Tyre Review - Apollo Alpha H1
Published On 06-Dec-2022
Apollo Alpha H1 is a performance-oriented radial tyre launched to challenge the established European makes in the market. Here is the complete review of the Apollo Alpha H1 radial.
- Apollo Alpha H1 radial is designed for passionate riders fond of adventure and exploring.
- Sized 110/70 ZR17 for the front and 150/60ZR17 for the rear, the Apollo Alpha H1 is crafted for KTM 390 Duke, Bajaj Dominar and TVS Apache RR 310.
- In terms of performance, the tyre competes against the products from Pirelli, Metzeler and Michelin.
- The tyre features dual-cavity, which in turn, supports handling and gives confidence at corners.
- The Alpha H1 gives a pleasing performance on imperfect roads, with satisfactory grips on dry and wet roads.
- With the tyre, the bike can reach the claimed 270 kmph mark.
- Apollo claims 50 per cent more durability than its competitors, given its puncture-resistant rubber compound.
Are you a regular commuter who rides to and fro from the office, dropping off and picking up children at school and buying groceries daily? Or are you a passionate rider who loves to explore and experience? If you belong to the second group, then this is the place you must stop for a while to read about the innovation that drives your passion and quench your thirst for performance.
Few homegrown radial makers have dared to challenge the established European brands, and Apollo Alpha H1 is one of those tyres that empowers ride quality. The Alpha H1, also the first radial tyre from the company, is meant for performance-oriented bikes such as the Bajaj Dominar 400, TVS Apache RR 310, BMW 310s and KTM family of bikes.
So, in this article, we put to test these radials on KTM 390 Duke and know how they perform in real-world conditions and stack against products from Michelin, Pirelli and Metzeler.
Let’s begin with the handling department. The grip levels of these tyres on twists and turns are amazing and feel upright at both the front and the back. Even the clumsy, ham-fisted attempts at throttle openings didn’t overwhelm the rear tyre of 390 Duke when leaned over. And unlike what the MRF REVZ offers, there isn’t any squeezing or wriggling either.
The dual radii cavity in the tyre offers outstanding sport handling, empowering you to get the desired lean angles with confidence. The handling of the tyre felt better as compared to Metzeler M5s, while the grip is better than Pirelli Diablo Rossi II and Michelin Pilot Sport. The Alpha H1 from Apollo feels planted where these tyres wanted to move a bit here and there.
However, there is a slight complaint, especially with the front tyre, as they need a bit of energy to turn in. And this amount of exertion was, more or less, identical to the W-rated Metzeler M5 we tried on the 2013 KTM Duke. The direction changes were on the heavier side, especially when tossing the bike from one side to another.
Once the tyres were turned in, there weren’t any issues at all. And the same was experienced in the 2017 KTM 390 Duke, where the impact was not much noticeable. But on the flip side, the steering felt heavier, as against running the stock H-rated Metzeler.
Having said that, the steering problem isn’t a big issue in the latest 390 Duke as the steering is known to respond quickly in this bike, something that has caught the attention of both newbies and inexperienced riders. With the Apollo Alpha H1 at the front, the amount of extra effort required for steering adds a fine margin of safety.
In terms of comfort, the Apollo Alpha H1 has impressed a lot, especially when compared to the Metzeler M5s, which offered a bit of hard ride quality. Due to the rigid sidewalls of the M5s, the performance on bad and bumpy roads isn’t comfortable enough. The Alpha H1, on the other hand, feels more flexible when taken over broken roads.
And along with that, they also provide a nice balance between absolute grip and contented ride quality. It also means that these tyres also offer superior performance in daily commutes as imperfect roads are a normal scene in India.
The Apollo Alpha H1 radial tyres are W-rated, and that means they are safe to handle speeds up to 270kmph, which is well above the capability of the bikes it is crafted for. At high speeds, the tyres feel excellent, even at triple-digit speeds. The tyres are designed to ensure the utmost contact patch at all times, and this comes from the enhanced centrifugal force.
Though the amount of effort needed to change the lanes at higher speeds is much more, it isn’t a big issue overall.
While the Apollo Alpha H1 feels quite soft, they are better in terms of durability as compared to W-rated Metzelers, which are known for quick wear. Apollo promises 50 per cent more durability than its rivals, and it is true right to some extent as some feedback from the test drivers suggests that even with 2,000 km of clocks, the tyres didn’t get any puncture, except a few small cuts.
As the Alpha H1 are performance-oriented tyres, they are good at braking on both dry and wet surfaces. The enhanced short-distance braking is backed by V-oriented grooves. However, if you are braking hard, there is a noticeable crush coming from the front tyres. While this does not upset the bike or create any potentially hazardous situation, you do get a brief screech before the anti-lock braking system kicks in.
And despite banging the brakes during panic braking situations, which is normal on highways, the tyres did not get out of shape.
As these tyres are designed for performance, you can't expect much in the fuel efficiency department. And that is understandable as the increased contact patch, and the friction between the tyres do affect the fuel consumption. Also, in terms of weight, if we compare it with the Apache RR 310’s stock tyres, the front one is heavier by 300gms, and the rear is by 500gms.
So, the difference in the overall weight also affects the fuel economy.
Apollo Alpha H1 provide a decent balance between the grippier and rigid W-rated Metzeler Sportec M5s, and the more flexible but dull H-rated units. At the price of Rs. 4950 for the front 110/70 ZR17 and Rs. 6250 for the rear, they are a much better option over the H-rated Metzelers, as the latter is a popular choice among cornering enthusiasts.
For those looking for durable tyres and taking their bikes for daily commutes, and occasionally indulging in cornering tricks on the weekends, the Apollo Alpha H1 does make sense.
- Looking for new Apollo bike tyre? Find a dealer near you
Source - Zigwheels