Tyre maker Ralson India Ltd, manufacturer of the Ralco tyre brand and a firm that calls itself “India’s fastest growing automotive tyre company,” has entered into an agreement to acquire rights to the Dunlop name in India. The company intends to produce premium Dunlop tyres for the powered two- and three-wheeler segments at its Kot Panech plant in Punjab.
The Harley-Davidson Sportster S is one of the most anticipated motorcycle launches of 2021. Continuing a Sportster saga that began in 1957, the all-new S model is one of the most powerful bikes in the Harley-Davidson range. The manufacturer tasked Dunlop with developing a tyre designed specifically for its needs, and the result is the Dunlop GT503. The tyre features a new construction and compound, as well as aesthetics to complement the Sportster S.
Dunlop is to act as an official sponsor of the 2021 FIM International Six Days of Enduro (ISDE). After a gap of one year, the ISDE returns with a demanding route in Italy’s Apennines Mountains between Lombardy and Piedmont. The 95th edition of ISDE begins on 30 August and will feature 29 competing nations and 200 teams, including eight national teams in the Women’s World Trophy.
Two motorcycle tyre tests from PS. The German sports bike magazine took a look at slick pairs for professional riders in its 6/2021 issue, and followed this up by looking at four brands of track day tyres in its 7/2021 edition. The PS testers declared Dunlop and Continental the respective winners.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries has begun supplying the Dunlop Enasave EC300+ to Lexus for certain versions of its first all-electric model, the UX300e. Meanwhile, Hankook Tire shares that it will equip the 2021 Honda Vezel hybrid for the Japanese market with its Kinergy Eco² tyre ex works.
A new test by German motorcycle magazine PS has declared Dunlop the top slick track tyre following an extensive test. The magazine chose the Dunlop KR106 (front) and KR108 (rear) pairing as the overall winner in its comparison of seven different track tyres. The PS test crew used a Honda Fireblade SP at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, home of MotoGP’s Catalan Grand Prix. The results were published in PS (6/2021) as part of its Pro-Slick Test feature.
Five-time Isle of Man TT winner Peter Hickman has announced a deeper relationship with Dunlop Motorcycle Europe that will include an Official Brand Ambassador role, adding to his duties as a Dunlop test tyre rider.
The FIM Moto2 World Championship’s teams will be able to test Dunlop’s new soft rear tyre during practice and qualifying at Jerez this weekend. Dunlop says the in-event test will help new riders and teams get accustomed to the softer end of the Dunlop Moto2 range, which hasn’t been used since last October’s Teruel Grand Prix. It will also provide Dunlop with data on how the Jerez surface has evolved since its resurfacing in 2018.
Dunlop has expanded its Mutant range with the introduction of two new rear sizes, enabling 142 models to use the “world’s first crossover tyre” for two-wheelers. The new 150/60ZR17 and 160/60ZR17 sizes cover a comprehensive range of bikes covering the naked, roadster and crossover sectors.
Dunlop has introduced the SP346+ steer tyre for “fleets and hauliers who demand a wide variety of performances in all on-road applications”. According to the company, the Dunlop SP346+ features a range of technologies designed to achieve high mileage, robust durability and improved fuel efficiency or low energy consumption for electric vehicles. It offers advanced winter grip, “making it a tyre for all seasons and all purposes” in Dunlop’s words.
On yer bike. Dunlop Motorcycle Europe has revealed its new brand attitude, with which it aims to encourage motorcyclists throughout Europe to ‘Just Ride’. This new brand identity encompasses all aspects of the Dunlop Motorcycle Europe brand and has already been implemented on its website and social media channels.
Murray Walker, whose voice became virtually synonymous with Formula One, has died aged 97. Walker commented on his first Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1949 and became a full-time F1 commentator in 1978, a position he held for the next 23 years. Such was the esteem in which Walker is held within the Formula One fraternity, a constellation of racing stars have celebrated his life. Following the news of Walker’s death, which was announced over the weekend of 13 and 14 March 2021, seven-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton summed up their words: “The iconic voice of our sport and a great man, thank you for all you did, you will never be forgotten”.
Following last month’s preview of the 2021 report, Brand Finance has released its full Tyres 10 ranking. According to the 2021 table, the tyre sector has taken a hit over the last year, with all 10 brands losing brand value. Brand Finance unsurprisingly puts this decline down to the pandemic-related behavioural changes: “Owing to the lack of travel due to lockdowns, car sales are declining, which means tyre brands are selling less units, resulting in a drop in market equity across the industry. Furthermore, since the economy has been riskier in general over the past year, investor risk has increased, triggering a rise in the cost of capital.”