What tires do you run and what would you like to run? | Informal audience survey

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Aug 7, 2021 | tires | Posted in Tires & Wheels | Never miss an article

We write about tires quite a bit here at GRM.

All of our cars use them, and they’re a huge variable in a car’s performance. And there are just so many offerings out there.

So. Many. Offerings.

You’ve got full-on race tires, retro-inspired classic tires and street-legal tires that can survive a day at the track.

So, a question—call this an informal audience survey: What tires do you run, and what tires would you like to know more about?

Go.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more tires articles.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
8/5/21 9:33 a.m.

I'm a Kumho street tire fan. I preferred Hankook RS-(insert newest number here)'s for most of my race cars. I'm running Falkens.... both street and track. I'm so confused.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 9:35 a.m.

I just want to be able to buy the same tires twice in a row instead of having to start from scratch every time. Remember how easy it used to be when all you did was just pick up another set of RA-1s?

JesseWolfe
JesseWolfe Reader
8/5/21 9:37 a.m.

Hard TW on 2 daily drivers, ATs on the farm truck, winters on the Rallycross car.  I'd love to see some reviews of grass, mud and gravel tires on different drivetrain platforms. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
8/5/21 9:45 a.m.

I run Continentals for street and winter driving. For my autocross car, I run whatever is available in 245/40R15, which right now is those new Nankang johnnies. I'd love to run a 245/40R15 Nexen N Fera SUR4G, and according to Nexen they have been contacted repeatedly about such an offering, but they have yet to start making them in that size.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 9:50 a.m.

On performance cars I generally prefer longer-wearing 200TW/EPS tires like the Hankook RS3/RS4 or Dunlop Z3, I sometimes run DOT-R semi-slicks if I can get cheap used ones. My Toyobaru came with some 300TW summer tires on it and I'll be looking for some longer-wearing 200TWs when those wear out.

I may shift to faster-wearing cheaty 200TWs if street miles continue to be low.

Favorite tires I've driven on, if price is no object, would be Hoosier A7s or Kumho C03s.

calteg
calteg Dork
8/5/21 9:57 a.m.

RS-4 on the miata. Might go with something grippier when these wear out, I only drive it about once a month 

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 HalfDork
8/5/21 10:03 a.m.

Run NT-01's and love them. 

Would like more information on the science behind (and results of said science) heat cycles and their effect on grip/lap times for various low TW rated track day special tires. Everyone comments on how tires are heat cycled out/garbage/run out of tread but haven't seen many articles use data and tread measurements to analyze this to compare them all. 

Specifically aimed at HPDE event users (4 20 to 30 min sessions) because lets face it that the pool for that type of client is MUCH bigger than the pool for racers and time trial'ers. 

slowbird
slowbird UltraDork
8/5/21 10:06 a.m.

I want treaded tires that can hold up to daily driving but also put in fast autocross times for under $100 per tire. devil I know I know, you can't have it all. Gonna probably end up with something like Spec Miata takeoffs for the challenge car, RT660s for the autocross car, and whatever's cheap for the daily.

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
8/5/21 10:33 a.m.

We don't have really cold or long winters here and any snow we get is usually pretty quickly melted so I always opt for high performance summer rather than an all weather.

The Solstice coupe sits on Michelin PSS which I really like - but they have discontinued it in my size (245x45-18) so I will have to either change size of tires when it is time to change.

The Z4M coupe has one step down (225x45-18F  255x40-18 R) and am using BFG G-force sport Comp-2 which are quite good an d enough for the use I have for that car, if not quite as sticky as the Michelins.  May go to the Michelins next time around. I don't put enough mileage on either car to wear them out before they age out

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
8/5/21 10:35 a.m.

Im running continental all seasons on the dailies. 

Cooper discoverer ht3 on the truck 

Federal rs-rr on the miata 

Federal super steel on the duster 

Dunlop star specs on the neon. 

 

I want to know more about performance all seasons, truck tires, and trailer tires. Those are applicable every day, vs one set of competition rubber every other year 

Trent
Trent PowerDork
8/5/21 11:00 a.m.

Woah, Woah, Woah. Wait a dang minute here!

You are telling me that there is more than one tire available in the size you guys need? I seriously cannot fathom having more than one decent choice.

 

Says the owner of a classic mini on 10's, VW rabbit on 14's and a Fiat needs a 21-ish inch tall 13 that will fit a 7.5" wide wheel

damonl
damonl
8/5/21 11:08 a.m.

Running RE-71R, looking at RT660, CR1, and A052. Would love to see how these three compare in another test in which tire sizes are identical. I like the RT660 price, but willing to shell out more money for the best tire. Particularly interested in seeing how CR1 and A052 in the same sizes stack up at an autocross. Driving 2007 Cayman, going to square the wheels/tires for STR class autocross at 255/35-18 on 9-inch-wide wheels.

On a side note, I would like to see a test of endurance 200 treadwear tires that includes the Nankang NS-2R, which I already own and will use for track days but have never seen in a comparison test.

glyn ellis
glyn ellis New Reader
8/5/21 11:44 a.m.

I run Nitto NT05 (200TW) on my C5 Z06 used for HPDE events. I run a square setup and this is one of very few tires available in a 295/35-18

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 11:49 a.m.

I daily nokian WRGs and I'd like to pick up nankang CR-1s for autocrossing. 

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/5/21 12:13 p.m.

For the (driven there and back) track car, I run R-S4s when I can get them, I love them for the combination of grip vs. wear.  

 

I've had RE-71rs, and they're great (and about .7s faster), but they wear like crazy if you get stuck on a hot track day with them.

 

RevRico
RevRico UltimaDork
8/5/21 12:18 p.m.
slowbird said:

I want treaded tires that can hold up to daily driving but also put in fast autocross times for under $100 per tire. devil I know I know, you can't have it all. Gonna probably end up with something like Spec Miata takeoffs for the challenge car, RT660s for the autocross car, and whatever's cheap for the daily.

The Dunlop direzzas dz2 I had on my miata was pretty close to that 

misshift (Forum Supporter)
misshift (Forum Supporter) New Reader
8/5/21 12:18 p.m.

Michelin Defender on the GMC pu and the E450 RV. The RV left rear inner tire got poked by a 3/8 bolt. Non-repairable. Found out Defenders no longer available. Now what? Still using the no name spare. 

Street cars, always Michelin of some sort. 

ChampCar, RE-71R, love em. Last for more than the two full days of racing on a BMW E36. Good value for the price.  I believe there was a blurb in one of the GRM tire articles that they have ended production. Bummer, another now what? 

Enclosed trailer, Maxxis trailer tires.

Mountain Bike, Continentals 

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
8/5/21 12:27 p.m.

On the racecar I preferred the Direzza ZII *Spec. It was the perfect blend of longevity, lateral grip and communication and the price in my size, 225/50R16, was reasonable. I could get a full 14.5 hour race out of 4 tires and still have a decent pair as backups at the next race. We've run RT615Ks and RS4s since. The Falkens seem to be a bit better in the rain but not as much grip. The RS4s were similar to the RT615K but didn't last as long.

On the sporty daily I've been all over the place in my 52000 miles of ownership. Tires don't last very long. The best grip/price/rain combo was the old BFG Sport Comp-2 but they wore horribly. My friend borrowed that car on a rainy day because his car was leaking. When he came home from work he said the tires were too good and made the car not fun in the rain. I call that a success. The front two lasted 5000 miles and the rears 8000 miles. Oof. Currently it has a the Nankang NS25 and I've been happy so far but only about 600 miles into ownership.

The winter ride wears a Cooper Evolution Winter Studded. Might be my favorite tires ever. A lightweight 4x4 with these tires goes ANYWHERE. I've gotten 3 seasons of 5 months each so far and I'm feeling good going into my next winter. Amazing grip in both acceleration and stopping. Very friendly past the limit. Not terribly noisy. And I still get 21.5mpg average.

jharry3
jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/5/21 12:28 p.m.

I have been partial to Continental for the last few sets of tires for various vehicles.  ECS for the Miata.  

They seem to be the best bang for the buck at the moment.  Very high ratings on Tire Rack.

I just don't want to pay the Michelin tax for a slight percentage performance increase on street driven vehicles.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/5/21 12:32 p.m.

On racecar...  currently hankook rs4.

 

Last forever, but seem to cycle out before worn out.

 

I'd like a tire that maybe had less life and less lap time.

 

The new coopers fit this perfectly, but the glorious 245 40 15 size is not yet available...

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
8/5/21 12:35 p.m.

My choices are,  Dunlop Vintage, Goodyear Blue streak Vintage, Hoosier Vintage. 
  I prefer Dunlop because the loss of grip is slow  and a couple of years later they still remain decent. 

KyAllroad
KyAllroad UltimaDork
8/5/21 12:41 p.m.

I run Avon A-11s on the Zoomboni.  What would be stickier in a 23x10.5x15?

Are they faster or slower than the A7 Hoho?

mikeatrpi
mikeatrpi HalfDork
8/5/21 12:47 p.m.

Nitto NT-05 here on the fun car.  Dailys get yoko's, general or continentals.

flistener
flistener None
8/5/21 1:20 p.m.

was on PilotSport 4S -->  now Conti Contact Extreme Sport. Both excellent dailies and good race. 

I'd like to know more about the Michelin Pilot Sport 2 ZP Track Connect for a race only set of wheels. And in general, all best track-only options for heavier cars.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 1:21 p.m.

I would like a tire with the performance of an RE71 and the 100,000-mile warranty of a Kumho Solus. 

I've been running RE71s and the Federal 595 RS-RRs. They are currently made out of unobtanium. The car is currently sitting and probably soon for sale. I have zero interest in putting it back on the road. 

 

thedoc
thedoc GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/5/21 1:47 p.m.
NickD said:

I run Continentals for street and winter driving. For my autocross car, I run whatever is available in 245/40R15, which right now is those new Nankang johnnies. I'd love to run a 245/40R15 Nexen N Fera SUR4G, and according to Nexen they have been contacted repeatedly about such an offering, but they have yet to start making them in that size.

I ran the Sur4g tires on my mustang for autocross and was thrilled to get rid of them.  I was using hankooks before and went back to them.  Maybe the wrong tire for the car,, but that is my experience

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/5/21 2:18 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

What tires do you run and what would you like to run?

I run a set of 245 series Toyo Proxes R888r's, and I would like to run 15-seconds a lap faster than I am now.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 2:40 p.m.

This changes for me every few years as manufacturers compete and innovate, but here is my basic breakdown:

Truck:  Firestone/Bridgestone for H/T and A/S, and I've been disturbingly pleased with the Conti TerrainContact A/T on the Branger.

Passenger car:  Usually Kumho or Fire/Bridge.  Kumho for the performance side (like the Impala SS) and Fire/Bridge for the non-performance side, like whitewalls.

Higher performance:  Kumho usually.  Had Pirelli PZeros and did not like.  Too finnicky based on temps.  I was very impressed with a set of Toyo DOT race rubber... for the 5000 miles until they were bald.  I used to know a Toyo exec until she moved on to some other job.  They had that 500 mile money back thing for a while so they had warehouses full of slightly used tires.  They would sell them to employees for $50/pair, so for a while I was getting a steady stream of new Toyo shoes for my cars for $100.  The downside was that I was at the mercy of the sizes and compounds they had and they weren't always a match for the application, but they were cheap.

Premium choice is always Michelin.  I've had some bad Michelins, but it's incredibly rare.  I find them to be 15% better than "normal" brands, but its rare that I pony up the 50% more from my wallet to get them.

sergio
sergio HalfDork
8/5/21 3:05 p.m.

Race car Hankook RS4, good grip and longevity but wet grip is lacking. RE71R on the heavy 89 SHO do not last a weekend. Dunlop Dirreza were the best way back when. 

TL and Speed3 have Firestone Indy 500's, for the money they are great. Grip is good for the street and wet is good too. 

Will probably try the Continental ECS on the TL next. I like good grip with at least 20k longevity, plus needs to be good in the rain.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
8/5/21 3:13 p.m.

No joke, the tires on my car are "Big O".  The treadwear number is borderline 4 digits.

They are amazing.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
8/5/21 3:16 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I just want to be able to buy the same tires twice in a row instead of having to start from scratch every time. Remember how easy it used to be when all you did was just pick up another set of RA-1s?

This is (sadly?) my view on so.many.things.I.buy.

 

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
8/5/21 3:26 p.m.

My Mazda3 is turning 40,000 miles soon, and the stock Bridgestone Eco's are getting pretty thin.  On top of that, one recently took a sidewall puncture.  I was 700 miles from home, in small town Georgia, and the only tires available right there were off-brand deals.  So I bought _1_ to get me home, and stuck it on the back (figuring the difference in rolling diameter on fronts would be more of a problem).

I did some research on the size it needs (205/60R16) and looking at Michelin Defenders, Michelin CrossClimate2, or Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus.  Basically something like a Grand Touring all season.  Will be buying 4 of something before winter.  My main criteria, aside from performance/ longevity, is noise.  The Eco's are pretty noisy, esp at "grand touring" speeds. 

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/5/21 3:40 p.m.

I've tried all sorts over the years, but these days it's Michelin in whatever size or model is suitable. No other tires seem to have the combination of life, ride, quiet, all round grip etc. Other manufacturers tires may feel and perform fine at first, but by 10-15k miles they are noisy, harsh, losing grip whatever. It's at the point I don't even bother pricing out other makes, I just select the appropriate Michelin model and order those. 

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/5/21 4:01 p.m.
Olemiss540 said:

Run NT-01's and love them. 

Would like more information on the science behind (and results of said science) heat cycles and their effect on grip/lap times for various low TW rated track day special tires. Everyone comments on how tires are heat cycled out/garbage/run out of tread but haven't seen many articles use data and tread measurements to analyze this to compare them all. 

Specifically aimed at HPDE event users (4 20 to 30 min sessions) because lets face it that the pool for that type of client is MUCH bigger than the pool for racers and time trial'ers. 

I think this is a great idea for an article.

The groups I race with have spec tires (Falken RT660s on the Miata and Hoosier VFFs on the Formula Ford)  so I don't have  a personal use for info on other tires but I haven't found a tire for the truck that I'm really happy with.

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/5/21 4:22 p.m.
ProDarwin said:

No joke, the tires on my car are "Big O".  The treadwear number is borderline 4 digits.

They are amazing.

 

Corvettezo6
Corvettezo6 GRM+ Memberand None
8/5/21 5:03 p.m.

How about a 335/18 in a 200TW that is from any manufacture besides BFG?  Please...

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/5/21 6:51 p.m.

Most of my tire usage is boring and predictable. I AXed on RE71Rs and liked them fine. I was super happy with the Kumho R-comps I ran (some time) before that. Blizzaks for winter. Conti ECSs on the MGB in hopes of figuring out the car and not needing to have "real 200TWs" for autocrosses and "okay tires" for going to brunch on a brisk day.

An increasing worry is "which old cars can I wedge 15s under, and will a range of 205 to 225 and maybe even 245 stay available?" Pretty sure the decision to wedge 205s under the MGB was at least partly because the selection in 195 was so bad, but I might be misremembering that.

And of course "Gee, that car/those wheels is/are rad, but 13"/14" tires are a wasteland."

LapDog
LapDog New Reader
8/5/21 7:20 p.m.

Michelin Pilot Super Sports on my NC Miata.  I needed tires quickly and they were in stock.  I like them well enough for sunny day street use.   

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
8/5/21 7:40 p.m.

I tend to run nittos on daily's, altho I have hankook on my daily.

Most of the racecars/trucks run Mickey Thompson.

akylekoz
akylekoz SuperDork
8/5/21 8:40 p.m.

Currently have some 360TW Continentals on the DD/HPDE car because they were on the wheels I bought.  They are too hard and I can’t kill them @ 1500 miles per year.

Would like 200TW or less in a 265/40 or 35/18, can’t remember which right now.  Square setup on my S197 Mustang.

My utility vehicle gets new truck take offs that there are an unending supply of from people who upsize their tires on brand new trucks.  Wife’s car gets good quality tires, a set for each season, or Nokian WRs.

c0rbin9
c0rbin9 Reader
8/5/21 8:42 p.m.

I'm running Kumho Ecsta PS31s on my Integra. They are in the 'Ultra High Performance summer tire' category.

I don't care that much, but I would get the more expensive BFGoodrich Sport Comp-2s if I had to do it again. The Kumhos are very squishy feeling, just like the reviews said...

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/5/21 9:06 p.m.

The E Street Miata has 225/45-15 Rival S 1.5 shoehorned on to the class legal six inch wheels.  
 

While the Falken 660 is the new shiny, I am sticking with the Rivals because I know they work well with the car. Another big factor is that I live in Florida and the Rivals are good in the heat.  
 

I like Continental tires, just put a set of Extreme Contact DWS06 on the Mazda 5 van. I previously had a set on the Ralliart wagon and loved them. 

The Ralliart wagon just got it's second set of Firestone Indy 500. I was very pleased with the first set. I wanted to do a comparison by replacing them with the Continental Extreme Contact Sports, but the Contis  weren't available in my size. I autocrossed on them once and while they don't compare to a 200 TW tire, they were quite adequate. Great street tire, excellent grip with surprisingly good wet traction until near the wear bars. 
 

The first set lasted about 12000 miles, would be longer if I'd kept up with rotation and hadn't picked up a nail. I'm happy to get another set, although they're not as cheap as the last set. 

The 88 C2500 truck has General Grabber HTS. They've been good. They're 2013 dated and have been in use since 2014, so I'm looking at options. About half tread, but starting to harden. I'll probably follow the advice from Curtis and go with Continentals next. 
 

The V8 Morris Minor? Don't need tires for a car that doesn't run, lol. Maybe a used set of Hoosiers if it makes it to the challenge this year. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/5/21 9:18 p.m.

Federal Federally G-10 :)

 

I have BFG Sport Comp 2 A/S on both my DD GTI and my Porsche 924S, which have been excellent in all conditions and the ones on the GTI are over 35K on them with plenty of life left. 

I have BFG KO2's on my Sequoia (previously had Falken Wildpeaks, which were excellent and quieter)

I have General Grabber AT/X on my Raider

 

Claff
Claff Reader
8/5/21 10:14 p.m.

For street use, Conti ECS (they also double as cold/wet track/autocross tires)

For dry track/autocross I'm still using RE71R and will be for a while as I have two sets of other people's take-offs to burn through before I have to think about buying new tires.

Hoondavan
Hoondavan HalfDork
8/5/21 10:38 p.m.

I'm always balancing a tradeoff between what I want, what i need, and what i can afford.  For my fun cars, I've bought Dunlop tires a few times at a fair discount.  They were durable, performed well, and I had zero complaints.  Frankly, I'd like to read comparisons about how the cheaper off-brand tires actually hold up under a mix of performance & DD usage.  Nitto & the less recognizable Chinese brands.  Will I hate myself for skimping on tires that will fall apart and drive awful? 

I probably already know the answer, but it's always nice to have more data points on tire purchases.  

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
8/6/21 9:01 a.m.

I currently have Falkens, Contis, and Bridgestones I bought and OEM Goodyear's.  The truck might get the same Goodyear's or Bridgestones when it's due; not decided.

I'd really like to try Contis new 200 TW tire next or RS4s.  

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
8/6/21 9:17 a.m.

So I have multiple cars with their own unique cases to respond to on this...

Primary racecar (F500) - Hoosier Bias Ply is the only game in that size you would remotely want to run.  Theres something to be said for tires just being a checkbox. For that car, $800 a set isnt too awful, though a person can always wish they were cheaper.  Knowledge base goes back a LONG ways, so they are fairly well understood from a setup perspective. 

 

Backup racer / street fun car (97 Mustang Cobra) - When I was campaigning it, it was always a research project every year or two, "whats the best option?" "whats the best compromise?" Pick wrong and you have either wasted several hundred dollars or hobbled your competitiveness for the life of the tire set. Moving target also means that car setup to optimize is a moving target. Makes it so that its rather frustrating for those who don't have testing avenues available to them.  Its on an old set of RS2's right now.  They need to be replaced, but I cant take my kids in the car right now (carseat issues), so it's just rolling on old dead tires for now. Here's a good question, what is the longest lived tire in terms of age/heatcycle in the 200TW sphere?

 

Vintage fun car (Bugeye Sprite) - What's available in this size (13x6 wheel)?  Do I want to spend for R888 or go for 400TW? There isnt a good 200TW option, which is what I tend to gravitate towards.  I think I found the best middle ground with Federal 595 (not the great performance 595 mind you, the more regular one). Its a slow car anyways, so perhaps lower grip tires for for the best anyways. Again, it was a research project.

 

I think thats why a lot of people in autocross still resent the Stock to Street conversion of years past. It used to just be " order up your hoosiers!" and now its a major research project if you want to be competitive. 

ErnieN85
ErnieN85 New Reader
8/6/21 10:12 a.m.

Michelin Pilot cup II on the track

Firestone Indy 500 on the street right now

Maybe Continetials or Pilot 4S all season in the future

redtanrt10
redtanrt10 New Reader
8/6/21 12:12 p.m.

I run Hoosier A-7's on my Comp Coupe

I'd like to use the Michelin slicks all the time but in my sizes they run almost $3k a set

 

On my '94 Viper, the only 18's that are usually available are the Toyo's 888's.  Since I rarely drive it and this car is a sunny day cruiser in SoCal, the Toyo's are great, and fairly reasonable for the large sizes on a Viper

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
8/6/21 12:43 p.m.

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S4.  Impressive for an All Seasons tire.  A little pricey, but worth it.

350z247
350z247 Reader
8/6/21 12:48 p.m.

I'm currently exclusively running Federal tires. They're just too cheap not to. If I had to pick a more reputable tire, I would run Continentals on the street and Hoosiers on track.

Matt Huffman
Matt Huffman New Reader
8/6/21 4:22 p.m.

Dry autocross and time attack: Kumho V730.  This tire is an amazing value without much info shared publicly.  I have some autocross, time attack, and review videos linked below.

https://youtu.be/_4VOYn6vGl8

https://youtu.be/RhXOCk17VPk

https://youtu.be/tKLRgWqOglo

https://youtu.be/f1ltB-CI94c

Wet: Continental ExtremeContact Sport

Our Preferred Partners
TLn40RAZxv8bsd7629uifV5sZ9k0uqB68PLStk6XXJTtPdjpzAo3RkmouiTsgbGH