new tires?

Southwest Montana SCCA discussions for the 2008 season.
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kjohnson
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new tires?

Postby kjohnson » Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:43 pm

I'm planning on getting new tires for my project Z car soon. I'm thinking of the Kumho Ecsta V710 in a 225/50R14 because they're a little cheaper than the Hoosier A6 and I've heard they last longer. Any other suggestions?

And since I'm feeling full of questions today: Is it a good time to buy tires? Are they likely going to be going on sale at the end of the season? And will they hold up over the winter if they're covered in my garage?

I'd like to buy them soon because my repaired wheel will be back soon and I have no tire that fits it right now. The tires on the car aren't holding air. Just got it driving (poorly) the other day and took it for a very short test drive, but its a bit questionable with the 30-year-old spare on it. However, it is a race car only and won't be driving during the winter, and it still needs plenty of work.

I guess I'm looking for any advice on the subject. Don't worry about giving away all your secrets I'm sure I'll still be slow.
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Postby rkaiser » Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:28 pm

Good tire for buying tires - probably not since the lower half of the USA gets to race all year round. Nick and Coby are using the Hankook Ventus Z214 and seemed pleased with them. I believe they are even less expensive than the Kumho's and come in the size you are wanting. They come in different compounds so make sure you order the right one. Just don't store them outside for the winter!
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Postby fastneons » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:15 pm

I think I'm a little qualified to talk on this subject, since I have used all three tires. Four sets of kumhos, four sets of hoosiers, and one set of hankooks. First off, I am using the hankook right now, and it is my first set. I am very pleased with the wear. I will probably get about twice as many runs as I got out of my last set of hoosiers. That said, they are not as fast as the hoosiers. In general, they feel numb, and less connected to the road. Also, in a high power car, they do not have particularly good forward bite.

I'll make it simple, before it gets long.

Kumho=numb, slower than hoosiers close to hankooks, better forward bite than hankooks, I had the worst wear with kumhos(50-55 runs). Probably more to do with the type of car, than the tires.

Hankook=numb, a little faster than kumhos, best wear(60 runs w/o rotating), cheapest!

Hoosier=FAST, great grip, great feel, middle of the wear range for my car (60 runs).

So, if I was made of money, I would buy nothing but Hoosiers. Since I am not, I will use hankooks for locals, and hoosiers for the real events (national tours, national championships). Kumho's are not worth my money in my opinion, and are not particularly good at anything, just average.

As for storage, keep them in a cool dark place. Not too cold though, think 60s-70s. They will harden if you let them stay in a garage that gets cold during the winter. I had a set of kumhos I left over the winter in the garage, and they were rock hard in the spring!
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Postby Dogeater » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:21 pm

I agree with Nick. Although I get alot more runs (120) out of a set of tires than Nick. This, as he says is the type of car not so much tires. I like the Hankooks for local events but will run Kumho's or Hoosiers for the big events next year. In my class Kumho's are what the 3 time national champ runs. So in short Kent, get hankooks I think they'll be cheaper.

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Postby MikeJ » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:46 pm

fastneons wrote:As for storage, keep them in a cool dark place. Not too cold though, think 60s-70s.


Mmmm nothing quite like the smell of tire rubber in the winter... Smells like ... VICTORY! Bob does it best

Hey or you might stack em 2x1 for end tables or 2x2 for a coffee table!
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Postby RayAR » Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:16 pm

fastneons wrote:As for storage, keep them in a cool dark place. Not too cold though, think 60s-70s. They will harden if you let them stay in a garage that gets cold during the winter. I had a set of kumhos I left over the winter in the garage, and they were rock hard in the spring!


I stored mine in my crawl space over the winter and they where pretty hard when I pulled them out this spring.

I know some of you won't agree but I decided to try some Formula V tire restorer on them. IMHO, it works. It won't make new tires any faster but on old hard tires it just may breath new life into them. One treatment won't do it. I treated mine three times a day for a few days going down to 2 a day for a couple weeks and the last week before my first event I did one per day with the last treatment 1 1/2 days before my first event. Now I try to treat them once a week just to maintain them and it seems to work. I am still on my first gallon with most of that being used before the first event. It also seem to make my tires last longer, I have allmost 40 laps on my tires and still have about 60% tread left and that dosen't include the laps that some road race team took before I got the tires(probably only 1-2 to scuff them). The Cheapest I found was $38.00 per gallon at Pegasus Racing.
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Postby kjohnson » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:44 am

Thanks guys for the replies. That really helps a lot. I'll look into the Hankooks and I'll probly go with those based on what you guys have said. I don't think I'll be going to any big national type events and I'm looking forward to the day when I can finally do reasonably well locally.

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Postby harvey » Fri Aug 29, 2008 6:51 am

Good subject! Any thoughts about winter storage of the STS tires, like the Falken Azenis or Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R ?
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Postby rkaiser » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:07 am

Any thoughts about winter storage of the STS tires, like the Falken Azenis or Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R ?


I would say keep them above 40 degrees and out of direct sunlight.
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Postby kjohnson » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:10 am

I also have a few follow up questions:

First, looking again at the rim width range recommended for these tires my 6-inch wheels are at the bottom of the range for the 225s (6-8")... Would I be better off with the 205s (5.5-7.5" I think)? My first impulse (like most peoples) is to think that bigger is better, but will this have any negative side-effects on handling?

Is the C70 or C71 the correct compound to look for?

Where is a good place to buy them? I like to buy local if they aren't going to rip me off, but my experience with tires is that local places always change a but-load more than online. I know that's typical and may have something to do with buying bulk, I used to work at a bike shop and I know how that can work. But many of the places on-line I'm used to looking for tires don't stock that tire (even if they carry Hankook).
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Postby rkaiser » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:24 am

I would go with the 225 unless you think the width may cause rubbing issues.

As far as compounds, either the C70 or C71 would be great for autocross. The C71 is newer but I honestly don't know what's different.

There are a few online dealers:

Frisby Tire
AIM Tire
Tire Shoppe
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Postby DaveMk1 » Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:03 am

harvey wrote:Good subject! Any thoughts about winter storage of the STS tires, like the Falken Azenis or Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R ?


I'm a bit anal when it comes to tire storage. I store my race tires in heavy plastic bags that I've sucked the air out of with a vacuum cleaner. I then put a second bag over that and seal it.

I store them in my basement away from light and in the cool.

It seems to work very well and takes just a few minutes in the fall.

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Postby RayAR » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:07 pm

I have another idea. How about some very low lap used tires? Try John Berget Tire at 1-262-240-0180. He might have some 90+% tires on hand in the size you need for a very reasonable price. I got my tires from him last year for $300.00 shipped to my door and a big chunk of that was shipping costs. These tires where nearly new nearly full tread depth tires from a road race team, I doubt they saw any laps at race speed. Your smaller tires will be less expensive and also cost less to ship. The only problem I had is I wanted R35 compound all the way around but he sent the harder R45 rears. Probably the reason the rears have very little wear.

Another used race tire supplier is GT used tires at 1-520-578-1162. I have never used them and the number is a couple years old so I don't even know if it works but they might have what you need.

I just feel buying new race tires on a car that you are trying to sort out might be a waste of money.
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Postby RayAR » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:47 am

Here is John Bergets website
http://www.jbracingtires.net/index.htm
It would be great if he had a list of available tires but it just looks like a pretty basic website with just some general information.
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Postby Alex » Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:55 pm

One thing I have read (I don't know if there is any truth to it) is that its a bad idea to go straight from street tires to a very sticky race tire. The extra grip can mask a lot of bad habits, and it may take a long time to get used to the new tires and get the max potential out of them.

It may be a better idea to go to a more "intermediate" race tire, such as the Toyo RA1 or the new R888 as a stepping stone.

Take this with a grain of salt, as I say, its just something I have heard, might be total crap:) One thing to think about though is that an RA1 or something of that sort is cheaper AND should last longer than the other tires mentioned in this thread.

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Postby RayAR » Sun Aug 31, 2008 9:05 pm

Alex wrote:One thing I have read (I don't know if there is any truth to it) is that its a bad idea to go straight from street tires to a very sticky race tire. The extra grip can mask a lot of bad habits, and it may take a long time to get used to the new tires and get the max potential out of them.

It may be a better idea to go to a more "intermediate" race tire, such as the Toyo RA1 or the new R888 as a stepping stone.

Take this with a grain of salt, as I say, its just something I have heard, might be total crap:) One thing to think about though is that an RA1 or something of that sort is cheaper AND should last longer than the other tires mentioned in this thread.


The one thing I know is I wish I spent more time on street tires before I went to DOT R's.
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Postby rkaiser » Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:43 pm

That actually isn't a bad idea. I have autocrossed and street tires(Hankook), the tires you call intermediate (Yokohama A048) and autocross specific DOT tires (Hoosier A6) on the Lotus. Street tires give the car a much more dynamic feel sooner - a lot more sliding around but controlable. This is my hypothesis, in order to be fast on the Hoosiers you need to get the car to feel as if it is on street tires - get it to that same dynamic feel. Of course this will happen at higher speeds due to the much stickier tire. I have yet to make it there because I'm not comfortable with the dynamic feel of the car (especially on the road course at Helena!). The first time I really felt I was getting there was the EVO school. Since it was a event done without fear of error causing damage I felt I was able to try achieve that more dynamic feeling. Everytime I ride with someone that is fast on street tires (ride with Joe!) I'm amazed how it feels. Once you get used to that feeling I think it is easier to get there with a stickier tire.

I've actually thought about trying a few events with the street tires on to help me with control.
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Postby kjohnson » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:08 am

Thanks again for all your replies. I was gone all weekend at Glacier Park so I haven't had time to check up on it. I thought about going with something a little less sticky than a full on Dot-R tire, but its hard to find tires that will fit my rim in anything less sticky. I did find the Nito NT-01 in a 205/55ZR-14 that would fit my car, but I'm not sure how much less sticky it is. It is however a bit cheaper than even the Hankooks, I'll keep it in mind. If I had the funds I'd probably step up to something like a 15" rim so I had more choice in tires, but for now I've gotta work with what I have.
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Postby rdks » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:41 pm

I used the Nitto's this year on my Mazda3. Treadwear is 100. It was a very big improvement on handling, braking, and acceleration. And with my driving skills, i have yet to drive them to their limits.

With the comments about the A6's and Kumho's as i have not tried them yet, it will be interesting once i can afford them. But for locals, the Nitto's are doing really well.

Still trying to figure out the wear on them. Though they are a "directional" tire. I did switch them on the rims to help even out the wear and now have one event on them in reverse.

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Postby kjohnson » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:24 pm

Alex wrote:It may be a better idea to go to a more "intermediate" race tire, such as the Toyo RA1 or the new R888 as a stepping stone.


Now that I looked there are a few of these 'intermediate tires from Kumho (V70A, and V700) and Toyo (the ones Alex suggested actually, but you probly knew that) that come in a size I can use. I'm definately giving it some serious thought. Tires are expensive and I don't really want to make a $600 mistake.
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