Post Reply 
Rate Thread
Threaded Mode | Linear Mode
***Product Review*** Shinko Tour Master TM230 Bias (Cruiser) Tires
11-18-2013, 04:32 PM (This post was last modified: 11-18-2013 04:38 PM by Rev. That Guy.)
Post: #1
***Product Review*** Shinko Tour Master TM230 Bias (Cruiser) Tires
In keeping up with the budget reviews, Here is another for the tires I run on my cruiser, Maggie, an 84 Honda VF1100C Magna V65. I know there are some of you out there that have cruisers too so hopefully this will help next time you need new shoes.

My Background:
Im 30 years old and have been riding since about 14 years old on the dirt and in the yard, then once i turned 16, I would beg and plead to ride buddies bikes on the street. I purchased my first bike in 2001, a 95 CBR600F3 full track bike that I converted back to street and have been riding ever since. I have owned nearly any type of bike you can think of from the Various vintages of CBR 600s, to Ninja 250s to a BMW R1200GS and R1200RT, a Victory hammer S, Hondas, Yamahas, Suzukis, Kawis, and most recently my MV Agusta and RC51. Sport bikes, standards, cruisers, dirt bikes, dual sports and everything in between including ATVs. I consider myself a confident and proficient rider and those that know me know that while I am not the fastest rider out there, I am certainly no slouch either. I have done many track days in the past but nothing recently but the foundation is there. I know my way around a bike with a wrench and have done nearly everything from engine rebuilds to frame up restorations. Hopefully this speaks to my credentials and credibility here. That being said, all of the opinions expressed are simply that, MY opinion. Your mileage may vary and your riding style and preferences may be different from mine.

Shinko Tour Master TM230 Bias Ply Tires
[Image: 230-tour-master.jpg]

A little info about Shinko. Shinko is a Japanese tire company with manufacturing in South Korea and China that has been making tires since 1946 - mostly bicycle tires and tubes but recently motorcycle tires. When Yokohama shut down its MC tire manufacturing in 1998, Shinko purchased the molds, tooling and compound formulas from Yokohama to produce motorcycle tires, manufacturing exclusively in S. Korea with design and engineering in Japan.

My Bike: 1984 Honda VF1100C V65 Magna

Initial Impressions:
Price price price. Price was the main driving force to picking these tires. My Magna, being a mid-80's bike, falls under the category of "Lets experiment with everything" that every early to mid 80's Japanese motorcycle went through and as a result, has some funny tire and wheel sizes. This makes tire choices very limited and consequently, generally expensive. I was browsing some other forums and a ton of people speak very highly of these tires so I though I would give them a shot. At first I was skeptical because of the price. They were $146 for the set shipped to my door.

Now to back it up a step, Im not cheap - unless I have to be. Given my financial situation, spending more than I have to is just not an option for me currently. That being said, I generally don't skimp out on critical parts like tires and brakes. I do, however, like value and go for that when I can.

Back to the tires though. Again, everyone on the Magna boards spoke highly of them so I though, why the hell not? Clicked the buy button and 2 days later, I had new tires on my door step. First impressions were that the tread pattern, that I hoped would look better in person than it did on the website, sadly still looked exactly like it did on the website so that's kind of a bummer. They aren't the best looking tires around, that.s for sure, but they aren't hideous either. The next thing I noticed is that they are surprisingly light weight. In hindsight, this is odd because they are actually lighter than the Shinko Sport Radials I put on my RC51. Whatever. They are a 4-ply Bias tire so that probably has something to do with it too.

So the tires I'm replacing are a set of maybe half gone Dunlop D404 cruiser tires. These are incredibly popular but I have no idea as to why because if you ask me (and most other that have used them) they are complete JUNK. To me, even a budget tire would have been better. So off they went. The The rear mounted almost entirely by hand. I only had to spoon on the last few inches of the tire. The front went on easy enough too - I would say average for a front. Both seated beads in the 50PSI range. The rear tire balanced out easily. It took about 1.75 ounces of weight. This isnt bad considering the wheel itself was about 1.5 ounces off without a tire so in mounting I reclocked the tire a few times to try and even things out and I think I did pretty good. The front balanced out with only about 1 ounce of weight after I got the rim balanced (3.5 ounces on the rim alone, OUCH).

Rear tire seemed to spin true and smooth. Front, however, did have a little bit of side to side movement but within Honda specs. There was also a tiny bit of run-out on the tire. Not really enough to worry about so I didn't.

Initial ride - the mold release was SLICK on these things. It took about 50 miles to really feel comfortable with them. I have seen slick new tires and not so slick new tires and I would say these fall into the top 1/3 in terms of slickness. Not a big deal as long as you are aware of it. Once past the 50 miles, all was well. Tires tracked well and felt nice and sticky. Lets see how they hold up.

6500 miles later:
The rear tire is DONE. It looks more like a slick car tire than a treaded bike tire. For what its worth, this tire was subjected to everything you could possibly throw at it, cruising around town, spirited Red Rock rides both solo and 2-up, a 2000 mile in 5 days ride to and from Colorado including the canyons in the mountains there and plenty of high speed twisties on the highways through the mountains, and also rain and snow and plenty of hard braking and lots of wheelies too (Its just too much fun launching from a light next to a harley trying to race you), all while fairly loaded up. All I can say about the tire is this - WOW. Never once through any of the abuse I threw at it did I ever feel like this tire was going to let go. Even in the rain and snow, the thing stuck like glue. All the way through its wear even down to the slick rear that I took off, the tire NEVER changed its handling. This surprised me the most. All In all, this is so far, a great investment but I think Imma try a different Shinko rear this time, just to see if I can get a little better mileage. I'll review that one as well later.

The front, at this point, still has about 40% left on it, and again, being on a budget, i'll take that one down all the way before I replace it too. I could repeat all the same stuff from the rear, but I don't think I need to. The tire, so far, has just been amazing. One note though, I have noticed that as the tire wears more, it does start to track the grooves and seams in the pavement a little bit. Nothing unmanageable or even really noteworthy, but its there.

Nearly 11,000 miles on the front...
... And its DONE too. The last ride through Death Valley pretty much did it in. I am down to barely 1mm of tread on the center rain groove and basically nothing for an inch either side of that. The tire has developed some bad habits in the last 1000 miles or so, but I have it worn WAAAAYYY past the wear bars to basically nothing. It tracks pretty bad now on seams and grooves, not dangerously, but enough that I wouldn't take my hands off the bars at speed. This, however is not bad considering how many miles are on this tire. I cant knock it down on the scoring for that as it should have been replaced long ago. Overall , however, still no traction issues with the tire. I will be replacing it shortly.

Overall impressions:
WOW! Just WOW. These tires are pretty incredible, and not because of the price. Cost aside, these are some of the stickest, smoothest, longest lasting tires I have EVER run on a like bike, and bonus that the set costs me LESS than ONE rear tire from any of the big brand tires. These tires are what drove me to the decision to run Shinkos on my RC51. If you run a cruiser or anything else that takes an older style bias ply tire, I HIGHLY recommend these tires. They are great tires, pretty good tread life and you absolutely, without question, can not beat the price. To this day I was never able to break the rear loose in dry conditions, even down to dragging pegs in the corners (and the Magna has high pegs).

The Breakdown (On a scale of 1-5):
Price: 5+
Dry Traction: 5 (NEVER had a traction issue when the tires were within wear spec)
Wet Traction: 4.5 (Great wet, and snowy, weather traction. never did I feel uncomfortable)
Braking Feedback: 3.5-4 (front - hard to tell sometimes but never broke it loose or had a problem) / 2 (rear - mostly because its a heavy cruiser and doesn't transmit rear wheel feedback well)
Cornering Feedback: 4 (predictable, but again, not great. Never broke loose and could feel when the front started to push a little)
Tread Wear: 4.5 (front) / 4 (rear)
Overall Value: 4.5 (Very good value, great performance, not the most aggressive looking)

Hope some of you find this useful. I have a few more product reviews I am going to be posting in the next few days.

- Justin

"You were taking it easy right? Because I could keep up with
you and from what I understand, I shouldn't be able to do that..."
- Ken "No Neck"

[Image: sig1.png]
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 

Share/Bookmark (Show All)
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Technorati Digg MySpace Delicious

Forum Jump:

User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)