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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just put these tire on the rear of my 2001 Spyder. Stock size 205/50 R15. Up front I have Tokohama S Drive stock size 185/55 R15. The KUMHO replaced Yokohama that were in the back that were stock size. WOW, what a bad decision. The rear now lags the front response noticeably and makes the handling very sketchy at speeds above 40 mph. Because of the lagging back end the oversteering seems extreme compared to the previous setup. It seems like perhaps the sidewall, while the same diameter, is not as stiff as the previous tire and it just sways under the weight of the engine. I am running the same pressure in the rear I did before (32PSI) and will try to go bit higher to counter.
Anyone else use these? I know I am an idiot so no need to rub it in.
 

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I would either replace the fronts with the same tire to even out the grip/handling characteristics or go with 4 new summer tires.

I was in a similar situation (needing to replace S drives) & I considered the PA31's, PS31's, & Advan Flevas. I ultimately went with the Advans because I saw several similar poor reviews of the PA31's by ppl on here as well as other places & the price difference wasn't large enough to make it attractive to me at the time.
 

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Just put these tire on the rear of my 2001 Spyder. Stock size 205/50 R15. Up front I have Tokohama S Drive stock size 185/55 R15. The KUMHO replaced Yokohama that were in the back that were stock size. WOW, what a bad decision. The rear now lags the front response noticeably and makes the handling very sketchy at speeds above 40 mph. Because of the lagging back end the oversteering seems extreme compared to the previous setup. It seems like perhaps the sidewall, while the same diameter, is not as stiff as the previous tire and it just sways under the weight of the engine. I am running the same pressure in the rear I did before (32PSI) and will try to go bit higher to counter.
Anyone else use these? I know I am an idiot so no need to rub it in.
I has a similar feeling when I went from 225/45/16 to 225/50/16 on my rears. I don't use those wheels anymore, but unfortunately I think changing some tires around is the only solution.
 

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I put the Kuhmo summer tires using the stock sizes all around on my 2002 Yokohamas were another $200 at the time. They are fine for me, but I just tool around, never really pushing the car.

My only comment is they don't look aggresive, they are just tires.
 

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I had Kumhos up front with some older Dunlops on the rear. Rear tires went into a little bit of a slow slide after a rain which I thought was fun, so I put on a little more throttle (going back to go-kart days). My fiancée was NOT receptive to such a idea and was sure to let me know about it. Shortly after that I replaced the rears with the Kumhos and have regretted it completely. The car wallows into turns and even on straight roads. I have about 2,000 miles on them now and either they have gotten better or I’ve become accustomed to their poor stability. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM FOR THE REAR OF THE CAR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I had Kumhos up front with some older Dunlop direzzas on the rear. Rear tires went into a little bit of a slow slide after a rain which I thought was fun, so I put on a little more throttle (going back to go-kart days). My fiancée was NOT receptive to such a idea and was sure to let me know about it. Shortly after that I replaced the rears with the Kumhos and have regretted it completely. The car wallows into turns and even on straight roads. I have about 2,000 miles on them now and either they have gotten better or I’ve become accustomed to their poor stability. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THEM FOR THE REAR OF THE CAR.
Yes I have the same exact experience even on the straight. Somehow makes the front end feel loose now on the straight at higher speeds. I just use it as a daily commuter and pretty much drive it under 4k but rather enjoyed the track feel before. I am hoping a little more pressure will tighten them up or a little wear as you have experianced.
 

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You do not want to mix tire models. It isn't anything wrong with the Kumho tires. The front and rear have to be matched in performance characteristics to get predictable results. That means construction, tread compound, tread pattern, the whole megilla, everything needs to track with conditions. Your combo could work perfectly well, except for one corner of the performance envelope where things go totally batcrap.
 

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I just replaced the PS31's on my car that have 2K ish miles with the Advan Flevas as the 31's suck big time. If you live within 500 miles of SLC, UT I will drive to meet you half way to give you the tires so you have a matching set and you can experience them in all their glory. If not, and anyone else wants them, the same offer applies for the next week or so. I'll drive 200ish miles to give them to you free of charge so I never have to see them again.
 

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Two notes:
1. Yokohama S-drives are relatively stiff sidewall tires. If you are used to direct steering feel, there are not many run of the mill tyres which offer similar response. If you need all weather performance and do not drive in freezing conditions, I think Advan Fleva's are the closest replacement available in 205/50/15 from Tire Rack.
2. 500 Threadwear all-season tyres will never offer the same grip as 300 threadwear summer tyres as they have to work over a much bigger window. Response also suffers to get the tyres to perform in a wide window.

I once had a set of Goodyear Vector 4 seasons on my Miata (MX-5 here in Europe) and I absolutely hated those tyres from a driving perspective. Yeah they gripped up in damp, cold and freezing conditions, but the sacrifice in dry summer performance was way too much for me to stomach. I was sliding all the time. I gave those tyres away for free to a friend which used them on his car only for long term storage (yes he hated them too...).

Here in Europe we have more choice in 195/50/15 and 205/50/15, as apart from the Advan Fleva's there is not a lot of choice in UHP tyres. Maybe a set of Continental ExtremeContact Sport would be a good choice.
Otherwise you are in the Extreme category and there you are really compromising in wear and wet performance. I only run my Spyder in the summer and I enjoy my Yokohama AD08R, but they can catch you out if it rains during the fall.
 

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We went front S-drives to the Fleva when the S-drives were discontinued, and the tires are similar in feel and grip, even though the Fleva have a slightly narrower tread width in the same size. The tread patterns are almost identical. I suspect the Fleva in the back would match OK with S-drives in the front. Better yet would be the same tires all around with maybe 195/50-15 fronts.
 

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I use Kumho PA 31, in stock 2001 sizes, in cold weather. The only good thing I can say about them is that they don't freeze. I find them very poor in the rain. The reviews I have read say differently but my experience with them leaves less than satisfactory. I haven't found anything better except Michelin ICE-X in 195 that is better, I wish a 205/5-r15 was offered as I don't care for the taller size.

I use Dunlop ZII/III in the warmer months and love them. I would consider using Fleva's for summer use.

I think you are running a very dangerous combination and suggest purchasing Yoko Fleva's for the rear ASAP.
 

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I consider the PA31 to be perfectly good all-season tires. They keep my car off the ground for the winter, and allow me to drive it when the roads are clean. I keep in mind that they are not performance tires, and try to avoid doing stunts on them.
 

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The only stunts I do are in an airplane. They do keep the car off the ground as well as not freeze. I consider having them on the back in this situation to be hazardous.
 

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The best thing I had to say about my PA 31's was they kept the rims from being damaged while I drove the car. I really like my everything about my flevas except the name, it sounds really stupid. Maybe it means something cool in some language I've never heard of.
 

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Weird. I bought these two years ago bc they were the only matching stagger I could find.

Some of the best tires I have ever had on a car.

Above 65 degrees ambient these tires grip like none other. It usually takes extreme clutch abuse, or liftoff overseer in a highspeed downhill curve to initiate a slide. Even in the dirt/gravel they grip very well. I have noticed a due warning of understeer before the rear starts to come around, but more throttle solves that.

Damp roads and snow are a different story. They respond well to hydroplaning, but grip is minimal in the curves.

Below 65 degrees the tires dont offer as much grip overall. They warm up after a highway commute and have noticable flat spots the next day. First few miles will have a slight vibration before the tires are able to heat up, then smooth back out.

What I have noticed in 20000 miles is that a Spyder in stock form can not excede the performance capabilities these tires have to offer.

Most of the miles the fronts were at 22-25 psi and the rears 24-28. This offers the best ride and performance characteristics. I noticed the front pressures didnt affect handling as much as the rear. Anything over 30 in the rear got pretty slippery.
 

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Weird. I bought these two years ago bc they were the only matching stagger I could find.

Some of the best tires I have ever had on a car.
These are the PA31 that you are talking about? They do well in my experience with all-season tires, but if you try a set of extreme summer tires, I guarantee that you are in for another think. The ZIII that I run in summer have better traction in the wet than I have ever gotten from an all-season under any conditions.
 

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Yep PA31. They dont seem to wear either. After 20000 miles they still have like 90% tread left.

I'm not sure what you mean by traction in the rain. The PA31 grip fine off the line. Its the turning thats sketchy. I really wouldnt trust any tire in the rain on a car this light with its handling characteristics.

On a rant about driving in the rain now. Its unpredictable the way it slides. It tries to go where its pointed but sometimes the front slides along with the back. All four corners sliding. When it catches the car goes where the fronts are pointed. Like an awd drift if that makes sense. Hard to get repeatable control of the car in the rain. The only predictable characteristic is that it grips when you dont want it to, and doesnt grip when you need it to. I dont think this is so much the tires. It is more a characteristic of the car.

I do not recommend performance driving an MR2 in the wet, or even driving in the rain if you dont have to. More then likely someone else will wreck into you, and you will be out an MR2. Good luck finding another.
 
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