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Old 05-02-2006, 11:05 AM   #1
Oni
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Focus Competition Tires: Info, Links, and Reviews

General Information regarding Tires and Air Pressures

Tire Size Information:

This is an explanation by the Tire Rack on tire size information from what the numbers and letters mean. If you're not familiar with what the designations on a tire mean, this is the great place to start learning first.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=46

Recommended Air Pressures for Competition and How to Tune Pressures to adjust Driving Dynamics

This is an article with basic information over tire pressures and temperature fluctations.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=73

This is a good explanation as to how you can adjust the tire pressures to affect the driving characteristics of the car, especially when there is little to no suspension adjustment available to you (i.e., stock suspension).
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=58

This is an explanation on how to measure temperature on the tires and how the temperature can affect the internal pressure and handling of the car. It gives some tips for optimizing the pressure after tread temperatures are read.
http://www.coleparmer.com/techinfo/t...luke-track.htm

Further reading and discussion over this topic can be found in this thread:
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/s...threadid=33797

More Information and Topics:

I borrowed heavily from the Tire Rack since it's just a great resource for information. You can learn so much about tires and wheels, suspension, brakes, and more. Here's the link to their tech center for various technical topics.
http://www.tirerack.com/about/techcenter.jsp


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Street and R-Comp Tires and Dealers:

*Green link indicates lowest priced site (may not apply to all sizes)

R-Comps:

Toyo RA-1

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
Meisterchaft Motor
The Wheel Source
Edge Racing

*This tire is considered more of a road racing tire than an autocross tire

Kumho Victoracer V700

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

Kumho Ecsta V710

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

Kumho Ecsta V700

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

Hoosier A3S05

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

Hoosier A6

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

Hoosier R3S05

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack
The Wheel Source

*This tire is considered a road racing tire
*Prices are the same for the Tire Rack and Wheel One (before heat cycling and shipping)

Hooiser R6

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

*This tire is considered a road racing tire

Avon Tech R-A

Description | Specs | Sizes

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

Pirelli PZero Corsa

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack
The Wheel Source

*The 215/45/17s are not legal in Street Touring classes, though they are 140 UTQG rating, which is the only size that has that treadwear rating
*I found other sites that carry this tire but none that were close to the common Focus sizes

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

*This tire is considered a road racing tire.

Yokohama A048

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

Yokohama A032R

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

*The sizes available are very limited for most owners

Nitto NT-01

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
Discount Tire Direct

Hoosier Radial Wet

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack
The Wheel Source

*This tire is intended for use only in the wet.




Street Tires (eligible for Street Touring and Street Tire SCCA classes):

Falken Azenis RT-615

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
Edge Racing
Discount Tire Direct
Vulcan Tires

Kumho Ecsta MX

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack
Vulcan Tire Sales
Summit Racing

Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD07

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack
Discount Tire Direct

Hankook Ventus RS2 Z212

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
North Coast Performance (215/45/17)
Edge Racing (various sizes)
Discount Tire Direct

Toyo T1R

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
Wheel Max
The Wheel Source
Edge Racing

BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack
Discount Tire Direct (limited sizes available)

Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R

Description | Sizes | Specs

Where to buy:
The Tire Rack

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Test Results and Reviews:
Personal Experiences and Reviews:

If you have personal experience with a tire listed, please list the tire and size and how long you have been running competitions on the tires. Also, please give a short review of your overall thoughts and if you would buy them again or recommend an alternative tire. Please do not post pictures - not necessary, and I want to keep the thread simple and faster to load for all users.

Example,

"Tire: Falken Azenis RT-615
Size: 225/45/17

I purchased these tires to run in my STS class...
..
..
..
....I would highly recommend these tires for STS competition."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*If there is any information I left out that you feel is pertinent, please PM me to let me know (such as another vendor, a tire no longer made, safety information, etc.). If a tire is not listed, please PM me the information so I can add it; however, remember that the focus is on competition related tires dealing with road racing, autocross, and drag racing - not street performace (a separate summer tire thread should be made for that).


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Old 05-02-2006, 11:25 AM   #2
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It's a "sticky". Nice job ilcowil.

===============================

Tire: Hankook RS2
Size: 215/45/17
Usage: SCCA Solo2 AutoCross (STS class) and Daily Drivers.

Review:
Part 1 - Initial Impressions:
The RS2's completely and utterly blow the stock Continentals into the weeds when comparing them on the track.
It was a little bit of a shock to me, but I had to entirely re-learn how to drive my car on the track,
since these tires have so much more potential.
For example, I'm generally under 2 seconds max between all my runs.
Well, being a "noobie" on these new tires, I dropped 3 seconds on my 2nd run, and 4 more seconds on the 3rd run.
The last 3 runs were pretty consistent with less than a second between them...
(and 2 cones on the last run when I really went for it...woops).
I feel pretty good that I did find their limits as fast as I did, but I still can't get over how different the car reacts now.
I'm sure the next event will see me dropping even more time off, once I start playing around with pressures a bit,
and get even more used to the new treads.

Here's the first few observations from the track:
#1, Turn in is right now with these tires, pretty much the first thing I noticed on the street too.
#2, I can brake much later now, before rotating into a turn.
#3, Once I'm in the turn, I can push the car a great deal harder without scrubbing the pi*s out of the front tires.
#4, Tire wear looks great, though I've only got 1 event/6runs on them so far.

I should mention, I only had 250 miles on them before hitting the track.
I managed to get in one good heat cycle with about 50 miles of easy "street" driving,
then I went on a short 80 mile road trip with a good amount of hard cornering thrown in.
I immediately threw the car up on jackstands, and let the tires cool down overnight, and 1/2 the next day.


Part 2 - Post Season Review:
They're toast.
You can literally measure the treadwear after each event.
As far as a track tire, I'm getting something else for this coming season.
While grip is on par with the MX and Azeni, the treadwear is not.
I've seen several competitors with 2+ seasons on the aforementioned tires.
Not going to happen with the Kooks.


Epilogue:
Azeni RT-615's (225/45/17) have been ordered, and will be here next week.
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Old 05-02-2006, 03:21 PM   #3
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Falken Azenis RT-615 ....5/2/06
215/40/17


I have only run "1" autocross on these so far and find them to be very grippy! I dropped almost 4-5 more seconds from last seasons best times.!! wow!
corner speeds have improved alot compared to my old kumho 712's!. also with good turn in feel, and good transition through slolomns..no i can't spell! handling felt very predictable, even at the edge of control. I will add a "post season" report this fall! looking to be a good season this year so far!!
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Old 05-04-2006, 01:16 PM   #4
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Tire: Kumho Ecsta MX
Size: 215/45/17
Usage: SCCA and PCA autocross and daily driver

I have done four events on these tires (three SCCA autocrosses, and one Porsche Club autocross). While I cannot tell the distinct difference of these tires over my all-season Contis, I know these tires are faster. They break away in an easy fashion and are easy to get gripping again (unless spinning ). They wear very well, and I look to get a whole season and summer's worth of driving out of them. I have dropped an average of 2-3 seconds over my Contis. This is both attributed to improvements in driving and the tires (so let's say 1 second to driving improvement and 2 seconds to tires ). I'm on average 2-3 seconds behind the fastest STS guy where I was usually 5-6 seconds behind his times on the Contis when I was in GS.

The biggest plus about these tires is that they love heat. Whereas the RT-615 may need cooling, the MXs work better the hotter they get. Like a slick the MX needs some heat in it with one or two runs under it before it starts sticking to its potential.

Personally, I love the tires and they work great in the rain as their tread pattern would suggest. But if I had to do it all over again, I think I would've gotten the Falken Azenis RT-615s in 225/45/17s instead. Still, this is an opinion based on unshaved MXs, so they may become almost as competitive as the RT-615s once worn down and tread squirm is reduced.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:08 PM   #5
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Falken Azenis RT-215 (discontinued, but might be able to find used)
225/45r17
Price Paid: $112 each from Vulcan Tire
SCCA Solo STS class (about 30 runs) and limited street usage (under 500 miles)
Stock ride height, no ABS

Initial impression was scary because I tried them out on the street first. Too tall, for one thing. They raised the car 1/2" over stock 195/60r15 Goodyear RS-A tires. I knew they would be taller, but I should have done more homework before going with that overall diameter. There was also a rubbing issue, but I only encountered it this first street trial when I was going straight over an intersection with an "elevation change gutter". You know, like when you drive down a hill on a San Francisco-steep street and then the road flattens out. The inner fender lip rubbed just enough to shave a little string-cheese looking piece of tire off of the fronts. CRAP! I decided from then on not to use them on the street, but Auto-X only. I never had a rub issue at an Auto-X, oddly enough. Overall, it was a fun experiment to try to go with the maximum allowable width for the class.

As far as performance, they were great for STS. "The tire to have" as far as I was concerned because of the tread pattern and stiff sidewalls. IMHO, the only reason other guys ran Kumho tires at nationals was becuase they offer contingency money and Falken doesn't. I kept hearing rumors about how "greasy" these tires get when hot, but I never had enough of a problem to spray my tires with water like other schmucks were doing.

As far as turn-in and all that other gobbledeegoop, I have no idea what to tell you because I am a seat-of-my-pants type of impressionist. I have been autocrossing for eight years, but I would make a terrible test driver for a magazine. Not becuase I can't drive, but because I can't put into words how tires react to my inputs. Does it turn in good? Sure, as opposed to my old Kumho 712 street/auto-x tires. Did I think they lasted long enough? Sure, but I sold them with some tread left on them because the new RT-615 came out and I had to upgrade to see what all the hype was about.
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Old 05-04-2006, 02:48 PM   #6
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Falken Azenis RT-615
215/40r17
Price Paid: $120 each from Vulcan Tire
SCCA Solo STS class (about 40 runs) and limited street usage (under 500 miles)
1.5" drop (Steeda Springs) and Koni Struts, no ABS

I could hardly wait for this tire to be released and I was not dissappointed. Much better treadlife over the 215, and the same stiff sidewalls I came to know and love. This is tire of choice for autocrossers in STS class for a reason. Who cares if Kumho offers contingency money. Let's face it, unless you're in an '89 Civic Si and know what you're doing, even the best driver in a Focus can't compete with these guys, no matter what tires they run. My point is I want the fastest tire I can get for a reasonable price. This tire was good enough to help me win STS in my region, but I have also done alot of other things to the car. I have recently purchased a new set-up and will give you my impressions once the wheels arrive and I run an event on them: Falken Azenis RT-615 205/50r15 on 15x7 wheels.

This RT-615 tire is much better on the street in the rain than the 215, and I even got a few wet autocross runs on them. They were great in the rain, I hardly had to change my driving at all, just apply the brakes a little earlier (since I don't have ABS).
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:16 PM   #7
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Tire: Kumho V700 Victoracers (R-comp)
Size: 225/45/17
Usage: SCCA Solo2 Autocross (G Stock)

After running last year on stock Conti's and then Nitto Neo-Gens after a pothole incident, the Kumho V700's are like super glued to the surface. When you turn in, there is no hesitation, they just grab and you go. The 1st run out has to be taken easy as they need some heat for best traction, but I usually go easy anyway to make sure I have the course and my line right. I have 3 events on them (8 runs per event) so far and wear is decent. Amazingly it seems less than my street tires from last year which showed much more shoulder wear than these 50 treadwear competition tires. I did have to relearn the way I drive. You can brake much later and hold much better speed thru the corners, but where street tires give you an audible warning when you have approached max traction (tire squeeling), the V700's provide NO warning before they let go. You hit the traction threshold and then you are sliding thru the cone wall with no warning other than knowing you were really going too fast. This is my 1st experiance with R-Comps and I love them. If treadwear is decent and get all this season and part of next on them, I will get another set. If they wear too quickly, I might try Hoosiers or Avon Tech-RA's. I had them heat cycled from Tire Rack which is suppose to prolong tire life and the track surface is very smooth (very slick actually) so I should get 1- 1 1/2 seasons from them.
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:14 AM   #8
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Yokohama Advan A032 S (R-comp)
205/50/R15
usage: SCCA solo2 (Hstock)

these were my first R comp tires and im hooked. It is the best valued mod u can make to lower ur autox times. These tires lasted me for over 1.5 seasons. so they have longevity going for them. They are much stickier than street tires, obviously, but i think that they arent as sticky as some of the other R comp tires out there. my next set of tires will be kumho v710, which are, I'm told, the uber R comp tire for autox (although i hear that the hoosiers are good too). THe Advans are a good step into R comp tires, if you are a new driver to autox and may still be a little rough on tires, these will do u well. Also, if you were rich, i suppose you could use these as your rain race tires as they have good tread pattern to evacuate water.



As a note on tire pressures, I set up my car differently from what the Tirerack article would suggest. I find that my focus (perhaps all foci) need higher pressure in the back tires than the front. I have about 39 in the front and 42 in the back. In my opinion this only way i can control the oversteer. (remember im in stock class and have little else that i can adjust).

Also i notice alot of reviewers ^^ have 17 inch wheels. was that a choice, or limited by what u had. For my race tires i went out and bought 15 wheels from the autowrecker, adn put the smallest diameter tire i could on it. My thought was tha by reducing the tire diameter, u increase ur gearing advantage and acceleration. Also with smaller wheels, u reduce rotational inertial which will help the car accelerate and brake. As my car could have came with 15" wheels, it was a legal wheel size for stock class. Just another POV for those considering tires and wheels for auto-x.

PS. i jsut realized that SVT cant fit their brake discs in a 15" wheel

good luck out there
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:38 PM   #9
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Please post questions in another thread.
This thread is limited to tire info/observations only at the request of the original poster. Thanks.
But...I will answer this one, since I'm already "off topic"...
SVTF can only run 17s in stock classes, as that's the only size that came on the car.
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Old 06-15-2006, 03:02 PM   #10
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215/45/17 BFG KDW N/T
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