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Old 02-23-2010, 02:29 PM   #1
Pete Holt
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Impreza WRX STi Star Spec vs. RT-615 vs. NT-05 street/track 09 STI

Leaning toward Star Specs sized 275/35/18 on 18x9.5 Rota DPTs for my 09 STI that will have RCE yellow springs as well as almost all bushings and motor/tranny mounts replaced. The car will be used for about 5-7 track days/yr.

I have used Star Specs in the past and liked them, but did not like how the outer tread blocks are relatively narrow compared to Falken RT-615's. Also considering Nitto NT-05's in the same size. These tires will also be used on the street so I am not quite ready to go to slicks.

Anyone think I will get better performance out of the Falkens or Nittos or is there another tire I am missing?

Thanks
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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The R888's can be driven on the street... you just won't get a lot of mileage out of them. They will perform much better than the three tires you listed.

In the rain the 888's won't be very good if that is a concern.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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The Nittos will DEFINITELY out-perform the Falkens. I just went from Azenis RT615s to the NT05, and the difference is significant.

In fact, I'm getting ready to post up a review between the 2 over the next few days.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:00 PM   #4
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I only auto-x in ST (limited to a 225) but I switched from the 615's to the star specs and never thought about looking back. The star specs communicate with the driver a lot better than the falkens did and seem to have more grip as well.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:07 PM   #5
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Are you using them for drag or track? My favorite tire is the Goodyear Eagle F1 AS. Ya, I know, everyone is going to say, "it's an all season radial!" I know, but it has the best performance I've had out of a tire that can be used for both and it has carbon fiber in the sidewalls. It's super stiff, so you don't get roll on them but then you don't have to worry about changing them out.

I had RT-615's before I put these on and I liked these better.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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RT-615's, the current compound, are crap and shouldn't be used on track at all. The Star Specs are good. The R888 is a decent tire that wears very quickly. The Nitto-NT01 is much like the RA-1 I love. Not used the NT05's yet.

If you want to learn how to drive, I'd stick with either the Star Specs or NT05.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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The Dunlops are far better tires than either the other two. The NT05's are no where near as sticky as the Dunlops and the 615's are old news.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:43 PM   #8
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Star Specs are veryyyyyyyy durable.. but i think for lap times.. the nt-05's are a faster tire, but just dont hold heat as well as the star specs.

615's are fine on hondas.. tracking on them with a subie... no good.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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I've been AutoXing on the Kumho XS's for a season now and I have been impressed with them, especially for the cost (cheaper than the dunlops). They have good initial grip and are great once they get warm; however, they seem to get greasy a bit faster than I would like. I'm going to spend the extra money and get the dunlops next time around to see what everyone else keeps talking about.
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Old 02-23-2010, 03:56 PM   #10
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Just take the 615s off your list. They are cheap, but are 2 generations of tire old.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:14 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the good input. I will be doing HPDE's at different road courses with the STI. No drag racing. I was not sure about the RT-615's since I know a lot of people who use them, but never tried them myself. I will take those off the list.

Are the R888's a near slick like the NT-01? I thought about NT-01's for a while, but I doubt they will be very good on the street and deadlly in the rain. I figure at that point I might as well get slicks. Should I consider the RA1's?

Last edited by Pete Holt; 02-23-2010 at 09:20 PM.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:59 PM   #12
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Don't do the NT-05's. I have a RSTi that I have tracked on NT05's last year at Carolina Motorsports Park and VIR. With aggressive driving the NT05's went away and I had to dial it back and wait for the tires to come back. This was during 30 minute sessions, and It sucks to wait for greasy tires to "come back". I was previously on Yoko AD07's and I liked them ALOT better. While racing a E46 M3 at VIR we were evenly matched but he seemed to have more grip in roller coaster and hogpen. Found him after session and found out he was on Star Specs. I would be glad to sell you some 275 35 18 NT05's, but I don't think yo would like them. R.G.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:06 PM   #13
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The Nitto NT-01 is supposedly the same compound as the RA1 but, alot cheaper. People use full tread RA1's as rain tires. To me, the best thing about the RA1 was how long it lasted for the amount of grip it's got.

If you want to be faster than everyone else, you probably need a real R-comp like a V710 or Hoosier. The RA1/NT01/R888 are barely R comps. They have better stick than summer street tires (like the star spec) but, they have nothing on the real R-comp.

One thing to factor though, the stickier the tires, the quicker your wheel bearings and brakes will wear out. If you just want to learn to drive, I'd stick with summer tires. I use r-comps for things like time attacks (with Emra) but, most of my track driving is on Star Specs.


Quote:
615's are fine on hondas.. tracking on them with a subie... no good.
Not even good enough for hondas.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:14 PM   #14
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NT05s are a great track tire IMHO. I used them for multiple 20min+ sessions and they are really predictable and hold heat well.. You do have to scrub them in before they really shine though. (My first track day sucked w/ them, I used them over six days then they were toast)

I've heard that Star Specs don't hold heat well and are more autox focused. I haven't used them yet though so I can't back that claim up.

Everyone has different opinions on tires though.. and everyone here is at a different level of driving so it's tough to say.. Do forget about the RT615s as they DO get greasy and they are an OLD tire.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:26 PM   #15
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Sounds like the Star Specs still have the edge over the NT-05s. Looks like RA-1s are being phased out. I hope the STI is as easy to drive as the WRX I had for 6 years worth of track days. Hopefully, I do not miss the slicks and coilovers of the WRX...at least in the first year. Any other opinions or tires I should consider before going w/ Star Specs?
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:20 AM   #16
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RA-1's aren't being phased out. After every club racing group that runs RA-1's bitching about how bad R-888's are (and rightfully so), RA-1's are back. Also, the NT-01 has the same compound as the RA-1, just a different tread design.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:33 AM   #17
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i've heard nothing about bad things from all my track buddies about the 888s
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie_B View Post
RA-1's aren't being phased out. After every club racing group that runs RA-1's bitching about how bad R-888's are (and rightfully so), RA-1's are back. Also, the NT-01 has the same compound as the RA-1, just a different tread design.
insert spec miata group here. tripple 8's suck, ra1's ftw

I also say go for the dunlops
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:44 AM   #19
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RT-615's does not give alot of feedback when you reaching the limit, you have to kinda relie on more of the feel of the chasis of the car than using your ears. RT-615's may not be the best bet to learn the limits of your car, but Z1 Star Specs may be a better choice. The other draw on the RT-615 do tend to overheat and get greasy.

The bright spot for RT-615's is they are the cheapest summer tires you can get, but a step behind the new breed of summer tires.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:07 AM   #20
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i dig the nt05s running a bit smaller width (255) but i havent ever had an issue. i have yet to track them. i have taken them on pretty heavy drives on a close road they have pretty good feedback and compared to the old 615 i have been taking some turns 5-10 mph faster. yet to try the star specs, but i have heard nothing but good things from them on any car car. try both... 2 on each side...haha
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:31 AM   #21
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RE-11s.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:50 AM   #22
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Can i ask you what it is your looking for from your tires? and your track experience so far?
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:51 PM   #23
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as many have said, RT-615s aren't in the same league any more because they are just too far outdated. if its any indication, that Evo/WRX super battle series or w/e based in CA has the RT-615s in a class below the NT05s/Star Specs.

the NT-05s and Star Specs are similar in price and performance, but a general trend I have noticed when talking to track people about those tires is that AWD ppl seem to prefer star specs and RWD guys prefer the NT05s. AD07s and RE-11s were also mentioned...they are in the same league, but cost more. My understanding is that the AD07s are the dominant track tire in the class, but a lot of competitors still use the star specs/NT05s for cost reasons given how slight the advantage is in comparison to the difference in drivers' skill out there. The only potenzas I have run in this league are the RE-01Rs from the clearance sale when RE-11s came out...the ones I got were a couple years old, and I was less than impressed. Lots of screaming to let me know I was approaching the limit, but that limit was noticeably lower than the star specs.

Personally, I will be going back to star specs again this season. I loved them on track, and they held up well on the street. Durable for their class on both track and street, yet sticky and heat resistant on track, and the price is right.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
RE-11s.
I'd like to try these but, at $100 more EACH than the Star Specs, I'm not THAT keen to try them.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:36 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Holt View Post

..... The car will be used for about 5-7 track days/yr.

I have used Star Specs in the past and liked them, but did not like how the outer tread blocks are relatively narrow compared to Falken RT-615's. Also considering Nitto NT-05's in the same size. These tires will also be used on the street so I am not quite ready to go to slicks.
here's my 2 cents:

You are member # 12
You tracked your WRX for six years on coilovers.

Why do you write that you are not ready to go to 'slicks' ? Is it a financial consideration or space to store the extra tires/wheels or just don't feel like swapping wheels each event?

In terms of experience you, are ready to handle something like an RA-1 type tire. They are very predictable, durable, fast and can be more fun than street tires, and are sticky until the cords come through.

Have you thought about saving your nice wheels/tires for the street, and get a set of take off STi BBS stockers (the old 17x8s) and run some 245 or 255 RA1s on track. If you run 5 to 7 days a year, you add a decent amount of camber up front ( -2.5+ ), then they would last you two full seasons.

If you run them on the street, you'd get far less than 10K miles out of them, so I would not consider them as a daily drive tire on a heavy car.

I currently have RT-615s now. I got them because they were far cheaper than any other similar tire, and Dunlops didn't come in 275's back then. They were cheap and seem pretty durable.
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