The Kountach from Kenda is a performance-focused clincher road tyre that aims to provide a complete package of low-rolling resistance, low weight, confident cornering grip and reliable puncture protection. All these qualities often don’t go hand in hand, but Kenda – a brand not well known for its road tyres – has done a good job of finding a balance, at a reasonable price.
The Kountach uses Kenda's R2C dual compound construction: a softer rubber (featuring a textured surface) is used on the sides for increased cornering traction, while a harder, smoother rubber in the centre aims to provide faster rolling, improved durability and greater cut resistance.
A small ridge between the two compounds takes some getting used to, but this proved to be a non-issue once we learned to trust the tyre. The cornering traction is confident and only on the wettest of roads did we feel the tyre’s limits: compared with the popular Continental GP4000S, the Kountach doesn’t feel quite as secure.
There is a slight ridge between the two compounds – although in practice it doesn't create any handling issues
With a 120TPI (threads per inch) casing, the ride quality is reasonably supple and further assists the smooth centre tread to create a fast-rolling tyre.
Sitting beneath the top tread is Kenda’s Iron Cloak Belt – a lightweight puncture protection layer. As with similar race tyres, this puncture protection is kept light by just protecting the treaded part and leaving the sidewall fairly vulnerable. While not exactly a definitive test, we didn’t get any punctures during our testing, even after purposely taking on a few high-speed pothole rollovers and glass-strewn commuting roads.
We tested the 700 x 23c version, which holds true to its claimed size. At 201g (193g claimed), the Kountach is at a respectable weight given the puncture resistant belt.
While secure, the bead isn’t overly tight and so installing and removing the tyre is done without hassle – this is a positive as replacing a punctured tube in a hurry is kept simple.