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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I waited longer than originally planned to dump (ok well store in the garage attic until lease is up!) the Bridgestone RFTs from the factory. I got a set of Yokohama S.Drive non-RFT from tirerack and had them put on at my local Firestone tire shop. The guys there commented that they had heard good things about these tires.

A little background on my take of the stock RFTs from Bridgestone. They came off the rims at 9500mi. When I took delivery of the car in Munich last year, I was aware of the complaints of RFTs from being an active member on here prior. In Germany, I really had no complaints about the tires, except for sub-optimal traction in rain. After re-delivery over here, I did notice bumps, potholes, manholes, and any imperfection in the road more than my last car (E46 coupe w/ZSP also). The car would usually be thrown off course by these imperfections (tramlining). Also, I usually lose 5-7 psi per month out of most of the tires. The tramlining and harshness of ride has gotten worse over time/increased mileage. Not to mention the fact that every day I cross my fingers that I don't come across a wayward nail in the rear tire for the tune of $400+ for one stinking tire! :mad:

So it was finally time to invest in a better set of rubbers (ha). I read a bunch of reviews, and decided on the Yokohama S.Drives. Sure, there are better tires out there (michelin PS2s, etc.) but I wasn't looking to spend that kind of coin. These are rated #3 out of 49 in its category on Tirerack, yet toward the cheaper end of the spectrum as well. My local tire shop took their time putting them on and balancing (of course, the valve stems and TPM sensors can be reused) for a manageable bill of $120. Now I get to break them in...

Right away I notice positive differences!! I drive over some bumpy patches of road and no longer are my kidneys jostled :thumbup: During a (very) spirited drive on some local backroads I notice the following... When accelerating from a stop full throttle (remember I have JB1) no longer does the rear of the car want to veer a little in one direction, it keeps better traction with the road. Curves are where I am noticing the biggest difference... these tires are much stickier!! I can even accelerate harder into/out of turns harder than I could before when the bridgestones would get squirrely during such maneuvers. I no longer brace myself when seeing a rough patch of road ahead. It goes over the terrain, smoother, and does not change course. During rain today, the traction is slightly better and there does not seem to be any issues with hydroplaning.

If you want the best of the best and price is no issue, I'm sure these may not cut it for you. But if you're looking for a reasonably prices way to dump the RFTs, get better ride and handling than what you're used to, go for a set of these. I am now carrying one of these portable air compressors powered by cigarette lighter. Sure you're still up the creek if the tire can't hold any pressure whatsoever, but I'm fine with relying on roadside service if that's the case. :thumbup:

Hopefully this helps some folks thinking about doing the same thing. Feel free to PM me with any related questions.
 

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2009 M3 E93 w/DCT
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I am now carrying one of these portable air compressors powered by cigarette lighter. Sure you're still up the creek if the tire can't hold any pressure whatsoever, but I'm fine with relying on roadside service if that's the case.
Better also get a couple of cans of tire patch goo to put in any flat tire before inflating it to proper pressure. That's what I have in my trunk, plus the electric inflator. :thumbup:
 

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Ultimate Driving Machine
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thanks for the review...I may do the same. Pick up a tire plug kit for $5 at the auto parts store as well...handy to have and easy to use. Use this before the goop as it won't make a mess. If you can't plug it for some reason, then resort to the goop if you must.

How much were the new tires? Was $120 the labor cost or the total cost per tire?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the review...I may do the same. Pick up a tire plug kit for $5 at the auto parts store as well...handy to have and easy to use. Use this before the goop as it won't make a mess. If you can't plug it for some reason, then resort to the goop if you must.

How much were the new tires? Was $120 the labor cost or the total cost per tire?
Good idea...

The set of four ran $670 including shipping from tirerack. $120 was the total labor+taxes cost for all four :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Update 6 weeks in, 1500mi on tires...

Still love them. Much better in the rain, more comfortable ride, better handling and turning abilities. Negligible increase in gas mileage so it may or may not have anything to do with the tires. I store my air compressor in the space behind where the back seat drops down :) Can't enthusiastically recommend these enough to anyone looking to ditch RFTs for an affordable yet better-handling tire than the stock bridgestones!
 

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I'm considering these tires to replace my RFTs in a couple months. Keep updating us! :thumbup:

- Mike
 

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Clarkcc1

Thanks for the review and updates. I am planning on getting these when the time for replacement is here, but I have heard some reviews that say the S drives can be noisy. On your next update, please give us some feedback on how quiet or noisy the tires are.

Thanks

Lakeman
 

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I've got about 2,000 miles on my S.drives (I don't drive my 335i much anymore). They are very quiet, much less noise than the OEM tires. I haven't driven on them in the rain (it hasn't rained), but they do corner very well.

- Mike
 

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Another Perspective

I put these tires on my 05 330cic ZHP as a replacement for my second set of OEM PS1s. I noticed right away that they were softer (in a cushy kind of way), but did not deliver the same feedback or high-stress confidence as the PS1s.

They are much cheaper, and if you are a casual driver, then they would probably be fine. They also look pretty cool.

It is a different car, so this input may be of no real value to E90, 92, 93 owners. Just throwing it out there as a caution. :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey guys thought I'd check in with another update on these tires...

I've got 9,000mi on them now and still not a single complaint or even a downside to report. To Lakeman, the tires are extremely quiet, as Mike pointed out as well.

They are wearing very evenly, and are not experiencing the feathering my OEM RFTs were. In addition, even though I take corners pretty hard, the fronts are wearing evenly across the tread, again unlike the OEM bridgestones.

Mike, they are very good in rain. Not all-season good, you gotta slow down in corners much more and easy on the gas but they grip well enough and don't hydroplane.

I'll check back in a couple thousand more miles :)
 

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Thanks for the update.

It's great to be able to get feedback over a period of time.

Going to put my winter tires and rims on soon, but in the Spring I'll ditch the RFT's, probably for the Yoko S.Drive's.

:thumbup:
 

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I drove 220 miles on Tuesday with them, and another 240 highway miles on them today. Very comfortable and quiet ride. Perfectly flat wear, and no issues to speak of. I still haven't driven on them in the rain. :)

They have a really great look on the wheel too (wide shoulder).

- Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I drove 220 miles on Tuesday with them, and another 240 highway miles on them today. Very comfortable and quiet ride. Perfectly flat wear, and no issues to speak of. I still haven't driven on them in the rain. :)

They have a really great look on the wheel too (wide shoulder).

- Mike
They really do look wider sitting on the rim.

I've actually gotten a couple complements on the tread pattern from other car enthusiasts. Perhaps trivial, but its nice the tire has great performance qualities and is visually appealing, lol
 

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Fantastic review. I have been considering Yokohama S.drive tires for a while. I did the research on them (Tire Rack and America's Tires) and it always come up with positive reviews. I love the prices they offer on S.drive and yet they're as good as Michlein Pilot tires.

I was going to get a set of VMR Velocity wheels V710 19" wheels, BUT Yoko's S.drive doesn't have the size (Plus size from OEM wheel/tire size) to fit on 19" wheels. I was thinking...the tire performance and prices are more important than wheels, so I'll get a set of 18" VMR VB3 CSL with Yoko's S.Drive sometime in January or February.

The 19 inch tires are more limited in selection, I see only cheap tires (like General Exclaim UHP) and expensive tires (like Michlein)...nothing in between and there aren't any reasonably priced tires with excellent reviews. Yoko's S.drive, in my opinon, is best value. they are only available sizes that will fit our E9x cars, only in 18" size. Yes, Yoko's S.drive do come in 19 inches, but they will not fit our E9x (that really sucks).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fantastic review. I have been considering Yokohama S.drive tires for a while. I did the research on them (Tire Rack and America's Tires) and it always come up with positive reviews. I love the prices they offer on S.drive and yet they're as good as Michlein Pilot tires.

I was going to get a set of VMR Velocity wheels V710 19" wheels, BUT Yoko's S.drive doesn't have the size (Plus size from OEM wheel/tire size) to fit on 19" wheels. I was thinking...the tire performance and prices are more important than wheels, so I'll get a set of 18" VMR VB3 CSL with Yoko's S.Drive sometime in January or February.

The 19 inch tires are more limited in selection, I see only cheap tires (like General Exclaim UHP) and expensive tires (like Michlein)...nothing in between and there aren't any reasonably priced tires with excellent reviews. Yoko's S.drive, in my opinon, is best value. they are only available sizes that will fit our E9x cars, only in 18" size. Yes, Yoko's S.drive do come in 19 inches, but they will not fit our E9x (that really sucks).
You make some good points. In case anybody thinks I am trying to say these are the best of the best, that's not the case. Hardcore performance gurus will insist upon PS2s or whatever, but the jist of the story is that these are a great performance-oriented tire with other characteristics which make it a well-rounded choice at a fantastic price point :thumbup:
 

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I just went out and took of pic of mine. Great shoulder and look.

In addition, I agree with "clarkcc1" in that these are excellent street tires, but not to be confused with ultra-high performance track-ready tires (like Michelin PS2s). Great price, excellent grip, and 9/10's the performance.

- Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So here's another update to my ongoing review...

At about 15,000 on the tires, the rears are ready for replacement as the tread is completely worn with deeper wear towards the inside of the wheel closer to center of the car. Most likely this pattern is normal due to the camber of the alignment. While 15,000 seems a little low, I do drive quite aggressively and have increased torque going to those wheels when quickly accelerating. The fronts have barely worn, despite steep cornering. Unfortunately, I hit a pothole on the front right and got a bubble, so I'm replacing the fronts too and keeping the other front tire as a spare in case of another bubble, flat, etc.

Overall I have no complaints about the tires and love their ride qualities and performance capability, balanced with being a very (comparably of course) affordable tire. Hopefully set #2 will be just as nice!
 

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Great review! I'm sold - except for the fact I don't want another summer tire (don't want to do the summer/winter swap). You had great things to say about the Yoko S Drives. I had all-season Yoko Avid W4s on my old A4 and LOVED them. So, I'm thinking I'm going to give the all-season Yoko Advan S4 a shot. I doubt they will be as sticky as your summer S Drives, but I'm hoping for similar improvement with the harshness and tramlining issues.

What kind of balancing machine did your Firestone have?
 
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