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A sudden sense of liberty
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've been thinking/planning to get S-03s to replace my current tires in the next couple of weeks. Everyone raves about the grip these tires provide. However, I am definitely not feeling the love when it comes to replacing an $800 set of tires every 13K miles (which works out to be about once a year).

So, the way I look at it, I have three options:

1. Buy set of cheaper tires that still wear like pencil erasers (e.g. Dunlop FM901 or Sumi HTRZ II), still replace them every year, but be happy with the money saved, or

2. Bite the bullet and buy the spendy S-03s, enjoy limpet like grip, and try and ignore the giant sucking sound coming from my wallet every summer, or

3. (and this is the crazy one) Buy a set of tires that are moderately expensive, grip decently, but wear really well. Yep, you guessed it, I'm talking about Contis. The consensus seems to be that these will last 25K without much problem, so the replacement interval would drop to every two years. OTOH, the grip cannot compare to the S-03s.

Sigh. Why aren't I a multi-billionaire yet? (Probably because I spend so much money on this freaking car)
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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3,939 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
nate328Ci said:
Save some cash and have good grip, get the Bridgestone RE730s. I was very pleased with their track performance and they showed little to no wear :thumb:
Just checked these out; they look like what I am looking for. Decent price, looks like good grip (though obviously less than the S-03s) but a treadwear rating of 300 compared to 220 for the S-03s (since they are the same mfgr, should be comparable, no?).

Thanks. Will post impressions of whatever I end up with.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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3,939 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
CD-55 said:
Take the advice that you gave me one time (not that I listened to you):

Buy a set of SSR-Comps with "R" rubber for the AutoX. Get the long lasting Conti's for street use.
That's the plan for next year, I think. I'm going to finish out the season on street rubber, but I'll probably won't be attending as many events as I was in the first half anyway due to vacations, etc.

In frustration, my wife even said to me, upon learning I needed new tires, "can't you just buy separate tires for autocrossing?"

Exactly, thought I.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
nate328Ci said:


I liked both tires....

The RE730s had MUCH lower wear, almost nil. My S-03s wear fast at the track. Both are predictible tires with good amounts of at the limit feedback, S-03s a little better due to the stiffer sidewalls and tread compound. The S-03s certainly have more grip and seem to respond better to quick transitions. With the RE730s, being smoother is more important because they don't have as much grip. The S-03s are louder and have a harsher ride. At the track you can build them up into an insanely loud roar, RE730s give off more of a wooshing noise at the limit. The S-03s seemed more forgiving because of the higher limits, "I'm understeering a bit, I'll just turn in harder" The car does it with S-03s. Do this with the 730s, and you are more likely to load up a tire and slow down on the car using the outer front wheel.

S-03s- ~$15 more per tire, wears fast, loud, VERY sticky

RE730s- slighly cheaper, harder compund, low wear, very good grip

I think the RE730s will cost you a second or so at auto-x over the S-03s, but you will have to be smother and hopefully (!) improve. I have not seen a street tire that can grip like the S-03 though, it is truly phenomenal. You will save some cash with RE730s, but if the grip sacrefice is fine with you, you won't be disappointed...
Thanks, Nate. Any thoughts on noise with the RE730s? Nearly every review I've read indicates that these tires get very loud after 50 percent of the tread is gone. The new "Gen 2" 730 allegedly has design changes aimed at fixing this problem, but I cannot find information on whether this has actually worked.

See, e.g., these reviews.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
cenotaph said:


My car came with the Pilots. I've got ~10K-12K on them now (I have to swap them out for winter) and they still have plenty of tread left. However, I've only done 1 skills school, 1 very wet track day and 3 autocrosses on them. I'll have to see how they're holding up at the end of the autocross season. I'm a little confused with how well they're wearing since they're in the same class as the S-03s and have a simmilar wear rating. Not that that means much since they're from a different company.
Mine has Pilots on it now. I am not entirely certain how many miles these tires have on them; they were fairly new when I bought the car about 10K miles ago, and the rears are now down to the wear bars. In all honesty, the rears could have anywhere from 12 to almost 20K total miles on them, I suppose, though I tend to believe it's closer to the low end of that spectrum. The fronts still have some life, but not a lot. I dig the Pilots, but have heard that the S-03s wear at a similar rate, provide much better dry and worlds better wet grip, and they're slightly cheaper, so I think I'd get those if I wanted to go the gumball route.
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
JMK said:
I am replacing my Pilot Sports with 29,500 miles on Monday with S-03's. I bought them from the Tire Rack for about $700 and add $100 for mounting and balancing. I was impressed with the wear but the Pilot sports are $250 more and I think it's worth it to try the S-03's. :p
You have 29K on your rear Pilot Sports?
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
TD said:


Maybe it's a wear thing, but after about 5K mile on my (now EX-)ContiSports they'd squeal loudly if I made a gentle 25MPG turn in my neighborhood. Everyone was looking at the guy inthe M3 ready to pull their children back to safety and call the police.
Yeah, but I bet they do that anyway.
 
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