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Rain Tires for Autox

Old 10-06-08, 03:40 PM
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Rain Tires for Autox

After a really wet weekend of autoxing here in the Pacific NW, it is quite clear I need some decent rain tires.

I've used Kumho v710's in wet conditions before, but this weekend was really wet. A decent rain tire would have been faster, and even more important, more fun.

Though there are threads that mention rain tires, I am trying to get a number of comparisons and opinions/facts in one thread.

The car is a 93 SM2 FD.

One thing is for sure - V710's don't work when it's really wet.

So what are your favorite tires for autox in the rain?

And what tire doesn't work in the rain?
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Old 10-06-08, 10:24 PM
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Do you want dedicated rain tires or just street tires that works in the rain?
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Old 10-06-08, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jkstill View Post

And what tire doesn't work in the rain?
That's an easy question to answer....any tire that has no tread!

I race an FB on 13x7" wheels so the tires I have run may not be available to you. I have run 3 rain races and by far real dedicated rain tires - Hoosier Dirt Stockers -were the best. The other tire I have used would be considered an inermediate - Unshaved Kumho Ecsta V700's. The difference between the two in really wet conditions is that I could really drive the Hoosiers hard and I had to tip-toe on the Kumho's.

If your budget allows I would invest in either a set of Hooiser radial rain tires or a set of the newly released Kumho W710 radial rain tires (they had then at Solo II Nationals). For intermediate wet conditions a set of Ecsta V700s would work.

The deal with rain tires is that it isn't just about the tread - it is about the compound. Dedicated rain tires are molded in a really soft compound and they actually get hot in race conditions and stick to the pavement.
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Old 10-07-08, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by justint5387 View Post
Do you want dedicated rain tires or just street tires that works in the rain?
Dedicated race tires are not out of the question.

What I don't want to do is buy something like Hoosier wets that work really well when it's wet, and are expensive, but easily destroyed if driven on dry pavement.

Such as what happens when the sun comes out and the course dries out about halfway through a run group.

Some have had good success with the Bridgestone RE01R, a dedicated race tire that works pretty well in the rain, but will continue to work even if the pavement dries out.

Got suggestions?
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Old 10-07-08, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mustanghammer View Post

If your budget allows I would invest in either a set of Hooiser radial rain tires or a set of the newly released Kumho W710 radial rain tires (they had then at Solo II Nationals). For intermediate wet conditions a set of Ecsta V700s would work.
Heard any reports on the new W710's?
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Old 10-07-08, 10:41 AM
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From seeing the W710's in use at the Solo Nationals, I'd say that they are at least as good as the Hoosier Wets. If it is really pouring down, that will be the way to go. As far as being destroyed in the dry, I don't think the radial wets (Hoosier or Kumho) will come apart that quick (I've seen folks run the Hoosiers in the total dry). Dirt Stockers are another story.

Another option are the Kumho ECSTA SPT street tires. I've run them in the rain and they work pretty darn well. Not as fast as the race wets, but very respectable.

One thing people forget sometimes is to change your setup for the wet. I usually take rebound out of the shocks all around, soften the front swaybar quite a bit, and sometimes raise the car up some.

-Andy
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Old 10-07-08, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by AMRX7 View Post
From seeing the W710's in use at the Solo Nationals, I'd say that they are at least as good as the Hoosier Wets. If it is really pouring down, that will be the way to go. As far as being destroyed in the dry, I don't think the radial wets (Hoosier or Kumho) will come apart that quick (I've seen folks run the Hoosiers in the total dry). Dirt Stockers are another story.

Another option are the Kumho ECSTA SPT street tires. I've run them in the rain and they work pretty darn well. Not as fast as the race wets, but very respectable.

One thing people forget sometimes is to change your setup for the wet. I usually take rebound out of the shocks all around, soften the front swaybar quite a bit, and sometimes raise the car up some.

-Andy
Thanks for the input Andy.

The new W710 sounds like a contender, but reviews are hard to come by so far, so the response is appreciated. The Hoosiers are sounding better with your comments about the track drying out. I just don't want to spend $1k on tires and burn them up because the weather changes.

As for setup, I thought of that too late. I should have put the shocks on full soft.
The front sway bar (ST) is not adjustable, or I would have softened it up.

This was only the 3rd event for this car after spending a couple years in the garage rebuilding it. No seat time in the wet with the car sporting 350 RWHP, no rain tires.

The upside was it forced me to concentrate on being smooth with all inputs. Otherwise there would lots of understeer on turning, oversteer on exit. Only spun once.

I've been searching reviews on tires, and the Dunlop Direzza also seems like a good contender for a rain tire.
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Old 10-07-08, 11:52 AM
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Yay!!! W710 bout time Kumho came out with good wets. That'll change up the game for those going for contingencies
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Old 10-10-08, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jkstill View Post
Dedicated race tires are not out of the question.

What I don't want to do is buy something like Hoosier wets that work really well when it's wet, and are expensive, but easily destroyed if driven on dry pavement.

Such as what happens when the sun comes out and the course dries out about halfway through a run group.

Some have had good success with the Bridgestone RE01R, a dedicated race tire that works pretty well in the rain, but will continue to work even if the pavement dries out.

Got suggestions?
Kumho ECSTA V700's if you can still get them in your size. I have run them in a race at full tread depth and they were okay - didn't come apart or wear completely out. Again not a great rain tire but excellent in those "tweener" situations.

Ultimately if the course starts to dry out and you have the time (like at a tour or divisional event) you need to change tires and get on an intermediate or full dry tire. It helps to have a plan for rain. Such as some helpers,a cordless impact and a fast floor jack. You will be amazed what you can get done with enough help and planing between runs at a big Solo II event.

How valuable a rain tire is to you depends on where you live and race. If rain is common you need them. If you are running an important event (Pro Solo - Solo II Nationals, etc) you better have them. To a certain extent a set of rains is an investment that you may only use once or once in a great while. When I was autocrossing exclusively I won races because I had rain tires and lost them when I didn't. Now that I am club racing more I never leave home without rain tires regardless of weather forcast.

If I can I will put a set of the W710's in my budget.
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Old 10-11-08, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Sully734 View Post
Yay!!! W710 bout time Kumho came out with good wets. That'll change up the game for those going for contingencies
Only 3 sizes available on TireRack.com.

Nothing about them at kumusa.com
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Old 10-11-08, 07:52 PM
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Have you tried the toyo T1R? i have it on my fb and those tires just take the rain off the road and make a big spray
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Old 10-12-08, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 666cody666 View Post
Have you tried the toyo T1R? i have it on my fb and those tires just take the rain off the road and make a big spray
At auto-x?
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Old 02-15-10, 11:16 AM
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Resurrecting this thread.

I've settled on Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec.

Putting a set of 255/40/17 on 17x9 +45 Enkei RPF1 wheels.

The reason for the Dunlops: Many outstanding reviews for their wet weather traction.

They will last longer than Hoosier wets, and are significantly cheaper to replace than Hoosier wets. Not as fast as the Hoosiers I am sure, but will be much better than 285/18 V710's when the course is really wet.

I would have got 17x9.5, but they are special order, no one has them for at least 6 weeks.

As it is I am getting gold wheels, as black and silver are both unavailable.

I will update this thread again after I actually use them in the wet.
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Old 02-16-10, 10:47 AM
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I've run the Kumho W710's a few times this year. I think they are significantly better than the Hoosier Wets (trying to be unbiased here). Pretty amazing stick both laterally and accel/braking.

-Andy
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Old 02-16-10, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by AMRX7 View Post
I've run the Kumho W710's a few times this year. I think they are significantly better than the Hoosier Wets (trying to be unbiased here). Pretty amazing stick both laterally and accel/braking.

-Andy
Thanks for the input Andy. The choice sizes are still fairly limited however.

I've been trying to budget my money a bit for this, as the new Carbonetics Diff and 4.77 gear set are already costing a bit.

A somewhat limited 'budget' forces some compromises.
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Old 02-16-10, 11:44 AM
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Some video use of the W710's...note the accel numbers (over 1G lateral).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLRhILZyUTQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-ngYfpDpc0
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Old 02-16-10, 06:02 PM
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That is some amazing grip in the wet.

Direzza Z1 tested at .86 g in the wet in a C/D test.

Not as good, but what I can afford for now.
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Old 02-20-10, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jkstill View Post
Resurrecting this thread.
I've settled on Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec.
[...]
I will update this thread again after I actually use them in the wet.
I just got the same tires from Tirerack in stock 225/50/16 for my FD. I'm getting them put on next week. Of course right after I ordered them Tirerack cranks up a rebate program.

Rebate program is still going on - $50 off a set of 4. Hmm, I may still get a set as rain tires for the FC.

-b
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Old 02-21-10, 08:26 PM
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After watching the vids from AMRX7 I broke the budget and ordered 275/40/17 W710's.

Kind of looking forward to a rainy event now.
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Old 02-22-10, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jkstill View Post
After watching the vids from AMRX7 I broke the budget and ordered 275/40/17 W710's.

Kind of looking forward to a rainy event now.
Now its never going to rain!

We bought Hoosier wets after the 07 Milwaukee National Tour event. (or maybe 08.. can't remember) It hasn't rained enough at a event since then to warrant putting them on. Hopefully that doesn't change. We'll take the wets to every event to ensure it doesn't rain You know as soon as you leave them at home, it will rain.
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Old 02-22-10, 10:36 AM
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the durizza's are great rain tires same for the Toyos RA1
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Old 02-24-10, 06:29 PM
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You won't be disappointed jkstill, they're pretty amazing. I think any time the course is wet (doesn't have to be standing water), they'll be faster than regular r-comps. With standing water, much much faster. I've used mine 3 different times and come away happy each time. Feels like cheating.

-Andy
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Old 03-05-10, 11:32 AM
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I would've suggested the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 for a wet weather street tire. Best one on the market, and has slightly less dry grip, but better stability than the Star Spec.

The Star Spec would rank 3 on my list of wet weather street tires, with the Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 slotting in between the Bridgestone and the Dunlop.
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Old 03-26-10, 04:33 PM
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Carbonetics diff and 4.77 gears are in and tested.

The Kumho W710's needed scuffed, the diff needed a break in period, there's a twisty mountain road near my home, and it rained.

The level of grip from the W710 is nothing short of amazing.

I didn't push it too hard on the twisties as I am not used to these tires, and I wanted to stay on the road.

On a straight stretch I did let it go WOT up to 7k RPM in 3rd gear.

The car just planted and took off. Amazing.

There's an autox Sunday, and the forecast calls for rain.

I'm looking forward to it.
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