• Apollo Tramplr ST and XR ride experience

Two all-new Apollo motorcycle tyres tested 

The 150cc to 500cc motorcycle segment is proliferating and features models from almost all major manufacturers in the country today. The tyre options for these motorcycles are however only road-focused and not necessarily designed to offer ideal grip in all situations. While the more premium 300cc and above motorcycles do feature imported tyres that are very capable on the street and race track, it does wear out sooner than expected on Indian road conditions. The tyre goes through a lot of abuse especially in the urban and rural parts of the country as there’s varied terrain, no paved roads, rocks and even sharp objects that reduce tyre life and affect road grip too. 

Apollo tyres have been around for 50 years in the country and over the last four years have been offering premium tyres for two-wheelers as well. While the current tyre range from Apollo is restricted to on-road tyres, the company launched a new tyre series under the Tramplr name. The Tramplr ST and XR are the two new offerings that create a new segment of tyres for 150cc-500cc motorcycles. We were invited to try out these tyres fitted to various motorcycles from the target segment at a special off-road park in Bangalore and came back very impressed.

Tramplr XR

The XR is an enduro tyre, offering a chunky all-terrain block pattern that is designed to offer a 70:30 off-road/on-road bias. This means the tyre is ideal for those riding in demanding conditions in the urban environment as well as venturing out on off-road terrain. The dual-purpose tyre was benchmarked using international tyre brands and Apollo claims that the XR betters even the segment's best tyres.

The large blocks use an alternate design approach while the rest of the tye contact patch gets a hoof-shaped thread. The design also helps with ejecting stones that end up getting stuck and a life indicator that will be visible when the tyre wears over time (claimed mileage is 25,000ks to 45,000km depending on tyre size). The other interesting element of the XR is the sidewall markings that imprint some of the iconic adventure location names, highlighting the adventure focus.

The tyre was developed and tested across various locations and different motorcycles, one of them being the Duke 390 at the same adventure park where we got to experience the tyre. The Duke 390 is normally offered with an on-road based tyre and isn’t ideal on all-terrains. With the XR, the KTM felt like a different motorcycle and it was a blast to ride even through sand, gravel and deep slush. The tyre offers excellent progression and despite the sudden changes in terrain, the tyres continued to offer great traction and confidence. The overall ride over some challenging terrain was impressive and despite riding a street-focused bike on an all-terrain track, it never really was an issue while offering good comfort.

Braking on sand and gravel was never really worrying and a lot better in terms of performance than the stock factory tyre offered in the Duke 390. The XR is the perfect tyre for those looking at riding on all terrains and is available in 17, 18 and 19-inch sizes. The XR is a direct fit for the Yamaha FZ series, R15, MT15, Suzuki Gixxer series, KTM series, Bajaj Dominar 400, TVS Apache series, BMW G310 series, Honda CB Hornet, CBR250R, CB300R, RE 350 Classic, Meteor, Hunter and the Husqvarna 250 as well. The RE Himalayan and KTM ADV 390 tyre sizes are however expected in a few months. No tyre competes with it in India and at a price ranging from Rs 6,500 to Rs 12,000, The Tramplr XR offers value too. 

Tramplr ST

The ST is enduro tyres that are aimed at those riding mostly in the street and at the same time offer good grip in all weather conditions. These X-ply tyres feature staggered central tread blocks and large alternate shoulder blocks that aid with grip especially at lean. The ST also gets a life indicator, something one doesn’t see that often on entry premium motorcycles (150cc to 300cc. This tyre offers an 80:20 street bias and can tackle broken roads better than factory-spec tyres. Since it is street-focused, the sidewall gets a graffiti-inspired Street marking that gives it a rather unique look.

The tyre is a straight fit for motorcycles with 17-inch wheels such as the Bajaj Dominar 250, Bajaj Pulsar 180/200/22/NS16, TVS Apache RTR 160/180, Honda Unicorn, Yamaha FZ series, R15, MT15, Honda Hornet, X-Blade, Kawasaki Ninja 300, Z250 and more) We tested the tyre on the Yamaha MT15 around the adventure park over broken tarmac and gravel as well. While the overall grip can’t be compared to the stock radial tyre that the Yamaha comes fitted with, the X-ply tyres ride better over broken patches and there’s increased grip on gravel sections and muddy terrain. The tyre compound is not as soft as the factory tyre and should last longer if the motorcycle is primarily used on demanding surfaces. I was able to hold decent lean around corners too. Priced between Rs 4,500 to Rs 6,000, the Tramplr ST is well priced for a segment first Enduro Street tyre. 

Bikes First rides

Leave your comment