This is Vredestein’s first big bike radial tyre. The Dutch firm, better known in the car world, have been owned by the Indian Apollo group since 2009 and are kicking off their motorcycle range with the sports touring Centauro ST.
There are two pieces of good news here: the tyres will be cheaper than the latest new offerings from the established brands when they go on sale early next year and after testing them in perfect sports touring tyre conditions – slimy December UK roads, they perform admirably.
Using a zero-degree steel belt construction and tech brought over from their car products, Vredestein says they’re able to use the same rubber compound for both front and rear tyres and don’t need multi compounds to exploit corner grip, straight line stability and durability. They also reckon you should get between 6000-8000 miles from the rear tyre, depending on your bike and how and where you ride.
The best compliment you can give the Centauro STs is they behave like an established brand, don’t have any of the rough edges you’d expect from a new player and give you confidence from the moment you pull away.
Front grip is there straight away and there’s none of the resistance you feel through the bars when you tip in, waiting for a tyre to come up to temperature. The Vredesteins are stable at high speed, flow in and out of corners naturally and hang on admirably on cold, wet roads under hard acceleration and braking. Ride quality is at the firmer end of the sports touring tyre spectrum.
We didn’t get to try the new rubber on dry tarmac, but Vredestein claims that on the tracks, roads and facilities they test on around the world the Centauro ST has similarly solid performance, even in 40 degree-plus heat.
Exact prices will be announced in the new year and only a 120/70 x 17 and 180/55 x 17 (including a two-ply version for heavy bikes and luggage) fitment will be available to begin with, which will cover a wide range of naked and sports touring bikes, but all major sizes will follow in the future.
The Vredestein Centauro Road will be arriving in the UK around the same time for 300cc machines (110/70 x 17 and 150/60 x 17) and the firm’s big bike tyre range will eventually include sports, adventure and cruiser tyres.
In the meantime, we’ll be leaving the Centauro STs on our Kawasaki Versys 1000 long term test bike, which will be ridden every day through the winter by Dan Sutherland, so keep an eye out for his updates.
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