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Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/5/19 1:02 p.m.

So, im learning to be a driver. Not just a builder.

The car is my miata challenge car.  Gmv6 swapped nb miata. 

Ive done a handful of events this year on rock hard sm7 slicks. 

I want a street/autocross tire to drive to and from events on, as well as run on.

Problem is, i dont know which one will be the best to learn on. 

I am NOT chasing the pointy end of xp with this car or tire. Hell, im chasing top 3 in novice if im lucky by the end of the season next year. My instructor run in my car showed a 6 SECOND gap due to my driving. So, its me that needs the biggest changes.

So, ultimate tires dont apply, which means the tire test that the magazine does is not relevant to me. Or is it?

Which tire do i want to learn on? Id like it to be cheap, because im cheap. But not at the expense of learning to drive properly. 

I was thinking about the federal rsrr, or falken rt615k as they look to be the cheapest.

What is the hives thoughts?

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/5/19 1:06 p.m.

IMO, the RT615k is the best bang for the buck. It's not THE fastest, but its good. It's hard enough that you won't wear it out in 4 auto-x's and has a good feel. I loved the old Hankook RS-3V2's for longevity and feel for my driving style at the time. The federals aren't bad, but I'd suggest the falkens over them personally.

And just like oil, car brands and political offiliation everyone has an opinion. I say buy one and drive it until the cords are showing. If you like them, buy them again, if not use your experience with them to know what questions to ask for the next set. 

Also for learning to drive, f the tires. Find the hardest all season you can and learn to go fast on those. Then find something with grip. 

NickD
NickD PowerDork
9/5/19 1:09 p.m.

I've fallen in love with the Nexen N FERA SUR4G, which is Nexen's 200tw tire. I'm running it on my Rotrex Miata in a 225/45R15. They run about $120ea, which is pretty cheap, cheaper than the BFGs by a long shot. Very responsive, has good grip when cold or in cool/rainy conditions. Also, they allow me to slide the car around a little better than the BFG Rivals ever did.  I've got about 9k miles on them, along with a ton of autocrosses and time trial events at the local private race track and they are down to about 3/32" of tread, so they hold up reasonably. 

slowbird
slowbird Reader
9/5/19 1:15 p.m.

IMO, cheap tires that have less grip may make it easier for you to find (and exceed) their limits, which could be good for improving one's driving skills. And since they're cheap, you won't feel bad about squealing tire noises going around turns, which is a mental block for me (omg i can't drive fast it'll mess the tires up)

Disclaimer: I've only autocrossed once so far, but it was in a Town Car with two mud tires and two all-season tires that came with the wheels I got from the junkyard.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
9/5/19 1:22 p.m.

I use the Federal RS-RRs on track and they've been great.  Just as good as the Direzza Z3s on track, for basically 1/2 the price (i paid ~100 bucks per tire for 235/40/17 on ebay).  They are loud on the street, but I don't really care...

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/5/19 1:32 p.m.

Two options as I see it. The 615k as Bob suggested is a good in all the ways spelled out above. The other option is to get a set of Westlakes. You will be slow. You will have more power and chassis than tires. You WILL learn to listen to the car. They do everything a good tire does but at 70% of the speed. You have to completely throw your ego away for a year to do that. The 615k is the more normal option.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/5/19 1:44 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I had a set of Westlake on a grand am one time. Singlehandedly the WORST tire i have ever driven on. 

Im not man enough for that kind of ego shattering.....

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) UltimaDork
9/5/19 1:47 p.m.

I've been autocrossing for a few years now and have run on several different tires.  The Federal RS-RRs gave no grip at all but were reasonably smooth at breakaway.  Dunlop ZIIs were pretty mediocre.  R7s are decent if you can get heat in them.  A7s are the gold standard but will hide your bad habits.  RE-71s are what I'm in now and they are phenomenal, there is a reason why almost everyone runs them.

Make sure you have a really good, aggressive alignment (Miatai are sensitive to their alignment settings).  Good brakes with a bit more rear bias bite to help the car rotate.  And then seat time to get used to the car and see what it can do.

The other day I had a co-driver who is really really good and at the end of it we were separated in time by 0.15 seconds.  Having a talented co-driver will really help you see where you can go faster.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
9/5/19 1:50 p.m.

In reply to KyAllroad (Jeremy) :

+1 on a co-driver. Especially when developing the car. That helped so much with the Forte. That car was so good. Needed a diff, but otherwise was so good. 

_
_ HalfDork
9/5/19 1:54 p.m.

You can get the federal ss595’s for about $50 a tire, free shipping on amazon. This is what I have for my first autocross season. They need heat and it takes several backvto back runs before they really start to grip, but they taught me a lot about the Miata with stock suspension. 

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
9/5/19 1:59 p.m.

Been autocrossing since 2004 and have driven things across the spectrum.  

 

If you are giving up 6 seconds, you need a good seat time tire and I would tend towards a known 200TW tire and that really describes the RT615k (though I havent run azenis since the RT215). 

 

Dont jump to Rcomps (100TW or less) too early as you can and WILL learn bad habits. the limits are so high, but the 200TW tires make you better at keeping a tire on the verge of the limit as its lower and a much more gradual breakaway. The Rcomps have a much more sudden breakaway and you compound needing to walk the line with needing precise control at the limit. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/5/19 2:40 p.m.

I run the Manic Miata in SSM.  This year I switched away from used A7s, which I was never terribly impressed with; I'm sure sticker tires would have been a different story.

I went with Rival S 1.5s in a 225/45 on 15x9 wheels.  They fit with minimal or no rubbing on stock fenders (narrower coils, though).  I leave them on the car all the time for daily driving and autocross.

So far I like them.  They are not as grippy as the A7s but they are very progressive and communicate pretty well.  My car is notably more tailhappy with them, so they are teaching me to be smoother with my inputs.

At about a buck and quarter each, they're not bank breakers, but they're not $50 each either.

 

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
9/5/19 2:59 p.m.

FYI: title fixored

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UberDork
9/5/19 3:04 p.m.

What size wheel?  Plenty of champcar and lemons teams have tires for cheap or free that fit your needs.  I might have some 225 45 15 rs4.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/5/19 3:08 p.m.
Apexcarver said:

Been autocrossing since 2004 and have driven things across the spectrum.  

 

If you are giving up 6 seconds, you need a good seat time tire and I would tend towards a known 200TW tire and that really describes the RT615k (though I havent run azenis since the RT215). 

 

Dont jump to Rcomps (100TW or less) too early as you can and WILL learn bad habits. the limits are so high, but the 200TW tires make you better at keeping a tire on the verge of the limit as its lower and a much more gradual breakaway. The Rcomps have a much more sudden breakaway and you compound needing to walk the line with needing precise control at the limit. 

This. This is what i was not communicating well with my original ppst. U want to develop good habits and skills. I need seat time, and seat time tires. I SUCK at driving. Pretty hard. Well, more like the vacuum of space ....

The car is.....aggressive. stiff, high power, manual everything. Radically different from the pro-touring style musclecars ive done in the past. Just soooo much tp sort out in my head and hands that i dont want great tires covering my sins. But too much for super crappy no-seasons. I have those on as my street/tow tires, and cant even use 1/2 throttle in second or most of third on the street. Or much brake/steering.  Dont buy sunni tires from discount tire...

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/5/19 3:08 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

15x7 drag dr21

I wonder if i could cram your takeoff tires on....

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/5/19 3:23 p.m.

You never have too much car for crappy tires. 

 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
9/5/19 4:09 p.m.

Yeah, just get whatever fits and is pretty cheap for tires. You already know they aren't what's holding you back, get someone fast to set a base line in your car w/ your chosen tires for an event and then chase it. 

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UberDork
9/5/19 4:22 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Yes, you totally could.  Lemme see what I have.

 

If not me, there are plenty of other teams running 15s.

captainawesome
captainawesome Reader
9/5/19 4:23 p.m.

I think you really need to ride with all the hot shoes to see how it's done. Watch how they turn the wheel, apply brakes, the lines, the speed at which they take the corner, throttle input, looking WAY ahead. The tires can help with grip, but if you don't know how to put that grip to use, it's not that helpful.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/5/19 5:05 p.m.

In reply to captainawesome :

I'm trying to do that but my problem is that I can't seem to pick up how they're doing it. It's all just happening so incredibly fast I can't follow

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
9/5/19 5:13 p.m.

OK. Here you go dumping on yourself again. A six second gap on a course that was how many seconds for the instructor? How many autocross runs have you done in your life?  Alan McCrispin turned a lap almost 2 seconds faster than me (at the 2017 Challenge) and I'm a rusty ex-autocrosser with several provincial championships to my credit. That was on a 37 second course, so call it 5-6%. How close were you to your instructors? Get whatever tires and drive more. Work out on the course and watch the lines the experienced drivers take. Ride with them on fun runs and have them ride with you. There is no substitute for more seat time.

Edit: ...and don't be surprised if the gap between you and the instructor is narrower on a 200TW street tire than it was on the SM7s.

slowbird
slowbird Reader
9/5/19 5:19 p.m.

The data logging seems like a really useful tool too, there was just an article about it the other day here on GRM. I might have to get one of the budget-oriented setups myself...

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/data-driven-how-quickly-digest-data-quicker-autocr/

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
9/5/19 5:39 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

In reply to captainawesome :

I'm trying to do that but my problem is that I can't seem to pick up how they're doing it. It's all just happening so incredibly fast I can't follow

I think that reiterates what I was getting at above. Just get any ole tire and get some seat time. Don't compare yourself to other drivers, I only said to get their time to understand what's possible with your current equipment. I think post session GoPro analysis is helpful, but really it's all seat time my man. Getchoo some.

captdownshift
captdownshift PowerDork
9/5/19 5:42 p.m.

Are wheels are tires swapped out at events?

If so Nankang AR-1s are solid and less expensive per a corner than most 200TW options. 

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