Tuesday, 22 March 2016

19 Inch Tyre Options in India for Bullet

With every passing day, it is getting difficult to get hold of good tyres for my bullet's 19 inch wheels. Most of the modern offerings from RE are coming out with 18" wheels as standard (with the new addition of a 21" wheel for Himalayan). 

I am usually busy round the year either with my day job or planning/touring on my motorcycle. So by the time I realise, that my bike needs a new set of shoes, its usually kinda become an urgent situation, as there might be a ride just around the corner. So I start digging internet for available tyres for 19" wheels and what is the tread pattern like and what sizes are available, etc. Online forums are informative, but the information found is usually scattered. 

So this time, while I am currently looking for a dual-sport front tyre for my bike, I took some time out to collate the information on all available tyres from well known manufacturers for 19" wheels. Going forward I may add my experience with few of them, which I have personally used or been highly recommended by a fellow rider. But again that's kept for a later stage. Meanwhile, if you happen to have any good/bad experience with any of the tyres mentioned here, do leave a comment. Mention the model of your bullet, specification of tyres along with your comments. That way this post can work as a good reference point for these (soon to be) vintage motorcycles. 

So without further ado, here are the offerings of tyres for our old bulls on the Indian Market:

MRF (Madras Rubber Factory):

MRF Zapper FM 90/90-19 (Front):


Features & Benefits:
  • Front Fitment : Good Stability 
  • Directional Pattern : Better Maneuverability
  • Good Grip : Better Traction

MRF Nylogrip Plus 3.00(/3.25/3.50)-19 (Rear):


Features & Benefits:
  • Rear fitment
  • Siped block design : Excellent road grip
  • Tread with centre groove : Water channeling
  • Flat centre design : High milage and good ride comfort
  • Rounded shoulder : Excellent cornering characteristics

MRF MoGrip Meteor 110/90-19 (Rear):


Features & Benefits:
  • Rear Fitment : Excellent on /off road application
  • Aggressive block design : Better stability
  • Directional block pattern : Good grip

Funny image for a bike tyre, eh ?!! :P

Birla (Manufactured by Birla, India):


Birla ROADMAXX BT F21 3.00(/3.25)-19 (Front):

Features & Benefits:

Front Rib pattern offering high mileage with excellent road grip at curves and helps in better handling of vehicle

Birla ROADMAXX BT R44 3.50-19 (Rear):

Features & Benefits:

  • Semi Knobby tread design allowing better shock absorption, enhances the riding comfort &amp
  • Can be used on any kind of terrain

Ceat (Manufactured by Ceat):

Ceat Secura F67 3.25-19 (Front):


Features & Benefits:
  • Rectangle Block & Straight Grooves : Better wet grip performance
  • Rib pattern : Excellent steering and cornering
  • Unique tread compound : Smooth ride and straight tracking

Ceat Secura Sport 3.25-19 (Rear):


Features & Benefits:
  • Sturdy Block Pattern : High Biting for better safety while cornering
  • Excellent traction and stability 
  • Good cornering

Ceat Gripp 3.25-19 (Rear):


Features & Benefits:
  • Angular tread blocks for superior Grip

Ceat Milaze 3.25-19 (Rear):


Features & Benefits:
  • Improved tread life with uniform wear for better durability 
  • Resistance to cutting and chipping for longer tyre life

Dunlop (Manufactured in India by Falcon Tyres):

Dunlop Maxirib 3.25-19 (Front)


Features & Benefits:
  • Special Tread Design : Riding Comfort, Excellent Maneuverability
  • Special Feature: Low Rolling Resistance
  • High Performance Compound : Better Mileage
  • Rib Pattern : Better Water Channeling

Dunlop Unigrip 3.50-19 (Rear)


Features & Benefits:
  • Sturdy Block Pattern : Excellent Road Grip
  • Extra Tread Depth : Higher Mileage
  • Strong Structural Design : Durability During Long Run
  • Special Feature : Excellent Cornering Characteristics

Michelin (Manufactured in India by TVS):
Features & Benefits:
  • Big block pattern contributes to confident and stable handling in dry conditions.
  • Optimized groove-rubber ratio provides super grip, efficient braking and easy handling in wet conditions.
  • Reinforced casing construction for enhanced puncture resistance.
  • Abrasion resistant tread compound provides high mileage in both on and off road conditions.

MICHELIN Sirac Street TT 3.25-19 54P 4PR (Front):

MICHELIN Sirac Street TT 3.50-19 63P 6PR (Rear):

Pirelli (Imported through authorised retailers in India):


Pirelli MT60 90/90 - 19 M / C 52P (Front):

Features & Benefits:
  • Optimised pattern for on and off road use : Grip on roads, good traction off road (i.e. Versatility of use)
  • X-ply carcass : Great capacity to absorb the roughness of the ground (i.e. A comfortable ride)

Product photographs and specs provided here are taken from the respective manufacturers' website and hence are fairly accurate. However with every iteration, the design/specs may change/vary, so keep the same in mind while making any purchase decisions. At the time of writing this post, I am finding it difficult to source some models like the Pirelli MT60 and Ceat secura series in Bangalore. Similarly some of the models mentioned here may be a bit difficult to find, due to lack of availability caused by the drop in demand in the market. So you may have to enquire around for getting such tyres. But don't lose hope, as most of the time, there are some shops with such old stock of 19 inchers lying around, just to be cleared off. You might get lucky ;)

In case of any additions/corrections/queries leave a comment.

[Update:29/03/2016] Michelin's Sirac (previously available in India) and 'Sirac Street' are two different versions of tyre from Michelin. Hence when you are checking any reviews, keep in mind that 'Sirac Street' is fairly new to Indian market. So any posts/reviews older than 2014 (I guess) are talking about Sirac and not the 'Sirac Street' shown here.

[Update:06/04/2016] After failing to source Dunlop(/Falcon) Unigrip or Ceat Gripp XL (not mentioned above, as its out of production now!) for my front wheel, I decided to try the new Michellin Sirac Street 3.25-19 (mentioned in the list above). So I got myself one yesterday and so far have ridden 7-8 KMs with the new tyre. Though its too early to comment, but I did try few sharp cornering on good roads and it seems to inspire confidence. I shall update as I use it on highway, off-road (sand/gravel) and wet roads as and when I come across such terrains/situations during my rides. Currently I have Birla RoadMaxx 3.50-19 at the back for last 2+ years and they have been perfect so far, both on and off-road (also done Leh). So I can recommend it as dependable dual-purpose rear tyre.

[Update:21/04/2016] Did a 600km trip, which included riding in a hail storm (and heavy rain) for an hour or more, and then some extreme off-roading till the Mandalpatti peak. Happy to inform, the Michelin tyre hold up well and was grippy all through. It gave a lot of confidence on the sand and rock during off-roading, which am happy with. Will continue to ride and udpate on this bad boy and now thinking of Michelin as a prospect for the rear tyre replacement as well. Lets see.. :)



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