Apollo Tramplr Tyres – Test Experience
Apollo Tramplr Tyres Test Experience
The Tramplr is the first dual-purpose offering from the house of Apollo Tyres
Last week, Apollo Tyres invited us to Bangalore to test their new line of tyres, and I got the opportunity to attend this event and cover it. I quickly confirmed my RSVP and headed out to the lovely city of Bangalore. Before jumping straight into it, let me give you a quick background of the company. Apollo tyres have been around for 50 years, predominantly a car tyre manufacturer, Apollo entered the two-wheeler tyre segment just a few years ago. During the product presentation, there were a few key points that I would like to mention here. Around 17-20 million two-wheelers are sold annually in India. Superbikes (>500cc) only account for 0.1% of the total market share, while premium bikes (150-500cc) stack up to 20% and mileage-centric bikes (<150cc) take up a whopping 80% of the total market share!
With the Tramplr XR and ST, Apollo wants to cater to the premium segment. The ST is positioned for 150cc-250cc bikes and has an 80:20 ratio. While the XR is pitched towards 250cc-500cc bikes and features a 70:30 ratio. Apollo Tyres stated that they have tested the Tramplr models in multiple terrains, and subjected them to extreme conditions before bringing them to the table. For the first time, I have seen such attention to detail in the tyre segment! The compass element on the XRs and the street element on the STs definitely state their purpose!
The entire theme here is to “Go Beyond Sameness”, and it works very well for the kind of product the Tramplr is. Adding on, the XR also has the names of India’s favourite ride destinations imbibed on the sidewall to help you create a bucket list and explore them. Meanwhile, the ST has a graffiti-inspired sidewall to remind you of the modern street culture. Going beyond all this, Apollo Tyres have also thought about the unwrapping experience of the product. These tyres come wrapped in a cloth cover that doubles up as a nifty tool holder that you can hang in your garage! How thoughtful is that?
There was a short ride organised wherein we got to experience both tyres. But before that, there was a briefing session led by Shardul Sharma and Ashish Raorane. They told us the key aspects to bear in mind while off-roading, which was very informative. First was the XR experience and I was happy to ride the BMW G 310 R as my test bike. In the course, there were multiple challenges that really put my skills and the tyre’s capabilities to the test. I was riding through heaps of fine dust in which getting stuck was unquestionable, but surprisingly the Tramplr XR held on rather good as I came out effortlessly. Next up was the slush and mud which was the most challenging part of the test. One has to be extremely careful with the throttle and brakes as one wrong move, and your next destination shall be the bathroom.
Here too, the tyres were quite supportive and helped me get out without making a huge mess. Under heavy braking and acceleration, the tyres maintained good traction levels and did a fair job of keeping up with my expectations. In terms of features, the XR has a nifty list to impress you. It has extended shoulders for better traction when riding on loose surfaces, a W-shaped tread pattern with alternate centre blocks for better water channelling, and a wider contact patch for increased stability. The stone ejectors prevent groove penetration and aid in improving the tyre’s overall lifespan. However, the most noteworthy feature is the steel radial technology at both ends. But, the front radial is only available in 110/70/17 size, which is disappointing.
Apollo’s Tramplr XR tyres are the only tyres in the segment to use steel belted radial technology
The price ranges between Rs. 6,500/- for the likes of the Yamaha FZ and Rs.12,000/- for bikes like the Duke 390. Overall, the XR is a great product and offers good value too. Now that I have covered the Tramplr XR, let me tell you about the Tramplr ST. For this test, I had the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 at my disposal. Frankly, the ST ride experience wasn’t anything thrilling. However, we got to experience the tyre in real-world riding conditions. The streets were full of potholes, and sharp turns accompanied by sand and gravel, which reminded me of typical Indian rural roads. After riding on the tarmac, it was time to do a little bit of off-roading or soft-roading, as I would say.
With only a few dirt patches, the ST’s off-road course was much easier than the XR. Feature-wise, the ST has open-cross grooves to help you ride fearlessly in the rain, staggered central blocks to maximise contact on the street and sandy terrain, and large shoulder blocks to help you provide a good lean angle. One thing to note is that the Tramplr ST is only available in a 17-inch size. The pricing is between Rs. 4500/- and Rs. 6000/- making it a well-priced product.
In the end, my only disappointment was with the bikes provided for testing as they were poorly maintained and were in a really bad mechanical state. The G 310 R that I rode had bad brakes and the clutch was in a miserable state too. I feel that if given well-maintained vehicles, we would have been able to focus our minds entirely on the tyres and not worry about other things. Nevertheless, it was a great event. I learned a lot of new things that helped me understand how much effort and development go into making a good tyre. If you happen to be in the market to buy new shoes for your ride, you should definitely consider the Apollo Tramplr range.