NANKANG RODIAC TYRE TEST
Having covered just under 1000km in a variety of weather conditions, at greatly differing speeds on a broad selection of roads, my overall verdict is that they are very credible sports-touring tyres, capable of competing with the top brands. Fitted with rear 160/60 and front 120/70ZR/17 size makes the Ninja 250 looks like it’s bigger Ninja 636/ ZX6. I had Pirelli Diablo Rosso II fitted before this tyre test. 110/70/R17 and 150/60/R17.
Perhaps the best complement I could pay the tyres is that I see no reason to remove them from the 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250R Special Edition, I’ve tested them on. It’s my own machine and I’m more than happy to continue using it fitted with Rodiacs.
As I said, I think they’re right up there with the class leaders. The only way I could effectively measure their performance relative to the competition would be in a direct back-to-back test. In the absence of that sort of comparison, I’d rate them as good as any other road tyre on the market in this category. Just some locals here, have not heard about the Nangkang Tyre name.
In dry conditions, the Rodiacs’ grip is impressive right out when the tyres were fitted @ 14,916km on the mileage. Better still, the feed and feedback they give means even harder riding always feels confident. They’re especially good under power, and exiting hard from corners results in secure forward motion in the desired direction.
Under very hard braking, I did a get a few ‘nearing the grip limit’ chirps from the front tyre over rougher surfaces. But I think that’s more of a reflection of the crudity of my Ninja’s suspension than the performance of the tyre itself.
The tyres’ profiles provide a sporty feel, but the turn-in rate is consistent and predictable, with stability constant regardless of speed or lean angle.
Warming the tyres to get them to deliver their optimum performance doesn’t require much time. And thanks to them not being too temperature-sensitive, even after being parked up for a while they can still be relied upon to provide predictable adhesion.
All in all, in dry conditions they feel safe and secure enough to generate lots of confidence in all environments.
In wet conditions, the Rodiacs are arguably even more impressive. Grip levels are so outstandingly good it’s scary trying to find their limits! Braking, cornering and accelerating, even aggressively, isn’t a problem. The only time I managed to get the tyres to give up their grip was across worn and polished Tarmac – the sort of surface no tyre yet made can deal with.
For a full and final verdict on the Rodiacs I’d have to try the tyres on longer on my machine, and at differing points during their service life. It would also be interesting to see how they’d perform on a track on my Ninja after I had tested the Rodiacs in Sepang International Circuit fitted on a Kawasaki Z750 early this year and did 10 laps on it. The Rodiacs was grippy on turns and I was doing much faster lap times in every lap. But its no Super Corsa but grip in corners was predictable when powering out even on high-speed.
However after experiencing the way they performed on my Ninja, I’d be confident of good results if I did use them in those environments.
Checking wear rates effectively would also require a lot more testing mileage.
The only real drawback to the tyre that I can see is its brand name with all the negative connotations that brings. And if I’m being extremely critical, I’d say the tread pattern looks a bit boring. Otherwise it’s a 8/10 score from me.
Nangkang tyres is distributed by Sinar Puncak Sdn.Bhd. Address, : 2440, Lorong Perusahaan 10,. Prai Industrial Estate,. 13600 Prai, Penang. Tel: 04-3970448. 04-3999842.