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Old 01-20-2004, 07:10 PM   #1
schlong8
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Question Falken ST115 vs FK451 --> opinions, reviews wanted

Anybody have any experience with both of these tires? I'm debating between the 2 of them and found some suprisingly bad reviews on the ST115's, mainly having to do with the wear rate on them.

I haven't heard/read much on the amount of wet/dry grip, NVH compared between the two of them. Haven't found much on the FK451's at all to be honest.

Any help is appreciated. thanx guys.

c
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:51 PM   #2
strider98
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i was interested in the 451s myself
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by strider98
i was interested in the 451s myself
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Old 01-20-2004, 09:04 PM   #4
ripvw
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I have been considering these tires as well. Here is what I found out:

If you visit the Falken Europe website, you will see that the FK451's are their top-rated summer tire. The Azenis Sport is not on the list because it rains a lot in Europe, plus I don't think that the Europeans have discovered the joys of autocross. The ST115 is also not in the lineup of summer tires that I can see. It's high wear rating makes it more of a touring tire - good for straight-line cruising, not likely to compete with the FK451 in cornering wet or dry.

They also have two tire tests from Auto Motor und Sport magazine in both English and German, and another test strictly in German although you can certanly figure out the performance graphs. Here's the link:

http://www.falken-europe.de/enen/con...en.shtml#news1

The test in 2000 was of 17" wet-biased max performance tires including the Goodyear F1 GS-D3, Toyo T1S, and Dunlop SP9000. The much less expensive Falken - at least in this country - was second behind the GS-D3 in hydroplaning resistance, the best in dry braking, and generally performed very well in both the wet and dry. It's weakness was in wet braking - along with the GS-D3. Apparently, what makes a tire good in resisting hydroplaning can make for somewhat longer wet stops.

By comparison, the Toyo did extremely well in the wet on the track, but was the worst at hydroplaning resistance. The Dunlop SP 9000 was the most balanced of the tires, reinforcing GTGuy's good opinion of this tire - at least in the 17" size.

The morst recent test last year was of the 18" sizes, and here the Dunlop fared poorly, pointing out that when the contact patch increases in size some designs begin to lose their wet performance characteristics. The GS-D3 and 451 were the only tires in this size to have exceptional hydroplaning resistance. The Falken still had longer than average wet stopping distances, but perhaps most surprisingly in this size the Falkens actually beat the new Michelin PS2 around the dry track - but not by much. Still, the PS2 in the 18" size is the tire that recently stomped on the S03 and GS-D3 in both dry and wet performance tests on Tire Rack's website. What the PS2 apparently does not do well is the one thing that Tire Rack cannot effectively test - hydroplaning. It takes a special test track for this purpose and the Germans used Continental's test track here in Texas for their testing.

All in all, a very impressive showing for the relatively inexpensive FK451. I'm trying to decide between them, the Dunlops and the Goodyear's - in 225/45x17. The Dunlops are also the lightest tire of this trio, with the 451's weighing in at 26 lbs. or S03 territory - for those that care about such things.

However, no matter which tire I end up buying, based on all I've read I'm ready to declare the FK451 the "wet Azenis". It is a max performance tire and a damn good one.
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:33 PM   #5
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I had the exact same dilema not long ago. I heard a few people say the st-115's "wore like iron" and had decent grip dry and wet. But i still wanted more grip and got the GRB's. They've only been on for a month so I dont know about the wear, but i can tell you the grip wet and dry is excellent. They are also very quiet when cruising and when drifting around corners. Can't wait to auto-x on them. Coming off the stockers, these are a dream come true.


I remember trying to break them loose shortly after I put them on, and when I didnt succeed the first two tries, I had no regrets about the purchase.
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Old 01-21-2004, 12:35 AM   #6
schlong8
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ripvw --> wow, thanx for the info. Good read.

So just for clarification.....if one were to rate the dry traction from highest to lowest it would be:
1. Azenis RS
2. GRB FK451
3. Azenis ST115

Wet traction from highest to lowest would be:
1. GRB FK451
2. Azenis ST115
3. Azenis RS

I'm just taking a guess here from what i've read. Comments are welcome
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Old 01-21-2004, 02:13 AM   #7
ripvw
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your list works for me...

here are two other review threads, both of which started me thinking about the FK451 as an option:

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...&highlight=451


http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...&highlight=451
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Old 02-08-2004, 01:09 PM   #8
Zuffy
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Anyone else have experience with both the ST115 and FK451?
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Old 02-09-2004, 03:26 AM   #9
Bagelw
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I've got the ST115s on my car and so far so good. These are 225/45/17s. I've only had them about a month so I can't say much for tread life but they seem to be sticky on dry pavement. I haven't been able to break them loose yet but I haven't gotten them to the track yet either. For everday driving they seem fine. Very quiet but deliver a somewhat harsh ride because of the thick sidewall. Of course I can only compare them to the stock REs.

I actually plan on buying a seperate set of wheels with Azenis Sports for track days and autocross but I probably wont make that purchase until April so I should get at least one track event on the ST115s before then. I'm somewhat worried about the ST115s being Z-rated and melt if they get too hot on the track. I've had that happen before with Z-rated tires. Definitely don't think I would autocross with these tires because it seems like I heard somewhere that the tread can heat up and fold over itself especially where the rain gutters are.

In the wet these tires are great. The rain gutters seem to work really well. The ST115s of course are horrible in the snow. I made all four tires spin very easily without really trying. Braking was scary. AWD doesn't help there.

I've only had the WRX since November but I had Kumho Supra 712s on my car before and I wasn't all that impressed with them so I figured I would try something different. I love the Azenis Sports so I thought the ST115s would be a good street tire. I'll let you know how they hold up at the first track event in March. Of course, this will be my first track event driving the WRX so I don't know if my review is really worth anything.
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:34 PM   #10
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If the FK451 is that much better than the ST115, I guess I would love to try those seeing that I liked my ST115 a lot to begin with.
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Old 02-09-2004, 04:55 PM   #11
motorcitywrx
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I have the fk451's on my wagon and I have been real happy with them. Excellant street tire. Nothing to compare them too on my car other than the stockers.... but I would buy them again. Excellant in dry and very confident handling in the wet. Good tread wear. Don't try em in the snow tho.
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:36 PM   #12
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