Comp TA-ZR vs. Dunlop SP8000
From: Shawn Church
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
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!
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.