackling the situation when this happens (also have found what's the point where the tyres "snap" and try to not push it to that point)

Another negative is that, when braking in an emergency situation at high speeds (110+) , the ZVTSs tend to lock up very early and can be very scary.

I've had to brake hard at 120 Kmph when some guy on an activa(in karwar on the straight, parallel to the sea - just next to the road where you enter the city) suddenly decided to start his skooter and take a U-turn in the middle of the road without looking behind(he was parked off the left side of the road), the tyres locked when I panicked and braked, with the car skidding towards the guy - who froze in the middle of the highway. For some reason I tried decreasing the force on the brake pedal(don't know if I thought or it was just a reflex!) to unlock the wheels and the car slowed down a foot or so away from the guy on the skooter - much to my relief !

Conclusion:

The ZVTSs are very strong and virtually indestructible tyres in my experience, maybe MRF developed them from whatever they learnt in rallying !

Whether I will buy another set of ZVTS - well most probably not at least for the esteem. Their characteristics when driven to the limit or when braking hard are something I'm not very comfortable with - esp. since I do a lot of relatively high-speed long distance driving. Although I might buy a set for my M800 that gets driven in and around Goa.

Would I recommend ZVTS - well if you've to drive a lot through bad roads and need tyres that can last long, really long - go ahead and buy them!

These tyres are not the best for any remotely fancy driving at high speeds, however for most of the folks who would never have made a tyre squeal on cornering, these tyres IMO do their job really well. Also I think driven properly and cared for, they might last at least 90K kms !

Regards,

Amit

Last edited by techn0l0gist : 12th June 2009 at 00:23.
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Old 12th June 2009, 00:43   #2
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Yup MRF are hard rubber compound and last alot. As you rightly reviewed they are below par at handling and braking.
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Old 12th June 2009, 01:40   #3
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Nice review there. When I had ZVTS on my Wagon-R, experienced few scary moments while braking and taking hairpin bends. Had few scary moments while negotiating hairpins of Tirumala. Immediately after coming back changed to Michelins and am happy now.
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:01   #4
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Nice info. I would like to know how to read the side wall info of these tyres - Sl.no, mfg date etc. Also, I have noticed a thin yellow stripe running along the centre of the treads in a new tyre. How much running is required for it to be erased?
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:13   #5
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techn0l0gist,

A good review. I have ZVTS on my Alto, and yes, they do lack grip especialy during my spirited driving. I noticed that the Bridgestones perform far better when it comes to grip especially in the wet.

The tyre does provide good cushioning on below par road surfaces and you don't feel any minor stones and potholes. As for the longevity--I've currently 16,000+ kms of mixed terrain motoring in little over a year and they have held up just fine.

Cheers,
gpa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Nice info. I would like to know how to read the side wall info of these tyres - Sl.no, mfg date etc. Also, I have noticed a thin yellow stripe running along the centre of the treads in a new tyre. How much running is required for it to be erased?
The serial numbers are slightly raised up numbers on the sidewall. The manufacturing date and batch numbers are usually stamped on the sidewall of a tyre. On close inspection of the sidewall, you will realize this.

The yellow strip usually tends to fade after a few 100 kms of running.

Last edited by theMAG : 4th July 2009 at 23:44. Reason: Use same post to manage content upto 20 mins.
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:32   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
The yellow strip usually tends to fade after a few 100 kms of running.
Is that so? But the strip was found only on the spare tyre of my new Alto and not on the other four. The odo reading at delivery was 81 KM. I checked on the other new cars parked at the dealers' and none of them had the stripe either. All of them had odo readings of around 70 - 95 KM. Is there something that does not meet the eye here?
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Old 30th June 2009, 16:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Is that so? But the strip was found only on the spare tyre of my new Alto and not on the other four. The odo reading at delivery was 81 KM. I checked on the other new cars parked at the dealers' and none of them had the stripe either. All of them had odo readings of around 70 - 95 KM. Is there something that does not meet the eye here?
Do not worry about it. Nothing is amiss. Yes, this strip is usually visible much clearly on the spare tyre than when compared to the ones on the car. Sometimes, they tend to persist for a few 100 kms of driving.

When I took delivery of my Alto, the ODO read only 21 kms and the line was visible on all 4 tyres quite clearly that wore off only after about 100-200 kms of driving which in my case was 3 days
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Old 3rd July 2009, 06:57   #8
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I have MRF ZVTS in my fiesta and it has clocked around 25K in Odo. It is OK kind of tyre for Fiesta, i believe it could last up to another 25K in my fiesta. It is much better than JK in my views. Only problem i noticed was, shouldn't drive hard on bad roads, else it will develop a bulge in side walls.
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Old 3rd July 2009, 09:36   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funda2max View Post
I have MRF ZVTS in my fiesta and it has clocked around 25K in Odo. It is OK kind of tyre for Fiesta, i believe it could last up to another 25K in my fiesta. It is much better than JK in my views. Only problem i noticed was, shouldn't drive hard on bad roads, else it will develop a bulge in side walls.
Fiesta usually comes with ZV2K. The operative word here is "Usually".
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Old 4th July 2009, 14:06   #10
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@funda2max: The fiesta comes with MRF ZV2K silicon based tyres.

Unfortunately, while I was away, we got the MRF ZV2Ks on our fiesta, and compared to most other tyres I have driven, here is what I have to say about these MRFs:
- extremely long lasting. I don't doubt they will last over 50Kkm!
- Lots of road noise
- Poor grip when cornering and breaking
- less comfortable than other tyres I have used. The bumps can be felt, very well!

I would never buy them again if given a choice.
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Old 4th July 2009, 15:15   #11
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How did I miss this ? Nice review techn0l0gist, all my cars, bike and scooter are shod with MRF, true VFM product !
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Old 4th July 2009, 15:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techn0l0gist View Post
And it was already 7pm so there was no way I could go to Panaji and hunt for tyres there (as almost all shops in goa shut down by 8.00pm ).
Dude all shops in Ponda close by 8.00PM, not the rest of Goa.
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Old 4th July 2009, 15:27   #13
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I've said it before and I'll say it again...

MRF rocks when it comes to the needs and requirements of 90% of our population. Most of them want hard tyres which last long and are durable. This is why there is still a demand for MRF and the demand hasnt gone down in spite of competition from foreign brands. Many people still prefer good ol' MRF!

This is also the reason Bridgestone has become the no. 1 passenger car radial tyre maker in the country. The S322s are just as bad(or good!) as the MRFs. Hard rubber means they last long, dont get damaged easily but ride quality and grip, etc... goes for a six. BS knew exactly what to do to capture marketshare in India.
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Old 4th July 2009, 18:44   #14
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Is goodyear's recently launched Duraplus their attempt to cater to this segment? their GPS2's dont last particularly long....
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Old 4th July 2009, 19:03   #15
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Cant say for sure. They claim 1 lakh kms. I expect closer to 60-70k kms. No idea about durability but should be good.
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