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Shinko 009 Raven Tires


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Early in 2013 I found myself in need of a new rear tire.

I have used Michelins for several years now. PR2s and most recently a PR3. Both are excellent tires, but money was very tight and I was looking for a less expensive alternative.

I decided, after a bit of research, to try out the Shinko 009 Raven.

I talked to a few people who had tried them and read as many reviews as I could find online. What I found was that nobody had anything bad to say about them, and the rear cost about $80 less than my usual Michelin.


Maybe a bit of background...

I do not do track days, but I do enjoy a spirited pace on the most crooked roads I can find. I avoid the interstate unless I'm trying to get through the desert or plains here in the U.S. as quickly as possible. At the same time I need to get as much mileage from a tire as possible and less than 8,000 miles is unacceptable to me (My last PR3 rear was done with only 7500 miles on it, though I might have been able to squeeze another 500 out of it. The front PR3 lasted 1,000 miles more...).


The guy at the shop where I get my tires mounted scoffed. Wanted to know why I would put a "plastic tire" on my bike. But all those guys are sport bike/track day guys so I remained undaunted. In fact, I liked it so much, I went ahead and put a front on as well... I have run the pressures at 40psi rear/38psi front for the life of these tires.


I have at this point put 8500 miles on the rear, and 7500 on the front. The rear is down to the wear bars, the front hardly looks worn at all. These miles include a 3800 mile trip to Iowa and back as well as a "North meets South" and a "Death Valley Daze" weekend. (Both weekends 2 up) If you've been to either of these events, you know they are not gentle on tires... :grin:


Rear with 8500 mi



Front with 7500 mi


What I found is that I have no need to change my riding style to compensate for any "shortcoming" from these tires. They seem to grip just as well as the PR3s in the dry and nearly as well in the wet. For my riding style and location, they are great tires for the price. I got both the front and rear for about what I paid for my last rear PR3.

A couple of niggles about the front though. First, it has a groove down the center that tends to catch on pavement irregularities. It was a bit disconcerting for the first week or two after which it either got better, or I just stopped noticing it.(I lean towards the latter)

Second, With this front mounted, my RT wants to fall into corners. I mean really fall in! I found myself having to put significant pressure on the outside bar to keep it on line. After a few weeks it seemed to improve, but not go away. I tried varying the air pressure in it, but didn't notice that it made any difference. It's not so bad that I will throw a perfectly good tire away, but I am not a fan of the front Raven and will try something else once this one is worn out (which looks like it will take quite a while judging from lack of wear).


Would I use them on a track bike? No, I've heard they tend to overheat on the track and have grip problems (just what I heard from one guy, so take that for what it's worth...).

But now that the rear is ready to be replaced, I am impressed enough with the Shinko 009 Raven rear that I've already ordered a new one.


As they say though, YMMV...

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Don my guess is the tire doesn't sufficiently heat up due to it's long life hard construction and therefore has less traction is why it isn't getting rave reviews from the track riders on light weight machines. Just the thought of it in the back of your brain will de-tune your wrist in the battle against the clock. I wouldn't worry to much about the traction of Shinko's on dry public roads as much as I would about them on wet public roads. However we all slow down in the wet. Well I do anyway.

What is funny about us and our tires is we tend to error on expensive sticky rubber and our brethren on heavy dual sports have are more concerned with longevity and off-road traction on a smaller contact patch. Yet you can't out run them. Many riders would be surprised how quick my 690 is in the twisties with knobby tires. My RT wears PR3s. Confidence in tires is everything. YMMV :thumbsup:


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I have had good luck with Shinko. I was running 009s. For the last two sets I have been using are 011 Verge. This is a duel compound tire that I have no problem scraping the peg feelers with. I live in a desert so wet roads are not a major concern and I cannot comment on that. I get about the same mileage out of any brand (5K is about it). Therefore, the cost savings is what sells me on Shinko. By the way, Shinko is the modern Yokohama.

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  • 1 month later...

I loved Dunlop Roadsmarts (2sets) and Michelin PR2s (3 sets). I just purchased my 4th set of 009s. They average 9000+ miles and the fronts always beg for more. I change them both. At $180 delivered to my door I can't beat them!

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I am on my fourth set of Shinko Ravens and have been happy with every set. The price has risen dramatically since they first came over the pond and yet they are still a good buy today. You must keep your tire pressure up. Some people have reported amazing mileage with them. I get about 10,000 to 13,000 on the front and about 7,500 to 9,000 on the rear. I ride a R1150RT and get about 45MPG on trips.

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