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Tire opinions, please

This is a discussion on Tire opinions, please within the Wheels and Tires forums, part of the General Help category; I'll be needing to get tires soon so I've been doing some research. Seems there isn't all that much out ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    Bright Red
    '02 Firebird TA WS6

    Tire opinions, please

    I'll be needing to get tires soon so I've been doing some research. Seems there isn't all that much out there for the OEM Speedline WS6 17-9 rims? Currently I'm running BFG g-force T/A KD tires, and I can't brag enough how great those was. However, they're getting old at 8 years and the weather here in Florida has taken it's toll on them. I prefer to stick with something that's geared towards the dry, wear isn't all that important nor is wet traction. The car is purely a toy, used mostly for shows and some crusing, no track stuff. It gets drive between 600- 1200 miles a year, and that's it. So, as you can imagine any tire I'm considering will age before it gets worn out. The BFG KD's began life at 9/32 and they're now 6/32 after 8 years. Anyway, and I've clearly discovered in my research I'm not going to find a tire that has performed as well my current KD's. So I'm looking for a 2nd best since the KD's were discontinued. I like the grip of a R-compound tire, but I'm not sure they'll hold up with time and only street driving? I've considered the Proxes 888 (And despite it looking like a forklift tire, I hear they're good in the dry) but at 11.0 section width on 17x9 wheel 50mm offset I'm not sure they'll work on the steers? The Proxes R1R area bit more narrow, but both are an R-compoud tire. This car is going to set and at times the tires are going to get cold, nothing below 28 degrees of course. Therefore I'm looking at more practical options. I here the Nitto's run narrow but I've seen no proof of this other than the bigger 315 stuff. In the attachment you will see some tires I've been thinking about. The MT Street Comp is merely a renamed Cooper Zeon RS3-S tire. The Nitto 555 G2 is the newest thing on the market and the BFG Sport Comp 2 has been around for a couple years.

    If you know of something else, or can advise me on some of these that I've mentioned, your input would be greatly welcomed.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tire1.jpg  
    Last edited by *JC*; 09-03-2016 at 10:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    98 Z28 Vert M6

    What tread width are you trying to use?

    I know how you feel about the tire/wheels on our cars. I eventually just decided to bite the bullet and upsize to 18" TSWs so I could get some Michelin Super Sports in 275. I'm running them on 18x9 at all 4 corners.

    My second choice after the Michelins (and, for my personal preference, would be ahead of all the options you listed) would be Continental Extreme Contact DWs. They are available in 275/40/17.
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  3. #3
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    Bright Red
    '02 Firebird TA WS6

    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    What tread width are you trying to use?

    I know how you feel about the tire/wheels on our cars. I eventually just decided to bite the bullet and upsize to 18" TSWs so I could get some Michelin Super Sports in 275. I'm running them on 18x9 at all 4 corners.

    My second choice after the Michelins (and, for my personal preference, would be ahead of all the options you listed) would be Continental Extreme Contact DWs. They are available in 275/40/17.
    Thank you for the response I dropped in on a little cruise-in this afternoon, to have a look see at what some in the car culture are putting on theirs. I can most assuredly count the MT Street Comps out of my choices. I spoke with the owner and he mirrored what others have said about them. I plan on dropping in on another cruise-in tomorrow, if the weather is good and see what they've got on their rides.

    I know there isn't much out there in the way of performance in street tires for 275/40/17. The KD's were discontinued, the Firehawks were discontinued, there's not much to choose from. I considered the Continentals you've mentioned but i'm not impressed with the tread pattern. I like a tire that has few grooves and big blocks of tread, more rubber in contact with the grounnd. I had considered some of the Toyo Proxes variants but they're all r-compound tires and not really meant for the street. I've even considered the Federal 595, and Yokohama S-Drive.

    And I don't know much about Nitto, except some people like them some people don't. Some people say they run small others say that's only the drag radials? I like the looks of the Nitto NT-01 but it's an r-compund tire and isn't going to last for years of very limited street use. But I'm still considering the 555 G2. I'm not sure Nitto still makes the 555RII or what is sometimes called the "Extreme ZR" it's not the drag radial, it's the other 555 focused towards autocross. However, the NT-05 and NT-01 mayhave replaced it in that department. Nitto's website makes no mention of the 555RII anymore.
    Last edited by *JC*; 09-03-2016 at 06:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Yup. I understand your concerns, though, you talk about tires at a higher level than I'm capable of (but I still understand).

    My choices were all based on the reviews I've read and seen.

    What info I do have is based on my own personal experience (which is limited to the last 6 years of F-Body ownership... my first "real" car). Also, I've spoken to other car enthusiasts who have tried a few different brands.

    With respect to the 555s (I don't know exactly which one), a co-worker of mine drives an FR-S and is very particular about the way his car handles (who takes trips across the USA using his vacation days), said that as soon as he installed the Nitto 555s he regretted it: the side wall was to soft for him.

    For me, I bought my car with Goodyear Eagle GSD3s. At the time they were bought, they seemed to be the "top tier" summer tire. I bought and drove the car daily in WA state for the first 18 months of ownership. On the wet (even in the damp), it was a white knuckle ride. In the dry, I'd get sideways in 1st gear going WOT (partly because the power was still "new" to me, and partly, I think, because the tires just sucked). I "upgraded" to Michelin All Season tires (the Pilot Sports A/S Plus). There was an immediate noticeable difference. Car hooked in the dry no problem, and when cruising in the wet, I could not tell that the road wasn't dry.

    When the A/S 3s and Pilot Super Sports came out, I was torn between the two of them. I went ahead and bough the Super Sports due to all the raving reviews and I am happy with them. The way I drive does not demand any more from the Super Sports than from the previous all seasons that I had on there, but they were also less expensive than the A/S 3s. I suspect that I could swap the A/S 3s on and probably not notice a difference, but I didn't want to "wonder" whether I was leaving anything on the table with the current all seasons, so I went ahead and got the Super Sports.

    I was willing to get the Continentals if absolutely necessary, but since I was going to buy new wheels anyway (wanted a square set up so I could rotate tires and get treadlife warranties and what-not), I went ahead and bought the Michelins.

    According to the media, there is not better tire all-around, which I why I got them.

    Also, I value the tires a lot, so I was willing to fork out some extra to make sure it was the right set up for my application: I want a car that can handle the curves as well as possible, since the straights are a given with these cars.

  5. #5
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post
    Yup. I understand your concerns, though, you talk about tires at a higher level than I'm capable of (but I still understand).

    My choices were all based on the reviews I've read and seen.

    What info I do have is based on my own personal experience (which is limited to the last 6 years of F-Body ownership... my first "real" car). Also, I've spoken to other car enthusiasts who have tried a few different brands.

    With respect to the 555s (I don't know exactly which one), a co-worker of mine drives an FR-S and is very particular about the way his car handles (who takes trips across the USA using his vacation days), said that as soon as he installed the Nitto 555s he regretted it: the side wall was to soft for him.

    For me, I bought my car with Goodyear Eagle GSD3s. At the time they were bought, they seemed to be the "top tier" summer tire. I bought and drove the car daily in WA state for the first 18 months of ownership. On the wet (even in the damp), it was a white knuckle ride. In the dry, I'd get sideways in 1st gear going WOT (partly because the power was still "new" to me, and partly, I think, because the tires just sucked). I "upgraded" to Michelin All Season tires (the Pilot Sports A/S Plus). There was an immediate noticeable difference. Car hooked in the dry no problem, and when cruising in the wet, I could not tell that the road wasn't dry.

    When the A/S 3s and Pilot Super Sports came out, I was torn between the two of them. I went ahead and bough the Super Sports due to all the raving reviews and I am happy with them. The way I drive does not demand any more from the Super Sports than from the previous all seasons that I had on there, but they were also less expensive than the A/S 3s. I suspect that I could swap the A/S 3s on and probably not notice a difference, but I didn't want to "wonder" whether I was leaving anything on the table with the current all seasons, so I went ahead and got the Super Sports.

    I was willing to get the Continentals if absolutely necessary, but since I was going to buy new wheels anyway (wanted a square set up so I could rotate tires and get treadlife warranties and what-not), I went ahead and bought the Michelins.

    According to the media, there is not better tire all-around, which I why I got them.

    Also, I value the tires a lot, so I was willing to fork out some extra to make sure it was the right set up for my application: I want a car that can handle the curves as well as possible, since the straights are a given with these cars.
    My car came with the OEM Goodyear F1-GS tires. I had the same tires on a 3rd gen Camaro and I absolutely hated them. They was alright for a swiss army knife tire but those compromises made them not very good in any particular field. I knew a fellow that bought the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 about the same time I put my BFG G-force T/A KD's on my car. I will say the F1 GS-D3 was a far superior tire to the F1-GS but it couldn't hold the traction my KD's did. In a straight line the KD's just dug in from a dig and they'd also out corner the F1 GS-D3, no real comparison. This fellow agreed and said he had wished he'd gotten the KD's instead, our cars were indentical in almost every way. Similar HP/TQ and suspension and wheels. My KD's just out gripped the Goodyear F1 GS-D3. Let me also say I feared my purchase of the KD's would come back to haunt me later. I was afraid I'd get spoiled with their performance and when it came time to buy another set, they wouldn't be available. Worse there wouldn't be anything else that even came close. Seems that nightmare has come true!

    I take magazine reviews with a grain of salt. It's much better to go and talk to the ordinary Joe and see what he/she has to say about their tires. Where I live it seldom gets below freezing and it never snows. I have no need for an all season tire, or for that matter one that has great wet grip and has a high UTQG rating. I could probably almost get away with a semi-autocross tire, given how little this car gets driven. My only trouble there, is the car does set a lot and during Dec -Jan it sometimes does dip below freezing here but never below 28 degress and that's rare. R-compound tires don't like the cold and they don't like setting for long periods of time (flat spots). I'm not looking for a tire that I have to take off the car and store them. I realize I'm seeking the impossible but I'm willing to settle for 2nd best, the BFG KD's were very good to me, they had awesome grip, they wasn't fickle like an R-compound tire and they lasted me 8 years.

    As you can see in the attachment the Contintental ExtremeContact DW has no where the near the amount of rubber in contact with the pavement as the KD does. I think the Contintental would be a fine tire elsewhere for a daily driver or for a car that sometimes see's incliment weather. I'd certainly would use it on anything but my WS6, it's probably a great tire for ordinary driving. Me I'm looking for something with a bit more rubber in contact with the ground.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails contact.jpg  

  6. #6
    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *JC* View Post
    My car came with the OEM Goodyear F1-GS tires. I had the same tires on a 3rd gen Camaro and I absolutely hated them. They was alright for a swiss army knife tire but those compromises made them not very good in any particular field. I knew a fellow that bought the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 about the same time I put my BFG G-force T/A KD's on my car. I will say the F1 GS-D3 was a far superior tire to the F1-GS but it couldn't hold the traction my KD's did. In a straight line the KD's just dug in from a dig and they'd also out corner the F1 GS-D3, no real comparison. This fellow agreed and said he had wished he'd gotten the KD's instead, our cars were indentical in almost every way. Similar HP/TQ and suspension and wheels. My KD's just out gripped the Goodyear F1 GS-D3. Let me also say I feared my purchase of the KD's would come back to haunt me later. I was afraid I'd get spoiled with their performance and when it came time to buy another set, they wouldn't be available. Worse there wouldn't be anything else that even came close. Seems that nightmare has come true!

    I take magazine reviews with a grain of salt. It's much better to go and talk to the ordinary Joe and see what he/she has to say about their tires. Where I live it seldom gets below freezing and it never snows. I have no need for an all season tire, or for that matter one that has great wet grip and has a high UTQG rating. I could probably almost get away with a semi-autocross tire, given how little this car gets driven. My only trouble there, is the car does set a lot and during Dec -Jan it sometimes does dip below freezing here but never below 28 degress and that's rare. R-compound tires don't like the cold and they don't like setting for long periods of time (flat spots). I'm not looking for a tire that I have to take off the car and store them. I realize I'm seeking the impossible but I'm willing to settle for 2nd best, the BFG KD's were very good to me, they had awesome grip, they wasn't fickle like an R-compound tire and they lasted me 8 years.

    As you can see in the attachment the Contintental ExtremeContact DW has no where the near the amount of rubber in contact with the pavement as the KD does. I think the Contintental would be a fine tire elsewhere for a daily driver or for a car that sometimes see's incliment weather. I'd certainly would use it on anything but my WS6, it's probably a great tire for ordinary driving. Me I'm looking for something with a bit more rubber in contact with the ground.
    I own a set of Continental Extreme Contact DW in a 285-40-17 (I run them on four front factory C5 Z06 wheels), and I will tell you that the tires will keep grip beyond the limits that the suspension can handle, and I have an adjustable UMI panhard rod and UMI rear LCAs. These tires have made it obvious that I need to upgrade my suspension and chasis to get more out of the car.

    My WS6 is dynoed at 356 hp and 360 lbs/tq at the wheel, and the tires wont break loose unless I dump the clutch hard (which I wont do), it will only chirp a little during WOT 1-2 shifts.

    I have been very surprised with these tires.

  7. #7
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whamhammer View Post
    I own a set of Continental Extreme Contact DW in a 285-40-17 (I run them on four front factory C5 Z06 wheels), and I will tell you that the tires will keep grip beyond the limits that the suspension can handle, and I have an adjustable UMI panhard rod and UMI rear LCAs. These tires have made it obvious that I need to upgrade my suspension and chasis to get more out of the car.

    My WS6 is dynoed at 356 hp and 360 lbs/tq at the wheel, and the tires wont break loose unless I dump the clutch hard (which I wont do), it will only chirp a little during WOT 1-2 shifts.

    I have been very surprised with these tires.
    I see many people that use them, almost as many as do Michelin PS2. I'm not saying they're not a good tire but I don't care much for the tread pattern, that's one of the things I disliked about the Cooper Zeon RS3-S (And the Mickey Street Comp knockoffs). It's very true it's not just about contact patch but also the composition of the tire. A much narrow tire can do better than a wider one, if the narrow one has a sticker compound. However I'm sort of limited in the 17" range on what to get, but I'm liking the Nitto G2's a bit more now that I've got to see them in person. But I like the R888 more with it's much larger contact patch, I just don't think they'll hold up with age. Here's an interesting visual I created to show the differences in contact patches (see attachment)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tires1.jpg  

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    Senior Member Whamhammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *JC* View Post
    I see many people that use them, almost as many as do Michelin PS2. I'm not saying they're not a good tire but I don't care much for the tread pattern, that's one of the things I disliked about the Cooper Zeon RS3-S (And the Mickey Street Comp knockoffs). It's very true it's not just about contact patch but also the composition of the tire. A much narrow tire can do better than a wider one, if the narrow one has a sticker compound. However I'm sort of limited in the 17" range on what to get, but I'm liking the Nitto G2's a bit more now that I've got to see them in person. But I like the R888 more with it's much larger contact patch, I just don't think they'll hold up with age. Here's an interesting visual I created to show the differences in contact patches (see attachment)
    To each thier own, I just wanted to offer my experience, and I wouldn't rule them out, especially at the price difference between the DW's and the Michellins (or the F1 GSD3 for that matter).

    I will say that I had GSC's on my 89 TA, and I loved them but I loved the F1 GSD-3's even more, I felt like the thing could drive upside down.

    After going through college, and using BFG Super Sport All Seasons, I decided to get a winter and summer set. The F1 GSD-3' in the 285-40-17's (wanted a little more meat) were on back order and rumored to be discontinued, so the next best reviewed were the DW's, bought them and am on the same pair for the third 9 month season.

    The only complaint I have is that they have gotten a bit of road noise at half-wear life but I havent put all my sound deadener around the wheelhouses yet anyways.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    My car is essentially the same power-wise as Whamhammer's (and none of my suspension is stock, though the rear Bilstiens are due for replacement). OP, what other tires have you driven on? FWIW, according to my understanding, an all season tire is essentially a "summer" tire with some compromises to allow for traction in freezing weather. Whereas a true summer tire (not an R-compound or off road tire) is better than all other options for dry and wet, but cannot function on ice/frozen ground. In other words, having great wet traction doesn't cost you anything on the dry side. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *JC* View Post
    I see many people that use them, almost as many as do Michelin PS2. I'm not saying they're not a good tire but I don't care much for the tread pattern, that's one of the things I disliked about the Cooper Zeon RS3-S (And the Mickey Street Comp knockoffs). It's very true it's not just about contact patch but also the composition of the tire. A much narrow tire can do better than a wider one, if the narrow one has a sticker compound. However I'm sort of limited in the 17" range on what to get, but I'm liking the Nitto G2's a bit more now that I've got to see them in person. But I like the R888 more with it's much larger contact patch, I just don't think they'll hold up with age. Here's an interesting visual I created to show the differences in contact patches (see attachment)
    I can't comment on the Toyos or the Nittos, as I've never driven on them...

    I do know that other aging platforms (NSX, in particular) run the Toyos as almost their go-to solution. Some of the older guys around here may have more input.

  11. #11
    Junior Member c0brakiller's Avatar
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    Tire opinions, please

    I run nitto 555s on my 78 camaro roughly 400 hp and love them very good traction wet or dry I used to daily drive it and never got squirrely in the rain I recommend them

  12. #12
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Not sure how there aren't many options for 275s I've never had issues getting performance tires in that size. If you like bf Goodrich KDWs I'd check out their Rival series tires as a replacement. I run KDWs in 275s in the front and 335s out back on my Vette and love them but once they wear out I plan on replacing them with the G force rival tires.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *JC* View Post
    I see many people that use them, almost as many as do Michelin PS2. I'm not saying they're not a good tire but I don't care much for the tread pattern, that's one of the things I disliked about the Cooper Zeon RS3-S (And the Mickey Street Comp knockoffs). It's very true it's not just about contact patch but also the composition of the tire. A much narrow tire can do better than a wider one, if the narrow one has a sticker compound. However I'm sort of limited in the 17" range on what to get, but I'm liking the Nitto G2's a bit more now that I've got to see them in person. But I like the R888 more with it's much larger contact patch, I just don't think they'll hold up with age. Here's an interesting visual I created to show the differences in contact patches (see attachment)
    I see you put the Michelin PS2s up there, but the Pilot Super Sports (PSS) has a tread pattern at least as meaty as the KDs in the first slot there, though it looks more like the PS2s (but not quite the same), not as "aggressive" looking--at least not to me--if that's what you're going for.

    Anyway, sorry I didn't have more to say about the other choices. Tires is probably my favorite topic to discuss when it comes to street performance.

  14. #14
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    A true Slick offers the maximum grip in dry traction (we all know this), as it puts the most rubber in contact with the ground. Channels (grooves) in street tires are there to allow water to be pushed out of the way. The width and number of channels a tire has, is areas where there is no rubber meeting the pavement, thus sacrificing dry traction. Without using a caliber to gauge the varying differences per tire, a simple visual observation clearly shows the NT-01 and R888 has the closest contact patch to that of a true slick. The BFG KD (The KDW or KDWS are not in the same league as the KD) has a much larger contact patch than the GY F1 GS-D3 and way more than many of the others except for the R-compound tires. The Falken RT615K looks to be the only tire that has an equal amount of contact patch as the BFG KD. Having said this it can not be overlooked that composition of a tire has just as much importance as contact patch. A bald tire with a 500 UTQG rating isn't going to have the dry grip, that an average full tread tire of 400 UTQG, even though the bald tire has a larger contact patch. Generally speaking the lower the UTQG the softer the rubber, but a tire of a similar UTQG rating that has less channels and a larger contact patch will grip more in the dry. All those grooves and channels do cost a tire grip in the dry because those are areas of the tire that never touch pavement.

    BFG G-Force T/A KD, KDW & KDWS are no longer avaiable (discontinued) The BFG Rival is not offered in the 17" rim, at least not in the market, despite BFG literature saying otherwise.
    Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 are no longer available (discontinued).
    Michelin Pilot Super Sport not available in 17"

    Me, I'm just looking for what I can live with. I like the contact patch and composition the R888 offers (but I can't help but laugh about how much it looks like a Forklift tire). I also like the Nitto 555 G2 though it doesn't offer near the grip my KD's did. I've seen many of the other tires mentioned (not all) in person and for one reason or another I didn't care for their looks or some other factor about them.

    Basically I'm looking for Summer Tire (Nothing all seasonal) that's closest to an autocross tire as you can get.
    That offers the widest width and the best dry traction in 275/40/17
    I'm willing to consider even a true Autocross tire. If it can survive street use and setting for long periods and some cold winter nights near freezing temps, that will last for a few years. (not sure that's possible?)
    Finding a tire in 275/40/17 isn't the problem. Finding one that offers great performance, is another matter, there just isn't much out there.
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  15. #15
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    If you want basically a street rated autox tire go with R888 or Corsa Zero.
    Last edited by 98TransAmWs-6; 09-05-2016 at 06:21 AM.

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    There may be a couple more in the same category but I'd have to look.

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  17. #17
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    Proxes R1R, RA1, and RR is another option. A true slick autox tire will not survive being driven on the street and be subjected to near freezing temps. I'd suspect they'd also wear fast and not last much time at all.

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  18. #18
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98TransAmWs-6 View Post
    If you want basically a street rated autox tire go with R888 or Corsa Zero.
    Only trouble there is the Corsa Zero doesn't come in 275/40/17
    And the R888, RA1 & R1R are all R-compound tires. I don't know how they'll handle setting up for long periods of time and getting near freezing temps.
    Any tire I choose is going to get old long before it wears out tread wise. I've only used 2/32 of an 8/32 tire in 8 years, it still has 6/32 tread left on them and the KD has only a 200 UTQG rating.

    Thank you for adding your input, it's much appreciated

  19. #19
    Moderator 98TransAmWs-6's Avatar
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    Black/ Silver
    98 TA WS6/ 01 C5 Corvette

    Not going to find an autox type tire in anything other than R compound. It shouldn't be horrible for you as it seems you don't drive it much. Just don't go for the slick type autox tires. Other than that you'll have to go with extreme summer performance such as continental extreme contact dw or similar tire.

    Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    OP, how much power is your 'Bird putting down?

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