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Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
3/28/10 8:36 p.m.

Well, it's past tire-time for the Esprit. Blatant picture whoring of the last set of tires going into CO2 to help Global Warming, I mean Climate Change:

Tire choices are kinda limiting. The OEM tires are:
F: 195/60-15
R: 235/60-15

You can't get a matched set in that anymore. The factory sez to put 225/60-15's on the back 'cuz there ain't nothing else to match a 195/60-15 front. Well, right now, I have 195/60-15 on the front and 245/50/15 on the back, different brands. Yokos on the front and Dunlop on the back. Handling is pretty neutral, but they are getting hard and way too thin now. Some time ago, I bought a set of 16" rear wheels off a SE model for the back to open up my tire size choices.

Doing some searching on GRM ADVERTISERS The Tire Rack and Discount Tire Direct, (SUPPORT THE ADVERTISERS), I came up with:

* Front: 205/50R15
* Rear: 245/50R16

Fuzion ZRi
BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S
Kumho Ecsta ASX

which is about it for a street tire. There's some Hoosier R6 track tires in 205/15-15 / 245/50-15, but I dunno about buying those for the street, and they cost twice as much.

I'm looking for a good street tire that I can also run on the track occasionally. I can only afford a track day about every other year or so, so it's not like that's a primary concern, but I want the ability to do so anyway. Let's say secondary concern. My last set of tires, especially the rears, went through two track days and about 8K miles. I'm on the wear bars. Esprits are very hard on rear tires.

So, any comments on the Fuzion ZRi, BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S, or Kumho Ecsta ASX? Are they all good? Any particularly better or important to avoid? Didn't I read about Fuzion in The Mag a few issues ago? As in "New Tire Coming Soon" or something like that? What about the Kumho Ecsta ASX? Does it hold up to sort of daily driving OK? I mean, really, no one DD's an Esprit, but we all like to drive them to work occasionally.

friedgreencorrado
friedgreencorrado Dork
3/28/10 8:48 p.m.

I really can't help, but also can't pass up another opportunity to say that I never thought I'd see the day a 15" rim was considered "small".

Otherwise, I've heard good things about Ecstas in the wet (on the street).

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/28/10 9:21 p.m.

Isn't there a 245/45r16 that is the same OD as the 235/60r15?

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy Reader
3/28/10 11:17 p.m.

I feel your pain. I'm trying to figure out whether to buy 17s for my 82 Camaro- I ran out of good 235/60 15 choices about a decade and a half ago, now 245/50 16s are almost as hard to find. Problem is I really like the GTA wheels on the car right now.

As to your question, I have found that, dollar for dollar, Kumhos are a good deal.

As an aside, does anybody else expect to see a porn site with KUMHOUSA.com?

bluesideup
bluesideup New Reader
3/28/10 11:28 p.m.

I had those same BFGs on my 911 in 205/55R15s on the front and 225/50R15s on the back. Over all I thought they were a great tire with decent wear and grip. Of course there are tires out there with better stick but as you've found out they are either really expensive or not available in a 15" rim.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
3/29/10 8:45 a.m.

JB, there's a Fusion ZRi in 205/50-15 and 245/45-16. I'm not locked down on overall diameter. I have a Dakota Digital speedo and I can recalibrate it anytime I want, but I do want to try to keep things close to stock and somewhat balanced for handling purposes. That is, I don't want +2% front and -4% rear, for example. Da Boz in Hethel put a lot of work into the chassis and it's best to try to keep it about like they designed it.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
3/29/10 9:02 a.m.

245/45-16 opens you up some other possibilities...

Out of the original three tires you listed, i'd vote for the ASX. I've never had good luck with Fusion tires.

Take what i say with a grain of salt, though, because the GRM's darling of cheap street tires, the Ziex, i HATE with the passion of a thousand firey suns. So i'll likely be the minority in hating fusions.

Matt B
Matt B Reader
3/29/10 9:23 a.m.
93celicaGT2 wrote: Take what i say with a grain of salt, though, because the GRM's darling of cheap street tires, the Ziex, i HATE with the passion of a thousand firey suns.

The Ziex 912's seem to work pretty good for a dd tire on my 2300lb MR2 - decent grip, great wet weather behavior, long life. However, they SUCK at autocross. Immediately greasy and seem prone to hairline tearing, maybe chunking eventually. If they held up better, I might consider them a good learning tool, but alas I think it's time for a devoted autox set. For those reasons I'm not sure I'd trust them to a full track day. Just my experience though.

I'm no help with your other choices.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
3/29/10 10:39 a.m.
Matt B wrote:
93celicaGT2 wrote: Take what i say with a grain of salt, though, because the GRM's darling of cheap street tires, the Ziex, i HATE with the passion of a thousand firey suns.
The Ziex 912's seem to work pretty good for a dd tire on my 2300lb MR2 - decent grip, great wet weather behavior, long life. However, they SUCK at autocross. Immediately greasy and seem prone to hairline tearing, maybe chunking eventually. If they held up better, I might consider them a good learning tool, but alas I think it's time for a devoted autox set. For those reasons I'm not sure I'd trust them to a full track day. Just my experience though. I'm no help with your other choices.

That's what i have on the Escort, and they're flat out scary. Squishy sidewall, awful in the wet, and i'm sorry, but a stock Escort should not have straightline traction issues in the wet until halfway through 3rd gear. That same stock Escort should not be able to burn through 1st gear in the dry. There's still decent tread on them, too.

I would rather drive my 2300lb Celica on 245-width RS2s in horrible rain than this damn Escort. I can't wait for my girlfriend to decide what wheels she wants to put on the car, so i can ditch these damn tires. I think the Nexens on the MX6 are better.

Matt B
Matt B Reader
3/29/10 4:18 p.m.

Yeah, the sidewalls don't compare to the good summer tires, but I'm running a 205/45/16 so I don't get much flex anyway. I'm surprised to hear yours don't do well in the wet though. Mine are still pretty new despite some abuse and they pretty much plow through standing water. My MR2 has usually felt at least a little skittish in the wet, but since I fitted the 912s it's been damn near confidence inspiring. However, this is my first set, so they might not age/heat-cycle well - how many miles on yours? Tread depth?

Funny, this isn't the first time we've had different experiences with a particular mod/product. Maybe I'm just not hardcore enough.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
3/29/10 6:18 p.m.

I'm not sure how many miles are on them... they were on a set of wheels i bought for the car. Tread depth is probably 50% left, and i'm not 100% sure how old they are.

I hated them brand new on an EG hatch as well, though.

I think i'm just weird, it's probably not you. I also prefer RS2s to RT615s, and apparently that's unheard of as well.

GlennS
GlennS Dork
3/29/10 6:38 p.m.

Screw tires. The obvious best bang for the buck performance mods you could make to your esprit at this point would be a giant wing and RC antena

mw
mw Reader
3/29/10 7:22 p.m.

I'd get some Toyo R888's 245/45/16 rears and your choice of 195/55/15, 205/50/15, 225/45/15, 225/50/15, 235/50/15 for the front. They will be way stickier than any of the above tires. Im not sure about the fusions, but the other two are all seasons! on a lotus! Thats just wrong.

Edit I`m not sure why my post looks like this

Matt B
Matt B Reader
3/29/10 7:30 p.m.

I so much prefer the clean lines of Hess's Esprit compared to the lower body work they used on the later models.

Those wheels on the anniversary model are the secks though.

Let's see how many times I can post in this thread and still not address the OP's question . . .

WilberM3
WilberM3 New Reader
3/29/10 7:34 p.m.

i'm having a tough time finding 225/50/15 tires for my M3... i went back to 15" K1s (from 17s) 5 years ago because the 16" size hardly exists and there were TONS of 15s available. there's almost nothing now.

we used to put asx's on a lot of bmws as an all season if the driver wanted a cheap 3+ season tire. they arent a bad driving tire, reasonably grippy all things considered, but we did see a lot of them wear funny/faster than we'd have expected, usually on 5 series (factory alignment has quite a bit of -camber). i have one as a spare in m3 as its cheap and bidirectional.

Matt B
Matt B Reader
3/29/10 7:43 p.m.

I like mw's idea the best by far. Screw all-seasons unless you want to drive the car in below freezing temps quite a bit.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
3/29/10 8:24 p.m.

Looks like the Toyo Proxis cost double the Fusion, BFG or ASX. I think that's a bit much for a mostly street driven tire. How long would a R888 last on the street? Keeping in mind that my last set of tires went: 16K on the front Yoko's and 8K on the back Dunlops, with 2 track days in there, maybe 2 hours on the track at Hallett. If I could get that out of the R888's, I'd consider it. Do they do OK if you let them sit for a week or two between driving? Or a month over the winter? I really don't drive it in the snow, but do get caught in the rain occasionally. I try to avoid the rain. I also live down a half mile of dirt road, so if rocks stick to them like gumballs, that won't work out too well either. And if it's 23F and dry out, will they stick?

The Fusion is a "summer" tire, but the only hands-on review we've had (93celicaGT2) didn't like it. But then, he hates everything. They are cheap, though. Would they chunk under a 3K lb car on a track? Get greasy after 10 minutes?

If I went 225 wide at the back, some more possibilities open up, but I sure like that 245 wide on there now. Puts the power down. (Silly GTO's, can't keep up with a Lotus on the turns...) There are some summer tires in 225 wide, but how would they compare to a 245 wide "ultra high performance all season"? How would the "all season" Kumho and BFG's compare to the Fusions?

Man, this is a tough decision. I'm tempted to just blow the thousand and get the R888's, or blow the four bills and get the Fusions.

Incidentally, Matt, my car is exactly as Peter Stevens designed it. Everything after that was someone else cobbling on more crap.

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
3/30/10 6:44 a.m.

I ran Avons on my Rover-engined Esprit; medicore.

I've been running the ZRi on several cars (wife's daily driver E30 convertible, my Bitter SC) and I have to say I'm pretty impressed... very impressed when you factor in the price.

While not as ulitmately sticky as some of the options (so not my first choice in a track tire), it has very good wet traction, communiative feedback, consistent and predictable breakaway. And decent cold weather performance (though I'm usually already on snows before it gets really cold). All of which I value highly in the real world.

I have not run them on the track, so I can't tell you how they behave when really heated up.

I would have to assume that the ZRi would be head and shoulders above any all-season tire anywhere except cold weather. (I do have a set of all seeason HRi's on my kid's Capri.. better than average H-rated AS tire, but nothing special). I've always liked the Kumho summer tires (like the MX) but the AS tires, like the HRi, have always felt sort of "average".

Bill

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim Dork
3/30/10 7:08 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: How long would a R888 last on the street? Keeping in mind that my last set of tires went: 16K on the front Yoko's and 8K on the back Dunlops, with 2 track days in there, maybe 2 hours on the track at Hallett. If I could get that out of the R888's, I'd consider it. Do they do OK if you let them sit for a week or two between driving? Or a month over the winter? I really don't drive it in the snow, but do get caught in the rain occasionally. I try to avoid the rain. I also live down a half mile of dirt road, so if rocks stick to them like gumballs, that won't work out too well either. And if it's 23F and dry out, will they stick?

They won't stick well. In fact the last set I bought (for a turbo Miata) carried big stickers on it saying "don't use these below 0C/32F). I've had a set on my Integra Type-R, about half worn. They lasted one track day...

They do seem to work well and last reasonably well on something like a Miata, but the Teg was eating them up like they were made from bacon.

Oh, and you'll probably end up with half your dirt road stuck to them, too.

Matt B
Matt B Reader
3/30/10 7:55 a.m.

Eh, I guess with dirt roads and semi-regular below-freezing drives I'd personally lean more toward the Fuzions. At the price it wouldn't hurt to just try them out and if you toasted them during a track day or two, big deal. (I don't want to spend $400 on street tires every year either, but it would hurt a lot less than smoking $1000 in rubber if what BoxheadTim said was true of all R888 applications)

Dr. Hess wrote: Incidentally, Matt, my car is exactly as Peter Stevens designed it. Everything after that was someone else cobbling on more crap.

Agreed. When did they start slapping on that hideous "organic" lower bodywork? The V8 model? Thanks for the designer's name btw - time to do a little research.

wcelliot
wcelliot Reader
3/30/10 8:47 a.m.

Pretty funny to hear an Esprit owner declare a Stevens car as "before someone else cobbled on more crap"... Giugiaro would find that highly ironic.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
3/30/10 8:50 a.m.

Yeah, I came across the warning from Yoko about freezing, something about catastrophic failure, and don't even store them below freezing. So I think the R888's are out for this ap. I guess I'm leaning for Fuzions, unless I can find something else. Playing with the Tire Rack web page came up with some more possibilities. There is a quirk in their web/SQL, giving different results for the same query. I'm not sure which is right.

The lower body work changed some with the SE, late 89, when the brake cooling vents were added to the front and the side vents moved, then a bit more with the V8's. And wings are somewhat controversial as well. Most believe they are strictly bling, except for the X180R wings.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/30/10 9:05 a.m.

From Tirerack.com I came up with your OE sizes (195/60,225/60r15)

Yokohama YK520 ( Product description )

195/60r15 $88.00 each, 225/60r15 $85.00 each

Kumho Ecsta ASX (Product description )

195/60r15 $84.00 each, 225/60r15 $95.00 each

Michelin Pilot Exalto ( http://www.discounttire.com/infomichelinpilotexaltoas/michelinpilotexaltoas.html )

195/60r15 $107.00 each, 225/60r15 $140.00 each

I have owned all three tires and I REALLY like the Pilots for street use all weather use. The Yokohamas are a little greasy all the time, they would make a good drift tire and the Kumhos are not terrible but seem to be chalky (leaving marks and a little noise with minimal grip) at times.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/30/10 9:06 a.m.

And there is a $70.00 rebate on the Michelins I believe

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
3/30/10 9:10 a.m.

Also there is a BFGoodrich GForce Sport in 225/60R15 AND 205/55R15 which would be the best tire of the four I have listed for what you do.

205/55r15 $92.00 ea 225/60r15 $105.00

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