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Contigo Review

CBR250R ContiGo Tyre review

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#1 arn

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:32 PM

This is a review of the ContiGo tyres fitted as OEM on the Honda CBR250R

For whatever reason , this tyre provoked a lot of strong emotions from day1 among different owners, some loving it, some hating it to the point where they ran out to replace it with Pirellis (or anything else at hand) at the earliest . The set that came with my bike has been replaced now at both ends and I think I can go over the pros and cons of this tyre.

First impressions

Personally, I was pretty happy with this tyre (fr + rear) once I started to push the bike.  Stoppies were there for the asking, and once I figured out the bike’s dynamics, I did not have any issue reaching the edge of the tread while cornering. The bike felt absolutely and completely planted taking corners at triple digit speeds – there as never even been a hint, till date of the tyre losing grip leaned into a turn. I’ll come to the reason behind the italics later. The fabulous grip in turns has been there as late as 17000km+ into the life of the tyre, which is pretty good. As I had not used any other brand on this bike till date, can’t compare, but just for the record, I’ve had to replace most tyres on my ZMA (which produces 50% less power) by about 18 - 20K km, sometimes a LOT earlier. Bear in mind that a lot of the running is on the highway (almost 75% of it) which leads to far more tyre wear than normal city running, due to the higher sustained speeds. If your running is only city, they should last a lot longer.

Wet performance

I took delivery of the bike in May – within a month and a half, the monsoon was in full swing. That’s when I discovered that the  large footprint  and reduced weight per unit area translated to rather poor grip on  low friction surfaces like the steel plates used to close manholes etc on our roads. Ditto slush on the roadside, and slush covered newly wetted tarmac after the first rains. That apart – you have to be careful on these surfaces with any road tyres, the tyres did not throw up any surprises in the wet. It felt rock stable at 110 kph in heavy rain, through 3” of standing water on the roads, as well as high speed curves. It’s not just one isolated instance, but the tyre clears the water well at speeds that are usually in excess of what we drive at in the rain (this was done on the Nashik highway). Stopping distances are not as good as in the dry, but I did not feel it dangerously low - just not as good as in the dry.

Dry performance

Personally, it felt more than adequate at whatever speed the bike was at, except at the fag end of the tyre life. The cornering though, stayed good until the very end as the rubber on the edge of the tread lasts much longer due to obvious reasons. I’ve posted pictures of the tyre pushed to the edge after 17K km – gives an idea as to how confidence inspiring the cornering on this tyre is, allied as it is to the rigid trellis frame and swingarm. That said, I think it is pretty easy to get till the edge of the tread at a lean of about 45 degrees.

Mileage related deterioration

In an effort to keep the tyre light, the manufacturer has given it a carcass that is too thin, leading to a scuffed wear pattern at both ends. The tyre does not wear uniformly and towards the end, this makes a big difference in straighline performance. The amount of rubber touching the road changes depending on the portion of the tyre making contact with the road – this can lead to a slight wobbliness at low lean angles for the rear tyre and poor braking performance for the front tyre. In fact the front tyre grip becomes snatchy, almost what you’d expect if the brake rotor is slightly out and the amount of rubber actually contacting the road is different at different places on the diameter of the tyre. This leads to suboptimal braking performance (don’t even think of stoppies!)  but was cured completely on the tyre change.

Interestingly all this happens while there is still tread on the tyre  (at least 1mm short of the TWI). The rear, replaced at about 20K km looked good for another 3000km, and the front tyre looked good for another 2-3K km to, when replaced at 24K Km. Yes, that’s a heck of a lot of mileage! It’s the most mileage I’ve got out of a tyre and the touring has been at an average of 15 to 20 kph faster than on the ZMA. Not bad at all.

IMO, I ran the front tyre too long (had a couple of front wheel skids) – once the scuffing gets prominent, it’s time to get rid of the tyres. Both. The TWI is there as a legal requirement only, the tyre performance drops unacceptably well before it wears till there.

Summary

These are very long lasting, reasonably grippy tyres, good in the dry or wet but their performance is much reduced well before they reach the TWI. Not very good off road, but then, they are not designed to be.

Would I buy them again? Yes. But I was keen to try out the new MRF that does duty on the KTM, and I managed to get a good deal on a Battlax BT 45 rear, so it will be interesting to see how the ContiGo stands against those.

#2 Silver Phantom

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:14 PM

Please give us your Initial Response on the MRF's too.. how they compare to the OEM, when they were new... or something like that
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#3 spinz

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:38 PM

Wats the price difference between a Conti Front and the KTM's MRF front.

The Yamaha FZ's MRF Rear (POS) was about Rs500 more than the Contigo Rear

#4 arn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 02:29 PM

The MRF front REVZ FC (KTM OEM) costs around 3300, thats almost 1200 more than the Contigo front. However it seems to be an excellent tyre, judging from the initial 100 or so km covered on it.

#5 rahul_rn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:49 PM

front tyre costs 3300..?? :frusty:
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#6 arn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:27 PM

 rahul_rn, on 19 April 2012 - 06:49 PM, said:

front tyre costs 3300..?? :frusty:

Quality costs :)

Are Bridgestone and Michis cheaper?

#7 rahul_rn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:35 PM

Agreed doc but 3300 is a little too much i felt.. But since you saying its good then its good.. :)
btw just out of curiosity and not :suspicious: what's your avg yearly spending on your love to ride..?? :ph34r: Promise ill keep my :tape: .. :D
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#8 arn

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:57 PM

Lets say it's about a third or fourth of what it would cost me (all inclusive) if I did it on a 6 lakh car....

#9 rahul_rn

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:17 AM

 arn, on 19 April 2012 - 11:57 PM, said:

Lets say it's about a third or fourth of what it would cost me (all inclusive) if I did it on a 6 lakh car....
well that was helpful..
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#10 arn

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:20 AM

Helps put it in perspective :)

#11 rahul_rn

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:33 AM

well kind of puts many other things in perspective as well like when do you earn so much doc..?? I see you Daaktarin (i.e.fixing or upgrading) your ride most of the time rather then actual Daaktarin.. + Half the time you are in a new part of the country.. Its as if you have 48 hours in a day and you are all over the place..
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#12 arn

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 09:48 AM

Last year I was out of town for 18 days total. Guj Rj - Feb  (4 days). Running in - May (1day) Konkan rides May and June (3 +2 days), Gopi's wedding + Kerala (4days) and 4 one day trips (Kashedi+ Bhandardhara +2 x Nashik).

Of these all the 1 day rides were on my weekly offs (except the run in ride), along with at least 2days of each of the mutli day rides. In effect, I've missed less than 7 working days.

How many days do you and your dad get as annual vacation?

#13 nav75

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:55 AM

 arn, on 20 April 2012 - 09:48 AM, said:

Last year I was out of town for 18 days total. Guj Rj - Feb  (4 days). Running in - May (1day) Konkan rides May and June (3 +2 days), Gopi's wedding + Kerala (4days) and 4 one day trips (Kashedi+ Bhandardhara +2 x Nashik).
That's it? It felt like much more than that. :)

#14 arn

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

 nav75, on 20 April 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

That's it? It felt like much more than that. :)

Thats y the 1000+km/day runs.

Saves vast amounts of time, giving me more time at my destination without the penalty of additional days off.

#15 rahul_rn

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 03:17 PM

 arn, on 20 April 2012 - 09:48 AM, said:

Last year I was out of town for 18 days total. Guj Rj - Feb  (4 days). Running in - May (1day) Konkan rides May and June (3 +2 days), Gopi's wedding + Kerala (4days) and 4 one day trips (Kashedi+ Bhandardhara +2 x Nashik).

Of these all the 1 day rides were on my weekly offs (except the run in ride), along with at least 2days of each of the mutli day rides. In effect, I've missed less than 7 working days.

How many days do you and your dad get as annual vacation?
Damn that is a unbelievable number.. I never thought it could be that low especially after reading your long trip logs..
And me and dad is being a farfetched these days.. Dad at home in his business and me here at coll..
Every year we used to visit Tirupati dint get time for it this year..
I do roam here and there at times but that's not the case with dad though..
Do seriously need a break..

 nav75, on 20 April 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

That's it? It felt like much more than that. :)

I too had the same feeling, still not able to believe it..
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