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In praise of RA-1's

8 November 2003
Portland OR

Well, I finally bit the bullet and put RA-1's on my NSX. Spent yesterday at the track and I have to say this was the best up grade I have made to the car. I went with 235-40-17 and 275-35-18 and the perfomance and balance is better than anything I have ever tried, better than I thought possible. I finally understand how the NSX can be a truely great track car!

I love the increase grip on the front end, I am still not used to the increased turn in speed possible, I can enter corners 1 and 12 at PIR 10 MPH faster and I am not close to the potential of the tires yet. I am finally comfortable letting the rear end drift out and feeling in control instead of needing to be ready to 'catch it' like with street tires. I can run a whole session with out over heating the tires, first time ever I don't need to back off after 15-20 minutes becaue the tires are getting greasy.

Yes, I think it's love :rolleyes: , these tires are rocking my world! Thanks to Tom at RP for the good price, great service. See you at the track!
John McCain Racing said:
What is the tread wear on them?
I don't know, first day out and I am running them full tread because we are still having some rainy days, they look almost new. If you always run dry tracks they are supposed to last longer if they are shaved. My hope is to get 10-12 track days out of the set by having them dismounted and remounted on opposite sides of the car when they are half worn out, about 6 sessions. I have 2 back to back track days coming up this month and I will report back after the second one and let you know how they look.
John McCain Racing said:
What is the tread wear on them?

UTQG Treadwear 40
Andrie Hartanto said:
RA1 has been using new treadwear lately of 100.

are you coming to Thunderhill on May 27?
The side wall says '100' for treadwear, but since there is no standard, who knows how that compares to anything :confused:

I am coming down for the NASA on the 26th and the day on the 27th. Will be good to put some faces together with names!

Will have race trailer set up by then, so tires will be in tow. Hope to have my AEM and high boost CTSC done by then too, but we will see...might have to do some work in there too! :rolleyes:
Thanks for your review. I am planning on making the same upgrade next.
I just had my first drive on RA1, on the street, I can already taste the adhesion. Lets see, I was going thru any corners with no braking, I have body roll even with my Tein RA!!! (it's maniac driving, I was going 40 mph in city street and turning in to the supermarket parking lot without slowing down the car) Me and buddy was fooling around and try to do donuts on these tires, can you imagaine we both couldn't spin the car (he had a JDM 180SX, S13)

Ok, a week later, driving on Pacific Raceway, we had a whole day (6 -7 sessions), my expeierence is identical to Dave. I had not using the full potential of the tire yet. My buddy told me that I could just punch the gas pedal at apex, I still not trusting it yet, but I found myself squeezing harder and sooner every lap, and the tires just grip.

Unofficial time slip, I improved 7-9 seconds on lap times from last year. My modification of this year is a recaro seat, Tein RA and RA1. I could see the Tein RA give me a second or two(I purposely running street setting, close to full soft.); the recaro seat proved to be better but without harness, my butt just keep sliding forward. So the RA1 improved my lap time for at least 5 seconds. Yes, it's that crazy.
How are you running a 235 on the front? Id love to put RA1s on my car, and am as I type looking for a way to do just that, but they dont make one that appears to fit.

Ive got 18s all around (7.5inch front with 50 offset and 9 inch rear with 55 offset) on an otherwise stock 02. By my calculations, I can run a 215/35/18 just fine, but, even with a 5mm spacer in the front, may have trouble with a 225/35/18. Im not clear how you are managing a 235 without going to a 30 or so offset or using a massive spacer.

What's your trick?
Dave is using 17 for the front, that's the trick. ;)

I was only using 15/16 for the track, so I could not comment the difference on the bigger wheels combo...
But its still a 235, and its almost certainly a 40/17. So by my calculations it will have to be a just lower than 30 offset to not have inner tire rubbing? No?
I agree these are awesome for the track...already on my second set. My new set also said 100 treadwear. 17x8-235-40-17 and 17x9-275-40-17.
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I've been using these, too. I haven't yet used up a set, so I can't report how many track miles to expect. But based on the remaining tread after 500ish track miles, they seem to be lasting as long as the Yokohama A032R, which (on either car) usually lasted me 1000-1400 track miles plus 500 street miles (between track and hotel).

Mine say treadwear 40 on the sidewall (although I can't imagine that the new ones last 2.5 times as long as the old ones). I start with full tread and heat cycle them myself, then drive them till the belts show, and rotate them front to back on the ITR, not on the NSX.