1) I'm planning to pick up the Shinko Podium 006's as a replacement for the stock IRCs in advance of the rest of the season / my first track day next month. Motorcyclist had a 2015 tire comparo (first video) that pitted the Michelin Pilot Streets, Bridgestone S20 Evos, Shinko SR 880/881s, Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIs, and IRC Road Winners against one another. The IRCs actually performed OK in this test comparo, coming in ahead of the Michelins (last placed), but behind the remainder. Surprisingly, the Shinkos (#2) and Bridgestones (#1) outperformed the Pirellis.
My OE IRCs are showing some cracking after 4-5 years on the bike, and the rear is approaching the center wear bar. I'll probably hold on to them since they have life left, but I want fresh rubber for the track event. Looking at the Shinko website, and user reviews of the longevity of the 006s, I'm guessing that the 880/881 and 006 use a relatively
similar compound (both are "intermediate" according to their site). Additionally, I can get a set of the 006s (150/60 rear) for about $150 shipped (front+rear). I don't have strong brand loyalty when it comes to tires, and for that price...
2) Why don't I just invest in the equipment to mount and balance my own rubber? I've mounted and balanced car wheels before, when I had access to a balancer, and it's certainly not difficult. Motorcyclist also has a helpful video how to DIY mounting+balancing (second video), and it couldn't be simpler. Cost of all the equipment is <$200 via Amazon.
3) The Shinkos are available in 140/60 and 150/60, not our stock 140/70/17. Perfect opportunity to test the 150/60! Member @sad
seemed more than happy with his Shinko 006s in the 150/60 size, and I am willing to try out the slightly wider rubber given: intake, exhaust, fuel controller, 13t front sprocket on my bike, and the 4" rear wheel (happily wide enough to accommodate the 150 tire) stock on the 300. I am guessing that I will sacrifice some of our bicycle-like turn-in for maximum potential grip.
Will report back.