Q & A with Shinko Tyres, Australia

Anyone who is even vaguely acquainted with us knows that we are strong believers in Shinko tires. The value is obviously attractive, but that would be nothing without a solid performance. Plus, we just think they look cool. We love them, but to get a more inside track on Shinko, we picked the brain of Jackson from Shinko Tyres, Australia and Bruce Collins Enterprises

What's something everyone should know about Shinko tires, but maybe doesn't?

That Shinko started out manufacturing in 1946 in Japan and still to this day is a Japanese company.

Your tires actually look good, the tread design, the sidewalls, everything. How much thought goes into the aesthetics of each tire design and how do you balance it with performance specs?

A lot of thought goes in to the design of new tyres; the factory consults the distribution channels for feedback and conducts R + D on all new developments. Most of the new tyres and dimensions that are released are released for a specific purpose. For example, the 270 Super Classic series is designed to be an old-school-looking tyre with up-to-date specifications for a cross-ply construction tyre.

What would you say is the most iconic Shinko tire and what about it screams "Shinko?"

A very hard question to answer; I’d say the 240 Classic simply because it was one of the original staples of the brand and still remains a popular tyre.

Approximately how many riders across all Moto-sports are sponsored by Shinko? Is there one area of Moto that Shinko is more heavily sponsoring?

This is very hard to quantify, here in Australia there is no doubt our biggest presesnce is in Drag racing and Off-road racing. This varies by area, of course, but I know in the US there is a very strong presence in Drag racing as well. 

Photo credit: @samdolbel_ 

How do these sponsorships support the brand of Shinko? How do the riders benefit from the sponsorships?

For Shinko as a brand here in Australia, it’s about building brand awareness in all facets of motorcycling. Sponsoring riders is a great way to build that awareness provided the riders give support back to the brand, it’s a real two-way relationship. The riders benefit from being able to ride with best tyres Shinko produces and some of the best tyres on the market. All sponsored riders ride with tyres that anyone can buy unlike other brands.  

Photo credit: @shinko_tyres

I hear a lot of people requesting sponsorship by Shinko, what advice can you give those seeking to be sponsored?

It’s all about having a strong proposal and telling us how you can support the brand, not the other way around. A lot of proposals tell us how Shinko can support the rider by paying them, $1,000,000 and providing them 1000 tyres. This isn’t the best way to ask for sponsorship.

There is always a lot of talk about having proper pressure in our tires for safety and performance. Just how close do our pressures need to be to the manufacturers' and tires specifications?

This is one of the most important things when it comes to riding, having correct tyre pressures. Tyre pressures should be checked before every ride and manufacturers and tyres specifications should be matched as best as possible.

Photo credit: @thistlemoto

Should tire pressure be set to the factory recommendation for the bike or for the values listed on each tire?

It depends who you ask, we say to the recomendation of the tyre. However, you must be aware that the maximum pressure and the recommended pressures are two different things. Ensure you have the recommended pressure in your tyres.

 Photo credit: @arjanvandenboom and @paul_vanml

There are more than a few riders and builders who are very loyal to Shinko in preference to other brands. What do you believe sets Shinko apart from the other tire manufacturers. 

Simply, great tyres. A lot of thought goes in to the design of them and they perform on the road as good as (and usually better than) Chinese-made equivalents from the bigger manufacturers. 

Photo credit: @moto_doll by @jasonlphotos

If I wanted to buy a new set of Shinko tires, what are all my options for purchasing? 

Online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores. Here in Australia, every single Motorcycle retailer has access to Shinko tyres.

At Thistle Moto®, we build primarily small vintage motorcycles in the 100-450cc range. What Shinko tires excel for this size? What about for the bigger vintage Fours in the 650-900cc range?

For the smaller capacity and some of the larger ones, the 712 series is a staple. The performance and price is second to none for this style of bike. For the larger capacity bikes the 230, 777 and 712 series basically cover all the fitments. 

Photo credit: Shinko Tires, USA

What are advantages and disadvantages of a tubeless versus tubed tire? What should be the factors in deciding one over the other if either are an option on a wheel? Can any of the tubeless Shinko tires also be run with a tube?

There is advantages and disadvantages but usually you don’t have a choice. If your rim is a tube-type rim and has a hole for a valve run a tube-type tyre. Same goes for tubeless rims, run a tubeless tyre.

If, God forbid, Shinko were to disappear from the marketplace tomorrow, what would be the hole that was left? 

It would leave a huge hole in the market, a 200,000 tyre a month hole. This is how many tyres Shinko produces for Motorcycles alone per month. Not only would a leave a 200,000 tyre a month hole but some of your favourites tyres from other manufacturers would go missing too.

What can we expect to see from Shinko in 2018? Any secret projects or major updates in the works?

There is always new things under development, but that’s top secret ya know.


If you would like to learn more about Shinko and their products, including a fitment guide that actually works, you can visit the following official websites:

Shinko Tires, Australia

Shinko Tires, USA

Instagram: @shinko_tyres and @shinkotiresusa

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