The Vredestein Centauro NS tyres have been on the KTM 790 Duke for about three months now. While I haven’t been able to do proper justice to the tyres because of my time away, I finally managed to get a feel of the tyres in city conditions where the motorcycle is ridden the most. The tyres have seen about 500km in city conditions and here’s how they feel.
Vredestein Centauro NS Tyres: City Review
Aesthetics and Comfort
Now usually, how the tyre looks isn’t a part of the consideration during the buying process. However, Vredestein boasts the famous Frascoli Design on it, so we felt obligated to talk about how it looks. The chequered flag design on the sidewall looks smart if you notice it and so does the tread pattern. In fact, I preferred the Centauro tread pattern over the Maxxis tyres that came stock with the motorcycle.
KTM 790 Duke
- 799 cc
- 40 kmpl
- 101.8 bhp ;
Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price
Looks aside, what was immediately noticeable after fitting the Centauro NS tyres was the marked improvement in ride quality. Now the 790 Duke is set up on the stiffer side when it comes to the ride quality so the added cushioning that Centauro’s offered was quite welcoming. The small undulations and bumps that would jar on the Maxxis are absorbed much better on the Vredestein’s which makes commuting a lot better.
Acceleration and Braking
A place where even the best performance tyres struggle is in Indian city conditions. A mix of badly put-together surfaces, gravel, and plenty of concrete instead of good tarmac means most tyres struggle to put the power down or bring the motorcycle to a reassuring halt.
However, the Vredestein Centauro NS tyres pack plenty of technology. It gets a slick central area to provide a large contact patch and maximise traction. It also receives a multi-angled groove design for better performance and different lean angles. As a result, the traction control light flickers a lot less as compared to the stock tyres. The large contact patch means the tyres really dig into the surface, and under hard acceleration, the front end starts to skim the surface.
While the tyres do try hard, our surfaces still manage to get the better of them. Putting down 87Nm of torque isn’t an easy task and the tyres do squirm with the tail trying to wiggle. But the dual compound technology works well in tandem with the traction control to keep things in check.
Apart from good acceleration, braking is something that is even more important when it comes to a high-performance tyre. Again the Centauro’s did well here. The extra stiffness and linear density make sure that the stress is distributed to the whole carcass, thereby maintaining the shape under hard strain. However, concrete surfaces can cause the tyres to lock up under max braking before the ABS kicks in to save the day.
Handling and Fuel Efficiency
Handling around town is just as good as the stock tyres which is a good thing. Flickability is good and changing directions poses no issue at all thanks to the multi-radii profile.
Now we know that fuel efficiency does not really matter when it comes to high-performance motorcycles, but nevertheless, we wanted to see if there was any difference. Starting with the weight, the Centauro weighs pretty much the same as the stock tyres so there was almost no difference there. In fact, the Vredestein’s are lighter by a few grams. So when it comes to fuel efficiency there was no change in the figures whatsoever.
Overall, the Vredestein Centauro NS tyres have definitely performed well when it comes to the city. Up next, we will be testing the tyres on the highway and hit the twisties.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi