Tyres

Tyre update

Having had time to bed in, I can now comment on how the Falkens are coping on the road. A recent spate of dry weather has given me ample time to lean on them and see how capable they are. It’s now very difficult to spin them up in the dry, I can plant full throttle out a junction and they will grip right through to the top of 1st gear which is impressive.

Feedback through the corners is good, I can push on down country lanes with confidence, and a tight line round roundabouts doesn’t unsettle the car. If you get it wrong and head into the corner too quickly, the car tends to understeer, old dampers probably not helping.

Wet weather performance is not amazing to be brutally honest. I think there’s something to be said for a directional tread pattern that pushes water to the edge of the tyre. Hard braking is ok and doesn’t trigger the ABS too early, but if you push on the car loses grip quite quickly. As I don’t drive quickly in the wet anyway, this is not a problem for me.

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Time for new tyres

After using my track tyres on the road for a few weeks, following a blow out, I decided it was time to sort out some decent road tyres. I decided to opt to replace all 4 tyres, rather than just the single axle as the existing tyres were odd budget brands and didn’t have a huge amount of tread left anyway. The problem is because the standard ‘Raptor’ alloy wheels are 14″ they are reaching the point where tyres are actually becoming more expensive than larger sizes. With many hatchbacks now coming with 15″ or even 17″ wheels as standard nowadays, economies of scale on 14″ tyres are diminishing.

Regardless of this fact, I always ensure I have the best tyres I possibly can, to give me the ability to stop or avoid something in the event of an accident or emergency. Having used Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres in the past which were fantastic in all conditions, I tried to find some in the required size. It was becoming obvious this was going to be more difficult than planned, as the F1s now only come in 17″ sizes and above. So from the limited choice I had I opted for Falken ZE912s from Camskill. Although not as reverred as the FK452s (unavailable in 14″) they were the best pick from the bunch at a reasonable £40 a tyre and received several good reviews from performance car drivers.

First impressions are of a fairly grippy tyre, I can still spin them up in the dry, which I struggled to do with the Eagle F1s though. I will report back on how well they are lasting tread wise, in a future post.

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