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Old 12-10-2001, 02:56 PM   #1
veloLexus
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Default Yet another tire choice thread (hopefuly with new questions)

After doing countless searches all over the place I'd almost reached a decision but of course I still don't have enough information so here's my deal:

I'm looking for some great summer tires. I need to use them as daily drivers and for autocross. I've decided to stay G-Stock Novice err... D-Stock novice for next year as I need a little more practice (I'd also like to see how the new categorie changes affect attendance of the stock vs. other classes) so that means I need a tread wear rating of 120 or higher. As I will be using these tires as daily drivers as well I also want them to be relatively quiet and I want good performance in the rain.

It seems as if Kumho ECSTA 712s and the Falken Azenis were by far the most popular. Most of the searches I did came up with the Kumhos vs. the Falkens. My question is as follows: Are these tires that great for the application of both autocrossing and daily drivers or... are these tires that great >>>for their price<<<??? It seems as if both offer tremendous bang for the buck but I'm not convinced that they will yield the best times on a SoloII course, or be the best choice for daily drivers. In Luke's top 5 list he replied to a post which inquired about why Kumhos were not on hist list and it simply came down to lack of performance.

Price is a concern for me, I'd like to keep it to $120.00 per tire but I haven't ruled out something more expensive yet if I feel the gains are definitely worth it (keep in mind that most novices will most likely be competing on stock rubber). The Pirelli's would fit that bill.

One final note, I've done searches elsewhere as well and I was interested to find that Subie owners (especially WRX owners) seem to have different tire preferences than the rest of the world (Subie owners seem to lean more towards tires with stiffer sidewalls where on other cars it doesn't seem to be as big of an issue).

Finally... with respect to Luke's list are the Max performance tires (specifically on his list) always going to offer better performance than the ultra high performance or is there some overlap???

Thanks, Joe
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Old 12-10-2001, 03:21 PM   #2
TimStevens
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Well, I just finished a season with 712's, and depending on your priorities, they're a great tire. For me, they were perfect. It was my first season autocrossing, and my budget was tight. I picked up the Kumhos because I wanted a little more grip and because they were cheap. I was surprised to find them in very acceptable condition at the end of the season, with plenty of tread for maybe another two seasons if I treat them right (regular rotations). Their grip was decent, wet-weather grip was very impressive, and the tread wear prooved to be better than comprable tires (RE 730).

However, I ran against a guy with the Falken tires once, and he appeared to have a definite grip advantage. I don't know how the wet-weather performance is on those tires, or how well they'd hold up after a year or two's abuse, but they were definitely stickier.

Hope this helps to some degree...

-tim
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Old 12-10-2001, 03:25 PM   #3
mitch808
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I can't comment on which tire is best as there are so many to choose from..

But one thing I can offer is that the tread wear rating is not a standardized rating. Each manufacturer has their own method of marking their tires. Be warned, one manufacturers 180 rating is different from anothers.
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Old 12-10-2001, 04:09 PM   #4
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the Kuhmo 712 are a GOOD tire for a GREAT price

the Azenis are a GREAT tire, for a GOOD price. (if performance is all you case about)
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Old 12-10-2001, 04:23 PM   #5
veloLexus
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Quote:
Originally posted by mitch808
I can't comment on which tire is best as there are so many to choose from..

But one thing I can offer is that the tread wear rating is not a standardized rating. Each manufacturer has their own method of marking their tires. Be warned, one manufacturers 180 rating is different from anothers.
Thanks, I am aware of this. I'm actually quite surprised that the SCCA uses this as a standard considering treadwear is to some extent an arbitrary number (ultimately they don't have the resources to do the testing required but I think no R compounds would be more reasonable than specifying a minimum treadwear). My only concern w/treadwear is that the number is 120 or higher so it is legal for novice competition.

Thanks, Joe
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Old 12-10-2001, 04:32 PM   #6
veloLexus
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Quote:
Originally posted by TimStevens
<snip>
However, I ran against a guy with the Falken tires once, and he appeared to have a definite grip advantage. I don't know how the wet-weather performance is on those tires, or how well they'd hold up after a year or two's abuse, but they were definitely stickier.
-tim
Thanks Tim. I've read several posts that suggest wet weather performance with the Falkens are less than stellar. I've also heard that they are fairly noisy so for those two reasons I've pretty much ruled out the Falkens. It would be different if I were shopping for an autox only tire but, these will be my daily drivers too.

On the bright dide of things no matter what I cgoose it will be IMPOSSIBLE to do worse than RE-92's.

Joe
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Old 12-10-2001, 04:34 PM   #7
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Joe, I'll just add Ive been running the falkens for a couple thousand miles now, through rain numberous times with no issues.

they are VERY STICKY on wet roads.

the only concern is deep water. But so far ive hit none deep enough to cause concern.

Quote:
Originally posted by veloLexus


Thanks Tim. I've read several posts that suggest wet weather performance with the Falkens are less than stellar. I've also heard that they are fairly noisy so for those two reasons I've pretty much ruled out the Falkens. It would be different if I were shopping for an autox only tire but, these will be my daily drivers too.

On the bright dide of things no matter what I cgoose it will be IMPOSSIBLE to do worse than RE-92's.

Joe
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Old 12-10-2001, 08:53 PM   #8
cfwdfw
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If you haven't ... I'd suggest you consider the Firestone Firehawk SZ50 EP ... a very good performance tire in dry and wet ... quiet too ... and a very capable tire for autox and track events ... but more money than other tires ... you can look up more on these tires on tirerack as well ...

There are any number of club members using these tires and very happy with them ... and I'm one of them ...

Charlie
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Old 12-10-2001, 09:26 PM   #9
veloLexus
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Quote:
Originally posted by cfwdfw
<snip>... a very good performance tire in dry and wet ... <snip>
Charlie
Seeing as where you're from I'd classify you as an expert on wet weather tire performance . I spent 90 days in Woodinville on business a few years ago and it rained EVERY day. In fact... SEATAC should have rental boats, not rental cars.

I hadn't really considered the Firestones but that gets back to my question of how much overlap is there between max performance tires and ultra high performance tires? Unfortunately Tire Rack's tests aren't controlled enough to compare across tests.

C ya, Joe
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Old 12-11-2001, 12:44 AM   #10
cfwdfw
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Default overlap between Ultra and Max ...

Hi Joe,

Say ... thanks

I presume you reviewed Luke's post : tires .... which ones are the best ... dated 6/22/01 ...

In shopping for high performance tires for the mix of driving that I do ... back roads, dirt, gravel, autox and rallycross and some track ... it was Luke's suggestion to go with the SZ50EP over the pure Ultra high performance tires including the SO2 ... I did and I'm very pleased with them ...

I dont know that this will answer your question but it's apparent to me that there is some overlap depending upon what one wants from their tires .... if this is a burning question for you ... call and talk with Luke ... I've found him very open and knowledeable about tires ... and that should help ...

One of the autocross folks that I spent a fair amount of time with this year invested in a new set of SO2's for his Miata ... very good tire ... but he preferred the older SO3 over the SO2's ...

Those who've driven my car ... have been very impressed with the firestones ... course the DMS golds help too....

Pat Olsen ... "legendary legacy autocrosser in New England area" also has lots of good things to say about the SZ50 EP's as well ..

cheers

Charlie
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