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I've finally decided to get seperate summer performance and winter tires for my 1990 325is. The car runs on stock 14 inch "Cross-spoke Styling (Styl. 5)" wheels. They fit 195/65-14 tires (currently 195/60-14 tires are fitted, the difference being sidewall aspect ratio. The previous owner installed these tires. I do not know if this aspect ratio difference will have any significant impact on performance.) I plan to mount the summer tires on these wheels and mount the winter tires on used E30 wheels (bottlecap style-I believe BMW refers to them as "Alloy Rim Styl.E30." Failing that, I'll just use steel wheels for the winter tires.) Can anyone suggest a specific tire (summer perf. or winter) to fit these wheels?
The top two pictures show my current wheels and tires while the bottom picture shows the bottlecap wheel (not my car.)
Thanks for the tip! Unfortunately, the only summer Falken tire that fits is the Falken RT-615. By the looks of the tread, it's a great dry performance tire, but it doesn't seem to have wet traction in mind (correct me if I'm wrong.) The only Hercules summer performance tire that fits is the Hercules G3000H. I am not 100% sure it is a summer performance tire and not an all season compromise. Too bad that Hercules' more agressive tires don't fit 195/65R14.
Sorry for not being clear in my original post. I do not want to "go cheap" at all. In regard to the summer tires, I'm looking for a tire with excellent dry and wet weather grip and decent tread wear (I don't want them to be worn out in 3 months.) One good example that I have had experience with is the Goodyear Eagle F1 (not on the E30, on an S4.)
I am realistic in regard to tread wear. My current tires-Sonic Astra II M+S-probably haven't lost more than 10% of their tread since I bought the car two years ago. And this is with very spirited cornering. When these pitiful tires were new, one could coax the car into throttle-on oversteer through on-ramps, but now all four tires meekly give up and let go whenever any attempt at spirited driving is made. In the rain they require finesse itself. In snow they're a deathwish. Obviously the tread compound is over-designed for long life, with no "concessions" made towards grip or handling. There is a distinct possibility that these are the worst tires ever fitted to a BMW.
Goodyear doesn't make a summer performance tire to fit 195/65R14. Neither does Dunlop, Avon, Continental, Kumho, BF Goodrich, Fuzion or Michelin.
Pirelli does make the P6000, which fits my wheels. However, I have read mixed reviews on The Tire Rack. Some say they're fantastic while others complain of poor snow traction (using a summer performance tire in snow is asinine) while others cite poor wet traction and a very low service life. These two aspects concern me. Complaints about rolling noise, ride comfort or snow traction do not.
Another summer performance tire I have found that fits is the Yokohama AVS ES100. Tons of great reviews for that tire. Looks promising. A third is the Sumitomo HTR 200, but its "el cheapo" price ($43USD on The Tire Rack) and its availability only in 195/60R14 instead of 195/65R14 makes me uneasy.
Does anyone have any tire suggestions, or any experience with the P6000s, AVS ES100s, Falken RT-615 or HTR 200s? How about winter tires? All comments will be appreciated!
PS: That would be recommendations in the title. My apologies.
I say look for new wheels for your car and use the basketweaves for winter.
There really isn't much choices out there for that 14'' size.
Even for 15'' there isn't much.....there are a few more (Toyo T1-R, BFG, Dunlop) but double the price of the Falken 512s, so i might just be getting those. 225/50r15s.
The bad thing about the 512s are the soft sidewalls and low life. But they ride really smooth and quiet compared to my Conti's (which is like having a bad wheel bearing)....it felt like i was in a new(er) car.
T.Dot E30, thanks for the reply and the info on the ZE-512s. I agree that larger wheels would immediately fix my problem. I would like to keep the car looking stock. If money was not an issue I could get the 15" basketweaves that were fitted to the 325ix-they look fairly similar. Since I have invested in 4 new center caps for the basketweaves, I can't justify buying a new set of wheels.
EDIT: There is a possibility that the caps are the same. It is unlikely, however, since the parts guy walked out to the car to make sure I was running the 14" wheels and not the 15" ones.
Simply one of the best street tires out there, and yes, it's VERY sticky in the wet. When you get down to 4/32nds and below hydroplaning is an issue, but what tire isn't it an issue with as the tread wears that low?
Thanks for the recommendation Mystikal! I have narrowed it down to the Falken RT-615 or the Yokohama AVS ES100 (both in 195/60R14.) Your opinion regarding wet traction (for the RT-615) is very useful, since I've heard mixed reviews regarding the RT-615's wet performance.
From what I've heard, it looks like this:
-better dry performance
-maybe not as good wet performance (Mystikal's post calls this statement into question)
-not long wearing due to soft compound
-inferior dry performance (although still good)
-great wet performance
-longer lasting due to harder compound
The ES100's are downright poor in the wet, are noisy, and have other serious downfalls. They will also NOT last longer than RT-615's, I've seen people move from the ES100 to the Falken and actually get better mileage out of the latter.
Well, well. There's another nuclear warhead's worth of information! Looks like I didn't do my homework. Thanks for the info again! The guy who I talked to at the Wheel & Tire Zone must be out to lunch. He said the complete opposite!
With all due respect to them, people in tire sales tend to know NOTHING about the technology and actual performance of what they're selling. It's almost comical overhearing what they tell customers (even in relatively respectful outlets). The tire guy you spoke with is actually probably referring to the treadwear ratings on the tire spec sheets, which mean absolutely (and I mean absolutely) nothing. They're just made-up numbers created by the manufacturers, for example I can name a few 360 rated tires that last less mileage than 200 rated ones, and from the same manufacturer!
I can tell you that my info is strictly from numbers and/or subjective data from worthwhile sources only, not just internet heresay or the opinion of some random keyboard personality who has no seat time on other tires to give accurate feedback. I'd say my info is relatively trustworthy, if that helps you at all.
Trust Mystikal he's the man on Max when it comes to tires and rims.
I own a set of Avs es 100. They are great on dry, wet they are ok. And they wear down very fast. Last summer I put on tires in May, and by October they were done. Please note that I have a Stock 318is so there is no possibiliety of me burning the tires for the life of me. At $250 a tire for 10-12,000km...it gets hefty on the old wallet. So like Mystikal said, I am also another one that will be switching to Falken.
Jay, have you had an opportunity to drive on RT-615's in the wet? They are simply awesome, I could not beleive how much wet grip they had. Even my 100% bald RT-215's weren't too bad when I got caught in the rain with them.
Thanks Nascar, glad to hear I'm not wasting my breath around here.
Tom, I did try the RT-615's in the wet. They are even better than ZE-512's on braking, which shocked me. I couldn't push them too hard in the corners though, I had Hercules crap in the rear so most of my cornering involved using 50% of the Falken's capability while holding the rear out at a 30 degree angle.