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Comparison of Bridgestone vs Yokohama OEM Tires
Courtesy of SpyderChat Contributors
<<<About the tires: I drove mine over the same sporty car road as the "First Drive" car, in both wet and dry, at factory 26/32, and noticed these things...
Ride: Potenzas are slightly softer and seem to have a bit more sidewall flex than Advans. Both are good for speed rubber, though.
Noise: Both are very quiet, a tossup.
Balance: Both were well balanced. No vibrations at any speed.
Handling: There was a difference...
-Dry: Advans the winner here. The car feels well balanced and holds on even with trailing throttle through turns. When they eventually lose grip they do so very predictably and recover smoothly. Neither the front or rear seems more likely to slide in the dry. The spooky part is that there's no audible feedback that they're about to slide, so all feedback is through the wheel and seat. Potenzas understeer in the dry, and squeal as they slide. Both give excellent road feel. I think the Advan edge here is due to the asymmetric tread pattern that puts more rubber at the outside tire edge than anywhere else.
-Wet: Potenzas win here. They had phenomenal wet grip, understeer at the limit (with squealing even in the wet) and recovered smoothly. Advans are scary in the wet. They oversteer power on or off, get ready. Have to say that it's catchable
oversteer, though. Feedback from either tire is excellent.
Braking: Take your pick, both are exceptional. Potenzas howl a little with the ABS engaged on dry roads, while the quiet Advans just go about their business.
Tracking: I was watching for this and have to give a slight edge to Advans here. I intentionally placed both cars in big-truck created freeway grooves and Advans hunted a little bit less than
Potenzas. Neither car was objectionable at all, at speeds up to 85. I ran the FD car over 100 and had a time of it with cross winds but not freeway grooves.
Which One?: Very tough call. I think given our usually wet roads, I'd prefer Potenzas for daily use. But, I'm going
auto-xing and believe the Advans will help with their willingness to oversteer when provoked. Hate to sound so political, but either tire is very, very good for this car design.
I think Spyder owners wandering problems may need a quality four-wheel alignment. Could be traceable to the Jidosha plant, where our Spyders are manufactured, if their alignment machine wasn't calibrated correctly, etc.>>>
Also, about the wet performance of the Advans -- I have actually been quite impressed with the wet performance on the street. I expected the same level of wet grip at Willow Springs last month (Streets track in the rain). I started out pretty slow, and gradually increased the speed. After a few turns I was feeling pretty confident and wanted to purposely make it slide so I could get a feel for the performance before the pace got much faster. I went through turn 3 at a speed faster than I thought it could handle, and much to my surprise it did not slide. But then just after turn 3 it suddenly lost traction and spun sideways. I overcorrected and spun it 270 degrees the other way (my fault). I cannot understand what happened to cause the loss of control. This was during the first lap of the day and the track was at that time still quite wet. My current explanation is that perhaps the car was hydroplaning since it did not lose grip in the downhill turn just before that at a higher speed. The other possibility is that I may have overpowered the rear wheels, but I don't recall (don't think so but it's possible). The frightening part was how quickly it went from gripping very well to spinning sideways. It was a VERY quick snap and then it was almost sideways.
I've driven at (and beyond) the limits of the Advans on the street in the rain, and it seems like it's somewhat predictable during most wet slides. But every once in a while the rear end will quickly snap loose with a lot of force and it can be difficult to know exactly when it's going to happen. It seems if you drive at a somewhat reasonable speed then it's great, but if you push it too hard there can be a very fine line between controlled slip and spinning wildly out of control.
But on dry roads these Advans are absolutely awesome! Extremely predictable, easy to control. Drifting through turns can be done without even a worry of losing control. And I love that these tires don't squeal. You can drive on the street having TONS of fun and not attract any of the wrong kind of attention. Not even a hint of a squeal -- just a slight "rustling" sound and a big grin on my face. That's how I know I'm sliding.