white car with Achilles Tires

Achilles Tires Review 2022

In the 1990’s, various Indonesian tire manufactures began to spring up, utilizing the nation’s vast resources of local rubber. But while the rubber was there, the expertise to turn it into world class tires had yet to be developed.

MASA, a local tire producer, got around this by simply producing replacement tires at first. But a decade after their inception, MASA felt ready to enter the world stage. They did so by founding Achilles, a tire brand specifically started to build tires that rivalled the best in the world.

It took some doing, and about two decades of work, but that dream has largely come true, thanks to international partners, their own development work, and a business strategy that in hindsight looks rather brilliant.

The plan was to use older tech the big names has less use for as they continued to battle each other for supremacy for the top. But Achilles did not intend to be world class by beating the tire giants at extreme performance tires or high end all seasons, but instead in the middle grade, where cost is just as important as performance.

They pulled this off, and now offer middle grade tires for less than half the cost of their mainstream competitors, but with the same level of quality.

Achilles is a seemingly far off dream, realized.

Achilles Tire Company Information & Background

Achilles began as Indonesian tire manufacture MASA’s first foray into building tires for its own brand. MASA originally began building replacement tires in the late 90’s, as Indonesia began more fully tapping into the large amount of rubber resources in the country.

After MASA had been around for over a decade, Achilles was created after an infusion of foreign ideas and technology from the likes of Pirelli and Continental through partnership. Achilles was founded in an attempt to eventually produce world class tires that could rival anything else in the world.

The company expanded rapidly, producing tires for a wide variety of markets and uses, and quickly gaining the attention and respect of the world’s car makers. These makers have included the likes of Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, and Hyundai.

Ferrari even used the company to provide tires for its F430 Competizione cars locally.

Through the 2010’s Achillies continued to gain traction and recognition, using large sponsorships to bolster name recognition as it climbed up to the world stage. Forbes called them a “rising star” in 2014, and around that same time started sponsoring entities like Manchester United and the Bali United Football Club.

In January 2019, the brand was acquired by Michelin, in a move to promote further growth and give Michelin more direct access to the Indonesian tire market.

Achilles Tire Cost & Pricing

When comparing Achilles to more mainstream brands, there is a significant difference in price. For example, for the somewhat common High Performance All Season category in the 245/45-R18 size, a Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grid would set one back 173 USD, before shipping. An Achilles ATR Sport 2 in the same size and category, even with a lower and stickier treadwear rating, rings in at roughly 84 bucks. That’s less than half the Bridgestone’s price. While it is possible the Bridgestone could be higher quality, the price difference is massive. The cost differential, even without a large quality or performance difference, continues into other segments.

Another example would be the light truck highway tires. The Achilles Desert Hawk H-T is roughly 160 Canadian dollars to purchase before shipping, in the 225/65-R17 size. The Bridgestone Dueler H-L 400, in the same size, with a lower customer rating, is over 375 Canadian dollars. Achilles has a knack for producing good quality medium performance tires that outdo their competitors slightly- for less than half the price.

Achilles Tire Warranty

Achilles’ warranties are generally just below industry standard, or exactly industry standard. For the ATR Sport tire, treadwear is warrantied for a year or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Non-performance tires normally have about double the treadwear warranty, but that’s due to them being used far less harshly, and built with less sticky but more durable compounds.

While treadwear warranties for Achilles tires are a little below average, their manufacturing warranties covering catastrophic failure are at least as good as the industry standard, lasting six full years from purchase.

Achilles in general appears to have a rather strict warranty policy, preferring to let the strength of their product speak for itself, rather than advertise extra long warranties in an attempt to convince buyers of the tire’s longevity. Considering the overall quality of their tires, especially for the price, this appears to be a worthwhile tactic. Even though their tires cost half that of other tires in the same performance bracket, they hold up just as well to punishment, whether that punishment comes from potholes, long highway miles, or hard cornering.

Tire Options

Achilles tends to specialize in medium-grade tires, such as high performance all-seasons, light truck highway tires, and tires for commercial trucks and busses. They seem to put more R&D into their tires than some local competitors, and thus manage to get more out of them in terms of performance. That said, their tires are more expensive than the lower end Indonesian brands, largely because of their better construction and higher level of technological refinement and materials science.

This creates an interesting middle ground for them in the global market, putting them squarely above “bargain tires” that exist to fulfill the bare minimum requirements, but just below the mainstream tires made by other companies that invest far more into constantly developing their cutting edge tires in order to stay at the top in competitive market segments.

This means that Achilles tires tend to be the best value in their respective segments, which appear to have been carefully selected to not attempt to rival the high end manufactures, but at the same time soundly defeat low budget tires in terms of quality. In effect, the only thing Achilles tires lack when compared to brands like Bridgestone and Falken is the name, and the price. Everything else, at least in the medium grade segments, is at the same level.

Achilles Tire Technologies & Features

Achilles’ value proposition is largely made possible by their adherence to a middling philosophy when it comes to research and development, along with consistent partnerships with foregin tire companies, who occasionally share technologies that Ahcilles then does not have to develop itself, unlike the top tier manufactures who originally spent the money to create the technologies.

This leaves Achilles tires significantly better off than lower end Indonesian budget tires, but still much cheaper than mainstream top tier tire builders. Current technology that enables this market position includes 3D tread blocks, Polyester cord bodies, and a silica tread compound that is both eco friendly and relatively high performance, especially considering the tires often cost less than half what tires of equivalent performance do.

Achilles Tire Durability & Longevity

While the warranties on their more performance oriented tires might seem lacking at first glance, the overall strategy Achilles has tended to stick to in the segments they choose to build tires for rings true in terms of durability. Their tires are just barely better or at the same level as their direct competitors in the medium grade tire segments, for half the cost. The tires last just as long, and can take essentially the same strain, stresses, and knocks as mainstream tire brands. This includes both normal road wear and more active enthusiast or performance use.

It also rings true for their commercial tires used on high capacity trucks and buses, which have enormous weight strain they must contend with, compared to passenger cars and light trucks.

Overall, when it comes to how tough Achilles tires are, one just need look at the older technology used by Pirelli and Continental from just a few years back, as much of that forms the foundation for Achilles’ current catalog.

Summary & Overall Thoughts 

Achilles is a brand formed to build world class tires, in certain areas of the market. At that, it succeeds wholeheartedly. Achilles tires not only achieve this, but do it at half or less than half the cost of the more storied brands in those same areas of the market.

Whether that area of the tire market is high performance summer tires, high performance all seasons, light truck tires, winter tires, or tires for commercial vehicles, Achilles does indeed build tires that stack up very competently against the biggest names in the world. They do this through integration of older technology and processes that still have value left in them, meaning they have to do far less research and development to achieve the same results as other companies.

But the development they do put forth ensures their tires come in at half the cost of their competitors, while providing very similar value and performance.

Achilles Tire Models

High Performance Summer

  • ATR Sport
  • ATR Sport 2

High Performance All Season

  • ATR-K Economist

Light Truck / SUV / Crossover

  • Desert Hawk UHP
  • Desert Hawk X-MT

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