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      02-16-2017, 02:06 PM   #1
iceboss23
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The track tire thread

Hey all. There are a number of discussions about track tires spread through other threads here but most of them are combined with discussions on fitment and wheel selection. I'd like this thread to focus on discussion about tires specifically and for people to share experiences with different brands and models as relates to overall grip(dry and wet), responsiveness, turn in, durability, cost effectiveness, stiffness, and any other things related to track performance. What I personally don't care about for a track tire but others may is: noise, ride quality, looks/tread pattern not related to performance, and anything strictly related to street driving.

That said, below is a small list of the tires I have seen discussed and a basic summary of what I understand about them based strictly on reading reviews. Clearly this will need to be fleshed out and added to by you all.

Comments and criticism welcome... this is the internet after all.

Bridgestone RE-71R - right now seems like everyone's fav due to 200 UTQG rating for AutoX. Reviews glow about grip but not so much about durability and cost effectiveness.

Michelin PSS - Stock tire for many. Widely praised as best combo street/track tire. Decent grip, decent durability, decent price. Outperformed by more focused tires.

Dunlop Star Spec - Less written about this tire but what is there is generally positive. Better durability than RE-71Rs but less performance and more expensive.

Nitto NT-05/NT-01 - I haven't found a whole lot of people on here talking about Nittos but in other places they seem to be very popular. Very interested in feedback about these. Seem like most affordable option. How do they hold up?

Hankook RS-3/4 - Generally well liked by those that have used them and talk about them here. TR reviews don't glow. Another tire we could use more info on.

Pirelli P Zero Troffeo - Haven't heard anyone really talk about these and there's nothing on TR.

Yoko Advan AD08 - Very highly praised on TR for grip and overall performance with decent durability and cost.

Toyo R888 - Widely varying opinions on these. Some people love them and others not so much.

This is obviously not a comprehensive list or thorough research. If you've used these or others and are willing to share your data (cost, lap time changes, number of days before rotating/replacing...) or subjective opinions I think it would be a great help to the community.
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      02-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #2
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I run Pirelli DH slicks, you need a lot of negative camber. NT05 is a street tire which isn't that good, NT01 is a pretty durable R comp, they are nothing alike.

You can also add the Sport Cup 2 if you want a tire you can drive to the track. And of course don't forget HoHo R7's.
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      02-16-2017, 04:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmosMpower View Post
I run Pirelli DH slicks, you need a lot of negative camber. NT05 is a street tire which isn't that good, NT01 is a pretty durable R comp, they are nothing alike.

You can also add the Sport Cup 2 if you want a tire you can drive to the track. And of course don't forget HoHo R7's.
So this brings up an entire separate conversation about streetable vs R comps. I'd like to keep this to streetable tires because for many people here who haven't done a ton of track time and have no intention of racing this car it seems more applicable. Especially considering what I have read and heard about the significant difference in grip drop off that newbs like me don't want to deal with when this is also our daily driver.

But again I could be wrong about that and welcome other thoughts.
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      02-17-2017, 12:11 AM   #4
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Re-71r.
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      02-17-2017, 12:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorAdamWest View Post
Re-71r.
They're the truth
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      02-17-2017, 06:33 PM   #6
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Good to hear... why?
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      02-17-2017, 06:43 PM   #7
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RE71r are Bridgestones street legal track tire. Very grippy and capable. Smooth breakaway when at the limit. Noisy on the street though. They just discontinued the RE11 which was also an awesome street/track tire but more biased towards the street. More quiet but less grippy than the 71r. It was my favorite and preferable to the MPSS since it was grippier but had much less tread life. Both the MPSS and the RE11 are now gone so I just bought the 71r's for my new wheels.
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      02-17-2017, 09:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrat 2 View Post
RE71r are Bridgestones street legal track tire. Very grippy and capable. Smooth breakaway when at the limit. Noisy on the street though. They just discontinued the RE11 which was also an awesome street/track tire but more biased towards the street. More quiet but less grippy than the 71r. It was my favorite and preferable to the MPSS since it was grippier but had much less tread life. Both the MPSS and the RE11 are now gone so I just bought the 71r's for my new wheels.
Good stuff Pyrat, appreciate the info. This is pretty much what I have read on here so far but trying to gather it all in one place and see if we can get more info about what everyone has tried and what they like and dont like.

From a more selfish perspective though I just want to know which tires will hold up the longest while still providing better than MPSS grip. All about finding the max value since I'm not made of $$$ and I know there are plenty of people in the same boat here.
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      02-17-2017, 10:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceboss23 View Post
Good stuff Pyrat, appreciate the info. This is pretty much what I have read on here so far but trying to gather it all in one place and see if we can get more info about what everyone has tried and what they like and dont like.

From a more selfish perspective though I just want to know which tires will hold up the longest while still providing better than MPSS grip. All about finding the max value since I'm not made of $$$ and I know there are plenty of people in the same boat here.
I'm not parroting what others have said. I've tried all of the above tires several times (Tire Rack loves me). I have three BMWs that I regularly track and 4 other BMWs that I have tracked but no longer own. If longevity is your priority then the now discontinued MPSS can't be beat. It WILL get slippery at the track at temperature and just doesn't have the grip of the others. On the other hand it does take abuse quite well and won't chunk or literally fall apart like others I have tried (Conti Extreme Contact). If you are willing to make the sacrifice on tire wear but not the street worthiness then the RE11 (also discontinued) was your choice. This was my go to tire. The RE71R is really the only one left of the three and as stated it is more track oriented than the others. I also have tried the Direzza Star Specs and while it is fairly solid at the track the noise level for me was not tolerable so I won't buy again. Hope this helps.
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      02-17-2017, 10:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrat 2 View Post
I'm not parroting what others have said. I've tried all of the above tires several times (Tire Rack loves me). I have three BMWs that I regularly track and 4 other BMWs that I have tracked but no longer own. If longevity is your priority then the now discontinued MPSS can't be beat. It WILL get slippery at the track at temperature and just doesn't have the grip of the others. On the other hand it does take abuse quite well and won't chunk or literally fall apart like others I have tried (Conti Extreme Contact). If you are willing to make the sacrifice on tire wear but not the street worthiness then the RE11 (also discontinued) was your choice. This was my go to tire. The RE71R is really the only one left of the three and as stated it is more track oriented than the others. I also have tried the Direzza Star Specs and while it is fairly solid at the track the noise level for me was not tolerable so I won't buy again. Hope this helps.
Absolutely this is great stuff. And I certainly didn't mean to insinuate that you were parroting anything just that it was in line with what most people are saying right now. Also, your follow up with your experience really helps me and anyone else reading this understand where you're coming from and how the perspective and priorities match our own.

So from the few posts here and what I've read elsewhere it sounds like for about the same cost ($230-280/tire) you can either get MPSS which is a great tire for street and track but wont have the grip and gets greasy at temp but will last a little longer, or you can get a more track focused tire like the RE71R which wont last as long but have better performance on track. No happy middle ground with a slight trade off in grip for better durability?
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      02-17-2017, 10:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceboss23 View Post
Absolutely this is great stuff. And I certainly didn't mean to insinuate that you were parroting anything just that it was in line with what most people are saying right now. Also, your follow up with your experience really helps me and anyone else reading this understand where you're coming from and how the perspective and priorities match our own.

So from the few posts here and what I've read elsewhere it sounds like for about the same cost ($230-280/tire) you can either get MPSS which is a great tire for street and track but wont have the grip and gets greasy at temp but will last a little longer, or you can get a more track focused tire like the RE71R which wont last as long but have better performance on track. No happy middle ground with a slight trade off in grip for better durability?
The RE11 was the middle ground although honestly the wear was closer to the 71R than the MPSS which is very good. Michelin is replacing the MPSS and I'm sure that it will be good as they know they are king of the hill on a high performing street tire. It's not yet out in the states though so it's only a promise of something good as they can't afford to screw it up. My guess is that you should probably stick with the MPSS for now. Keep an eye on the pressure at the track and that will minimize any greasiness. 35 lbs max right after you come off the hot laps.
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      02-17-2017, 11:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrat 2 View Post
The RE11 was the middle ground although honestly the wear was closer to the 71R than the MPSS which is very good. Michelin is replacing the MPSS and I'm sure that it will be good as they know they are king of the hill on a high performing street tire. It's not yet out in the states though so it's only a promise of something good as they can't afford to screw it up. My guess is that you should probably stick with the MPSS for now. Keep an eye on the pressure at the track and that will minimize any greasiness. 35 lbs max right after you come off the hot laps.
Now that's helpful. My first track day with the M2 I set cold temps at about 32 and pretty much left it alone. Noticed definite greasyness as I got faster throughout the weekend but didn't put 2 and 2 together. I'll definitely pay more attention next time. You say 35 hot all around?
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      02-17-2017, 11:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceboss23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyrat 2 View Post
The RE11 was the middle ground although honestly the wear was closer to the 71R than the MPSS which is very good. Michelin is replacing the MPSS and I'm sure that it will be good as they know they are king of the hill on a high performing street tire. It's not yet out in the states though so it's only a promise of something good as they can't afford to screw it up. My guess is that you should probably stick with the MPSS for now. Keep an eye on the pressure at the track and that will minimize any greasiness. 35 lbs max right after you come off the hot laps.
Now that's helpful. My first track day with the M2 I set cold temps at about 32 and pretty much left it alone. Noticed definite greasyness as I got faster throughout the weekend but didn't put 2 and 2 together. I'll definitely pay more attention next time. You say 35 hot all around?
There might be some debate over the exact target number. 35#s or other. Definitely want even temps all around when hot. You'll likely find that if you start at even temps cold then when you come off the track the fronts will be higher than the rears and the left side will be higher than the right since most tracks run clockwise.
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      02-18-2017, 12:50 AM   #14
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This is good info. For track purposes only, can anyone offer a comparison between the RE-71R and Pilot Sport Cup 2? Thanks!
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      02-18-2017, 04:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseyu View Post
This is good info. For track purposes only, can anyone offer a comparison between the RE-71R and Pilot Sport Cup 2? Thanks!
They are very similar. I'd expect times very close for both. The only quicker tire with real tread is the Pirelli Trofeo R, but they are way overpriced
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      02-18-2017, 02:48 PM   #16
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I guess I will be going with the RE-71R since they are $300 cheaper per set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorAdamWest View Post
They are very similar. I'd expect times very close for both. The only quicker tire with real tread is the Pirelli Trofeo R, but they are way overpriced
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      02-22-2017, 12:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayorAdamWest View Post
They are very similar. I'd expect times very close for both. The only quicker tire with real tread is the Pirelli Trofeo R, but they are way overpriced
265/35/18's are on sale on TR. It's killing me since I just bought Star Specs. Thinking I'm going to pull the trigger since they're so dang cheap. Might as well stock up!
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      04-23-2017, 08:03 PM   #18
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Regarding this comment above "Hankook RS-3/4 - Generally well liked by those that have used them and talk about them here. TR reviews don't glow. Another tire we could use more info on."

I've run the MPSS and the RS-3's on track in my old 235i. The MPSS had great grip and great feel but did not stand up to heavy track use - see photos below.

I switched to a square setup with the RS-3s. I found the RS-3s to be much more durable on track. Ultimate dry grip was about the same as the MPSS, wet grip was noticeably worse, but durability was awesome. Plus with a square setup they can be moved around on the car to even out the wear.

CAVEAT - I am now seeking a track wheel and tire solution for my M2 and I'm struggling a bit with what to do. I'm thinking about the TR wheel setup with either the RS-4s or the RE71s.
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      04-23-2017, 11:36 PM   #19
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Agree with ^ rich8566 regarding MPSS not holding up well on the track. In my experience, they also came apart at the bead to the wheel rim. I would add that I did not think they had great grip levels. They are afterall a 300 UTQG tire. I switched to Dunlop Direzza Star Spec ZII, which are 200, and my laptimes dropped 2-3 seconds around a ~ 1 minute lap circuit.

Having said that, they are my favorite street tire and offer more grip than you would need on the street while still being quiet and lasting a relatively decent amount of miles.

I intend to either go with Sport Cups or RE-71s so can add my thoughts on one of those once I get my car in June.
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      04-24-2017, 11:32 AM   #20
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Just bought a set of MP4S, big fan of the MPSS. I am certainly aware a number of other tires offer more grip. Although, I want to completely learn my way to that point with the M2. To the newer guys, if you are trading learning car control skills for another second or two you are really just shooting yourself in the "right" foot.

Pretty sure I know the answer, how is wet performance of the RE-71R and Pilot Sport Cup 2 compared to the MPSS?
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      04-24-2017, 11:44 AM   #21
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rich8566 - Pretty normal, for about any tire, on about any stock car. This is a result of the following - driving style, suspension setup (ie camber) and tire pressure. All three need some adjustment I'd bet. Switching tires will only cover the real issues up. Do you have camber plates?
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      04-27-2017, 02:35 PM   #22
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RE71R and Hankook RS-3

Here is my impression of both.

RE-71R are amazing. I have used them on this car and the E36. They are great grip for the track. Basically a street legal slick with treads. They do wear quickly. Went through one set in 3 track days. Probably right now the best DOT track tire out there. They are also light which helps for rolling resistance etc.

Hankook RS-3- I got a deal on these and know I see why. These tires on the track are horrible. The car squeals and pushes quite a bit. They are significantly heavier than the RE-71R. The one positive is that they are more durable. For regular street use they are fine but for track I wouldn't recommend. Probably about 2 seconds slower than the RE-71R.

Going to try the TOYO R888R soon through a sponsorship so that will be interesting.
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