I tested a set of Shinko sport-bike tires a few months ago and walked away impressed. The company is a relatively new name in the ultra-competitive world of motorcycle tires. For the most part, Shinko tires are building a solid reputation.
Recently, I had the chance to ride a big dual-sport fitted with Shinko 705 Series tires. Riders of large dual-sports (like the Kawasaki KLR) and adventure tourers (like the BMW GS) have to be particularly attentive in their choice of rubber. They have to realistically determine the percentage of their riding time that is spent on the dirt. The Shinko 705s are billed as a 75/25 tire. That means 75% street and 25% dirt duty. I would say that is a fairly accurate assessment of the tires’ terrain suitability.
I found the 705s to be stable on hard-packed dirt and gravel. On the other hand, these are definitely not tires intended for soft dirt and sand, where they wallow badly. However, for fast fire-road duty, they are fully in their element. On the pavement, the tires display adequate straight-line tracking and good cornering properties. However, I did notice that the tread pattern contributed to a bit more vibration on the road than some other DS tires on which I have ridden. The vibration was not enough to dampen my overall positive impression of the tires.
The 705s are H-rated tires, in a 4-ply, tubeless design. At a competitive retail price of $60 – $105, I believe Shinko has a winner here.