With grand plans for a summer of adventure riding, we’ve teamed up with Whites Powersports and Kiwi Rider Magazine for a new set of tyres for our Honda CRF250L Rally. With value for money always a critical aspect of the purchase process, a set of Shinko Adventure 804/805 tyres were soon heading our way.
While there is still plenty of life left in our Avon Trailrider tyres, after following Kiwi Rider’s Editor down the odd trail it became clear that the road-biased tyres weren’t going to cut the mustard for the rides we have planned for the summer. The Avon’s have been great tyres over the last 18 months, but with our riding including more and more time on gravel roads and the odd 4x4 track than ever before we decided to go in search of tyres more suited to rough riding conditions and put them in the shed to be put back on when we're spending more time on tarmac again.
The Shinko E804/E805 series is advertised as a near 50/50 tyre with a slight bias towards the dirt (40% road, 60% dirt accord to bits4bikes.co.nz ), meaning it is just as at home in the dirt as it is on the tarmac.
That will come in handy, as our first planned outing with the new rubber is to tackle the 42nd Traverse in the central North Island with the team from Kiwi Rider, followed by a loop consisting of the Molesworth and Rainbow Roads in the upper South Island.
Pricing for the Korean made Shinkos is sharp with a full set for the Rally in 90/90-21 and 120/90-18 sizing coming in at just $209! There is plenty of variety in terms of sizing too so it’s worth checking to see if your sizing is catered for. At that price, we’re not too fussy on how long they last, though going by other internet reports they should easily outlast the factory IRC tyres the Rally was originally fitted with.
First impressions are really promising. After scrubbing in at about the 50km mark the E804/E805 combo felt quite planted on the road, with confidence nearly as high as with the Avons when negotiating one of our favourite quick ride loops out from Cambridge to Kawhia and back along Mt Pirongia.
The roads along the side of the mountain are gravel and this is where the major difference between the road-biased and 50/50 tyres stood out. These tyres GRIP in the gravel and rear wheel spin was nearly nonexistent. That meant we were travelling much faster than previously but also more sure-footed thanks to the additional grip up front.
It is still possible to play around and get a bit of a slide going (even with the Rally’s lack of power) but it does take a bit of planning and some clutch work to make it happen.
So in typical adventure touring duties the Shinko E804/E805 tyres do a rather nice job of things straight out of the box. The next test will be in the Tongariro National Park with the challenges of the 42 Traverse track.
Stay tuned for the next update on our affordable adventure tyre test!