Going side-ways on two wheels can be a ton of fun. Not so when it is because the tires have worn past their best-use mark! Missing the braking marker in the mind and watching that boulder grow worryingly close was all the prompting I needed. The Himalayan needed new shoes pronto. Wallet check said there was enough to upgrade (yay)! The ground reality brought me to a halt though.
Turns out, there wasn’t enough demand for home-grown dual-sport tires. Head screamed, as I smiled at the folks manning the local tire shops. There were always imports, but the wallet wasn’t quite ready to part with 1/3rd of the bike cost on tires. Sensing the virtual monopoly over fulfilment, the OEM CEAT sellers demanded high mark-ups. Questions like year/month of manufacture were met with a curt – ‘buy it if you want it’ response.
Friendly local moto-shop suggested the Timsun brand. A bit of info-digging resulted in all-round praise for them. Rated well on wet/dry grip, puncture resistance and longevity – I decided to check on their pricing. After-all, one rider’s good value is another’s ‘are you crazy’. Retail pricing wise, the Timsun’s were twice as expensive as the CEAT’s. But local dealer mark-ups on the latter meant the price gap was narrower. Boom!
Got a set of TS-823’s and the next few rides were a reset. The more time I spent, the more I trusted them. Something that’s only grown over the past 10-11000 kilometres that I managed to clock up since. I’ve gotten slushy with them, set them on the beach and pounded over rocky terrain with glee. I’ve survived the crumbling, cratered lunar-scape masquerading as roads that connect me to the playgrounds and even in the city.
I use the heavy Himalayan in point-and-go mode, confident that I’ll have the grip to power through. The Timsun’s have performed beautifully under my limited skills and kept me out of trouble so far. Just the one puncture and that’s that. The good thing is that there’s still some life in them. Given by the way this year has turned out, I might be able to make it through till next summer.
Some of you’d say that they’re expensive, and I wholly agree with y’all. There is no steering around their ‘twice-over-stock’ price tag.
How then to justify them?
I’m not. I’m sharing what I chose
Will I pick them again?
Yes, definitely. Same brand, a more aggressive tread pattern. It’ll be nice to have some ‘grip-assistance’ as I try to reduce the gap between my limited riding skills and tendency to go searching off-tarmac.
I’m curious though… Have you changed the tires on your Himalayan?
If yes, then would you mind sharing your tire choice and experience with it. Would appreciate the knowledge share…