MB New Scooter tyre store


TIRED TIRED TYRES.... WE GOT FED UP WITH SERVICE AND QUALITY AND MOVED ON

Here is the story of how we became a major tyre distributor by taking a non named German tyre brand into one of the most popular tyres demanded in the UK, then over night it was taken from us and we lost 1/3rd of our turn over. A very serious problem for the MB Group and something we had to do something about.

I don't think it's a big secret that MB put a certain German Scooter tyre on the map from a unknown brand not sold in the UK to become one of the biggest selling tyres for Vintage Scooters.

And it's no secret that we had problems in business last year! Part of our problems were the UK supply company of our tyres. Once our main contact had retired we instantly had problems with contact, ordering, service and supplies!

There were orders which totaled a 1000 tyres which had been ignored! We had loads of complaints from dealers and we complained and complained to the company. We tried our best, contacted everyone we knew and still nothing happened until after we restructured the company. Finally both parties agreed to move forward which we did for a few good months.

Then out of the blue this year we had phone calls telling us certain wholesalers were also now main suppliers of our tyre brand who were phoning around saying they will undercut our prices! We then found out another dealer got tyres direct from our supply company which we had pre ordered 8 months previous and we had not had one delivery in that time.

To say we were pissed off was an understatement. Everyone was advertising our tyres, even dealers who had not previously sold them. Everyone was undercutting each other, dealers complained to us saying there was nothing left in the tyres and said its not worth stocking them!

When we were sole distributors we could police wholesale and retail prices and everyone was happy. Now it's totally out of control and is becoming a down ward spiral to the bottom.

If someone breaks a hand shake there is no trust left and time to walk away from a deal. It made no difference when I pointed out all the hard work we had done for their company or the fact that we had put their tyres on the market in the UK or all the tyres we had sold or the tyres and inner tubes I had instigated, designed and put into manufacturing!

Then as all this was happening we had nothing but complaints of quality of these tyres and there were failures constantly been reported......... the time was right to pull out, move on and leave all these problems to the shark wholesalers to take over! (It seems this statement has upset a few people, well I'm sorry if it has ....... we can not help it if people complain, complaints come in many forms, email, phone calls and forum threads! I made a statement that people complained, as usual these people have not returned tyres to us so we can not do anything about them. If we had our close relationship broken by the company and have given other wholesalers our job how can we police complaints. It still stands you have to return a tyre to the original seller with proof of receipt and the seller passes it down the line to the manufacturer! We haven't shirked our legal rights but if the complaining customer doesn't bring a receipt or by passes a dealer or says my mate bought it for me or I got it at a parts fair, non of this stands and then there is the worn out in a reasonable time debate which is different! We haven't said these tyres are DANGEROUS or are SHIT we made an observation to complaints. It doesn't mean we have had hundreds returned! In fact we always said returns were as small as 0.1% of tyres sold, it still holds true. The company in Germany has always said if we got a faulty tyre then give them a new one as a replacement! One individual demands a recall and suggests I've shot myself in my own food about dangerous tyres, please give us a break there is no reason for a recall and I don't know of any tyres which have gone wrong through manufacturing faults which make tyres unsafe! ............. I think if you read what I have originally put nothing has changed except I've made it a bit clearer)   

It left us in an obviously difficult position! Tyres were a big part of our business and turnover, over night sales stopped as did turn over! We are still doing our best from the problems of last year, business is difficult this year probably harder than last, this was a kick in the balls.

Me been me made a few phone calls to tyre suppliers and two said 'You are Mark Broadhurst and you are a thorn in our side, your name crops up in every meeting about Scooter tyres and we think you have the majority of sales into the Vintage market' That took me back, not once, but twice. I told them the story and they couldn't believe it. One supplier listened to the story couldn't believe it and guess what? Yeah phoned our old supplier and asked to be a distributor, no friends in business hey, shark!

So as one door shuts, others open, I've learnt that in the last few months!

And this is were we are at now, I'm pleased to say from the lack of service, supplies and quality I'm glad to have moved forward and we have our new SCOOTER TYRE STORE set up and fully working.

We are now Sava, Continental and Heindenau Scooter tyre main distributors for the UK and we are also suppliers for SIP, Pirelli, Dunlop and Bridgestone tyres.

We now offer a whole range of tyres to suit all Vintage, Classic and Automatic Scooters.

We are even having bespoke tyres made for us by Sava to compete with our old suppliers where we have new Sports tyres coming in White Wall. And we are also Sava Racing Scooter tyres were our aim is to be the main suppliers of all Racing tyres in the UK. For the first time we have introduced Super Soft, Soft and Medium compounds in the new Racing MC31 range to compliment the Sava Monsum MC20 as used by most racers already.

The story doesn't end there, we are picking up new contacts and new suppliers and have had meetings with some of the biggest tyre manufacturers in the world. It's exciting and new, we've already seen an increase in new tyre sales with varying fitments to suit a larger range than we ever could offer before. We even offer a fitment service for our tyres to SIP Tubeless Lambretta and Vespa rims.

Hopefully we get back the business we lost over night and get back on track to ride out the storm that threatens us all. I know we are already moving forward, we have large stocks of all brands, models and sizes. Our new suppliers are all 100% behind us to promote their tyre brands, they hold large stocks or can have tyres made and delivered in 3 weeks not the never ending 3 years!

And with these major tyre brands behind us we can assure you of quality which unfortunately in the end we couldn't control with the other brand.

USING THE NEW WEB SITE

As with all our web sites on our MB Group page they all work in the same way. We think a simple way, we try to make things as easy as possible, there are too many web sites complicated to use or just trip over or you get 'sorry we're working on this'

Our simple way to find parts is using the search box. Simply type in part of a word, press enter or go and it will find anything with that part word. Add more of a description to the word or two words and it will refine the search even smaller. You can refine the search by price high to low and low to high.

With the tyre store we have added new 'Filter Searches' bespoke for tyres!

With our last non 'exclusive tyre brand' one of the main reasons they sold so well was most tyres came with a P 95mph speed rating and they basically sold themselves. Shame the quality has dropped in the last year, pointless having a high speed rating if they fall apart going slow!

At the time the highest speed rated tyre that we had come across in 10'' was the Heidenau K61 at M 81mph. What we did with the 'non exclusive tyres' must have rattled some feathers as the major manufactures have increased a lot of the speed ratings on 10'' tyres to L 75mph, M 81mph and P 93mph. It can not be a coincidence and I think it's a pat on our backs for the way we brought a non known brand to the front.

So if you look at our www.scootertyre store.co.uk front page the 1st drop down is obviously brand, but we've been a bit clever and added 'Speed rating' in the 2nd drop down.

Click on it and you will find we have 14 tyres with 93mph mainly from Sava but also from Continental and Heidenau who upped the 350:10 range.

Not only do we stock a full tyre range of P 93mph we also stock 6 M 81mph and 4 with a 75mph L rating really offering a wide range of tyres to suit tuned Lambrettas and Vespas! And non of these include the 'non exclusive tyres' that we dropped.

So where does it leave the 62mph J rated tyres? Are these no good for Scooters? Have a look at the drop down and you will see the famous Dunlop TT92 tyre as used by all the BSSO Scooter racers over the last few years, these boys are hitting 80 – 100mph+ using them. Do they have problems with tyres exploding, no they don't. As far as I've found out speed ratings have a 30% safety factor built into them and I've known my engines doing 120mph+ again with no problems.

So why are they classed as 62mph? Well as far as I can find out the tyre companies asked the Scooter manufacturers 'how fast will these Scooters go' and the answer was 'Oh not above 100kmh' 100kmh is 62mph! And so that's what seemingly happened and tyres have been made with J 62mph on the side wall's ever since! And how do they get a higher rating, I'm told the tyre is run up on a machine to the speed and held for a period, if it doesn't break up then it gets a stamping, job done!

Ok we've got faster speed rated tyres for modern engines but don't rule out the 62mph J range tyres. There are some well made tyres in that range that have been around for many years from some of the big manufacturers and lets face it............ how fast do you really go? I'm told most Scooterists travel at 30 – 60mph well safe and when I ask people 'why do you go so slow on a tuned bike' the answer is 'I get too scared to go any faster on those little wheels'

Drop down 4 is tyre size, try it and you will see we now cover sizes from 8'' to 10'' plus we can also supply any other tyre sizes but at the moment we are specialising in 10'' Lambretta and Vespa tyres. For the first time we now stock tyres for the old timers using 350x8, 400x8 and we even stock the old retro upgrade 400x10 tyres as well as the common Scooter tyres of 300 and 350:10 and also the modern metric sizes of 90/90, 100/80 and 100/90:10.

With drop down 5 we've been a bit clever again, I've looked at all the styles of Scooters and realised people unknowingly class their Scooters into types or applications of use! You can easily identify an old mod Scooter as a Vintage or Classic Scooter as they are often referred to. But us modern Scooterists may preferred our beloved bikes as a Touring or Sports Scooters like the bike world and then we have the Racers either track, Sprinters or Road Race replicas. And then you can see I've added Urban, how many Scooters are used in towns and cities as commuter bikes and these people may not even know of the Scooterist Scene or Mods, they are just sensible forms of transport! Clever hey? Tyres put into application based on the use we using Scooters for!

Following on from application in drop down 6 I've grouped tyres into compounds to give an idea of what I think that tyre suits which gives you an idea of how much life is expected from the tyre! Starting with Super Soft racing tyres ideal for front wheel fitment or sprinting and moving through the Racing compounds of Soft and Medium moving into road tyres with Soft, Medium and Hard.

Imagine 'Super Softs' doing say only 500 miles to 'Hards' doing say 7000 miles. What grade to pick is personal but I always say 'if you use a soft tyre it will grip, there's less chance of a slip and a fall on a corner or in the rain therefore not smashing up your bodywork or custom paint job' just change the rear tyre more often! Makes for a cheap tyre if you don't crash. Pick a tyre to last forever the chances are it will have little grip! It's a compromise …......... grip from soft tyres or no grip from hard tyres! At the end of the day a tyre isn't so expensive compared to a paint job, new handlebars, bodywork or broken bones!

If you are not sure then you can phone the shop 01709 869756 and we can advise on these things.

Lastly we have tyre wall, pick either Black or Whitewalls to suit you and your style of Scooter and there is a drop down for accessories like wheel rims, tubes, slime etc.

On the front of the home page there are logos which you can short cut quickly into the manufacturer. This area will be redesigned soon to look nicer.

Ok pick a tyre and click on it you will now see next to the tyre photo a grid of information all very simple and self explanatory but again new to Scooter tyres everything you need in simple terms at your finger tips! Here's an example.

Scooter Fitment …. Lambretta – Vespa
Speed Rating …. J 62mph
Load Rating …. 46 170kg
Racing Compound ….  N/A
Road Compound …. Medium - Hard
Riding Application …. Vintage - Classic - Urban - Touring
Tube or Tubeless …. Tube Only
Reinforced …. No
Side Wall …. Black Wall

Hover over a photo and it automatically zooms in to see tyre tread details, as with the old tyre site I took all the photos, it's a pain in the arse to assemble and clean tyres and set them up so they all look the same. We did get our design man to cut them out and tweak them to suit the website and new booklet due soon.

And lastly as with our other sites I've done 'related products' similar to the tyre your looking at. 'reasons to buy' and 'tips' and you can 'ask a question' or 'write a review' you can Facebook like it and send a link to a friend.

And off course there is the cost with and without vat and the all important thing you can buy and add to the shopping basket.

Look to the right and there are 'Featured products' 'Reviews' and 'Technical information' which I need to update.

SAVA TYRES


As with Swallow tyres been called slippy Swallows, Sava has a bad stigma from the old days as ditch finders! But why? Well it's based on the old B14 Classic Whitewall tyres. Having talked with the Road importers it turns out Sava made two versions, type 1 for the Eastern block who wanted a tyre to last and were like plastic and then type 2 which the West Europeans required. Some of the Eastern block ditch finders did find the way into the UK. Today we only get the modern correct rubber with the Sava B14's.

Lets look at Savas quality, everyones heard of them but even I didn't know some of these things as I was involved with another brand. Sava make hundreds of tyres for different vehicles and they also make anything rubber, they employ hundreds of people and apart from Heidenau in Germany they are the only European Scooter tyre manufacturer which are made in Slovenia!

Sava make tyres for lots of manufacturers including Dunlop and in 2011 they made 22'000 tyres for a Honda Scooter, they had 2 failures in 22'000 tyres and Honda gave Sava a right bollocking. Wow only 2 in 22'000 trust me that's nothing but it proves the quality that Sava now offer and they even tightened up quality control after that!

There are two Sava importers in the UK, Road and Race and both work with each other and both work with feedback to the factory and both have given us the job to promote the Sava brand in to Scooters. Our aim is to get all Scooter racers onto Sava within 2 years, there are already racers using them as Charlie Edmunds started using the MC31 Softs on the front some time back and most are using the Racing wet Monsum MC20, so part of our job is already done.

Since taking Sava on we have brought in MC31 Super Soft's and Medium compounds which are used in the Italian Race series but never imported into the UK.

Sava like Heidenau also offer full slick non road legal Racing tyres, not allowed on the track but the scrutineers seem to turn a blind eye, not sure whats going on there. Anyway these make ideal tyres to lay down the rubber on a sprint Scooter or make different tyres for a custom bike.

Sava racings history has a Moto GP rider who used to test and develop the MC31's with the UK importers. Early race tyres were the MC18 with a racing compound, today that has been removed as a race tyre and now uses a road compound. I still know of some racers using the MC18 as a rear race tyre. The MC18 looks like a Raceman to the unknown.

Sava have turned the very popular MC20 Racing wet Monsum which has been used for years in full wet weather racing into a road version with a road compound. The Monsum is a similar looking tyre to the Weatherman. These are such a good all round wet weather tyre they are marked up with the new modern 'Snow and Mud' markings making them a full year round tyre even in the worst conditions.

All Sava race tyres are rated at P 93mph, they are also intermediate wet tyres and can be used on the road (apart from the Slicks)

Ideally these can be used for racing in this order





We have been given exclusive rights for both the MC18 Sports Touring tyre and the MC20 Road all round block tread road tyre to be made in Whitewall's as well as Blackwalls.

Sava offer these Sports Touring tyres and are for front or rear fitting and come with a P 93mph speed rating making them a great all round road tyre.


Sava cover all aspects of Scooter tyres from a real full Race tyre to a old timer Vintage/Classic Scooter road tyres. These come in various shapes and sizes. As with the Race tyres they are identified by a number but we have named them to help identification. All Classic tyres come with a J 62mph speed rating.

Sava Classic B13 are an old style small block tread, looking very 50's, 60's and 70's making a perfect tyre for that old timer Vintage, Classic or restoration Scooter or an ideal Urban run around tyre. These come in Black and Whitewalls.


Savas Classic B14 is similar to the B13 Old Timer tyre and is aimed at the more popular larger wheeled Classic and Vintage Scooter. Again they come in Black and Whitewall.



Sava offer a more modern metric tyre in the MC12 and MC13's, still called a classic but uses a more up to date tyre design and tread pattern. These tyres are aimed at small automatics and Small Frame Lambrettas and Vespas.


If you’ve never seen a Sava tyre take a look, the quality is excellent as is back up and resupplies, good enough for the modern racers, good enough for road riders from Vintage to fully tuned engines. And a clever idea from Sava with their Whitewalls is they dye the Whitewall in a blue ink which stops the Whitewall getting dirty when your assembling a rim, all you do once they're fitted is wash off the dye with soap and water.

Sava …............ 'A way forward' NEW from MB Serious Outdoors and the UK's major distributor.

CONTINENTAL SCOOTER TYRES

Continental is a high street name if their ever was one, they have been making Scooter tyres for years.

Their longest lasting and well known tyre is their Original K62 Whitewall and Blackwall an old style Classic looking Scooter tyre for Vintage, Classic, Urban and Touring Scooters. These need no more explanation except they are available in these sizes.


Moving on from the Original Classic, Continental have introduced a slightly more modern New Classic tyre. This also has a small block tread but looks more Vintage in appearance. This is a really nice restoration tyre with a modernised grip yet still looks period. Available in these sizes.


Continental also cater for the older Vintage Scooters with their wheel barrow looking LB type tyres for old timer Lambrettas and Vespas. But these days they are made with modern materials to cope with the modern world.


In the last year Continental have introduced a totally new tyre aimed at long distance high mileage use with good grip and a modern sporting look. These tyres get a new uni directional fitment which means they can be fitted front and rear but on the front to aid how long these tyres will last you can fit them in the opposite direction! Sounds strange but works based on load breaking and water shredding. These new tyres with higher speed and load ratings with reinforced side walls make for great Rally touring tyres and are ideal for all Lambrettas and Vespas. The only downside to these tyres is their name the ContiScooty, great tyres shame about the name....... it's only a name no one sees it when your riding rings around your mates. Available in these sizes


From Touring to Sports Touring tyres Conti offer 3 Conti Twist type tyres aimed at all round Scooter use. All looking similar with cross wrap tread profile like no other Scooter tyre, these tyres stand out in the crown.

ContiTwist's are a harder longer lasting compound which look identical to the ContiTwistSport and it's only the tyre side wall description which differentiates them. These come with a full tyre range so you can use a larger rear with a standard front.

ContiTwist Sport is a medium grip all round tyre offering a bit of the ContiTwist and a bit of the ContiTwist Race. These only come in one size ideal for standard set up Lambrettas and Vespas.

The ContiTwist Race is aimed at racing Scooters but are still road legal, the feed back on the road are these tyres are the bees knees in dry and wet conditions. They look similar to the Twists but have less treads putting more rubber on the road. Again only available in one size.


And thats it from Conti they have dropped the old ContiZippys for more modern tyres yet still keeping the older style tyres.

BRIDGESTONE

Again for most a household name, Japanese by nature and only known for quality. They don't offer a wide range as with other manufacturers but what they offer just oozes quality, we're only stocking the Hoops which come in.

 
They may not have the speed rating like some other tyres but the quality is perfect, these tyres make excellent all round everyday multi use tyres for anyone.The Bridgestone BT39S Scooter tyre is used in many country’s for racing including Japan and Asia. Supplies for this tyre is difficult so we've chosen to not stock it, not from a quality point of view it's just difficult to get them.

DUNLOP

As with Bridgestone a house hold name in racing, Dunlop only offer one tyre worth using and that tyre is the choice of champions. TT range of racing Scooter tyres have been used for years with the BSSO Scooter racers and the tyre has developed through the TT60, TT61 and now in the last few years the TT62. The TT62 has been used for the rear tyre and Charlie Edmunds has won many championship on it. I've used the TT61 on the front racing the IOM TT with no problems in torrential rain or in blistering heat! Some racers still prefer the TT61 but that is not made anymore. The TT62 is a very expensive tyre to buy and difficult to get. But when you have one the quality is again excellent. Dunlop do offer another very good all round road tyre but unfortunately is again difficult to get. Both tyres only offer a J speed rating of 62mph, But good enough for the top race boys then good enough for any Scooter rider who wants to push the limits without worry to how many miles you will get from a tyre! Next year Dunlop are bringing out a new range of tyres including 10'' versions.

  • 350:10 TT62 Blackwall

HEIDENAU

The only scooter tyre made in Germany and as you would expect the quality is 100%. The K61 is a tyre I used on the rear racing the IOM for a week, they are very soft and I shredded the first tyre doing the full TT course keeping up with super bikes. The grip is excellent and holds the road really well. Use them normally and they will last much longer and again work in rain or sunshine. Personally I think they are an ugly tread, but what do I know? If they work as good as I know and you like them then try them out you will not be disappointed. Heidenau have upped their game by making the the K61 into a 93mph speed rating on their 350:10 tyre but kept the 100/90:10 tyre a 81mph rating, still no problem though. Heidenau also offer a mud and snow tyre which at the moment we don't keep but will be doing soon.


MICHELIN


A favorite for Scooterists from day one! They have offered various tyres over many years. Today some of the original tyres have been discontinued and replaced with the tyres available today. Some of these tyres have been around since the 1980's and are still Classic tyres that Scooterists still love and use. Michelin offer excellent tyres to suit Urban town commuting Scooters and are ideal for those long distance mile crunching rally tours. Not only do they offer Lambrettas 350:10 as a front and rear tyre but each range offers a 100/90:10 as a rear tyre to improved handling set up. They also offer a full 300 and 90/90 range for small frame Scooters.

Designed as a race tyre from the 90's the S1 has been a favorite tyre for Scooterists for many uses.

  • 90/90:10 S1 Blackwall
  • 300:10 S1 Blackwall
  • 350:10 S1 Blackwall
  • 100/90:10 S1 Blackwall

 
Available from the mid 80's the S83 has been used by road racers to vintage and classic bikes and forum feedback is there are plenty still using them for many functions.

  • 300:10 S83 Blackwall
  • 350:10 S83 Blackwall
  • 350:10 S83 Blackwall high load version
  • 100/90:10 S83 Blackwall


The SM100 is the latest of the Michelin traditional Scooter tyre range, ideal for all types of Scooters and offer a full size range.



PIRELLI

OEM for Vespa Scooters for many years and loved by most, a thin width tyre which suits the all round used PX styles. A Classic small block thread ideal for all Classic, Urban or Touring Scooters.

  • 300:10 S30 Blackwall
  • 350:10 S30 Blackwall

SIP


Only 3 Scooter shops have ever made real Scooter tyres and had direct involvement in design, testing and production. Im sure someone will come along and argue that statement, hey ho, moving on. Stage 6 in Germany had Heidenau Slick race tyres made, only any good or racing! MB had various tyres designed and made by Swallow for the road as did SIP who have for a few years developed their Performer tyres for road use to work in wet and dry conditions made by V rubber in the Far East. V Rubber do offer good all round tyres and at a very good price and we are looking into selling these. The SIP Performers are ideal for all Small and Large Frame Vespas and Lambrettas. Not only do SIP offer very good tyres they offer the best Tubeless wheels on the market for Lambrettas and Vespas.

  • 300:10 SIP Performer Blackwall
  • 350:10 SIP Performer Blackwall

There's been many a debate over tubeless rims verses split rims. The word Tubeless has been brought down by poorly designed rims from Vietnam and the UK where both manufacturers didn't quite get it right! Really it's the design of the Lambretta hub which works against the design. Ideally any rim would work if the hub studs were 10mm closer together. With the SIP alloy thicker rims they looked out of the box and got it right in a very clever way so hats off to them. Their way means the alloy rims are wider to get the well deep enough to make tyre fitting easier, the only down side is you have to swap the hub studs for longer ones. AF use the same manufacturer but use standard studs and the well is not as big but you can still fit tyres to them if you know what your doing. The same goes for the Far East versions the trick is a warm tyre.

There is a UK made split rim, we had originally started this project but these ended up been dangerous and we stopped having anything to do with them. Vietnam have offered two versions, one with no tyre bead ....... use these at your peril! The second version uses a tyre bead and is improved over version 1. As a customer you have to make your own mind up to whether you use Tubeless or spit rims from where ever these are supplied. As for who made a tubeless rim first, well it's well documented I did a tubeless rim and hub on my 40bhp sprinter in 1997 and I'm sure someone will have done it before me, don't let anyone pull the wool over your eyes that another company did it first........ the Brits did!

Lambretta 350:10 rims


Vespa



And then we have the age old good old standard style split rims and inner tubes.

There will be those who like Tubeless and those who like split rims, whatever you prefer we stock them and to make things easier for customers we also assemble wheels tube and tubeless or you can buy our tyre fitting holder.


Now available free of charge 'the new Scooter tyre store booklet' to get one please email me on mark@mbseriousoutdoors.co.uk

Mark Broadhurst July 2012