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Old 10-28-2009, 06:19 PM   #1
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Default Best 14" street tire for a turbo car

I need new tires...and would prefer summer rubber over all-seasons...but there's not much in 14" sizes.

We can afford some decent tires...but can't afford to upgrade to 15" wheels and still buy rubber. I would love to dip into the choices in the +1in size...but can't do it this year.

My current Bridgestone Potenzas are teh suck in the dry...and downright dangerous in the rain. I rolled into throttle in a 70mph sweeper the other day and 4sec later was in the center turn lane pointed the other direction and wondering how the INSIDE of my windshield was wet (top was down...light rain).


In the dry 1st gear is useless...and second is kicking sideways everywhere.


I've narrowed the cheap, available local compromise tires to:

Sumitomo HTR 200
Falken Ziex 912 or 512

These would be just over $200 mounted, and could walk into Discount Tire tomorrow and get. They would probably be more comfy and stick a little better than what I've got...and should certainly be better in the wet. Hopefully they last long enough that I can afford 15"s next time around.

There is also the highly recommended Bridgestone Pole Position...but it's as expensive as the Azenis in my size.



Is it worth it to spend a little more, and possibly order tires and pay shipping? ..or am I chasing marginal performance gains?


Anyone have experience with these?

Anyone still running 14" found a decent tire?


I searched and didn't find many recent opinions...and I'm REALLY tired of reading the crap at m.net. I prefer advice from those of us used to twice OEM power.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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I had the falken 912 before I found sets of 15's on Craigslist to move up to. I thought it was a just fine tire for a 6 inch wide wheel, and marginal power. YES still slid, still broke loose but only soo much you can ask for such a small rubber.. They are directional, so no great way to rotate and get great wear. I ran lots of camber, which chopped out the inside of the tire. I said fuckit, cheap tires, cheap wear and replacement.

I would say... are you looking to ever upgrade to larger wheel/tire combo... Buy cheap 14's now and save a few bucks toward your tire and wheel combo upgrade. I would def rate the Falken above the sumotomo... but pennies for pennies, you might never notice a difference.

Goodluck
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:40 PM   #3
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Falken Azenis RT-615.

/discussion

Only other tire I can think of in the "doesn't altogether suck" category would be the Yoko ES 100, but they're just barely cheaper than the 615, and not nearly as good a tire.

I know you're eyeballing 15" wheels, but look at it another way. You have two options:

1: Spend $200 on tires that suck now, hate life for a while, and then later on, spend money on a set of 15" wheels and good 15" tires. Total money wasted = $200.

2: Spend $350 on a set of good tires that will provide nearly the same level of performance in a 14" size that you'd get from something comparable in a 15" size. Take your time saving up for the new wheels and rubber. By the time you finally kill the 615s, you'll have saved enough for new everything, and you won't have had to drive around on shitty rubber during the interim. Total money wasted = $0.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Falken Azenis RT-615.

/discussion

Only other tire I can think of in the "doesn't altogether suck" category would be the Yoko ES 100, but they're just barely cheaper than the 615, and not nearly as good a tire.
Think I'll get more than 10K miles out of them? That's like 4 months in the life of my car.



I know I know...you can't have it all.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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I had the falken 912 before I found sets of 15's on Craigslist to move up to. I thought it was a just fine tire for a 6 inch wide wheel, and marginal power. YES still slid, still broke loose but only soo much you can ask for such a small rubber.. They are directional, so no great way to rotate and get great wear. I ran lots of camber, which chopped out the inside of the tire. I said fuckit, cheap tires, cheap wear and replacement.

I would say... are you looking to ever upgrade to larger wheel/tire combo... Buy cheap 14's now and save a few bucks toward your tire and wheel combo upgrade. I would def rate the Falken above the sumotomo... but pennies for pennies, you might never notice a difference.

Goodluck

Thanks for the review.

I'd still have to order the 912s...but the 512s are available locally. I've heard they are inferior to the ones you had though.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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I'm not any help as far a tire choices, but I've got to say I'm digging your description of turbo'd Miataness.

I know a new set of 15" wheels + tires is out of the budget, but have you tried searching Craiglook.com for something like a set of NB 15" wheels with tires? You might find a good deal from someone upgrading.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #7
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sumitomos suck ***. Every set I've had (3) had not grip and didn't last long. I have them on my daily and they were scary in the rain on day one. I ran Kumho ecstas or whatever on the turbo car for a while and they were pretty good. I'd buy them again.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:51 PM   #8
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I'm not any help as far a tire choices, but I've got to say I'm digging your description of turbo'd Miataness.

I know a new set of 15" wheels + tires is out of the budget, but have you tried searching Craiglook.com for something like a set of NB 15" wheels with tires? You might find a good deal from someone upgrading.
I'm a local CL *****.

It seems there are great deals on 15x7 4x100 Konigs...etc. when I DON'T have money.

As soon as I'm ready to buy there's nothing but overpriced crap...and mostly in 16"+.

Such is life.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:55 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hustler View Post
sumitomos suck ***. Every set I've had (3) had not grip and didn't last long. I have them on my daily and they were scary in the rain on day one. I ran Kumho ecstas or whatever on the turbo car for a while and they were pretty good. I'd buy them again.
The LXs or the other ones?

Thanks for discouraging my choice on the Sumitomos...I will hate myself if I cheap out on some crappy *** tire.



Joe: The Azenis are looking like a GREAT choice, which I knew...now I just have to figure out how I'm going to explain needing new tires in spring to the wifey.



I don't need an all-season at all. I hardly ever drive in the cold. My main priorities are just maximum wet and dry grip and atleast a year of usage (20-25K miles for me).
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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4 Rota Slipstream Black W/ Falkon Azenis

This is your deal....at half the price. I see what you mean.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
Think I'll get more than 10K miles out of them? That's like 4 months in the life of my car.
As Hustler might say, it depends entirely upon how baller you are.

I'm at maybe 6-8k on my RE-01Rs, which have a comparable treadwear rating and construction to the 615s. Probably still have >50% tread on 'em.

OTOH, I've corded a set of >400TW all-seasons on a Camry in under 5k, just by driving like a douchebag on them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
Joe: The Azenis are looking like a GREAT choice, which I knew...now I just have to figure out how I'm going to explain needing new tires in spring to the wifey.
You're doing it for the safety of the children.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:22 PM   #12
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As Hustler might say, it depends entirely upon how baller you are.

I'm at maybe 6-8k on my RE-01Rs, which have a comparable treadwear rating and construction to the 615s. Probably still have >50% tread on 'em.

OTOH, I've corded a set of >400TW all-seasons on a Camry in under 5k, just by driving like a douchebag on them.



You're doing it for the safety of the children.


I drive like an absolute douchebag...all the time. I blame it on watching too many Steve McQueen movies as a kid.

I am of the mindset that there is no reason to not have as much traction available as possible at all times. I need to just splurge on good tires and be done with it. To me all-seasons are nothing but more even, predictable traction in all conditions...but at a much lower level...and for many more miles.

I'd rather have max dry traction, nearly as good wet traction...zero mud and snow traction...and as many miles per dollar as I can get.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #13
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I am of the mindset that there is no reason to not have as much traction available as possible at all times.
This.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:57 PM   #14
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I was going to bust your ***** for not checking the reviews at tire rack (they are great), but then remembered that the ******* don't sell Falkens.

I had a set of 615s on our n/a NA in the 14" size, then swapped over to the 205/50-15 Ecsta XS on the same car. I don't drive any Miata much in the rain, but in the dry, on the track, the two tires were close enough not to be worth switching wheels and everything just to get the XS.

The 615s squalled like a **** at the limit, the XS are much quieter, but a bit sharper at turn-in and a bit higher in overall grip. The 615 gets a tiny bit greasier when overcooked, but will come back when allowed to cool back down, as will the XS.

I know you don't have the XS as an option, but I'm just trying to illustrate that the 615 is a good tire, and worth a bit more over some cut rate ****. If you are not a ***** in the rain, you may not die right away with either tire.

I had a couple/a few track days on the 615s, and about 5-8k total miles on them when I sold them on cheap mounted on some really shitty heavy wheels. They wore 2/32 or less in that amount of usage.

I would get the 615s again if I had to.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:18 AM   #15
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What about RS2's? Are they discontinued in this size yet? I remember getting mine and people were telling me they were discontinued and I said bullshit and got them anyway. This was 4 months ago though.
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:52 AM   #16
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What about RS2's? Are they discontinued in this size yet?
I think that they are discontinued in all sizes. Obviously some inventory still exists in warehouses. TireRack reports having two of the 15s available.

Did they even make a 14" version of the R-S2? I don't recall ever seeing one.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:14 AM   #17
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Tracked toyo proxxes 4's (in a 225 15" size) both rain and dry, as well as snow when they had half tread, take from that what you will.

In 14", I was never turboed but tracked 195 falken 512's and did A LOT of driving in the rain, never had a problem and they were great in the rain. I think GRM did a cheap performance tire review and liked them the best for sub $60 tires. Test was on a miata. I don't think you're going to waste your money if you use a cheaper set of 14" tires till the end of their life, as long as you:
A. Learn to drive.
B. Drive safer/smarter than you do now.

You'll have less traction obviously, but find the limit, stay below it, and you'll still have fun. Otherwise anyone who tracked their cars who weren't on 245 r-comps wouldn't ever have fun. Which is everyone. Just DONT spin around at 70 in the rain. Or in the dry. I don't care how bald your tires are and how wet it is, drive within your limits and and the cars limit.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:19 AM   #18
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meh im with joe you need to just get something you can drive for awhile and then, when you can afford it get some light 15's and nice tires.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I think that they are discontinued in all sizes. Obviously some inventory still exists in warehouses. TireRack reports having two of the 15s available.

Did they even make a 14" version of the R-S2? I don't recall ever seeing one.
Take a look at my car and you'll see 4 of them.
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:46 AM   #20
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Take a look at my car and you'll see 4 of them.
This post is worthless without pictures.

Admittedly, I doubt I'd have ever looked for 'em. Just had it in my head for some reason that the 615 was the only 14" tire in this class. Live & learn.
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