200-treadwear tire test | Bridgestone Potenza RE-71RS vs. Falken Azenis RT660

Andy
By Andy Hollis
Jul 13, 2022 | Tire Test, tires, Bridgestone, 200tw, RE71-RS, Bridgestone RE-71RS | Posted in Product Reviews , News and Notes | Never miss an article

Photography Credit: Andy Hollis

Things change quickly in the world of 200tw street tires. With so many motivated manufacturers vying for a share of a myriad of motorsports venues, today’s cutting-edge technology is tomorrow’s also-ran. 

During the last 20 years, BFGoodrich, Bridgestone, Falken, Kumho, Toyo and Yokohama have all cycled through as the dominant brand, with Bridgestone returning to prominence in 2015 with its Potenza …

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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/6/22 4:49 p.m.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 6:15 p.m.

So, some behind-the-scenes info.

Our test tires only landed in the U.S. around June 24. Bridgestone needed a few to unload and ship them our way. They arrived at Andy's shop late this past Thursday.

Tires had to be mounted and balanced. Then we could heat cycle and allow the tires 24 hours to cure. Testing took place yesterday. Then figure a bit for data analysis, writing, editing and proofing. Whew. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/6/22 6:16 p.m.

We have some wider ones on the way, too, but they're still on the way. 

Matt Huffman
Matt Huffman New Reader
7/6/22 7:15 p.m.

I run the kumho v730 and appreciate the fact that it's pretty fast and consistent for autocross,  TT, and extended HPDE sessions.   I was hoping the Bridgestone would be more similar to the v730 than the a052.  I'm also surprised the rt660 fell off after a few laps because many folks say it retains speed.   Perhaps tread depth is a key variable here.  The v730, with so little tread,  doesn't heat up as quickly and the compound likes heat so no surprise it tolerates extended lapping. 

jstein77
jstein77 UberDork
7/6/22 9:19 p.m.

So you haven't yet run the RE-71RS head-to-head against the A052?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/6/22 10:11 p.m.

In reply to jstein77 :

Yes we did--it's the sidebar next to/under this story depending on what device you're on. 

JMcD
JMcD New Reader
7/7/22 10:12 a.m.

Y'all are the best. Did the autocross tires get the same heat cycle treatment as Andy's?

beatus
beatus GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/7/22 11:31 a.m.

I appreciate what you're trying to do with the 235 vs 245, but I think it misses the point quite a bit. No sanctioning body I'm aware of normalizes for measured tire width, they class based on stated tire size.

IMHO this makes the more relevant comparo a 245 vs 245, even if the 660s run significantly wider because they end up living in the same class.

Instead, there needs to be some reading between the lines that the re-71rs is still faster 245vs245, but it's a guess instead of real data.

G_Loc
G_Loc New Reader
7/7/22 1:20 p.m.

Any idea when wider sizes will be available?  I had ordered 295s from Tire Rack on 4/20 right when they became available.  Delivery date was supposed to be early June, then got pushed back to July, and now there's no ETA at all.  Heck they don't even show up as an available size anymore.  Had to go with an alternate tire for the time being.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/7/22 1:28 p.m.

In reply to G_Loc :

Sorry, I don't have any info regarding future shipments. 

malibuguy
malibuguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/7/22 6:57 p.m.

damn thats consistently significant.  I am diehard on the Falkens, but this had me look up to see if the stones were in my sizes and (surprisingly) they werent.  Good, I didnt feel like peeling off the Falken stickers

thashane
thashane GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/8/22 12:08 a.m.
beatus said:

I appreciate what you're trying to do with the 235 vs 245, but I think it misses the point quite a bit. No sanctioning body I'm aware of normalizes for measured tire width, they class based on stated tire size.

IMHO this makes the more relevant comparo a 245 vs 245, even if the 660s run significantly wider because they end up living in the same class.

Instead, there needs to be some reading between the lines that the re-71rs is still faster 245vs245, but it's a guess instead of real data.

Some cars can't run the maximum tire for the class. I prefer it this way, with actual width. 

I'm impressed to see them that much quicker. Prices appear to be in the A052 range, with 660s being about $60 less A TIRE (atleast $64 for 225/45r17s). TR has a mail in rebate for $90, but even if you get them through Costco with $150 rebate, the 660s are still $90 less for a set of 4.

Overall-pretty excited to have a new top 200tw contender, and interested to see how they preform.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/8/22 8:23 a.m.

I had issues with the center rib on the Falkens coming off, so badly and so quickly that Tire Rack had to issue refunds. I have seen the same issue from others online as well, with some seeking replacements and others saying that is normal for Falkens.  I also know of many who have had no problems and claim they wear as well as anything else. What was your experience on the Falkens? They look fine in the photo if that is an after photo, this is mine after about 2 autocross runs. 

DeanM
DeanM GRM+ Member
7/8/22 8:43 a.m.

As a street class autocrosser, I'm not sure what my takeaway is here... A052 might as well not exist anymore in my sizes, so I would have loved to see the sidebar focus on these VS RT660 as well. But I guess there are some classes who can still find A052 in their sizes

DeanM
DeanM GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/8/22 8:45 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

What car and how much camber? My 660 don't look quite that bad on a heavy, low camber car... but that's exactly how RE71R used to look for me and it was never a problem 

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
7/8/22 11:30 a.m.

In reply to DeanM :

Same here, I run them on a 2020 WRX with -2 degrees front camber/-1.5 degrees rear camber and while I get a little delam I haven't gotten anything that badly. 

Defined motorsports
Defined motorsports SuperDork
7/8/22 4:23 p.m.

when information you might want sits behind a pay wall. 

CSSharpe
CSSharpe New Reader
7/8/22 10:16 p.m.

In reply to JMcD :

Yes, it is in the article.  Heat cycled at MSR Cresson.

CSSharpe
CSSharpe New Reader
7/8/22 10:28 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

Did you heat cycle them prior to competition?  

jbrauer11
jbrauer11 New Reader
7/11/22 1:56 p.m.

In reply to beatus :

Clearly you're unaware that NASA Time Trials AND Super Touring race classes both use tire width templates, not stated tire size, specifically because stated tire sizes are so frequently inaccurate.

pinchvalve (Forum Supporter)
pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/11/22 2:27 p.m.

In reply to CSSharpe :

I did not have them heat cycled by Tire Rack the first time, but I put some street miles on them. With the second set, I did have them cycled and they did the same thing. That photo is BEFORE they got worse BTW. With RE71r and Rivals, I never heat cycled or ran them before competing and never had a problem. This was on my 2800# Fiesta ST with 3-degrees up front. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/11/22 3:58 p.m.

These are the RT660s on our Miata after about 16 autocrosses and a few thousand street miles. Tires were heat cycled on the street before that first event.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/11/22 3:58 p.m.

(PS: I know that photo stinks–I'll get a better one and some tread depth numbers for everyone later today.)

zm2
zm2 GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/13/22 10:33 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Nice initial review. Will be great to see how they hold up to heat & wear vs their peers in longer-term reviews. Plus, I'm hearing the 71RS's wet performance is excellent.

Is driving a couple hours the night before on a new set of 71RS's a good enough heat cycle for a road track weekend like WGI? Or, would proper heat cycling yield that much more grip/longevity? No time trials, just focused on HPDE and open track consistency & longevity.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/13/22 10:48 a.m.

In reply to zm2 :

Thank you. 

Look for more on heat cyclings on the site really soon, but the experts (John R. at Tire Rack) says to rest the tires for 24 hours after that first drive in order to generate a true first heat cycle. Will overnight do it? I'm not sure but he always says 24 hours. He does say that an hour on the highway generates enough heat. It's that sitting that seals the deal. 

I heat cycled my Falkens, and they're wearing like iron. 

As we get more info on how the Bridgetones wear, we'll share it. 

malibuguy
malibuguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/16/22 12:41 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve (Forum Supporter) :

I have 2 sets (different sizes) of Falkens and NONE have had that issue.  I have little over 3* on a FWD MacStrut car, so take it FWIW.  One set has a year of autoX, the newer set has only seen a handfull of events this year so far

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