Deelip Menezes added 2 new photos.
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I’ve been getting questions about the tyres on my Hero Impulse. I’m currently using knobbies from Vee Rubber. The front size is 70/100-19 and rear is 120/90-17.
I haven’t been using knobbies for that long a time to be able to offer a long and detailed technical review on them. But what I can do is compare these Vee Rubber knobbies to the ones I first used on my Impulse. My first set of knobbies were from IRC and they were made of hard rubber. They lasted quite long due to the hard rubber but felt a little unstable while cornering on tarmac. I didn’t have a fall, but felt the front slipping quite a few times.
The Vee Rubber knobbies are made up of softer rubber and feel quite stable while cornering on tarmac. In the dirt I couldn’t make out the difference between the two because everything moves all over the place and I’m not an experience dirt rider to know any better. But on tarmac I would definitely prefer the Vee Rubber knobbies.
It would be worthwhile to point out that these knobby tyres are not meant to be used on tarmac. This is clearly embossed on the tyre walls. You are expected to trailer your motorcycle to the dirt track, ride the shit out of it and trailer it back home.
Obviously, people like us living in Goa and riding in the Himalayas don’t have that kind of luxury. So we need to pay attention to how these strictly off-road tyre behave on tarmac because a significant portion of our long rides are on tarmac. I mean, to get to the dirt sections we need to ride on tarmac.
A post mortem of the Vee Rubber tyres confirms my views on them. If you look closely at these pictures, you will find that the knobs on the center patch have turned into wedges. In the case of the IRC tyres they had remained as knobs. This tells me that the rubber on the IRC tyres is so hard and it doesn’t twist when the tyre turns under load. But in case of the Vee Rubber tyres, the knobs bend making them wear unevenly.
This is important because while cornering, the soft rubber knobs on the sides of the Vee Rubber tyres will take a longer time to slip than the hard rubber knobs of the IRC tyres. Long story short, when it comes to knobbies, softer rubber is better if you will be doing a significant amount of riding on tarmac.
FYI, I got my Vee Rubber tyres from Altaf Khalifa.