Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Eagle Lake, FL
Year/Make/Model: 2008 en500c
I personally love my Shinko tires. I pretty much constantly have a project bike (or two) in the works somewhere, and I almost always run Shinko tires on them. The exception is where the bike is more for looks than riding, and the tire design plays a factor in that look.
At the shop I'm now part-time at (was full time before my accident), the shop's official recommended brand is Shinko. The owner and other mechanic both ride HD Ultra Classics, with Shinkos. And, no, the shop is not a Shinko dealer. They just like the tires that well. Plus they're budget friendly.
I've ridden I don't know how many bikes... Hundreds, literally. Dunlop, Michelin, Metzler, Pirelli, Bridgestone, Continental, Avon, I've ridden on about every brand (and most models) there is. Sportbikes, cruisers, touring, enduro, all different styles.
I have felt other brands slip and skitter at times when I knew the Shinko would grip. I've had a couple instances where I thought my Shinko would let go and it stayed planted very nicely as if asking for more. Some tires feel stiffer, and others softer, but for me the Shinkos hit the middle ground perfectly. For the money, I personally feel that Shinko has the other brands beat.
My 500 currently has the Dunlop it came with on the front and a Shinko 712 out back that I installed. I just ordered the matching 712 for the front last night (or to say it differently, I got my first paycheck after going back to work and that's the first thing I ordered).
I like the 712 for smaller bikes, and the 777 for bigger stuff. Personal preferences.
The Shinko tires do wear a bit faster than some of the other brands, but the price difference offsets this quite nicely.
The shop owner noted 14,000-16,000 miles with OE spec Dunlops on his Ultra, but only about 12,000 on the Shinko (rear tire comparison). Shinko costs about 1/2 the Dunlop's price. Not enough of a wear difference to worry me, but a lot easier on the wallet.
I only have that to go from as he is the only person I know who has made the swap and keeps written records of all his service work so I can verify what's said.
Okay, I got long-winded again. Bottom line is this... I've worked in the industry, been around it my whole life, been riding since I could hold my father's 82 Shadow 500 up on my own. Once I found Shinko tires and gave them an honest try, I've never looked back, and that's been some years ago. I have never had a tire issue that was caused by design issues or craftsmanship (nails in the road are a different story). If you're looking for a solid, budget friendly tire that actually performs, seriously consider a Shinko.