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17/12/2014
EICMA 2014, FOR BIKERS ONLY

Motorbike tires


Dozens of motorcycles, some of them very innovative, and stacks of tires at the edition number 100 of the International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan


Nicodemo Angì

The 72nd World Motorcycling Exhibition, held in Milan last November 6 to 9, besides being a success in terms of attendance, has proved once again to be a major event for the industry’s professionals. Exhibitors could indeed rely on the presence of 45 910 trade visitors, 69% of which came from all over Europe, 9% from the United States, 19% from Asia, 2% and 1% from Africa and Oceania respectively.

"The sector has given its best in terms of products, components, accessories, confirming the strong commitment to research and development" said Antonello Montante, President of EICMA SpA.

The 100th edition of the Milan exhibition displayed a constant product refinement in the motorcycle tire sector. Growing interest was expressed for quads, ATVs and even electric bicycles.

Participation at the exhibition is always interesting, an occasion to feel the pulse of the industry’s latest products, from 200hp super-sport bikes to ultra-utility electric scooters, all of which to be equipped with the tires on display.

Among the premium tire manufacturers present at the Milan exhibition, Metzeler, the German company owned by the Pirelli group, brought some interesting news like the Racetec RR high-performance sports tire.

In the crowded presentation conference a video illustrated the features of this interesting tire, for example, the dual compound for differentiated behavior between crown and sidewall.

The tread pattern allows draining water effectively and counteracting, at the same time, the forces that tend to curl the compound. Very interesting is also the composite structure that conveys heat from the tread to the sidewall: after a long straight, heat generated at the crown keeps the sidewalls in temperature in order to have maximum grip already at the first corner.

The Racetec RR is designed to have maximum grip both at high as well as low temperatures, a result achieved through high polymer flexibility. The differentiated stiffness between the crown and the sides creates a structure capable of absorbing shocks without bouncing, guaranteeing high precision in every corner.

This tire is characterized by the fact that compound, tread and structure are balanced for consistent performance throughout the life-cycle of the tire, from the first to the last mile, as evidenced by the victory in the 2014 edition of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy in the Super-sport category. There are several available sizes already and for some of these up to three different compounds can be chosen.

Another interesting Metzeler tire seen at the EICMA show is the Sportec Klassik, a modern tire with a classic profile produced for bikes like the Kawasaki Z 900 or the Suzuki GSX 750F, motorcycles still able to give great satisfaction to the rider if equipped with the right tires.

Also Bridgestone has taken advantage of the event to present, at the same time, several interesting innovations, including the Racing Battlax V01 as original equipment for the incredibly powerful Kawasaki Ninja H2R. The most powerful Ninja, with a declared 300 hp output, is equipped in front with a 120/600 R17, while the rear wheel has a 190/600 R17 tire. The “quieter” road version entrusts the handling of its 200 hp to the Battlax Racing Street RS 10 and more specifically to a 120/70 ZR17 in front and a 200/55 ZR17 in the rear. We find RS 10 tires, as original equipment, also on the Yamaha YZF R1 and YZF R1M, that share the 120/70 ZR17 front tire with a different rear: 190/55 ZR17 and 200/55 ZR17 for the R1 for R1M.

The RS 10 borrows a lot of technology from Moto GP ensuring high grip, high stability even in wet conditions.

The Battlax Sport Touring T30 EVO are more sport-touring oriented, with greater comfort and grip in wet and dry conditions, for travelling without worries. The tread has been redesigned and also the compound has been modified; it is available in three sizes.

Dedicated to long distance travelling is the Battlax Adventure A40, a tire designed to guarantee safety and fun on any road and in all conditions. The A40, available in sizes 120/70 ZR17, 160/60 ZR17 and 180/55 ZR17, use Bridgestone Nano Pro-Tech technology which lowers the tire temperature under stress.

 

Another important European manufacturer, Mitas, a Czech company part of CGS Holding Group, has brought several innovative products in Milan; among them competition motocross tires like the C 25 and C 27 and a sports range for scooters! The group, which has production sites in Serbia, the Czech Republic and the United States, is distributed in Italy, as far as agricultural tires are concerned, by Mitas Srl in Saronno (VA).

 

From Tuscany but present in 40 countries around the world, Golden Tyre presented several new products to expand its rather specialized, and extensive, range of tires, with tires for minicross, enduro, motocross (with many FIM approved tires) as well as trial, Speeday, flat track and more.

Supermotard enthusiasts would still not be able find the 969 on the company’s official website, a very specialized and efficient tire.

Even the GT 555 trial tire is new, as well as the rear enduro GT523E, studied for hard terrain, while a variety of tires for scooters have been newly introduced in the catalog.

 

If you have an ATV you should not disregard ITP, an American manufacturer with a wide range of tires and wheels for all applications. The company is distributed in Italy by Reset Srl Casalgrande (RE) and displayed during the Milan show, among other things, a number of sports tires and the new Hurricane rims.

 

Strong presence at the Milan show also of manufacturing companies from the Far East, with a wide offer and some news.

 

Arisun, a brand owned by the Chinese group ZC Rubber, soon to be distributed by a well known Italian company, has brought a number of new tires at the 2014 EICMA show, including two minicross tires (60/100 - 14 front and 80/100 - 12 rear), an ATV tire and a model for small pit bikes.

 

Based in China, CST, is a part of Cheng Shin Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd., a group with about 20,000 employees that operates in over 150 countries. The company has a very large catalog and is distributed in Italy by Bis Srl in Cureggio (NO). In Milan we saw the new (for Italy) ATV tire, Wild Thang, suitable for slippery and muddy conditions, as well as the new Behemoth, very durable and suitable for heavy loads by virtue of its 8 plies casing. News also for scooters, with the C6528 made for the Yamaha X-City and the two CM629-CM630 and CM531 CM532- the first suitable for the Aprilia Sport City while the second for the T-Max and the Burgman.

 

And Wanda Tire? The brand, part of the Chinese group Tianjin Wanda Tyre Group Co. Ltd, has a fairly extensive catalogue, although it does not cover the car market. During the show in Milan it displayed a small part of its abundant production, mostly tires for ATVs.

 

Deli Tire is a large Indonesian group with an extended catalogue in all areas, from bicycle tires up to heavy duty vehicles as well as retreads. At the Milan Show, the company, which started in 1956 producing rubber shoes, brought several new products, including the Maxi Grip, dedicated to ATVs, and Street Enduro, designed, as the name clearly shows, for enduro bikes.

 

Another Asian manufacturer, Unilli, founded in Taiwan in 1980 and distributed in Italy by Avotecnica Bressanvido (VI), also has a rather extensive catalogue with tires for many applications. Among the tires brought to EICMA the A-722 deserves a mention, dedicated to ATVs, as well as a number of specialized motocross tires.

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