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Old 04-06-2005, 10:47 AM   #1
knphee
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Default Review of Winter Tires

Now that Spring is upon us, I'm sure most of us have taken off their winter wheels and slapped on their summers....so let's here your review of your winter tires...

I personally had new Kumho K19's this winter and was really impressed with the traction on snow - the tread pattern is really aggressive so really nice on soft and packed snow. There were a few times I went to an open road and slammed on the brakes to see how much I skidded and it was amazing to see it was like stopping on dry pavement. On ice, I was a little disappointed - I didn't feel as much grip as I would have liked but then again if it's pure ice, probably wouldn't make a difference (i didn't put studs in the tire). The downside was the rocks/gravel that the tires picked up - with the tread being so aggressive I would hear rocks/gravel hit the wheel wells. If I didn't have mud guards, my side skirt would be all chipped away. I only put about 7000 kms on this season so I'll be slapping these back on in october!

gc
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:21 PM   #2
tora
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I will be getting Bridgestone Blizzak WS-50's for this coming winter (hopefully a long long ways away). I had Kumho KW-17's and although adequate I was not impressed.
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Old 04-06-2005, 01:47 PM   #3
Okeo
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I'd be interested to hear about the new Nokian RSI tires... especially from someone who has had some Hakka Q's before. I like my Nokian Hakka Q very much, they are excellent in the snow, and not too bad on ice (for a non-studded tire). I think my Q's still have one more winter in them (that will be their 4th!), but I am already wondering what I will be buying next. I'd buy the same thing again, but they don't make them anymore...
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:14 PM   #4
Flexx999
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I have the Toyo Garit HT's. They where excellent the first year on snow and ice. This second season after some wear I could really notice the traction difference but they where still good. On the dry they handle crappy, and throw the rocks pretty good to.

So over all rating:
Snow - excellent
Ice - ok first year, fading fast second year
Wear - good, still has good tread life after 2 seasons
Price - kinda pricey tire.....just under $800 for 4
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:19 PM   #5
pinkrobe
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After another winter on Hakka Q's, I'm pretty choked that they are discontinuing them. It's such a great tire on snow and ice, and the treadwear has been fantastic. At their current wear rate, I should see 4 seasons for sure. It doesn't hurt that winter in Calgary can be as short as 4 months [or as long as 8]. I don't know anyone with the Hakka RSI, but it looks like it would work. For teh X-treem winter driving, I'd think about Hakka 2 without studs...
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:46 PM   #6
Tricky
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I grapped a set of Kumho KW17s at the beginning of the season. Not an overly aggressive tread, but worked great for Vancouver winter and trips to the mountains.
Lousy for RallyX on ice... But that's kinda what I expected!
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:16 PM   #7
ShawnRS
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I have the Nokian NWR's on 15". Had no problem during my stay in Fort Saint John. Since I have never tried the Hakkas out I can't really compare then with a true snow tire. They just seem to be really good at everything. Okay maybe on ice they are a little weak.

Shawnrs
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:00 PM   #8
John Vanos
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I would highly recommend using the Yokohama Iceguard IG10. They were a fantastic tire in all conditions esp. hard packed and ice. They suffered a bit in deep stuff but all ice tires do. Better than the Hakka's IMO. A great tire that lasts forever! Im on the 2nd season on them and they are still soft and have lots of tread depth on them. I also drive close to 50,000km per year so they havent been sitting in the garage!
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:58 PM   #9
Daz
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I have Kumho KW19's on our TS. They're still on there, as we both work at a ski hill and it can still snow anytime...

On snow, they're unreal-good. In deep unplowed parking lots, I have pushed snow with the hood. On ice, they're not great, but better than the factory RE92's. We had one early morning drive up the hill where we had freezing rain followed by rain fall over top of already compact snow/icy roads. We got up the hill before the sand truck, and the roads were so slick that cars would come to a complete stop, then slide off the crown of the road into the ditch. In 18 years of driving, I have *never* seen roads this slick. The KW19's didn't help in this stuff (but maybe if I had studs... )

I also find these tires somewhat squirrely driving over 110km/h on the highway. For example, hauling along the #1 west of Calgary at 130km/h with a gusty crosswind can get rather sporty. Then again, the tires are 185/65R15's as opposed to the factory 195/60R15 stockers, so taller/skinnier doesn't help.

Great winter tire for not much money.
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Old 04-06-2005, 09:28 PM   #10
GC84ever
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I used Dunlop Wintersport M3s.
Great tire. lots of traction on regular and packed snow. Ice can be a bit tricky, but then again it's ice so I would think most would just slide anyways. But the dry traction of this tire is very good, superior to my stock RE92s. Since we didn't get as much snow as other parts of the country, most of my driving was on clear streets. But when it snowed my M3s showed their true worth. I would Highly recommend them to anyone.
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:02 PM   #11
4banger
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Blizzack LM25's Z rated. Nice tires. 5000kms so far on them, took them off too early though, Dooh! I thought they were great in deep snow, not bad on ice and on the dry highway 160kms no problems the side walls seem great.
I'll see next winter for tread wear etc. Pretty $$$ though. I'll probably try a different brand once I replace just to compare.
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:43 PM   #12
TSer
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Nokian Hakka WR's have been exceptional!
Extra siping is great in snow, and don't wear on the dry pavement like Blizzaks or other softer tires.
These were affordable tires that I would recommend to anyone who wants the best of both worlds-A great winter tire that is capable in the snow and ice, but doesn't wear out quickly when the roads are dry.
Plus they look great!
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Old 04-07-2005, 05:35 PM   #13
wrxer12
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Nokian RSIs
What an incredible tire!! Having ridden on excellent winter tires before, comparatively, these tires are in a league of their own. One of the only tires that can give you almost full braking while on ice. This has to be the closest to if not surpassing some studded tires. The confidence level you have with these is so inspiring, you forget you're driving in winter conditions. I had a few opportunities on wide open snowy roads to WOT through the first 3 gears, not a hint of wheel snip and in full control. I would say that my 5-60 times would be the same as on dry pavement.
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Old 04-07-2005, 07:26 PM   #14
syncros
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For a less expensive option, I like the Motomaster Nordic Icetrack tires. I've had these as my winter tire for the last three winters in the stock MY00 RS 16" size; for the price, they do a commendable job; I always had good traction when driving at reasonable speeds for the conditions. They have a decent speed rating (i.e. no special soft compound) so I don't mind driving for weeks at a time on dry roads (which is often the case in southern Alberta during the winter).
Thanks,
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Old 04-17-2005, 01:18 PM   #15
photog72
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Damn, coming up and visiting QC from Philly, every 3 out of 4 cars (right now) has snow tires still on! I didn't realize it was such a big business here. In Philly and the suburbs, it seems all-season tires are good enough for the winter. It's funny seeing Lincoln Towncars with snow tires, as they aren't a common sight in my area. I had contemplated getting snow tires this winter, but the all-seasons served me fine. Now to put on the summer tires.
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Old 04-17-2005, 05:15 PM   #16
Okeo
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Well, even for Canada, there are a lot of people with snow tires in Quebec. I believe it has the highest percentage in the country...

I will say this for snow tires: sure, one may think that they can get by with all-season tires, and they probably do. But the day that they actually try winter tires, they will be wondering why they haven't bought them before. It is a night and day difference... especially if the all-seasons are not brand new.
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:44 PM   #17
photog72
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If you lived in my area, you'd see how efficient the cities are in clearing the roads of snow. Plus, we don't get the amount of snow you do. Therefore, using all-seasons works for me. If I had a FWD or RWD, I'd seriously consider getting snow tires.

OT: I am in Quebec City - wow! Beautiful! Time to rake a trip to the west coast of Canada.
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Old 04-17-2005, 08:14 PM   #18
Jitenshakun
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I had Michellin Alpin Pilot PS2's and they worked out pretty good. Maybe not as sticky as other tyres but when it was +5 or +10 I could still drive my car like an STi. As well,I'd say there about 35% down, which isn't too bad given all the wamr weather we had.

I don't want to give the impression that they aren't vey good tires. I went ot Louise the day after they opened the highway after all that wicked ice rain (Golden was still getting food choppered in) and I was good to go. I don't think the roads could have been any worse and the car was fine.

All in all I'm pretty happy with my decision.

-J
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Old 04-18-2005, 06:29 PM   #19
bigbear522
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GC84ever
I used Dunlop Wintersport M3s.
Great tire. lots of traction on regular and packed snow. Ice can be a bit tricky, but then again it's ice so I would think most would just slide anyways. But the dry traction of this tire is very good, superior to my stock RE92s. Since we didn't get as much snow as other parts of the country, most of my driving was on clear streets. But when it snowed my M3s showed their true worth. I would Highly recommend them to anyone.

I have these also and they are night and day difference with the RE92. I had good traction the whole winter.. I got these at just over $800.
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Old 04-18-2005, 11:01 PM   #20
F1WRXRACING
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Awesome thread..

I've driven on the Nokian RSi, WR's and Hakka 2's. I drove the Hakka 2's for most of winter 2003, including up to a rally. The tires were awesome in deep snow, and icy roads. Of course, driving on dry roads wasn't enjoyable, but they do a great job on the snow.

The RSi's for last winter were amazing also. I can't draw any real comparisons between the two, since there was a huge gap between driving the different tyres, but I like the RSi's a lot. I was able to drive the rally roads with much more confidence (also, an extra year of experience helps).

The Hakka 2's seemed better in the deep snow, but the RSi's were better for the Ottawa climate overall, plus the rally/snowy times.

The WR's are pretty impressive in the winter. They're not comparable to the RSi's or Hakka 2's, but they seem to be better than most of the competition. They're not as good on really cold icy days as the other tyres, but they're all studless, so what can I expect.

The WR's are also decent in the summer. Comparing them to the Toyo T1-S (soft sidewalls ) they're not much worse. They wander on the highway a lot more than a proper summer tire (duh) and they have a low speed rating. I'll be using them for a 7000km trip, and see how they hold up.

Thats all i've got.
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:08 AM   #21
ksnh
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I ran (4) studded Nokian Hakkapalitta II's (185/65/15) for two New Hampshire winters on a 1.8T VW Golf. They were great in deep snow, and very predictable and controllable on ice. Handling was marginal; somewhat squirrelly on-center but kept an "ok" line under moderate cornering. Dry and wet braking was also marginal, with most blame going to the studs. I found the ABS more than once under relatively moderate braking. The combination of aggressive tread and studs made conversation nearly impossible at 70 mph.

Overall winter performance was good enough to make me consider going the two-wheel-drive route when buying a new car last month, but I wound up going w/an AWD Legacy. I suspect that AWD and 45 (or 50) series 17" snows won't be a whole lot better than the Golf/Hakka combo!

I checked internet tire retailers for best price, and then found a local full-service tire shop who cut me some slack off full retail. Not cheap tires, but not Michelin-priced, either.
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