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BFGoodrich

BFG Comp TA-ZR vs. Dunlop SP8000

From: Shawn Church (Shawn_P_Church@ccm.ch.intel.com)
Just put on some BFG Comp TA/ZRs this weekend. While they are not completely fully scrubbed in yet(300 mi), I can make the following comments vs my Michelins (stock) and Dunlop SP8000 (scale of 1 to 10).

                Grip  Ride  Noise(straight) Noise(corner)  Wear
Michelin          5    8      7                  3           8
Dunlop            9    6      6                  10          3
BFG Comp TA/ZR    8    7      7                  8           5*

*very rough estimate

Also, the BFGs seem to be a little more "squirmy" than the SP8000s. On quick lane transitions, you can almost feel the back end delaying for a moment (compared to the Dunlops). My first guess would be sidewall flex which takes place before an actual directional change (other explanations welcome). Surprisingly, dropping pressure down to manufacturer's spec helped a little (the Discount tire guys set the fronts at close to 40 Psi). It's a little disconcerting when making those mid course corrections at 100+ mph on the freeway or when you want to make a mid-corner adjustment on a tight off ramp. The car just isn't as tossable, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. In addition, the BFGs squeal (maybe howl is more appropriate) more in corners. Actual straight line (i.e. drag race) traction is at least as good as the Dunlops if not better.

What will I buy when I get my next set of tires? Probably Dunlops - superior cornering, less (or no) squeal, and better feel and confidence. What's one hundred dollars and 5 or 6K miles more of tread life compared to that?

Update - Well, I definitely like these things in a straight line or when accelerating hard out of corners. Outstanding grip there. Elsewhere they're still not as good as Dunlops. To avoid squealing I'm probably getting better at balancing my car through corners.

Additional comments on BFG TA/ZR - Had our first big rain since I got the tires and I was curious to see how they performed (replaced the worn Dunlops when they scared the *#$Q out of me on a wet off ramp). Went for a drive on various surfaces and was impressed. You still can't accelerate hard out of a tight corner without spinning (the tires), but otherwise they're great. In fact, I accidentally hit some deep water at about 45 mph (didn't see it) going down hill and found no hydroplaning whatsoever (didn't try it again though!). They even gripped well during e-brake maneuvers!

From: Wallace Wong (wallacew@Direct.CA)
I had BFGoodrich Comp TA ZR 195-50ZR15 on 15X6.0 Revolution mag wheels before I changed to 215-40/17 Dunlop SP8000. I was quite impressed with the BFGs because I've heard a lot of bad things about this company's tire line up before. Then I started to read some stuff about the new generation Comp TAs so I decided to give it a shot. I was quite surprised to say the least. The tire was very good on dry as well as wet. The treadwear was excellent considering it was a high performance tire. The only thing I really didn't like about it was that it was a bit noisy and it had a hard ride to it.

The SP8000s are one step better. It's just a bit better than the BFGs on dry and can match or beat them on wet. The ride is not as rough and it's quieter. The only thing is that it's a much softer tire so the treadwear isn't as good. I was pretty happy with both sets of tires. If the BFGs come in the 17 inch size, I might have chosen it again simply because of the treadwear rating and it's almost as good as the Dunlops. One more thing I forgot to mention, the BFGS costs less as well.

The jump from 15 inch to 17 inch. After doing this, I really don't recommend it unless you have the horsepower to back it up. After putting on the 17 inch mags, I lost a lot of bottom end torque, which I need desperately. Don't get me wrong, the mags look great, but if you are more performance oriented and don't want to lose horsepower, I would stick to 15 inch. Try to find the lightest 15 mags you can get your hands on. It makes quite a difference. The Revolutions I had were pretty light and tough too. I think Sparco and GAB also make light 15 inch mags, you get the idea.

Oops, sorry one more thing that I forgot to mention about the jump from 15 inch to 17 inch. You've probably heard that a larger wheel can help you more in cornering than a smaller wheel. This is true, but the difference is not as great as it seems. A proper setup on a 15 inch mag like 15X6.0, 6.5, or 7.0 can corner just as good as a 17 inch set up. The 17 inch is just a bit better, but not worth it unless you have a powerful engine.



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