Whitewall tires like those offered by companies like Shinko were not the first thing that came to mind when I considered new tires for my 2011 Harley-Davidson Blackline. Normally I look for a black set that balances the line between cheap and reliable, but the whitewalls pulled me in like a tractor beam, so I thought I would give them a shot.
Most of the riding I do is cruising around rural roads in western Minnesota, and these new tires required a test that only our fair state could offer. Cold winters and hot summers are tough on our roads, creating plenty of bumps and potholes for riders to evade.
When the Shinko White Wall SR777 tires arrived, since it was my first time with whitewalls, it came as a shock to find that the white was actually a vibrant blue. Turns out the “blue” was a thin layer of soapy material that protects the whitewalls during shipping. My set was installed by Motoprimo Motorsports, and they cleaned the tires before installation.
The install was just in time for a three-day, 1,000-mile ride up through the center of Minnesota, from Minneapolis to International Falls. Conditions included rain and mist, temperatures of 50-85 degrees, and even a few gravel farm roads. The tires delivered a comfortable ride and provided much-needed confidence that I didn’t know I was missing. Cornering felt smooth – as did swerving, especially when evading road obstructions and the occasional deer. The tires dealt with the distressed roads well, dampening the worst of the bumps and buckled asphalt. Wet roads did not have a negative effect on grip, though I didn’t feel the need to push that threshold too much.
When new, the white on the tires is bright, and it stayed that way for the duration of my trip, which was surprising considering the dust and debris that accumulated on them. Though the tires require a little more maintenance to keep clean, it is well worth it if you want your bike to stand out amongst the common rabble.
Shinko tires are designed in Japan, manufactured in South Korea, and distributed by Western Power Sports. Shinko constructs a range of street, off-road, dual-sport, and scooter tires. SR777 cruiser tires are available in White Wall and Black Wall versions in a wide range of sizes starting at $96.95 for front tires and $156.95 for rears.
They feature an aramid belt, and a Heavy Duty version with a reinforced carcass is also available. For riders who want a stylish, sturdy, and comfortable tire, they’re a good choice.