The NS is Vredestein’s high performance supersport radial. Again, like the ST, it can be fitted in a variety of motorcycles. Of course, that wouldn’t make sense on a hardcore tourer, but for the rest, like supersports, sports tourers, and nude sports, they’re just fine. In fact, we were able to test the tire on a Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX which is not a supersport but a sports car.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. The NS is not an out and out tire for racing. It is essentially an aggressive high performance tire for the road, which as we found out was excellent on the track as well.
Giving it the edge in performance, it benefits from dual compound technology which essentially means softer sections on the side for better performance in turns and a harder section in the middle for better durability. This, along with new silica-based compounds, a zero-degree steel belt, and a multi-spoke profile, combine to deliver an engaging driving experience.
Now on to the driving experience, luckily this session was comparatively much faster. Now the Ninja 1000 is a big, heavy motorcycle meant to cross continents and not burn a race track. But nonetheless, it would be interesting to see how a sport tourer performs on super sport radials at BIC.
A warm-up later we picked up the pace and it was immediately obvious that the NS tires felt right at home on the track. Pursuing the lead bike, the cornering speeds were high enough to assess the large amounts of grip offered. The Ninja in its sportiest setting was kept on the lowest traction control setting and even then there was no drama when I put the throttle on the corner exits. Even under heavy braking, the tires showed no signs of stress and the bike managed to lose speed quickly and confidently. I’m pretty sure those tires on a supersport or naked sport would be crazy amounts of fun.
As I mentioned for the ST the race track only tells us part of the story, for the other part we will have to see how the NS tires behave in normal road conditions, but I guess that’s a story for another day.
Overall, the first impressions of the Vredestein Centauro are pretty good. They will be available for a wide range of motorcycles and it’s great that these India made tires work the way they do and more importantly you won’t have to lose an arm or a leg to buy one. Prices for the Centauro ST will vary between Rs. 25,000 to 30,000, while the sportier NS will cost less than Rs. 30,000. Now hopefully we can try them in real conditions and hope they impress us more.