Curve Surfing

Sherman Nazareth heads down to Kari Motor Speedway, Coimbatore, to test out the grip levels of the newest tyre from MRF, the Masseter.

MRF has presented us with a brand new soft-compound tyre that, it claims, provides excellent levels of grip and really lets you lean deep into that curve. We had the opportunity to put that claim to the test at Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. It so happens to be more of a technical track that's filled with corners, which really lets you lean as deep as you possibly can and test the limit of the tyre. Due to some unforeseen precipitation around Coimbatore, we got a chance to test the tyre performance on wet and dry surfaces.

We were given completely stock Yamaha R15 V2.0s that were equipped with the new Masseter rear tyre and a normal MRF Zapper at the front. And while we would have ideally preferred to test the front tyre performance as well, for this test we would have to make do with only the rear one. Although, MRF will actually be manufacturing and selling the Masseter tyre in a size that’s compatible with the R15’s front rim as well.

The first few laps around the track were at a pretty slow pace and really gave the tyres the chance to heat up. Thanks to the soft-compound composition of the tyres, they do perform reasonably well when cold, and heat up rather quickly as well. But it would be advisable to give them a decent amount of time to heat up before you try to attempt some more aggressive riding.

After a few laps tailing the instructor and getting a feel of the track, it was time to see what these tyres were really capable of. The R15 is a great handler and all that, but, it just doesn't have enough grunt to break rear traction while powering out of corners. So the only way we could see how much grip the tyres provide was in the braking sections and deep into the corner. Only during extremely aggressive downshifting did the tyres lose a bit of traction; but that was just momentary and the tyres regain grip fairly quickly.

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Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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