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Thread: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

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    Marshal roms's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Blasphemy you may think! Going from sport oriented MRF ZLO to a Taiwanese tyre that has no credentials other than being cheap 'taxi market' tyres. Whether the gamble was worth it? Only time will tell..

    Story goes that the 195/60 R14 MRF ZLO went on the Palio 1.6 Sport in Feb 2013. Here's that thread - http://www.myfiatworld.com/showthread.php?t=803

    5 years and with only about 25k kms done on them, the tread depth on all tyres still looked great. However, ageing had taken its toll on them and cracks had developed all over the surface. This meant that the tyres could give away with excessive heat on a longish drive, something that would keep playing on my mind. Plus they had become noisier as well.

    My good experience so far in the past couple of years with the Goodyear Assurance Triplemax on the Skoda Rapid meant that it was my default choice. Also, this time I had decided to stick to stock 175/65 R14 size. So I headed over to Straightline tyres, Santacruz West, Mumbai to ask Trevor if it was feasible to continue running the ZLOs or a change was necessitated immediately. He asked me a couple of questions -

    1] Does the Palio see the highways often?; and
    2] How much longer do I intend to keep the car?

    To the above I replied that the Rapid sees more highway drives, especially with family and luggage. The Palio is used primarily for my office runs which is only 3kms away from home (that too not on a daily basis), weekend drives and occasionally sees the highway when we have our MFW drives. Further, I already have parking issues at my Andheri residence where we have one fixed parking and I've somehow managed so far with both vehicles but this may not be possible in the near future. The Palio will be required to be parked on the road (something that I don't wish to do) or will have to be sold. But at the moment, nothing is certain.

    After listening patiently, he said that the ZLOs were done. He won't give me a buy back as well since nobody will buy tyres that have aged and I could keep one as the spare. Instead of spending 16-18k on a regular brand, why not invest in something like the Kenda Komet Plus tyres? He said these were the 'go to' brand now for the taxi market as it helps them with lower costs and they easily run 50-60k kms. They even showed one with 80k from an Innova and it didnt look that bad. But my first reaction was, rather it was the enthusiast in me that said 'no way am I going for a cheap Chinese / Taiwanese stuff'.

    But then he mentioned the price - 2650/- per tyre compared to about 4k or even more for the regular good brands, which would be a substantial savings of at least 5-6k. The practical side of my brain was in agreement with Trevor. My user case was now a lot different from 2013 when the Palio was my primary driver, there were no parking issues then, I was probably a ‘keener’ driver then and wanted tyres with good handling capabilities. Truth be told, the MRF ZLOs would have seen the twisties about 5 times at the most in these years. Of course I enjoyed them whenever the chance presented itself and the wet handling and braking were faultless. I didn’t even get a single puncture on them.

    Given my above thought process, it made sense to try the Kenda tyres. Even if they lasted a couple of years, they would be worth the investment. This is what they look like:

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    First Impressions:
    Unlike my previous tyre buying experiences where I have researched tyres as per my needs, posted threads, etc, this was more of an impulsive purchase. Only later did I find a thread on team- bhp and other websites that had mostly neutral things to say about these cheap tyres. While some members mention it in positive light by comparing it to likes of Bridgestone, others said that they were ordinary in the wet.

    Links - http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Tyre/Ke...-PLUS-KR23.htm
    http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...on-thread.html

    However, the first things I noticed were almost no noise compared the ZLO, softer ride and nippy handling due to the steering getting easier to manoeuvre in traffic. That is due to the narrower 175 section tyres on the stock 65 profile. The car’s stance looks different due to this and the tyres felt like sticks at first. I have gotten over that now and the alloys actually look more prominent now compared to before as they are not dominated by the chunkier rubber. More balanced look actually. The steering response is actually good and the car has become more fun with faster acceleration as well. The car was a bit cumbersome to live with in Mumbai city traffic, but now its way more comfortable and less of a stress to drive. Braking seems better but Palio’s brakes are the weak link here. Will have to wait for the monsoon season to see how they fair and have to yet drive on the highway.

    All said and done, if the Palio was my primary car, I probably wouldn’t take a chance inspite of the mouth-watering pricing. But I feel for a car that doesn’t see much highway action, my immediate needs are met.
    The Italian - 2007 Canary Yellow Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport a.k.a The Bumble Bee - Sold
    The Czech/German - 2012 Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 MPI Automatic
    The French - 2013 b'twin ROCKRIDER 5.0

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    D.L. kvdeep's Avatar
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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Romil,

    I had used Kenda Komets (195/60/R14) on Petra for almost 45 K Kms.

    Here is the feedback:

    They were very good for the first 40 Kms. I had driven on them extensively, both on highways and inside the city. In fact, I changed them just before the Ootty MFW meet. I can tell you with confidence that they are worth the money.
    Had very few punctures and they gave good road feedback.
    Braking was OK and adequate, both on dry and wet roads.
    They compound is neither too soft / nor too hard.

    However, they start giving a lifeless feel towards the end of their life cycle. For me, they lasted for about 45 K kms, and about four years, the tyres still had tread on them, but I changed as I had used them for so long a time span and felt that it was long enough.

    The tyre shop owner had told that they would last for close to 60 K kms - I was skeptical. And they did not last that much anyway. May be the weight of the FIAT, May be the driving style.

    And Happy Birthday to you!
    Thanks and Regards,

    Deepak K.V.

    Maruti 800
    FIAT Palio Stile 1.1 SLE
    FIAT Petra 1.6 EL
    TATA Safari DiCOR 3.0 LX

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    Marshal roms's Avatar
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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    That's really helpful feedback Deepak

    It sort of is a confidence booster for me as well as for those contemplating to get these tyres. So I guess one could say that these tyres don't fall in the category of 'cheap and nasty' but more like 'cheap but cheerful'

    What did you replace those tyres with on the Petra and how would you rate them in comparison to the Kenda? Thanks
    The Italian - 2007 Canary Yellow Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport a.k.a The Bumble Bee - Sold
    The Czech/German - 2012 Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 MPI Automatic
    The French - 2013 b'twin ROCKRIDER 5.0

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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Congrats, Roms. Never knew this brand was so cheap. As you know I was too looking to upgrade my Palio tyres to Michelin but now looking at my running and costs, this is like an eye opener hehehe. All the reviews I read so far has given pretty good feedback on the Kendas. Most have complimented for its silent profile and long lasting. Only grouse people have complained was for its thin side wall however not anyone has posted about tyre cracks or burst. Some have driven this for highways for 40k kms easily.

    On Amazon, the 175/65/14 profile sells for 2500/- each with free delivery and 185/65/14 profile for 2744/- each with free delivery. So for 4 tyres its still under 11k cost, which is great!! However buying online doesn't entitles for warranty as they say :(

    Did your dealer assured any warranty for it?
    Sinfully Sexy, Shamelessly Raw, Explicitly Powerful. Nothing better than the Palio 1.6 Horse!
    2008 Palio Stile 1.6 Sports - Formula Red
    2014 Royal Enfield - Bullet 500
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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Quote Originally Posted by kvdeep View Post
    Romil,

    I had used Kenda Komets (195/60/R14) on Petra for almost 45 K Kms.

    Here is the feedback:

    They were very good for the first 40 Kms. I had driven on them extensively, both on highways and inside the city. In fact, I changed them just before the Ootty MFW meet. I can tell you with confidence that they are worth the money.
    Had very few punctures and they gave good road feedback.
    Braking was OK and adequate, both on dry and wet roads.
    They compound is neither too soft / nor too hard.

    However, they start giving a lifeless feel towards the end of their life cycle. For me, they lasted for about 45 K kms, and about four years, the tyres still had tread on them, but I changed as I had used them for so long a time span and felt that it was long enough.

    The tyre shop owner had told that they would last for close to 60 K kms - I was skeptical. And they did not last that much anyway. May be the weight of the FIAT, May be the driving style.

    And Happy Birthday to you!
    Hey Deepak,

    Whats up! Thanks for the crisp review on the Kenda tyres. Not quite popular one among the enthusiasts so not heard much about it. 40k kms - it served decently IMO. I might also need to think about this since my car is only driven more in Cities. Not much outstation trips.
    Sinfully Sexy, Shamelessly Raw, Explicitly Powerful. Nothing better than the Palio 1.6 Horse!
    2008 Palio Stile 1.6 Sports - Formula Red
    2014 Royal Enfield - Bullet 500
    2002 Bajaj Pulsar 150 (Sold)

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    D.L. kvdeep's Avatar
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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Quote Originally Posted by roms View Post
    That's really helpful feedback Deepak

    It sort of is a confidence booster for me as well as for those contemplating to get these tyres. So I guess one could say that these tyres don't fall in the category of 'cheap and nasty' but more like 'cheap but cheerful'

    What did you replace those tyres with on the Petra and how would you rate them in comparison to the Kenda? Thanks
    Roms,

    I replaced them with Goodyear Duraplus 185 / 65 / R14. They are good too.

    In comparison, obviously, they dont look as chunkier as the 195 / 60 / R14 s. Also, like you said, the steering response seems a little better, probably due to the lesser width. Braking is marginally better.

    But once I was driving a friend's Palio 1.9 D and he was following me in my Petra, I was watching in the rear view mirror and the 195 s were looking really great from the front, especially when the car was taking turns and I could get the full view of the width.
    Thanks and Regards,

    Deepak K.V.

    Maruti 800
    FIAT Palio Stile 1.1 SLE
    FIAT Petra 1.6 EL
    TATA Safari DiCOR 3.0 LX

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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Quote Originally Posted by kvdeep View Post
    Roms,

    I replaced them with Goodyear Duraplus 185 / 65 / R14. They are good too.

    In comparison, obviously, they dont look as chunkier as the 195 / 60 / R14 s. Also, like you said, the steering response seems a little better, probably due to the lesser width. Braking is marginally better.

    But once I was driving a friend's Palio 1.9 D and he was following me in my Petra, I was watching in the rear view mirror and the 195 s were looking really great from the front, especially when the car was taking turns and I could get the full view of the width.
    Trevor (Straightline Tyres) usually has GY Duraplus stocked with him at most times since they are fast selling and good VFM tyres according to him. They don't feel hard to the touch, contrary to the belief that long lasting tyres are supposed to have hard compound.

    I agree, the width of 195 section is a big draw and gives the car a slightly wider stance. But tell you what, I am now liking the look of the narrower 175 section as the alloys look more prominent now. Its difficult to convey this on a post, but its as if the wheels suddenly look a bit bigger than when chunkier rubber was on them.

    Its been a bit over a month since i bought the Kendas and its been a smooth ride (literally) till now. No issues to speak of, the tyres are really good at providing steering feedback and at the same time, giving sufficient cushioning over rough surfaces.
    The Italian - 2007 Canary Yellow Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport a.k.a The Bumble Bee - Sold
    The Czech/German - 2012 Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 MPI Automatic
    The French - 2013 b'twin ROCKRIDER 5.0

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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Quote Originally Posted by roms View Post
    Trevor (Straightline Tyres) usually has GY Duraplus stocked with him at most times since they are fast selling and good VFM tyres according to him. They don't feel hard to the touch, contrary to the belief that long lasting tyres are supposed to have hard compound.

    I agree, the width of 195 section is a big draw and gives the car a slightly wider stance. But tell you what, I am now liking the look of the narrower 175 section as the alloys look more prominent now. Its difficult to convey this on a post, but its as if the wheels suddenly look a bit bigger than when chunkier rubber was on them.

    Its been a bit over a month since i bought the Kendas and its been a smooth ride (literally) till now. No issues to speak of, the tyres are really good at providing steering feedback and at the same time, giving sufficient cushioning over rough surfaces.
    "Its difficult to convey this on a post, but its as if the wheels suddenly look a bit bigger than when chunkier rubber was on them."

    I know what you mean - The tyres seem to have the same width as the alloys, they - The alloys and the tyres together - look neater, smarter and no-nonsense...


    Right?
    Last edited by kvdeep; 11-04-2018 at 01:39 PM.
    Thanks and Regards,

    Deepak K.V.

    Maruti 800
    FIAT Palio Stile 1.1 SLE
    FIAT Petra 1.6 EL
    TATA Safari DiCOR 3.0 LX

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    Re: Bumble Bee gets the Kenda Komet Plus KR23 tyres

    Quote Originally Posted by kvdeep View Post
    "Its difficult to convey this on a post, but its as if the wheels suddenly look a bit bigger than when chunkier rubber was on them."

    I know what you mean - The tyres seem to have the same width as the alloys, they - The alloys and the tyres together - look neater, smarter and no-nonsense...


    Right?
    Bang On my friend!

    Its the top edges of the alloy lip that can now be seen more prominently, giving the impression that they look bigger -

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by roms; 11-04-2018 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Uploaded Image
    The Italian - 2007 Canary Yellow Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport a.k.a The Bumble Bee - Sold
    The Czech/German - 2012 Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 MPI Automatic
    The French - 2013 b'twin ROCKRIDER 5.0

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