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doc_speeder
doc_speeder New Reader
7/10/10 1:20 a.m.

On a reasonably light car like say 2300 lbs, is it a bad idea to run some of the more durable R compounds as a daily driver? This car would likely see about 5000-6000 miles per season. I'm thinking NT-01, RA1 etc. How much faster would these wear compared to some of the max perf street tires like Hankook RS3, Yok AD-08 etc? Size would likely be 205-50-15. This is assuming a street friendly alignment, front drive car, modest power - say less than 150 hp.

NYG95GA
NYG95GA SuperDork
7/10/10 5:36 a.m.

Wouldn't recommend it. They cost more, and wear more, and can suck in the wet.

DeadSkunk
DeadSkunk Reader
7/10/10 7:41 a.m.

With ultra high performance tires readily available in wear ratings higher than 200, I wouldn't. I ran my autocross tires on a VW GTI years ago, and it was entertaining, but they did wear quickly. A full tread RA-1 would be OK in the rain. I ran them as rains on my SpecMiata without issue.

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
7/10/10 8:37 a.m.

Put me in the "That's a berkeleying horrible idea" camp. 2300 lb. car + R comps + 70mph + slightest bit of rain = driving a berkeleying jet-ski.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
7/10/10 9:05 a.m.

There's the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) which will help you make a decision. It goes with a treadwear number, traction letter, temperature letter. A typical street tire might go: Treadwear 400, Traction A, Temperature B.

Most R comps (such as the Kumho V710) are ~30 treadwear. Each 100 of the TW rating is roughly 10,000 miles, that means ~3000 miles expected tread life. Add to that the need for a lot of camber to get the best from them and I have to come down on the 'nope, wouldn't do it' side even before the rain issue.

The 'Traction' letters A,B,C indicate the straight line wet weather traction. The 'Temperature' letters A,B,C indicate the tire's resistance to high temperature use (extended high speed driving). BTW, the V710 is rated 30/C/A. That means it wears quickly and the wet weather traction sucks but it's very resistant to high temperature problems.

The Falken Azenis RT615 is rated at 200/A/A and might be a better choice.

Tyler H
Tyler H Dork
7/10/10 9:45 a.m.

R comps aren't as puncture-resistant either. With the quicker heat cycling from daily driving, they probably will lose performance quickly too.

Possible liability issues if you hit someone?

Besides...there's no rationale to explore the difference in performance thresholds between a max performance street tire and r-comp on public roads.

All that aside, I put them on my MR2 and drove it about 10 miles to the local drag strip a couple of times. Local import night at the drag strip makes for a good/cheap dyno.

NOHOME
NOHOME Reader
7/10/10 10:06 a.m.

Did this for about 10 years with the Miata and the MGB. $$ was not an object and I did not mind replacing tires every year on the stree car and every two years on the MGB.

Was it an affectation? Bling? Yeah, I would say so, since you have to be insane to push the envelope of these tires on the street. On the street you never drive to the point where the "good" bit of these tires comes out to play. You do however, have the downside of hydroplanning and cold tires at your disposal 24/7. Come October here in Canada, I would know it was time to swap tires when I took the first turn at the end of the block and the rear would step out on the cold tires!

I have since switched to Falken Azenis for all of our cars and much prefer them. Drove to Toronto yesterday in a monsoon downpour and never a worry about skatting around in the deep puddles. Still get the high traction and silent cornering that I learned to love with the R compounds.

NYG95GA
NYG95GA SuperDork
7/10/10 10:08 a.m.

Once I drove the 70 miles to an autocross on Yoko A032Rs, mostly because I was to lazy to carry them down and change them at the track. It was nice and dry on the way down, and no problem. On the way back, I ran into a brief shower. My knuckes were whiter for that few miles than they had been all day at the track.

Full tread would likely be OK, but R tires don't stay there long. Another vote for RT615s...

Will
Will HalfDork
7/10/10 10:15 a.m.

I've been caught out in the rain between days at National Tour autoXes on Hoosiers. It was absolutely terrifying each time. When A6s hit a painted line that's wet, they sound like a cat being disembowelled, and you're just a passenger at that point.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
7/10/10 10:25 a.m.

Every last person who's posted ahead of me is wrong! (how's that for throwing down the gauntlet). I've run RA1s on the streets on light cars and high HP cars for years. They work very well. They are great in the rain and wear, while greater than a true street tire are totally acceptable.

I would not recommend an 888 or other similarly tread challenged tire on the street in the rain.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
7/10/10 10:45 a.m.

RA1s are pretty much my only choice in a street-ish tire anymore for my car, so i'll be running them when the car hits the street again next year.

245 width RS2s on a 2200-2300lb car was scary in the rain in the first place. I doubt it'll be THAT much worse.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar SuperDork
7/10/10 10:52 a.m.

I was daily drivin' my e30 on NT-01's when they first came out. They lasted a lot long than I expected. Oddly enough, rain wasn't a big deal even once the "tread pattern" was gone.
If I had to tell you the worst thing about it, they don't work until they're hot, so there really wasn't much extra grip. That is unless I spent a solid minute or two driving like a complete butthole. Which, I'm told, you're not supposed to do on the street.

fastmiata
fastmiata Reader
7/10/10 11:52 a.m.

Back when Bridgestone aka Firestone got out of road racing, there were mass quantities of RE-71's available as full tread R street tires. We ran them on everything from RX-7's, Miata's and my wife's Altima. They were great until the weather turned cold(a relative term here in Tn) and the tires got hard. You couldnt even back out of the garage in the snow.
I have a set of the RS-2's on the GTO and just had to swap them out during the months of January and February to the stock rims/tires. I havent had any issues in the rain.

forzav12
forzav12 Reader
7/10/10 12:21 p.m.

I drive nearly all my "sportscars" on R tires. The Cobra runs on Goodyear roadrace tires, the vintage Italians on Michelin repops. I've been caught out in rain in the early 911-not as bad as I thought it would be. On lighter cars the wear is poor but acceptable to me. I'm willing to accept the increased expense to run R tires in exchange for the fantastic grip and feel. Of course, weather isn't much of an issue in socal.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Reader
7/10/10 1:26 p.m.

Hmmmm, some interesting answers in here...

UTOG treadwear has nothing to do with ACTUAL wear... EXCEPT...(for example) Kumho's 100 rating means any Kumho with a different rating would wear @ the difference between the rated tire, and a Kumho 100.

A Kumho 100 does not and likely will not equal any other manufacturers 100 rated tire.

In simpler words Bridgestone, Kumho, Goodyear, Falken, and every other tire makers 100 does not necessarily equal each and every other companies 100.

Concerning which compound to run.... It all depends on what your intended use is... light cars can usually get away running softer compounds. 2300 is relatively light. Buy a set of what you want... judge from there... if they last long enough... you are happy... if not, there are MANY alternatives... choosing can be part of the enjoyment

triumph5
triumph5 Reader
7/10/10 5:00 p.m.

From experience: I had lots of explaining to do as to how a "bald" tire was still legal, when pulled over for a blown taillight. The Ct. officer was not convinced they were legal until "we" pointed out the DOT legal stamp, and thankfully, there was a Tire Rack ad in my car showing the tread.

NOHOME
NOHOME Reader
7/10/10 5:11 p.m.

Like I said, 10 years and maybe 5 different brands. So it could not have been too bad.

My point is that nowdays we have tires that are better suitedfor those of us who are willing to live with low tread life on the street. I like the Falkens because they have 90% of the autocross tire's advantages and none of it's side-effects. I do agree that hydroplaning was not the problem most imagine, or I would not have kept this folly up for 10 years.

Vigo
Vigo HalfDork
7/10/10 6:56 p.m.

Isnt GRM streeting nt-o1s on the white golf?? I thought i just read that.. and they said it was working out so far.

Ive thought about doing the same thing with some 225/45-15 nt-o1s on my aries.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
7/10/10 7:09 p.m.
oldeskewltoy wrote: Hmmmm, some interesting answers in here... UTOG treadwear has nothing to do with ACTUAL wear... EXCEPT...(for example) Kumho's 100 rating means any Kumho with a different rating would wear @ the difference between the rated tire, and a Kumho 100. A Kumho 100 does not and likely will not equal any other manufacturers 100 rated tire. In simpler words Bridgestone, Kumho, Goodyear, Falken, and every other tire makers 100 does not necessarily equal each and every other companies 100.

That's why I said EXPECTED tread life. Tires are all tested on the same equipment, tread wear data is collected and then extrapolated to an approximate tread life number. That number is most definitely comparable all across the range of tires and manufacturers, that's why it's called Uniform Tire Quality Grading. A Bridgestone 100 can most certainly be compared to a Kumho 100 can be compared to a Michelin 100 etc under ideal conditions. Sumitomo's explanation is one of the best: http://www.sumitomotire.com/tireabc/utqg.aspx

But conditions are never 'ideal'. Real world numbers will most definitely differ from car to car, driver to driver and even from city to city. For instance: the sharpness of the aggregate in paving materials has a big impact. Annual rainfall makes a difference (water lubricates rubber). The number of curves in the average road of a given area makes a difference.

Lugnut
Lugnut HalfDork
7/10/10 9:06 p.m.

I'm running RA1s on my Miata all the time. Even in the torrential downpours we've had lately, RA1s at full depth are better in the rain than my top with lots of holes in it. It's nice not having to swap out tires for each event, and they wear hard, for such sticky tires. I want to get a set for the Swift, too!

gunner
gunner New Reader
7/10/10 10:08 p.m.

Just from personal experience after the last autocross of the year(november) was cancelled two years ago due to lack of people showing up, me and two other auto-xers decided to do the local "loop" in 30 degree weather with heavy rain turning to ice drops, I was staying with a newer VW GTI with me on 195/60/14 rt615 falkens leaving the third guy in a bmw 325i hydroplaning on r compounds trying to keep up with us. The kicker? I was driving a 2001 corolla. Great tires make all the difference.

cliff95
cliff95 New Reader
7/10/10 10:27 p.m.
carguy123 wrote: Every last person who's posted ahead of me is wrong! (how's that for throwing down the gauntlet). I've run RA1s on the streets on light cars and high HP cars for years. They work very well. They are great in the rain and wear, while greater than a true street tire are totally acceptable

I'd agree with you, a couple of years back I ran the RA1's on the neon for the summer and into fall - the commute was shorter then it is now or I'd run them now too - I thought they were above average in the rain or wet pavement.

In standing water they were poor, same in heavy rain - but highways around here move at 30km/h (~15mph) in any precipitation that you need to use your wipers on, so it's not a big deal to not be able to zoom through standing water.

Now I'd think A6's or 710's would be a different story as they would heat cycle much faster then the RA1

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
7/10/10 10:55 p.m.
Jensenman wrote:
oldeskewltoy wrote: UTOG treadwear has nothing to do with ACTUAL wear... EXCEPT...(for example) Kumho's 100 rating means any Kumho with a different rating would wear @ the difference between the rated tire, and a Kumho 100. A Kumho 100 does not and likely will not equal any other manufacturers 100 rated tire.

That's why I said EXPECTED tread life. Tires are all tested on the same equipment, tread wear data is collected and then extrapolated to an approximate tread life number. That number is most definitely comparable all across the range of tires and manufacturers, that's why it's called Uniform Tire Quality Grading. A Bridgestone 100 can most certainly be compared to a Kumho 100 can be compared to a Michelin 100 etc under ideal conditions. Sumitomo's explanation is one of the best: http://www.sumitomotire.com/tireabc/utqg.aspx

The Act may call it a UNIFORM Tire Grading, but it is anything but uniform. The first poster was correct you cannot use that number to compare different manufacturers tires, only tires within a specific manufacturers line up.

Keith
Keith SuperDork
7/11/10 12:15 a.m.

The tire of choice at the Targa Newfoundland - until the 2010 rule change to 140+ UTQG - was the Toyo RA1. And that's a race that can get pretty cold and pretty wet. I run RA1s on a couple of my cars and it's pretty normal for at least two of the cars at FM to be tooling around on the Three Streetable R Comps: the RA1, the R888 and the NT-01.

On wet pavement, they work well. On water, you need some tread. And in my experience, they also last longer than a set of RT215s while providing a whole lot more grip.

Jay
Jay Dork
7/11/10 2:18 a.m.

I used to occasionally run A032Rs on the street. They did fine in thick downpours, even when they were down to only 1/3 tread left (got them half used anyway.) A few guys in my old autocross club figured that Kuhmo V710s were still faster on wet pavement than streets (even good ones) but those wouldn't work where there's actually some water depth.

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