Saturday, May 17, 2008

good motoring
New brand of tyres
H. Kishie Singh

The most important fitment on your car is the tyre. It controls your straight line stability, your braking, your cornering and load-bearing capacity. It is your only contact with mother earth. The suspension and steering of the car may be in perfect condition but if the tyres are not up to the mark, the car will be unsafe. The last decade has seen radial tyres, tubeless tyres and even run-flat tyres. The best-known names in tyres globally are all available at the nearest dealer.

Indian tyres like JK, MRF and Apollo also make world-class tyres. In spite of this easy availability, it is common to see some expensive and fast cars with worn-out tyres. Not only are they unsafe for the car and its occupants, they pose a danger to every other road user. Adding to the number of tyres already available, there is a new tyre in the market. Falken, a member of the Sumitomo Rubber Group, has introduced a vast array of tyres which will be suitable for every car on our roads.

In addition to passenger cars, tyres for SUVs, light trucks and even tractors and combines in the agriculture sector are available. Tyres for heavy earth-moving machines are also part of their arsenal. Falken's best-selling tyre globally is the ZE 912. It has three layers of rubber, which make it extra durable. The tyre is steel-belted and the side-wall design is ‘cut-resistant’. Keep in mind that the side-wall of radial tyres is the weakest part of the tyre and prone to cuts. It also has a special silica-based compound, which is ideal for wet roads. It will also have a long life, and because of low rolling resistance, should improve a car’s fuel average.

A unique specialty of the tyre is an eye. It is a round hole which serves as the tread wear indicator (TWI ). As the tyre wears down, the round hole also wears down and disappears. Instead, a square hole appears. This indicates its time to rotate tyres to help lengthen tyre life and maintain maximum performance.

The Falken CT/ AT tyre, which is meant for SUVs (size 215.75 R 15), has an extra deep layer. A similar car tyre of another make has a 11.9 mm depth. Falken has a depth of 13.2 mm. This, say the manufacturers, will give a life span of 80,000 km. The FK-07 U tyre is made specially for taxis and long-distance commuters. The tyre has a 'W' groove design, is well balanced, provides comfort, outstanding long distance performance and high-speed stability. This tyre is available in 12",13" and 14" sizes only.

Falken also has the RT 615. This is a pure high-speed tyre. The motor sport grade compound maintains road grip over a wide range of temperatures. It has enhanced wet road grip.

Falken stresses on excellent performance in wet road conditions. The argument being that if the tyre excels in wet conditions, on dry tarmac it has to be excellent also. The tyre features a sophisticated design which promises precise handling in high-performance cars. It would seem that Falken is making its entrance into India in grand style with an awesome array of tyres. The company promises a comfortable and, more important, safe driving.

Happy motoring.