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Sport Cup+ tires on OEM 17's

29 December 2005
Essex, UK
I'm currently running with 02+ OEM 17's with the Goodyear F1 tires. As a daily driver these have proved for me to be a very good tire.

However, the NSX is now more of a sunshine special occasion car for me and I'm thinking of some more focussed rubber for the OEM rims.

Had enquired about the JDM RE070's and the newer RE055s, but neither has the appropriate E markings for the UK MOT test. If I want these then would have personal import and cross fingers at test time.

As an alternative, my dealer is proposing the Michelin Sport Cup+ tire. Rear OEM size is fine but the front are either 205 or 225/45, the latter being my preference.

Q: has anyone run these tires on the NSX?
Q: if yes, can you offer your feedback please?
Q: biggest question - can anyone advise if this F2R size relationship will work OK for the TCS?

My understanding is that this road legal track tire has a lower tread depth from new (approx 5mm) to reduce 'movement' of the tread pattern under braking/cornering.

Thanx in advance

regards, Paul

regards, Paul


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I do not recommend using R compound track tires (like the Pilot Sport Cup) on the street. They wear MUCH too fast, and they don't work well at all in rain. And they need more warmup to be effective than you can do on the street.

If you would like more grippy rubber, I suggest using one of the specialty street tires that are designed to be in between track tires and summer tires like the F1 GS-D3 - in between in performance, and in between in treadlife. The best of these is the new Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec, which is available in 215/40-17 and 255/40-17. Other tires in this segment include the Falken Azenis RT-615 (available in both these sizes) and the Bridgestone Potenza RE-01R (not sure about availability).

Also, anything larger than 215/40-17 in front will rub. Don't get 225/45-17, which will rub and will definitely cause problems for the TCS when used with 255/40-17 rear. I'm not sure whether the 205/45-17 will rub; even though it is narrower, it's 2 percent larger in diameter than 215/40-17. I recommend sticking with 215/40-17.
I put a set of Sport Cups on my wifes 02 1.8T GTI last summer. I had bought them really inexpensively from an autocrosser who had only used them for 2 events.

The GTI has a Neuspeed suspension kit ( shocks, sport springs). The tires worked amazingly well on dry pavement, but to be expected the car did exhibit quite a bit more body roll due the the increased grip. I have driven the car in light rain and the tires were about equal to the cheap Firestone all seasons that were on the car previously. The wet traction diminished greatly after some wear on the tire and I wouldn't recommend driving in the rain especially with an NSX. My wife hated the noise from the tires and the harsh ride.

We put about 4000 miles on the set before winter and it looks like we may get another 1000 or so before they are shot. I'll be putting F1 GS-D3's on and my wife will be much happier.
Plus R tires on the street pick up and spray forth all manner of road crap which hastens the pitting/sandblasting of the paint around the wheel wells.:mad:
I do recommend r-compound tires for street use - IF your needs warrant it , as already stated in other posts , I have run toyo ra-1s on the street and now also the toyo r888 , after 2000km on nsx the 888s show no measureable wear - I myself , and many others have gotten very good treadwear using the toyos on the street (some even last longer , due to less wheelspin/slip)
This being said there are r-compounds that don't work well on the street, hoosiers are too temprature sensitive(they also lack tread) , I have also heard that the sport cups are like that ( they don't work as well cold) as for rain driving , the ra-1 is an incredible rain tire and the r888 is better , but when they wear down it can be scary/dangerous! BUT ALL TIRES ARE BAD IN THE RAIN WHEN THEY WEAR DOWN!!!