From: Karl Shultz 09/26/98
BF Goodrich Comp T/A R1
Treadwear: if you have to ask...
$122 each from Tire Rack
Here's the fun stuff, and the whole reason I bought the extra wheels. These
are autocross-only tires for me, mounted on the stock wheels (95 GS-R coupe). I
ruined a set of good street tires autocrossing, and hoped this would be more
cost effective in the long run. I think that it is.
I got mine shaved to 4/32" and heat cycled by Tire Rack. Heat cycling alters
the molecular makeup of the tires so that they last better and grip better. And
shaving them prevents some of the "chunking" that can happen, since the R1s do
actually have some semblance of tread blocks. The guys in my club recommended
this procedure; since it's my first set I can't say whether it's better or worse
to do it, but at 15 bucks a tire, why not.
As to the tires, well what can I say...the limits of my mostly stock car (all
stock suspension) are shockingly high with those tires on it. R1s allegedly
break away more abruptly than comparable Yoko A008s, but I haven't found this to
be a problem. Steering response is immediate...super stiff sidewalls and
effectively no tread blocks. Braking and launching are much different - the 2nd
gear tire chirp is long gone, and invoking the ABS actually bottoms the front
shocks (!). At a recent high speed "Solo 1.5" event, the grip was so fierce I
was banging my mud flaps on the ground during slaloms. Thump...thump...guess I
should get those shocks soon.
The tires are designed so, as they wear in racing, the outside edges become
like a racing slick. They are wearing pretty well given how soft they are, and
the abuse they see. I expect to get well over a season of events out of them
total, doing events from two local clubs and hopefully a regional SCCA event or
Availability of R1s has lately been a problem - they (BFG) apparently made a
set for the Nationals in Kansas, and there is a shortage. BFG is also rolling
out a new R-compound tire, called the "G-Force," so perhaps they're not making
the old so they can force the new on us. Either way, BFG is dedicated to this
market and I'm confident the new G-Force tires will be good.
Worth mentioning is the savings on street tires. Recently I chaired an event
for my club, and got to design the course. This involved driving through it a
couple of times to make sure the course flowed right. Those four runs really
hurt my Pirellis - a lot. So for those of you who are doing autocross, road
racing, or other track events, a dedicated set of tires is highly recommended.
You'll have more fun too.
From: Sheening Lin (IZZYOX3@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU)
I went to a P.O.C. event
today with my brand new R1s (first time with R compound tires) and I figured I
might as well get all my questions out right now. Keep in mind I have a '91
After some serious experimenting, I seemed to find the right set-up but a
couple things happened that made me scratch my head.
a) one of the middle treads of both front tires essentially disintegrated...
about half of it is totally gone. Does anyone know why this would happen?
b) I noticed that these tires ran considerably hotter than regular street
tires. (i.e. jump from cold --> hot psi readings was enormous) What is the
maximum pressure that the tires should be run at. (i.e. to avoid blistering and
such assorted nasty things)
c) Should I run at a lower (i.e. less negative, more positive) camber setting
now with the R1s than before? Lower at both front and rear?
d) Any other helpful hints that I should know? Best way to store them, best
way to get most tread life, etc.
From: Jeff Benagh (benagh@ICD.Teradyne.com)
I received a somewhat used,
free set of 230 series R1's last year. Two of them had developed severe
scalloping so bad I threw them away. All the tires I've bought since then were
shaved. I use them for road racing also, and there the opinion definitely is
that they last longer.
From: Hank Cadra (Hank.Cadra@ENTEX-BOSTONSLS-MA.ENTEX.sprint.com)
Any of you
newbies out there who have been thinking about loosening up the ol' purse
strings for a set of (insert favorite auto-x tire here: _________ ), let me give
you my perspective: just do it! I ran the super-nimble '89 Taurus SHO [ ;-) ] in
an NERSCCA event yesterday, shod for the very first time in BFG Comp T/A R1's.
Sure, it wasn't the tightest course you've ever seen. But these are 60 series,
softer sidewall (206 compound--yep, clearance prices!) gumballs, and I don't
even have aftermarket shocks, springs, bushings, whatever--basically all the
ingredients of a low-response setup--and the difference was incredible! I hadn't
had lots of time to walk the course, so I didn't really have a great idea what I
wanted to do. Sailed into the first challenging corner way too hot-- too hot for
the *street* tires, as I would find out--and immediately figured the car would
start plowing any microsecond now. Wrong. Tires bit, big, heavy car slewed
around, but I wasn't even on the gas anymore 'cuz I expected to be trying to
reel it in by that time! Knocked a second off on each successive run, and
clearly still hadn't completely adjusted to the new, higher limits. So again,
new- or recent-comers, if you have yet to heed all the veterans' advice and
still have been wondering whether getting autox tires is worth it, I think if
you can afford it you should get 'em. Instantly better grip (break 'em in
right!) Longer life for your street tires. And lots more fun. Later!
From: Andy Hollis
For the most part, you
can get away without shaving them, but you may end up developing a "trench" in
the outermost circumferential groove. This will eventually cord well before the
rest of the tire.
My experience has been that the scalloping that people see can be avoided by
running a little more air in the tires until they get that first good heat-cycle
and get worn down some. If you just bolt-em on brand-new, full-tread and run the
pressures the fast guys are using for "primo-depth" tires, you will develop the
Personally, I've been having mine mildly shaved and then trying to get a heat
cycle into them before going into full-abuse mode. Your CRX should be fairly
gentle on tires, so you could be fine with just some extra air for the first 15
runs or so.
I drive a CSP Miata that weighs 2100
pounds. I never really had a problem with the BFG R1's gouging the center tread
block or cupping the outer tread block. Even with the 226's. The key, I found,
was to maximize negative camber to get even wear across the tread surface. If
you do not have enough negative camber (and are running the lower air pressures
that the fast and smooth drivers run) then the center of the tread surface will
actually buckle from too much side load and cause the gouging and cupping. I saw
many stock class FWD cars that could not produce adequate negative camber get
those results. Thank God the Miata is a wonderfully adjustable and balanced car.
Don't ask me what adequate negative camber is. Your settings are determined
on what kind of car you drive, how stiff it is set up, and your driving style.
When I first started autocrossing I used 2 or more degrees of negative camber.
Now that I am becoming a better and smoother driver I am using around 1.5
I feel somewhat slighted by BFG since they discontinued the 226's because I
never had a problem with uneven or accelerated tread wear. BFG, PLEASE make the
226's again! With the new Hoosier radial becoming legal next year you might have
From: Andy Hollis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My daily driver ('85
Corvette) sports 230 R1's. Having now gone through two sets (and about to mount
another) I can offer a few pointers. First off, they are a real hoot on the
street (not that I would *ever* drive in a "sportive" manner ;-). Be careful,
though, once you start wearing them down, you will have abysmal wet-weather
performance due to hydroplaning. Also, because of the super-stiff inner
sidewall, you'll wear out the inside WAY before the outside of the tire. To
combat this, I run *much* lower pressures on the street. This helps a lot.
One final observation: these tires seem to go off pretty bad after extended
street mileage probably due to heat-cycling (what?...Heat in South Texas?).
I too echo Dan's thoughts here. Though I
wouldn't have considered myself a total novice after 4 years of autocrossing
(primarily at the regional level), I experienced the dreaded "360" the hard way.
My '87 Integra had Tokico Illuminas and Yokohama's RSII's mounted. While exiting
a slalom, I got overly aggressive, got behind, failed to bail thinking I could
save it or at worst, just slide but alas.... As for mileage, I think I got about
20 runs and 3000 street miles out of them (I only live 10 minutes from work).
Expect the 230 compound R1 to last as long as
and RSII as far as compound goes. Maybe slightly less. As far as every day use
as described, I would say they will last about 1/2 as long as the RS Yok's did.
One additional note: If you ran the RSII, you can remount them inside out after
about 1/2 there life, and have them last as long if not longer than the RS. The
RS cannot be remounted due to the directional construction. I have been able to
get around 175 to 200 auto-x runs on a set of RSII's this way, and still win!
Most events I drive down on them (~30 miles each way). They do tend to lose
there stick around 150 runs, on rough surfaces, but seem to still work ok on
smoother ones. All this is based on using a Miata. ---JCG
From: "Don Carlos" (email@example.com)
BFG R1's are all the rage in
every discussion group, but I can't find any articles telling the whole story,
eg., break in, shaving, use on various surfaces, etc. Could someone please
assume the role of "R1 Expert" and enlighten those of us not yet in the know?
I ran the tread right off my nearly new Mich' MXX3's($250 each) at a drivers
school, and learned the hard way that one MUST use race tires for high speed
events or pay dearly in poor cornering traction and ruined street tires. I have
called 1-800-RACE BFG, joined "Team TA", and ordered tires for my new M3. I took
a chance that my instincts were correct and had them shave them, and now hope
that I did the right thing.
From: Andy Poling I have been running Yoko RS's
(not RS-II's) on my Miata for the last few years - both at autox events, at
track events and on the road (though I don't drive the car daily, I do use it as
a normal road-going automobile). The RS's have typically lasted for about a year
of this sort of abuse. I like the run-what-ya-brung aspect of running the same
tires on the street, track, and at autox's.
Does anybody have experience with running the BFG R1's on the road? After
watching cars running the R1's at recent autox events, I've become convinced
that they are a better choice (for me) for autox. I'm concerned, however, about
using them as a road tire. My guess is that since they are a road racing tire,
they should handle it OK, but what kind of longevity can I expect? I would be
running the 205 mm width...
You are lucky to get 150 sticky runs
from A008 RSII's. I maybe got 20 before they heat cycled to rocks.