If someone had told me a year ago I should fit Korean tires on one of my motorcycles I'd have called for some medical assistance from the nearest mental hospital. But here we are and my little scooter needs new tires, and thee last thing I'd cut corners on would be the only thing between it and a unpleasant meeting with the tarmac.
However, with 12” wheels as standard your choice of sticky rubber is incredible. In the past I've run all sorts of tires on my scooters, but as I remember most of my scooters had 14” rims. Look through most tire catalogs and you will see that not much 12” rims are available, or the compound is as hard as plastic, stiff construction and unsuitable profiles. Anyway as I was shopping for tires I found the Shinko SR006
I cut my formative motorcycle teeth in an era when the only good tires came out of Europe or America, and OEM rubber on Japanese motorcycles was to be replaced at the first opportunity. That quickly changed as the Japanese with the likes of Dunlop and Bridgestone joined the premium European brands in offering sticky rubber. But Korean, Taiwan or even local Thailand brand names? When Japanese manufacturer Yokohama pulled out of motorcycle tire production Shinko was there to pick up the pieces – machinery, technology and rubber recipe. The tread pattern resembles a dimpled slick, and is similar to the Yokohama racing tires of the time.
According to the Thai distributor Shinko is gaining popularity by scooter riders in South-East Asia, the Korean rubber being well priced and offering excellent traction and road handling.
With tire pressures were left at a road-friendly 32psi, with both Shinko tires feathering up nicely and offering good feedback. So confident was I in the improved handling that I offered the keys to several other scooter riders for a few test kilometers. They all had the same experience... Shinko is a good alternative if you're thinking about new tires.