Recently, I had the opportunity to try out a pair of Shinko 804/805 tires on my 2014 Triumph Tiger 800 XCx, which has spoked wheels that require tube-type tires. My experience with knobby tires began when I raced enduros as a youngster and has continued over the years on various dual-sport and adventure bikes. Prior to testing the Shinko 804/805s, I ran a set of Shinko 705s on my Tiger. The 705s are designed for 80-percent on-road/20-percent off-road use, while the more aggressive 804/805 tires are designed for 40-percent on-road/60-percent off-road use.
The Shinko 804/805s are among the best tires I’ve used on an adventure bike for the type of riding I do, which includes a majority of freeway miles, some two-lane apex strafing and a sprinkling of rocky, sandy trails and single-track in places like Death Valley and the Sierra Nevada, covering about 10,000 miles per year. The 804/805 tires have not reduced the road manners of the Triumph at all, but have significantly improved its off-road stability and ability while inspiring confidence in corners, wet or dry.
On the road, the initial lean-in requires a bit more effort, but once in corner, the tires hold a line nicely and don’t require constant input to maintain a curve. Surprisingly, there is actually less noise from the tires than the Shinko 705 tires, which are designed for more on-road use.
On the trail, the tires grip admirably. On a recent adventure ride after a rainstorm here in Southern California, we headed into the mountains in Los Padres National Forest. Quatal Canyon Road turned out to be a quagmire of mud, but the Shinko 804/805 combo sliced through the mud and self-cleaned nicely. Once up on the elevated dirt road and trail section, they gripped well enough to compare to a true set of knobbies.
With respect to longevity, after 2,000 miles, the amount of wear is consistent with other adventure tires—about 80 percent of the front tread and 60 percent of the rear tread remains, with even wear and very little cupping. Overall, the Shinko 804/805 combo works very well, and I’d happily put them on again after this set wears out. The 804 front is available in three sizes for a suggested price of $99.95-$119.95 and the 805 rear is available in five sizes for $99.95-$169.95, all of which can be run tubeless or with tubes.
For more information, see your dealer or visit shinkotireusa.com.