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Old 10-11-2004, 03:02 AM   #60
Back Road Runner
Scooby Guru
Member#: 60082
Join Date: Apr 2004
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minnesota
2004 Forester STI


#1.) what tire are you offering for review (please include size)
Firestone Indy 500
size: 215/70/R14

Vehicles used on: 1989 Buick Lesabre, 1988 Ford Ranger 2wd

#2.) what is your geographic location
United States, SE Minnesota

#3.) what types of driving events if any (i.e. track, AutoX, RallyX)
No events

However, daily "agressive" driving. I tend to push my cars and tires to and past their limits for fun a little more often than a sane person should. I spend lots of time with the throttle pegged and the car sideways with these tires, lol, not in a bad way.

Conditions experience: asphalt dry/wet, gravel dry/wet/packed/loose rock, winter deep snow/packed snow/icy snow/ice+gravel/ice+asphalt/combinations of all of the above, lol

#4.) percent of highway vs. city driving
50% each

#5.) your review and personal comments
The Indy 500 is a suprisingly amazing tire, more so than you would first expect. Coming from Firestone and all of their tread problems, one would normally be weary. However, after reading all the rave reviews on Tirerack, I figured I'd be fine.

Wow, and squishy?
The first thing you'll notice is their soft, quiet ride or perhaps supple and silent.

The second thing you'll notice when you take your first corner is squishiness? Yep, the sidewalls are suprisingly soft and tend to feel like they roll over quite a bit, although not as much as it feels. Also note, these are 215/70/R14 tires and I was running them at 35psi, a bit below their max 44psi.

The third thing you'll notice is that these things GRIP...on everything! If you can get past the squishy feel and start to really push the tires, they grab like no tomorrow...on everything.

Running a +2ton car at speeds 20mph over posted speeds is a pretty good achievement, well there was that one 30mph corner that I could do +80 around but 30mph was marked a bit safe. I was running Michellin MX4 Rainforce tires previously, and the Indy's could take corners a good 30% higher than the Michellins. All you'd hear was a low hum too. A soft compound means quiet, low pitched squeals too. Oddly, it's not just asphalt they're good at.

Once you hit gravel, they grab like truck tires, seriously! I've never driven so confidently at +80mph down a gravel road. Braking was equally impressive even on loose gravel.

They got switched to the truck prior to winter(car tranny died), so my snow experience is only on the 2wd truck with an essentially 100% open diff. When the snow fell, they went right through. They handled the cold temps quite well too with their soft compound. However, on very packed(icy) snow or on ice, the compound didn't seem as well as Michellin's. This might be a touch biased being my first time driving that truck in winter and the truck being oh so crappy all around, lol.

Final Thoughts:
If you're looking for a seriously grippy tire and still desire a soft, quiet ride, these are probably the number one tire you could ever find. The sidewalls were a touch soft, but being a 70 aspect ratio tire, you'd expect some. As well, going up to 44psi does help quite a bit when I did that on the truck just before I got my Forester. Oh, wear, something I haven't mentioned. These things wear unbelievably well. Short rounding off the square edges of the new tire, they show essentially no additional wear after 1000's of miles, and I wasn't being the least bit easy on them. These will be the next tires on my Forester, period!
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