Imagine you have a product that you are looking to launch in the market. You want some qualified people to give it a try. You’ll naturally choose a setting that shows your product in the best possible light. Well, Reise broke that rule. They decided to give us, qualified people, a Royal Enfield Himalayan equipped with their trailR tyres and let us be in Aamby Valley. An offroad track called 19 Degrees, specifically.
Considering how difficult the tracks in the areas are and some past brushes of journalists with the place… a bold choice. Is that confidence in the product or a misjudged mistake? After a brief of the product, getting to know the tyres, the motorcycle, and the terrain a bit more, and some good teachings by Mr Ashish Roarane and Mr Suraj, it was time for us to find out.
Before that, let us talk about the Reise trailR tyres a bit. Being marketed as a dual-purpose tyre with good performance both on and off the road, the trailR tyres surely look the part. We liked the blocky appearance and the tread design in general. It does not look too skinny despite the substantial shoulders. Reise states a 50:50 rubber-to-void ratio and that seems to be the case upon closer inspection but overall, they seem like good chunky tyres.
Why are we talking about the looks of a tyre? Well, you will be surprised to know how many people come up to us talking about that very aspect… of a tyre. Strange times but hey, every part of a motorcycle adds to the aesthetics so why not. But ‘only’ a good-looking tyre was not going to survive what we had in store. So let us see how they go.
We were 20+ riders, ready to dip our toes in the water, or dust in this case. We started with the light trails but even there, we could get an idea that things were going to get much rougher. Even on the basic part of the track, we could tell that there was a reason Reise was ready to put their trailR tyres to tough scrutiny.
In the loose soil and slight gravel, the grip and feedback from the tyres were very good. There was more than enough traction for us to safely navigate most of the light trails here. We say feedback because whenever we were more than generous with the throttle, the intended loss of traction was very progressive too. Though you cannot go too hard because then it won’t be the tyres’ fault.
And then, the good nightmare began. The tougher section of the track had everything; inclines, declines, rocks, gravel, dirt, and everything else you can think of. We all fell on various occasions but fortunately, no one was hurt. Seems awful? Not by a long shot! It was great fun and the experience taught us a fair bit about the rigours of offroad riding.
More importantly, we got to know a lot about the tyres. Now, considering their dual-purpose, we did not expect knobby-tyre-like performance but even then, these trailR tyres packed a serious punch. Despite the atrocities doled by the terrain, they held their own. The grip was there throughout the session and we could tell that someone with more experience can do fairly well even on such a track.
Grip under braking, grip under acceleration, grip in the corners; these tyres were more than satisfactory in all these regards. Most of all, they seem sturdy enough to deal with some serious punishment too. We did not get to test their performance on the tarmac but we do not think that there will be any serious shortcomings in that department as well.
The folks from Reise talked a lot about the Dakar experience and the high-tech manufacturing and whatever else they could think of. But then, they were willing to bet heavily on the real-world performance of the tyres and we’d say that the trailR tyres lived up to their expectations and fairly exceeded ours. Some more time with them might reveal a bit more but in terms of a first impression, colour us impressed.