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Old 11-30-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
VTrider36
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Default Ultra Performance tires and gravel

I'm looking into buying my rex some new shoes and i'm thinking of Dunlop's Direzza star specs. My question is how do these kinds of tires (with large tread blocks, performance compounds and few grooves) handle on dirt?
My house is off of a 1mile dirt road with hills and a usually loose gravel setting. Do these tires have less grip on off-road surfaces? dangerously poor traction, or just less than awesome?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:43 AM   #2
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dangerously poor. but it isn't like you can't drive around it. just drive according to that particular set of conditions. they will also not like the cold. the dz101's are fine, but the z1 star spec rubber is very high performance and needs heat (hence the summer only rating). i loved mine in the snow, but i enjoy slipping and sliding, keeps you on your toes!
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:43 AM   #3
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Much less grip, but it's not excessive. The main thing you notice is floating at higher speeds since you're skipping over the loose gravel. A little wheelspin clears that right up. I wouldn't worry about it; be aware of the tires but otherwise drive normally. FWIW I run starspecs and am comfortable getting sideways with them on gravel.

The soft compound is actually good for the surface once you get down past the loose stuff. Even gravel rally tires are made from race rubber.


EDIT: I completely disagree with oldskoolWRX. Summer tires can even be the right choice for rallycross sometimes, depending on the surface. Also, euro rallycross is typically done on tarmac tires as the loss on the dirt is not nearly as big as the gain on tarmac.


EDIT again: obviously they won't work in the cold or in snow. I don't think that was the question, though.

Last edited by sniper1rfa; 11-30-2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:53 AM   #4
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<- Not an expert but plays one in commercials when paid to.

But my best guess is that they would handle like slick tires on dirt. I know the stock Dunlops from my '11 don't like dirt roads very much.

Ultra performance tires are meant to be as slick as possible and give max dry traction by sticking to a high friction surface (tarmac/concrete) with just enough groves in it to pass a DOT inspection and wick some water from the occasional car washing puddle away.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
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fwiw I've driven a ~15 mile section of logging track a couple of times on Hankook R-S2s (when I didn't have time to swap out to something more suitable)

this is graded gravel but it tends to wash into quite deep gravel in the corners - and also gets quite washboarded

definitely floaty - I don't think I'd want to do it every day, got to stay pretty alert
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:20 AM   #6
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they work fine on gravel except they pick up rocks and toss them at your fenders like mad.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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That's true, I forgot about that. I once broke a guy's windshield because he was following too closely on a gravel road. He yelled at me as if I could do something about it.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:13 PM   #8
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well thanks gentleman, much appreciated.
I'm sure its not that bad in gravel, but i do live in VT where cold might be an issue... and i loathe my winter tires so i keep my summers on till october.
Shall i find some tires with some more conservative tread patterns to be on the safe side?\
But i want that grip so bad...
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTrider36 View Post
well thanks gentleman, much appreciated.
I'm sure its not that bad in gravel, but i do live in VT where cold might be an issue... and i loathe my winter tires so i keep my summers on till october.
Shall i find some tires with some more conservative tread patterns to be on the safe side?\
But i want that grip so bad...
you have snows and want max dry performance. pick one of these 2. they are the best and are fine for "normal" driving on gravel. you wont regret either one!

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....el=Ventus+R-S3

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....t+Z1+Star+Spec
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTrider36 View Post
and i loathe my winter tires so i keep my summers on till october.

In new england the cold isn't really a problem, honestly. If you swap in october you're in the clear by a long way. I only swapped a couple weeks ago. Besides, you need to downgrade a looong way to get any meaningful cold weather performance. Have fun with your sticky rubber.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa View Post
Much less grip, but it's not excessive. The main thing you notice is floating at higher speeds since you're skipping over the loose gravel. A little wheelspin clears that right up. I wouldn't worry about it; be aware of the tires but otherwise drive normally. FWIW I run starspecs and am comfortable getting sideways with them on gravel.

The soft compound is actually good for the surface once you get down past the loose stuff. Even gravel rally tires are made from race rubber.


EDIT: I completely disagree with oldskoolWRX. Summer tires can even be the right choice for rallycross sometimes, depending on the surface. Also, euro rallycross is typically done on tarmac tires as the loss on the dirt is not nearly as big as the gain on tarmac.

EDIT again: obviously they won't work in the cold or in snow. I don't think that was the question, though.
hahaha! thanks for disagreeing to agree! re: drive according to conditions!
yes rally tires are made of race rubber, but also don't have as flat tread blocks. see the snow part of my post, but way to be contrary!
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F3nris View Post
<- Not an expert but plays one in commercials when paid to.

But my best guess is that they would handle like slick tires on dirt. I know the stock Dunlops from my '11 don't like dirt roads very much.

Ultra performance tires are meant to be as slick as possible and give max dry traction by sticking to a high friction surface (tarmac/concrete) with just enough groves in it to pass a DOT inspection and wick some water from the occasional car washing puddle away.
you shouldnt post things like this because

the above is just wrong in many ways

WAY-WAY wrong
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:42 PM   #13
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i love when my thread attract uncle scotty.
makes me feel special, even if its not my post...lol
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTrider36 View Post
i love when my thread attract uncle scotty.
makes me feel special, even if its not my post...lol
my experience with off road here in florida is mostly sand/gravel and I have not had too bad of luck with my UHP tires on sand

I have gone places with my car that had the local rednecks
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:08 AM   #15
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Funny thing is the soft compound actually conforms pretty well to gravel, so the tire doesn't actually end up too slick. Most of what a high performance tire lacks is the tread block design to really bite. You get the soft compound conforming some over the gravel to give ok operation, but you never really get any serious bite from the tire. Gravel pick-up is dependent on the tire used. I have RE01R, and that does not throw rocks. A different brand/model may be very different though.
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