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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've got a 2002 w/OEM 15" wheels w/ Bridgestone Potenza RE040 tires in stock sizes (185/55R and 205/50R) that have 40k miles on them and it's time to replace them.

After reviewing the various threads that I've found here, I've narrowed the choice to between the Yokohama S Drives or Toyo Proxes R1Rs in 195/50R and 205/50R. Wanted to stay w/the OEM 185/55R and 205/50R sizes but tire size availability for tires in these sizes varies. No problem w/the 195/50R and 205/50R combo, so have decided to focus on these sizes for the new tires.

I only use the car for day or weekend trips. I'm usually in "cruise" mode when I drive the MR2 but can get pretty aggressive (but not crazy) with it in the twisties when the mood strikes me. Have gotten the rears of the Potenzas loose a couple of times but they never fully broke traction after I corrected for it.

Two questions:

1) Which tires do you prefer -- the Yokohama S Drives or Toyo Proxes R1Rs -- and why? Can get the S Drives for about $150 less for the set at Tire Rack but price isn't a major issue.

2) Are there any disadvantages to running 195/50R instead of 185/55R up front? The only "problem" I can think of is a little heavier steering due to the slightly wider width. Are there other things I should consider before going with 195/50R's (instead of 185/55R's) up front?

Let me know. Thanks!
 

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These tires aren't really comparable. The r1r is one of the fastest street tire autocross tires (195 size). The s.drive is an affordable performance tire, but is lower on the grip scale when compared to the r1r (195) and similar tires.
 

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From the reading I have done the Toyo's don't have as stiff a sidewall giving less feel in the steering wheel. The Yokohama's don't have the grip wet or dry as Dunlop's or Re-11's. My choice would be Re-11's when my Re-040 wear out.
 

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From what you describe you will never break loose an r1r, it is an incredible tire. Never driven on the s drive but it will last longer since higher treadwear. R1R is great even in rain / cold weather and mine have lasted quite awhile, probably due to lack of weight of an Mr2.

I should say cold never being below 30 degrees probably
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Is there a reason you're not also considering Toyo T1-Rs?
Like the S.Drives, they are available in OEM sizes.
That's one of the availability issues I mentioned in my initial post.

Toyo apparently does NOT make the T1R's in 205/50R15 anymore. They still make the 185/55R and the 195/50R which can be used in the front but not the 205/50Rs. I do not want to go up in size on the rears, so that rules out the T1Rs.

See: http://toyotires.com/tire/pattern/proxes-t1r-ultra-high-performance-summer-tires

The Toyo R1Rs are not available in 185/55R, only 195/50R and 205/50R. On the other hand, I can get the Yokohama S Drives in 185/55R or 195/50R for the front BUT the 185's cost more than the 195's. Not much more, but more. The Yokohama 185's will also take an extra week to get. So, unless there's a reason NOT to go up to the 195's, I can buy the 195's for $28 less than the 185's and get them a week earlier. This is the reason I'm focusing on the 195/205 combo.

On the other hand, the Toyo R1R's cost about $150 more than the Yokohama's for the set ($328 vs $474 plus about $50 shipping which is the same for both makes). From what I've heard so far, the Yokohama's would provide better mileage than the R1Rs but the R1R's would provide better performance. With only 1 exception, the Tire Rack comments from MR2 owners on the Yokohama's compared w/the Bridgestone RE040's (that are on my car now) are very positive.

Just looking for comments from others to confirm or dispute whether this is the better choice or not. Also looking for any comments (pro or con) about going w/the 195's instead of the 185's up front.
 

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If your going with the r1r, get 195's all around. The 195/15 is a single compound tire that is sticky to the cords, the 205's and larger are dual compound and grip changes (for the worse) as they wear.
 

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Like most people started these tires are in different leagues. I have the T1Rs 185/205 and I have no complaints. Since we cant really rotate our tires anyway I think an optimal setup would be t1rs on the front and r1rs on the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If your going with the r1r, get 195's all around. The 195/15 is a single compound tire that is sticky to the cords, the 205's and larger are dual compound and grip changes (for the worse) as they wear.
Hmmm . . . no easy choices.

When (after how many miles) do the 205's start deteriorating AND what are the pros/cons of going w/195's all around?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Like most people started these tires are in different leagues. I have the T1Rs 185/205 and I have no complaints. Since we cant really rotate our tires anyway I think an optimal setup would be t1rs on the front and r1rs on the rear.
Not sure if it would make a difference (pro or con) but I'd rather NOT have different treads on the fronts/rears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
From the reading I have done the Toyo's don't have as stiff a sidewall giving less feel in the steering wheel. The Yokohama's don't have the grip wet or dry as Dunlop's or Re-11's. My choice would be Re-11's when my Re-040 wear out.
At Tire Rack, a set of RE-11s are $204 more expensive than a set of S Drives and $68 more expensive than a set of R1Rs. Are the RE-11's "worth" the extra price?
 

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From the reading I have done the Toyo's don't have as stiff a sidewall giving less feel in the steering wheel.
I can honestly say the steering wheel is firmer when I have my 949/ t1r's on vs the OE rims on 195/205 firehawks. Which I think this is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Well, the tires on the car now (Bridgestone RE040s) were in worse shape than I thought. They were worn down to the cords on the inside of the front tires and I'm amazed they haven't blown out already!!! :eek:

Have a 2 day trip to Carmel planned for this coming Sun-Tue and needed to buy another set of tires before then.

The Yokohama S Drives and Toyo R1Rs were both available for delivery from Tire Rack in 2 days. The comments by MR2 owners on the S Drives on Tire Rack were very positive and didn't indicate a clear advantage in performance of the Bridgestone RE040s (which cost almost twice as much) over the S Drives. Couldn't find any Tire Rack customer reviews on the R1Rs and didn't want to deal w/the issues raised by "spydertrophz" (the wear of the single compound 195 front vs dual compound 205 rears or whether to go w/ 195s on all 4).

So, I decided to go w/the 195/205 S Drive combo instead. Don't drive the MR2 all that much and don't race or rally it. So, the performance differences between the S Drives and the R1Rs or the R040s (or RE-11's for that matter) really shouldn't matter all that much.

If I really HATE the S Drives I can always swap them out for R1Rs (or something else) later when I've got more time to think about it. Thanks for your comments so far. Looking forward to any further comments in case I need to switch out the S Drives for something else later.
 

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I have just switched from T1R's to S drives.I had 205's on the front and that made the car feel heavy.I went with the 195's up front and the car now turns in better and feels lighter.You may notice a little heavier feel going from the 185's to the 195's but you will soon get used to it. I like my S drives a lot I think you will like them too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have just switched from T1R's to S drives.I had 205's on the front and that made the car feel heavy.I went with the 195's up front and the car now turns in better and feels lighter.You may notice a little heavier feel going from the 185's to the 195's but you will soon get used to it. I like my S drives a lot I think you will like them too.
Tire Rack is AMAZING!

Got the S Drives in just 1 day and got them mounted/balanced already. Did you know you can stack 4 MR2 tires in the passenger seat w/the top down? LOL!!! :lol:

I do not notice the 195s being any heavier than the 185s. Performance (front and rear) seems as quick and responsive as it was w/the RE040s.

Will report back further after I test them out on the very narrow and twisty Carmel Valley Road (and, if I have time, Hwy 25 past Pinnacles National Monument) on the way back home next week.
 

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Interesting that you don't notice a difference between the 185 and 195 up front.

I run the same 195/205 S. Drive setup and the day I got the 195's on the steering was a tad heavier and a tad less responsive.

It might also have something to do with the fact that the previous tires were pretty worn (better grip?), and the S. Drives were brand new.
 

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The S.Drives come in 185/55/15, so why chose the 195? Is there an advantage?
 

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I believe it has to do with them wearing slower and more evenly with the rear tires (since you cannot rotate them).

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
195 S Drives Cost Less

The S.Drives come in 185/55/15, so why chose the 195? Is there an advantage?
The only reason I went w/the S Drive 195's up front was because they cost less than the 185's. Don't know why they cost less, but saw no reason to go w/the 185's when they cost more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
S Drives vs Bridgestone RE040s

Interesting that you don't notice a difference between the 185 and 195 up front.

I run the same 195/205 S. Drive setup and the day I got the 195's on the steering was a tad heavier and a tad less responsive.

It might also have something to do with the fact that the previous tires were pretty worn (better grip?), and the S. Drives were brand new.
Still don't notice any "heaviness" in the front end because of running the 195's BUT I do notice that they do not "track" as well as the RE040 (even worn down to the threads). Actually, I'm experiencing the opposite; more lightness than heaviness. When driving straight or on a particular line, the S Drives tend to wander and require me to make a lot of minor corrections to keep it going straight or along a particular line.

The S Drives grip well enough for me and, after pushing it in turns a couple of times, I really have no complaints other than a slight tendency to oversteer (which I experience as extra sensitivity to steering input) w/the 195 S Drives upfront that I didn't not recall happening w/the 185 RE040s. This may be due more to the size difference than any significant difference in the tires.

These are my observations to date. No major issues and I am satisfied w/the purchase, especially given the lost cost of the tires.
 
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