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View Poll Results: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?
Yes 236 88.39%
No 31 11.61%
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Old 4th May 2020, 12:41   #1
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Default Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Over the years, tyres manufactured by Indian companies have been good for commuting at best. Anyone who was an enthusiastic driver would opt for imported rubber. One glance at Team-BHP's tyre section will reveal that most talks revolve around brands like Yokohama, Pirelli, Michelin and other foreign companies. Names like MRF, Apollo, JK Tyres and Ceat have been brought up only if one's budget is low.

Some of the older cars in my extended family had been fitted with tyres from various Indian manufacturers. All of them were fine for regular commuting, but not hard driving. Take a curve at higher speeds and you'd hear the tyres screeching and squealing!! Grip levels were quite mediocre. While driving in a straight line too, there was a lot of noise these tyres made (especially on concrete roads). Indian manufacturers used a harder compound in the construction of their tyres & only focused on durability. This made the ride quality firmer too. Ask any tyre shop owner what the mass market customer is primarily concerned with and he will tell you = "kitna deti hai" (tyre life in km) and price.

With time, Indian cars have gotten faster and more capable. As a result, the demand for superior tyres has grown too....not just from customers, but even car manufacturers. The advent of international players made a dent in the clientele of Indian manufacturers. They just had to respond. Of late, we have been reading some positive reviews of Indian tyres - especially MRF and Apollo.

Sure, the super-hard tyres are still available for the majority of the market that is focused only on durability, but the fact is, Indian brands are now offering more premium options too. Here are a few reviews for reference. Search within our tyre forum and you'll see loads more.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalsa777 View Post
My brief APOLLO ALNAC 4Gs review

I changed over to Apollo Alnac 4Gs on my Fiat Linea 1.4 recently and I am blown away with the characteristics of these tyres. They are simply too good considering their price. I changed from a combination of Yokohama C-drives up front and stock Goodyears on the rear and my car has literally come alive.

Performance:
Now, I am bit of a spirited driver (I may be understating that ) and these tyres really live up to my highG expectations. I took them on ghat sections and the already grippy Linea stuck to the tarmac like a leech. Its almost like they provide an infinite amount of grip. Yes, throwing no caution to safety and going hyper-ballistic on the corners would probably lead to them loosing grip, but I don't think many drivers will go that fast anyways. In short, THEY JUST STICK. Tyre noise (screeching sound) is non-existent, and the feedback provided about road conditions is excellent.
The tyres are progressive and thus the car will not tend to just snap when on the limit. Fast aggressive turn-ins, no problem. Left-Right flicks, no problem.
Braking forces are handled with aplomb and acceleration....well, I drive a NA Linea

Comfort:
All that performance is packed in a surprisingly comfortable package. The tyres absorb small undulations well and the noise levels are pretty low (although there are more silent tyres out there, these are not bad really).

Tyre Life:
I don't know.

Verdict:
JUST BUY THEM.
You won't get better tyres at this price or even a price 2 levels higher. Period.

PS:
When I went to buy these tyres, my tyre guy (who is a Apollo dealer btw) strongly advised me not to buy these tyres. He was saying Apollos are crap and they have had a lot of complaints. I stuck to my guns and came out happy with the performance. Although lets see how these last over the long run. (I have a feeling they will do just fine).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
My car completed 20,000 kms last week. This milestone was achieved in just a little bit more than 6.5 months.

I've been lucky to have a lot of opportunities to drive in the last few months. I feel, it may reduce in the next few months due to work and family commitments.

This post is a review of the set of MRF Perfinza Tyres that I'm using on the car.

I have covered almost 12,000 kms on these tyres and I am very impressed.

There’s a term called Surefooted. Google defines this word as below.

• unlikely to stumble or slip.
• confident and competent.

The Perfinzas seem to demonstrate exactly that.

I have been very happy with the Perfinzas ever since I got them installed at an odo reading of 8383 kms. Today, having crossed 20k kms, I can also report on the wear and tear on the tyre.

A brand new Perfinza has a tread depth of approximately 8mm. My Perfinzas after 11,000 kms have a tread depth of 6mm. It is advisable to change tyres once the tread depth reaches 2mm. This is the legal limit in most Western countries. Knowing this, and assuming the wear on my Perfinzas continues at the same rate, this set should last for about 35k kms.

Which isnt bad for a heavy 2.0 litre turbo petrol with 350NM of torque!

Last week, I drove to MMST and back in a single day. The entire drive to MMST was done on wet roads thanks to overnight rains. On my return drive, the roads were dry for most of the time but at Krishnagiri, it started pouring. Some of the heaviest rain I’ve driven through in my life.

This was the first time I was driving the vRS with Perfinzas in wet conditions. I was absolutely blown away.

There were multiple times I hit huge standing pools of water expecting the car to aquaplane. However, the car didn’t. Clearly, the Perfinzas were doing a great job channeling water away from the tread and maximising the contact patch.

On wet slippery roads, I had to do some hard braking and quick lane changes and the tyres were rock solid. The behaved as well as they would have in the wet.

Coming to the surefooted feel…. The tyres gave me immense confidence. On my return journey, for example, the sun had set, it was raining heavily and I am a scaredy cat when it’s dark. So, I was driving slow-ish. But I was still maintaining a good pace and the tyres gave me total confidence that I could cruise at whatever speed I wanted. Whenever I needed something from the tyres, it was there. A couple of lane changes on soaked roads and it was done with ZERO drama. A couple of hard stops and it was done with no drama. Even when I was just braking to slow down, the car felt very planted and gave me an immense amount of confidence.

In the dry, I have of course been very happy. Even on this trip, I was following a truck and near the Arcot bridge, he had to brake very hard to avoid T-boning an idiot in an Etios. His tyres locked up and he slid in a straight line for a bit. I braked and then realised that I didn’t have to stand on the brakes. I just braked calmly and surely and stopped well before the truck.

The lateral grip in the wet was surprising. Lane changes or corners taken at triply digit speeds were easy. At the risk of repeating myself, the tyres gave me a lot of confidence. If I was a braver man, I may have even pushed harder.

I know this sounds like an advertisment, but believe me, I am as surprised as anyone reading this report.

I have had narrow escapes which could have been accidents if not for the Perfinzas.

I found the Perfinzas to be quite silent as well above 100 kmph. Around 80-100 I found them to be a bit noisy, but post that, somehow they seem very silent.

The tyre is comfortable too. However, I wouldn’t say much about it as I still find the vRS suspension to be a bit too stiff for Bangalore roads.

When I got the Road Force Balancing done, 3 tyres had very low road force variation. I think I’ve explained earlier in one of my posts that a high end tyre generally has very low road force variation. The readings for the MRF was on par with any foreign made tyre after 11k kms.

Please do not ask me how the Perfinza fares in comparison to any other tyre. I have only used the Hankooks and after 8k kms on the Hankooks and 12k on the MRFs, I can say it’s a no-contest. With regard to any other tyre, I cant compare. I am reviewing the Perfinzas and I am thrilled that they have met my expectations.

I drive my car hard, I drive my car fast, I corner fast and at times, I brake hard and the Perfinzas have kept me happy.

If this was a Michelin or any other big name brand, we wouldn’t be this surprised. However, an MRF, made in-India tyre being this good is surely surprising. I can only hope MRF continues to make good tyres so that in a few years, this sort of a review isnt a surprise anymore!

DISCLAIMER:

While I am very happy with my Perfinzas, other people may have a different experience. Every car behaves differently. Please understand this is MY experience with the Perfinzas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by D C View Post
I recently replaced the Fluidic Verna stock tyres (Bridgestone B250 195/55 R16) with Apollo Alnac 4G 195/55/ R16 at 46,000 KMS. Two of the tyres had buldge, else I could have used stock tyres for another 3,000 KMs or so

Here is a comparison:

- The light steering of Verna feels better with Apollo, it doesn't feel that light now.
- Road noise is slightly higher on Apollo, but is negligible
- Each Bridgestone tyre is priced Rs. 700/- more than Apollo
- The Bridgestone went flat only once in 46,000 KMs, will take time to realize if Apollo has the same credibility
- If Apollo prove to be credible and can give a life of 45,000 to 50,000 KMs, I vote Apollo over Bridgstone

DC
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrANTO View Post
Final update :

Changed MRF perfinza tyres after 30000 km
I usually change tyre a little bit early; so usable life is approximately 30-35k in my opinion


My final impressions regarding MRF Perfinza 205/55/R16


1. Excellent grip

2. wet road performance is good

3. Good ride quality

4. tyre noise [ especially during last 10000 km] is relatively on the higher side

5. Only two punctures during entire 30000 km of ownership [ both of them during last 2000 km]

6. Durability is good/side wall is strong . I travel a lot on bad roads with large potholes.


Overall a very good alternative to Michelin Primacy series considering the price advantage [ they are 20% cheaper]


Note: I have changed back to stock size [195/55/R16] and Michelin XM2 tyres now. Very happy with Michelins after 14000 km
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbohead View Post
Installed the Perfinzas on our Vento and have covered 5k kms already! It was an upsize to 195/60R15

Very little did I know that I'll actually try out these tyres after posting the very first tyre scoop on Team-BHP!

To be short, these tyres perform beyond the limits of the car. You'll feel very confident cruising at illegal speeds ( even by T-BHP standards) and are all the tires you need. Brakes well even at very high speeds

The highlight is the steering feedback which is immensely confidence inspiring and gives a nice weighted feel. Even if you go a bit too fast into a corner, you don't need to give more steering feedback in order to maintain the line.

Road noise is well contained as of now. I can hear the engine more now. The Michelin Primacy 4st maybe more silent but it's pointless with this noisy engine. May make more sense if it's a petrol powered car or if the engine is quite silent!

At ₹5400 per tyre, it's all that I need and I'm not sure how much better the Michelin primacy will be at ₹6300 per tyre.

Extremely happy!
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxax View Post
I stuck out with the Apollo Alnac's and replaced tyres with the same brand/type that came with the car. Just need to rotate them every 10K km max. Holding out hurts the soft compound. I can vouch for the Apollo Alnac's performance based on my 55K km driving in two years in Chennai and multiple road trips; most recent and longest being Chennai-Shirdi-Mumbai-Panaji-Mangalore-Bangalore-Chennai in five days. They hold very well on highways when over 80kmph with the right tyre pressure. Road noise penetrates cabin only on roughed/knurled road sections being prepared for a asphalt new layer. Lower tyre pressure (below recommended 29Psi in rear tyres makes door/suspension grind/squeak).

Overall, tyre pressure sensitive, soft and grippy when hot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agnijit View Post
10K Update on the Ceat Milaze -
Its been a surprise 2nd Half of the year, in the past 7 months my Alto has scaled 10K Kms. Out doors, city drives etc... the Ceat Milaze have maintained their composure over this period. The Road noise and the comfort levels are good. I have maintained 31 PSI pressure throughout for all 4 tyres. No punctures, niggles or air leaks; though I switched from Tube Type tyres to Tubeless, reliability was a big question for me. Overall a very satisfying buy for me, VFM and a big from my end. Highly recommend this tyre, and hope to get more 30K-40K Kms riding it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
I have driven more than 3000 Kms with Perfinzas now. These tyres never let me down and perform very well on ghat sections. Braking is also superb now at higher speeds.

Ride comfort and noise levels are also good, but I would rate them slightly lower than P3ST / P4ST. But, it's definitely better than Continental MC5. MC5's used to get very noisy at higher speeds, Perfinza's are much more silent .
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashok View Post
Bought 4 tyres for my Ritz in stock size @Rs 2725/- per tyre (165/80 R14) from Mrf authorized shop. Dealer was quoting 3200/- per tyre. Showed him the price on MRF tyre and service website and told him to match it. For 4 tyres and immediate sale, he immediately agreed. Well, as fellow bhpian dass said it - it was a leap of faith for me too.
Initial impressions - the bumps are totally gone. As is the body roll on speed breakers. These are certainly designed for comfort. Grip and breaking are right up there. This is unlike any other MRF tyre I have experienced. However, rolling resistance also seems high and could possibly effect mileage marginally. These tyres certainly match Michelins XM2 on comfort, but don't glide like Michelins. I understand from another review I had read that things improve after the initial 250 kms or so and the mileage bounces back.
So far quite pleased with the purchase. This seems like money well spent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drjkonline View Post
Thought of updating my experience. My Ecosport Diesel (2014 June) came with MRF tyres. As per the prevailing mood in Team BHP I decided to change the MRFs as soon as I got the car. As I was likely to drive on rough unpaved patches, I was hesitant about Michelin. I went for Apollo Alnac 4G in stock size after research. May be got carried away with Apollo's strides in Europe those days. Nobody at that time seems to have had much experience with these tyres on this forum.
I had 3 punctures in these 3 years(the last one yesterday evening). I used to inflate the tyres to 33psi front and back irrespective of load. Highway drives were fun. There has been good grip in dry and wet conditions, and confident predictable braking. I was super confident of muscling the car over those rough and unpaved patches, which was my main reason for avoiding Michelin. Why drive the Ecosport if you have to baby it through such patches is my logic. I will do it with a low slung sedan( an oblique reference to my 'ex' the 3rd gen Honda City aka ANHC). No abnormally high road noise I have felt, but never compared with another Ecosport on "silent" tyres. Tyre wear seems ok, not excessive after 35000 kms. The tyres may last another 10000 kms I feel.
So in retrospect, we see that a lot of MRF tyre shod Ecosport owners are happy. MRFs didnt do that badly. I would rate my experience with the Apollo Alnacs as Good. The dust has not settled and the final verdict on the best tyres for the Ecosport is still not out.

Last edited by GTO : 6th May 2020 at 10:26.
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Old 6th May 2020, 10:35   #2
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Tyre Section. Thanks for sharing!

Voted YES. Because of the nature of our work, we drive 2 - 3 new cars a month and almost all of these are fitted with Indian rubber. While 50 - 60% of the Indian tyres I've tested still have ordinary grip levels (or are rubbish), about 30% are good...and 10% are really good. The MRF tyres on our Kia Carnival demo weren't "bad" at all. I was skeptical before taking it out, but was pleasantly surprised at the gains that Indian brands have made.

Couple of more points:

- While Indian tyre brands have much improved, for my very-particular-tastes, I don't think they are "there" yet. For my own cars, I'll stick to Michelins or Yokohamas.

- Bridgestone India still makes rubbish. Imported Bridgestones are good, however.

- Indian tyres are still rubbish for offroading.

- Indian tyres don't suffer sidewall damage as easily as the foreign ones. Someone recently asked me for a recommendation & his SUV frequently goes on bad roads or no roads. I recommended Apollo.

Last edited by GTO : 6th May 2020 at 10:38.
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Old 6th May 2020, 11:25   #3
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
- Indian tyres don't suffer sidewall damage as easily as the foreign ones.
Is there any truth in this now? Because if Indian tyres now offer better grip, softer ride and low noise comparable to imported/foreign tyres, then shouldn't there be a trade-off somewhere else? (sidewall strength and cost)
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Old 6th May 2020, 11:44   #4
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

I recently changed my stock MRF tyres on my Ecosport and they had run a cool 90k kilometers( may be little more than desired) without much problem over the period of four and half years. So I would think the tyre quality has improved somehow over the years although I have seen many complaints regarding MRF tyres on Ecosport. Michelin’s and Yokohama’s will always have their admirers but I guess Indian manufacturers are coming up well with the demands of the market being the deciding factor.
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Old 6th May 2020, 12:03   #5
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

I had upgraded to MRF ZSport (Ford Fiesta : Tyre & wheel upgrade thread) on my Fiesta 1.6S and was happy overall with its performance. I also took a long trip to South India (10 days of a super drive - Mumbai to South India) (ghats included) last year and the tyres performed exceptionally well. The grip levels were excellent although a little noisy (not more than the stock Goodyear the car came with). I feel the Indian manufacturers are improving by leaps and bounds.
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Old 6th May 2020, 12:08   #6
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

MRF can make wonderful tires, case in point, the rubber which came with Yamaha YZF-R-15 [V1] motorcycle, that tire was a proper leech and I honestly think, that tire can stand on par with most good tires. That compound was heavenly.

But, it was an exception rather than the norm.

On 2 wheels, I would try to stick with Metzelers or Michelin [the ones available in India easily].

On 4 wheels, I will stick with that brand which would give me no question asked warranty, Yokohama at my place offers that, so, for the next change, I will stick with them.

As for the poll, voted YES, tire brands are improving? Yes. Are there yet? No. And, they can make [at least MRF can] wonderful tires. Apollo can surprise too, using one, Alnac 4G's.

Last edited by Sheel : 6th May 2020 at 13:22.
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Old 6th May 2020, 12:20   #7
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

MRF : Yes (ZLO, ZSport, PErfinza, and even Wanderer to a certain extent)
Apollo : Yes (Alnac 4g, Aspire, Aspire 4G and Manchester United)
Ceat : No
JK Tyre : No
Falcon Tyre : No (also now bankrupt) (not related to the japanese Falken)
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Old 6th May 2020, 13:10   #8
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Voted Yes - Let me explain.

Early 2000s - MRF ZVTS , Apollo Amazer and the infamous JK tornado, Vectra were not good.

The ones that came afterwards were far better.

MRF Wanderer Sport (Duster), JK Elanzo (Scorpio) (not the nxt), MRF Wanderer (Scorpio), Ceat Czar (TUV), JK Ranger (Scorpio \ Thar), Apollo Accelere (i20) were good.

Indian brands are preferred OE set and the replacement tires are not always Indian make. Chances are customers find value in paying a few hundred rupees more for a foreign brand for some reason , I hope this thread may bring out some of those reasons.

From my experience, JK Elanzo is difficult to balance in comparison to a Bridgestone Dueler, an Apollo Hawkz is difficult to balance in comparison to a Goodyear Wrangler.

I am more likely to use a Bridgestone having said all this, it is not easy to balance a 235 section tire and my balancing \ alignment guys prefer Bridgestone on larger vehicles.
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Old 6th May 2020, 13:22   #9
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Indian tyres have definitely improved to the point where one might need to choose other tyres only if they don't get the right size or if they are after outright performance. I have heard a lot of praise for MRF Perfinza, have experienced how good Apollo Alpha H1 tyres are for bikes. All in all I feel we have some good options in the tyre market for sure
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Old 6th May 2020, 14:38   #10
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

MRF Zapper tyres on my bike never had a puncture in over 15 years of ownership. (I bought them again for my bike)
JK tyres on my SX4 had punctures every month in their 4 years of torture. (Never again am I going to touch JK tyres).

I believe it would be wrong to club Indian tyres together (either as 'Good' or 'Bad'). I believe there is still a lot of difference between the Indian brands. For me personally, JK and Ceat are no-no, while MRF and Apollo are right-up there with foreign tyre brands.
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Old 6th May 2020, 14:38   #11
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
MRF can make wonderful tires, case in point, the rubber which came with Yamaha YZF-R-15 [V1] motorcycle, that tire was a proper leech and I honestly think, that tire can stand on par with most good tires. That compound was heavenly.
True that. That tire was MRF FY-1. It has completed around 23K kms on my humble stunner and never once it has given up on grip ever. It includes numerous continuous high speed runs as Iíve used the motorcycle much for touring including that to Himalayas. I will replace it with the same brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post

On 2 wheels, I would try to stick with Metzelers or Michelin
Arenít some two wheeler Michelin tires are now being manufactured by TVS in India? Iíve heard that they are not really upto the name?

Regards.
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Old 6th May 2020, 14:46   #12
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Default Apollo tyre variants and reviews in EU

Slightly

Are EU made (Netherlands/Hungary) Apollo tyres available in India? I am asking because I have seen Apollo tyres as OE fitment on some Audi & VW models. Apollo (with its own brand and not as Vredestein) has also made in-roads into EU aftermarket. Some folks I know who have used Apollos rate them as a good mid-range alternative.

EU has a mature tyre market. On average, the OE fitments on even the most budget cars have grip/braking levels much higher than a typical OE fitment on an Indian model (irrespective of vehicle manufacturer). After seeing this thread, I did some searches on how Apollo models fare against some of the established brands. I realised that Apollo has upped their game in EU over the years and now their premium-touring summer tyres are right up there in the Top5 or Top10, rubbing shoulders with Michelin PS4 etc. Some links below.

Apollo tyre line up in UK
Apollo tyre user reviews (tyrereviews.co.uk)
Apollo Aspire XP test results (2020 Auto-bild comparison)
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Old 6th May 2020, 15:24   #13
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

A large part of the car buying populace equates a good tire with long life and puncture resistance. If a set of runners lasts 70-100k km, most are happy. Only us enthusiasts care about things like grip and road noise and braking distances. Still, it is heartening to see Indian products like MRF Perfinza and Apollo Alnac 4G. They are perfectly good middle of the road stuff that suit a majority of Indian needs. But yes, there is no Indian product that comes close to the likes of Michelin Primacy 4
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Old 6th May 2020, 16:39   #14
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Voted Yes. It is purely based on my experience with Apollo Alpha H1. The tyre corners with ease and the grip levels are fantastic. In fact they were better than Michelin Pilot street radials, any day. The feedback from the tyres were exceptional.

P.S. Like GTO mentioned, yes, it is not there yet. The road noise is a bit more, and tyre doesn't happily accepts change in direction. For my rapid, I was searching Perzinfas, couldn't find any shop who would give me better buybacks for Goodyears. Settled with MC5s.
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Old 6th May 2020, 17:47   #15
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Default Re: Is the tyre quality of Indian brands improving?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
True that. That tire was MRF FY-1. It has completed around 23K kms on my humble stunner and never once it has given up on grip ever. It includes numerous continuous high speed runs as I’ve used the motorcycle much for touring including that to Himalayas. I will replace it with the same brand.



Aren’t some two wheeler Michelin tires are now being manufactured by TVS in India? I’ve heard that they are not really upto the name?

Regards.
Small correction. The R15 V1 came with MRF FY, size 80/90-17. The R15 V2 and later came with MRF FY1, 90/80-17. There is also a FY2 in 100/80-17 size for wider rims. The compound is the same sticky one as the original.

I am on the third FY1 on my Pulsar. Each one lasted approx 25K kms. It is the best 90 section front tyre available in Indian market.

You are right regarding the Michelin tyres in India manufactured by TVS. All of them are crap.

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 6th May 2020 at 17:49.
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