Why would anyone copy a really bad tyre?
Simple, back in the day there was this trading company in Japan called Marui Ltd./Oriental Boeki. They owned the Tioga name and marketed the products. They had big dollar contracts with riders like Tomac and that helped sell product regardless of how good or bad all of us think it was. Other factories tried to jump on that success with "like" products.
Ever notice how similar many of the WTB tires were to the Panaracer Smoke and Dart?
GT's Spoken here. Current projects: 92 GT Team member RTS-1, NOS 94 GT Edge steel viewforum.php?f=49