OK, so due to my last thread, it seems that no one has tried either of these tires so I thought I would do a quick review for those who are curious.
This is going to be a kind of on-going thing for me as i put more miles on the tires so check back. This is not going to be a comparison as the tires I removed were so worn that i would not be able to make any valid arguments for or against based off those. This is simply my thoughts on these tires.
Rear: Shinko 777 H.D.
79 (although Shinko's website states 81 so perhaps its been upped or planning on raising it?)
H (130 mph)
42psi per Shinko's reccomendations
$105.00 from BikeBandit.com
Admittedly I am kind of biased towards this tire as i run it on many other bikes, but the bias is founded in my experiences with this tire on the LT so far. The tire mounted very easy. I was able to muscle it on almost completely by hand, needing the spoons for only the last 1/3 of the second bead. The beads seated with about 25psi of pressure. Balancing was straight forward, requiring about 1 ounce of weight but it should be noted that I removed 1 ounce of old weights from the wheel before mounting so I chalk most of that up to the wheel itself being unbalanced more than the tire. The tire spun round with no visible run-out (to my surprise actually) of any sort. Mounting was not an issue as there was no rubbing or interference of any kind
I have about 200 miles on this tire now mixed about 50/50 solo and 2-up and my observations are that it is very smooth and compliant ride. Leans are very linear and predictable requiring little effort to sling it down low in a turn, and minimal effort to upright from the lean as well. Break-in was fast and I felt fully comfortable on the tire within about 15 miles or so. The tire was very stable at low and high speeds and no noticeable signs of tracking on rain grooves or slab seams in the concrete. Traction is not an issue from what I can tell as I have pushed it as far as I am comfortable doing on this fairly new-to-me bike and felt no sign of looseness, even on less than perfect roads. I can not speak to wet traction yet but there may be some rain coming in the next few days so I will update then.
So far, very very pleased with this tire. Only downside I see is that the tire is H rated for speed (130MPH), and not V rated like some of the other options out there, but this is not really a factor for me as this isnt a track bike and I have no plans of moving those kinds of speed on any public roads - not on this bike anyway.
If this tire continues to perform like this and gets me some good mileage, I simply do not see myself using anything else, primarily because of the cost difference between this and the other major brands out there. I have always been a fan of Shinko tires since I "gave them a shot" a few years back and this tire absolutely reminds me as to why I am such a fan. For the money, so far, I'm not sure it could be beat. Longevity will ultimately determine that, however.
Front: IRC RX-01 Roadwinner
H (130 mph)
41psi per IRC's reccomendations
$85.00 from BikeBandit.com
OK, so I have never run an IRC tire before, but after doing some homework and checking out online reviews, I decided that I would give it a shot. Besides, the price was great and I have learned that price does not always dictate quality. That being said, I have some minor issues with this tire right off the bat - nothing that would disqualify it just yet, but enough that I would consider trying something else after this one wears out. First was the date on the tire. June 2014. I was shipped a year old tire. This tells me one major thing: these tires are just not moving off the shelves very well if they have year old stock. Not a big deal though. I will wear it down before it gets too old anyway. Second problem was mounting it. This one took some work to wrangle it onto the wheel (and foreseeably to remove it later i am guessing) and an almost uncomfortable amount of air pressure to get it to seat the beads: about 65-70psi. Not as bad as some. I have mounted Dunlop Q3 tires that have taken 125psi to seat. Ok, so I got the tire on there and seated. Spin the tire up and it only took a half ounce of weight to balance, that's not bad. What is though, is the 2mm of run-out it had. Side-to-side it was true, but definitely had the run-out in the middle. I even unmounted and remounted with the same results. For what its worth, I could not feel the run-out while riding.
I have about 35 miles of only solo on this tire now and it feels OK. Another issue I have, however, and this is not one of the tire, but more so for my picking this tire, is that it tracks in the rain grooves - strangely not on the slab seams though. This is likely due to the straight line center groove on the tire. If the bike is leaned ever so slightly in either direction, the tracking goes away. Now this is not major tracking, but it is there and noticeable. To be fair, I am going to remind you that there isnt a whole lot of miles on the tire yet so that may improve as the tire wears in. Braking was good and no traction issues as of yet. Cornering was smooth and predictable - if anything, it may have made the flickability of the bike a tad more lethargic than it was with just the new rear and that is fine. This isnt a supersport bike after all.
All in all, I can't tell you this is the greatest tire I have run, or even the worst. Its not. Its a decent mid-range tire in terms of performance. The price point is attractive, but I think better can be had for a few bucks more. Either way I have it on there and I am gonna run it and give it a proper chance. It may change my mind later. That said, if it does not, I will likely try a different tire next time. Would I suggest this tire to someone that needed new tires? Sure if money was tight. Otherwise, I would have to say shop around and perhaps try something different. It may be a fine tire and simply not a great choice for this particular bike. your mileage may vary. Speaking of mileage, don't have the slightest clue as to what this tire should do so I am taking a shot in the dark when i say it feels fairly soft and probably wont last terribly long, which might be OK for me.
Stay tuned for updates and hopefully this will help others in making some (unconventional) tire choices either due to money or just finding other options. I like to try and explore every possibility I can - particularly those that others have not. Everyone has tried and knows how the Avons and B-Stonesand the other "Big" brands all perform. Hopefully this opens a few more doors for folks.
NOTE: I am not affiliated with Shinko, IRC or BikeBandit in any way, shape or form other than being a customer/consumer.