Tyres

Avon Storm & Ultra Seal

Well Del, 11 other “Rats” and I returned from our annual trip to Normandy without any concerns to speak of… well apart from an issue one of us had with Ultra Seal tyre treatment that needed to be removed whilst we were out there. The product is pumped into both tyres. The idea is that should you be unlucky enough to have a puncture, the product permanently seals the hole without a full deflation. Four of us had the product injected into our tyres a couple of weeks before we set off, however most of us had the foresight to remove it after a road test that nearly caused a “Tank Slap” on me.

At the beginning of day three of the four day trip in France one rider decided he couldn’t put up with the way in which his GXSR 600 handled with the product sloshing around inside his tyres. So Del and I decided to go in search of a tyre company with our riding buddy whilst the rest of the group smugly enjoyed some “epic roads”. I think the images say it all really. Del had that blue stuff dyed onto his hands for days. Any puncture preventative measure is a good idea if you are bimbling about or commuting to and from work. But if you are going to be riding your bike vigorously on a long trip away from home or you are thinking about doing a track day, have a serious think before you commit to having the product injected into your tyres.

The Avon Storms that I had fitted to my CBR1100 before we embarked on the trip performed amazingly well. I had only ridden on the new tyres for about 50 miles before the trip so they weren’t really run in. However you wouldn’t have thought it with the feel and feedback they gave me throughout the four days. The Storms are very grippy even when cold; when they warm up, they are awesome. Since being fitted I have done just shy of 1000 miles and they still have the green tyre paint line on the tread which should have worn off miles ago. I thought the previous Avons were good, but these babies are just immense. I will keep you updated with their performance throughout the forthcoming monthly maintenance pages.

Dunlop Sportsmax Qualifiers

  • Weapon of Choice: Honda VTR SP1
  • Tyres of Choice: Dunlop Sportsmax Qualifiers
  • Location of Assault: Normandy, France
  • Rider and Reviewer: PC Jim Scott

Prior to our “wolfpack” heading off on our annual pilgrimage to Normandy, more importantly, Monte Saint Michel, I decided to try out a new set of boots on my SP1. I’ve been religious over the years with fitting Dunlop Sportsmax to her as per the factory recommendations. They have been either D207, D208 or the D208Rs. All have been fantastic and I cannot recommend them enough for feel, stability and grip. Given that the roads in Normandy are long and winding through valleys, forests and open plains, I decided to have a go with these new, superbly sticky tyres.

Once I had them fitted, I scrubbed them in for about 200 miles but I wasn’t overly happy with them at all. Under heavy acceleration, which the SP1 has buckets off, they developed a really nasty wobble which when caught off guard, raises your eyebrows just a smidge.I thought it was due to them not being balanced properly but as the trip to France would show, it wasn’t down to that at all. What I found was that the tyres were not getting up to temperature but once they had been run in properly and all of the tyre used, they turned out to be just as flawless as the other Dunlop D series I had used in the past.

Once the rubber was hot and had reached what can only be described as “chewing gum texture” they were perfect. The feel from the front wheel was nothing like I’ve had from a set of tyres before. It actually took quite a bit of getting used to as I wasn’t used to the feedback they were giving. Usually the front end of the SP1 skips slightly in corners as the suspension is quite harsh but on the country roads, the bike turned in razor sharp and it allowed me to put a few notches on to my entry speeds but still remained safe and controlled.

The braking grip given by these tyres also showed during one of our outings where a road maintenance worker decided to abandon his van on a blind right hand corner in the middle of the countryside just outside of Falaise in France. Let’s just say, I was thankful for a few things that day, one of them being the tyres.

The rear tyre is just as good. From standing start into heavy acceleration, there was no wheelspin! Just relentless acceleration and in the corners, even with the notched up entry speeds, I couldn’t get rid of the chicken strips on the sides. To be honest, there was no need to use all of that fat 190.
The internal temperature of the tyre after a good run in the country was immense. I swear I could have lit my fag off of them. Even with all this, after approximately 850 miles in France and 250 mile on UK soil, they still look like new. They’re not shredded; there are no flat spots and no rippling of the rubber. What more could you want? Grip, speed and control at a reasonable price.

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