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Old 11-12-2012, 09:55 AM   #1
bidaci
Scooby Newbie
Member Sales Rating: (3)
 
Member#: 291519
Join Date: Aug 2011
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Suburban Boston
Vehicle:
2011 OBS
Black

Thumbs up Nitto Motivo Review

I was lucky enough to be asked by Nitto to participate in their trial of their new Motivo Ultra High Performance All Season tires. I won't bore you with the specifications and technical information, as that can be found on both http://www.experiencemotivo.com/home and http://www.nittotire.com/Tire/motivo websites.


About me: I am 51 years old. I am a salesperson and I drive 12,000-15,000 miles per year in my vehicle. I travel highway and rural roads, as well as city driving. In the time that I have had these tires I have driven in a multitude of weather from heavy rain (2-3 inches/hour) to beautiful sunny 90 degree days. I have also autocrossed these tires in our local road tire class. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to drive these in any substantial snow fall yet. Free tires are not as important to me as good tires. If these were bad, I would give them up in a heartbeat. But these are keepers so far!


I have a 2011 Subaru Outback Sport and was researching this type of tire when this opportunity fell in my lap. I have had the Nitto Motivos now for ~3000 miles and what I can tell you so far is that as an everyday tire, these are wonderful and I am extremely pleased with them. They are supple, quiet and grip the road well. During torrential downpours I experienced little to no hydroplaning, and felt in complete control of the vehicle. In hot, sunny days they don't feel greasy. They handle expansion joints and potholes without any jarring and stay planted on the road. I can drive hours without hearing or feeling the tires. They are a pure joy for day to day use.


For the average consumer this is where the review would end (but please read on). I stated previously that I autocross in a road tire class. So off to the track I go with my Nitto Motivos. At the initial event I was disappointed in the tire but, in all fairness, the tires were so new (300 miles) they had not had the time to scrub off and wear in. Also trying to establish tire pressures for the event proved interesting. Between the newness and trying to dial in the tire pressures it caused a lot of frustration. At each subsequent event though the tires came around. I found that the factory recommended tire pressures where just about dead on for everyday driving and I only needed to add about 7 lbs for competition. I won't try to compare these to full on UHP summer tires, as that is not what they are and they cannot truly compete with them. They can perform well though, I have enough traction to get the inside rear tire light. The transition from grip to slip is gentle with plenty of warning. The autocross test, while not important to everyday driving, does push the tires and vehicle to the limit. This test shows what the tires will do in an emergency situation on the road. My feelings are that there will be no surprises in a panic situation. Yes the tires can be overwhelmed, but will do so in a predictable manner and will regain traction quickly.


Alas, I have not had the pleasure (or displeasure) of driving on these in any real snow. We did get a light snow fall (~3 inches) the other day, but it melted on the streets quickly. Pulling out of my driveway I did notice the tires seemed to shed the snow out of the treads easily and left a very noticable tire track. What does this mean? Not much, other than it does look like they actually will work in the snow more than the actual tread leads you to believe. Once I get out into a real snowstorm I will be able to report back in more depth on its' snow capabilities. I have my reservations on snow handling, as any tire that has performed this well in the summer traditionally leaves a little to be desired in winter.


At this time, I would say that the Nitto Motivo is an excellent 3 season tire (4th to come) and for the daily driver I would highly recommend these. I would go as far as saying I would buy these for the other cars in my household. If you are looking for the ultimate in traction, these are not for you. You shouldn't be looking at all-seasons anyway. But for a do it all tire? So far, so good.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:53 AM   #2
bidaci
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Member Sales Rating: (3)
 
Member#: 291519
Join Date: Aug 2011
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Suburban Boston
Vehicle:
2011 OBS
Black

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After putting ~24k on these tires, I have to say I still love them. Since my last review I have obviously had an opportunity to drive these in the snow and get some insight into their capabilities. Now before I go any further, remember these are Ultra High Performance All Seasons and are not meant to be “snow” tires. That being said I have mixed feelings on the snow performance. Up here in the Boston area we pre treat our roads prior to snow fall and don't send out plows for less then 2 inches of snow. This makes traveling interesting no matter what you have for tires but it is that 2 inch slushy goop that is the worst. This is where the Motivo's have the most issues. Even with the AWD I found the tires to pack up and get squirrelly. I would be concerned if these were on my wifes FWD car but it is manageable in the AWD. Surprisingly, once I get to untreated fresh snow the tires pick up again. For example, a hell ride home in the slush only to be greeted by 8 inches of fresh snow in the driveway. Expecting to be stuck at the bottom of my hilly driveway, I chugged right up it without issue. I am guessing it is the small voids that have the issue with the slush but are deep enough for fresh snow. I cannot fault these tires for the so-so slush performance as these are not snow tires nor are they aggressive AS tires. These are UHP AS tires meant to be better in the dry then snow and they are.

Back to the nice weather and they are still a pleasure to drive on. As a comparison this summer I decide to keep my Extreme Performance Summer tires on between a few autocross events to have something to compare them to. The Motivo's are not EPS tire but are very capable UHP AS tires. The EPS tires are noisy, harsh, follow imperfections in the road and are just not a comfortable tire for daily driving. Putting the Motivo's back on after using the EPS tires really shows the strengths of these tires. They may lack the ultimate grip that the EPS tires do but there is enough grip for anything that you should experience on the road. They grip well, are responsive, do not follow road imperfections, they are quiet, supple and inspire confidence in daily driving.

So, I have put these through the harsh New England winters, Torrential rain and flooding, hit potholes that would swallow a small dog, hot 90+ days of summer, wet leaves in the fall and they have survived. As an Ultra High Performance All Season they live up to their name. If you need more snow capabilities then a UHP may not be what you should be looking at. If you are in a nicer climate with occasional snow these will work wonderfully.

The Nitto brand tires intrigue me. If they only had an NT05 in my size I would even give those a try next year on the AX course...
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