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Steering Issues with 205 Front Tires Instead of 215 - Gen 1 '96

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I recently got new Continental Extreme tires from Tire Rack for my first gen ’96 with stock rims. Several people have recommended going from 215 on the front to 205 and with my last set of Hankook Ventus it worked fine.

OLD
205/45ZR16 Hankook Ventus R-S3
245/40ZR17 Hankook Ventus R-S3

NEW
205/45ZR-16 Continental Extreme Contact DWS 06 Plus SL
245/40ZR-17 Continental Extreme Contact DWS 06 Plus SL

With the new Continental Extremes I have noticed a smoother ride, easier turning effort, but not as good traction on spirited cornering/turns.

In addition, I have experienced a steering change: with my Hankooks after a turn I could pretty much let the wheel go and the car would track back to going straight on it’s own. Now after a turn if I let the wheel go the car continues to want to turn and I have to steer it back to straight.

So I am having to exert more steering control than in the past. Any comments on why this is happening and what is the solution… I would be willing to take the hit to get different front tires, but would not like to have to buy 4 new tires.
 
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The R-S3 and the DWS 06 are very different tires. The tread wear of the R-S3 was in the high 100s I think? I remember it being a sub 200 tread wear tire which is VERY sticky. The DWS is a 560 tire, which is not very sticky at all. That would likely explain the differences you are feeling in the tires. The DWS is easier to turn and less likely to track back due to the fact that it's in a category of tire (500+) that focuses on tire life over performance.

It could also be that you need an alignment as well going from a worn low tread wear tire to a new high tread wear tire. The profiles of the two would be very different.

Edit: I think the better tire to get, which seems to be the best non-performce tire for the car is the Conti Extreme Contact Sport. It's a good compromise of a sporty tire you can drive early in the spring and late into the fall. It's got a 340 tread wear rating which doesn't make it a performance tire, but also gives you more season flexibility and longevity. It's what I'm running at the moment and for street driving it's plenty of tire.

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tire...44WR7ECS&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes
 
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Thanks for that Superhatch, very helpful! I should have done more research:( The bottom line is I am not satisfied with the Continental DWS 06 Plus SL performance

So now I have a couple of choices. A) Replace the front tires only or B) Replace all 4 tires. I have less than 50 miles on the Continental DWS 06 – not sure what I could get for them or how to sell them

The Conti Extreme Contact Sport looks like a good choice. I did searches for both 215 and 305 on the front - see below

One other note – I live in Los Angeles so winter/summer is not really an issue. I used to track my NSX once a year or so but have not in several years. With the value rising, I have lost a little of my nerve to take it to the track but would still like a high-performance tire. Longevity is not that big an issue. (talking about the tire;) I also recently got Bilstein shocks, and while the performance is amazing, the ride is a bit more bumpy than the OEMs… so a bit softer tire might help that.

Anyway the choices are below – feedback appreciated!


Tire Rack Search with 215 Front


FALKEN AZENIS RT660


Extreme Performance Summer
Front: 215/45ZR16 86W
Blackwall
Serv. Desc: 86W
UTQG: 200 A A
Per Tire: $171.32

Rear: 245/40ZR17 95W XL
Blackwall
Load Range: XL
Serv. Desc: 95W
UTQG: 200 A A
$189.09

Set of 4: $720.82


BFGOODRICH G-FORCE RIVAL S 1.5

Extreme Performance Summer
• Front: 215/45R16 86V
• 3-Rib Tread Design
• Style: Blackwall
• Serv. Desc: 86V
• UTQG: 200 AA A
• $178.94 each

• Rear: 245/40R17 91V
• 3-Rib Tread Design
• Style: Blackwall
• Serv. Desc: 91V
• UTQG: 200 AA A
• $213.19 each

Set of 4: $784.26


Tire Rack Search with 205 Front


CONTINENTAL EXTREME CONTACT SPORT

Max Performance Summer
• Front: 205/45ZR16 83W
• Style: Blackwall
• Serv. Desc: 83W
• UTQG: 340 AA A
Per Tire: $148.99


• Rear: 245/40ZR17 91W
• Style: Blackwall
• Serv. Desc: 91W
• UTQG: 340 AA A
Per Tire: $201.99

Set of 4: $701.96

RIKEN RAPTOR ZR A/SUltra

High Performance All-Season
• Front: 205/45ZR16 87W RF
• Style: Blackwall
• Load Range: RF
• Serv. Desc: 87W
• UTQG: 300 A A
• Qty:
Per Tire: $100.47

• Rear: 245/40ZR17 91W
• Style: Blackwall
• Serv. Desc: 91W
• UTQG: 300 A A
• Qty:
Per Tire: $109.12

Set of 4: $419.18

TOYO PROXES R1R

Extreme Performance Summer
Front: 205/45ZR16 83W
Style: Blackwall
Serv. Desc: 83W
UTQG: 200 AA A
Per Tire: $197.16

Rear: 245/40ZR17 91W
Style: Blackwall
Serv. Desc: 91W
UTQG: 200 AA A
Per Tire: $224.20

Set of 4: $842.72
 
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The RT660 is the goto for autocross this season I think and I've heard a lot of good feedback from people who have gotten it. If you want to drop down to a 200 tread wear you will have a tire that's more like your R-S3s, and you should get all 4. Craigslist would be a good place to sell the tires, or a local non-national shop might buy them off you if you order from them. FB marketplace is another good option.

The interesting thing about the 200 tread wear tire is that it's the lowest you can go in a lot of the auto-x classes and so mfgs. Make a lot of performance tires in that range, but -they- do their own testing and set the rating themselves. So every few seasons when a new tire comes out at the 200 level and one kind of shines over others the question becomes is that really a 200 series, or is it more like a 160 but the mfg. said it was a 200? It's a really interesting discussion in the pits and parking lots where people talk about tires a lot.
 

MJK

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I switched from 215/255 180TW tires to the Conti Extreme Contact Sports you show in 205/245. The ride is excellent and it is a very good performance biased compromise tire. Almost as good as a Michelin Pilot Super Sport I have on the S2K and a little better than the Indy 500s I had the S2K before. Steering is lighter than it was but returns to center just as it did (that sounds like alignment). But you give up that ultimate grip you had at 8-9/10ths in the corners where the car just dug in and hung on.

So, personal preference.

Never driven on the 660Ks or R1Rs. If I had it to do again, that is probably the route I would go given where I live.
 
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Sounds like for your use the Extremecontact sport would be your best bet.


But maybe give the tires 2-300 miles to scrub off the mold release agent first to see if you still hate them. DWS are pretty aweful for the first few hundred miles, then they work significantly better. If you can't get a refund, just drive on them for a bit to see if they get better. If not, then try the sport.
 

Ara

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For our 1997 Targa with stock wheels and KW V3 suspension, I got a set of the Rival 1.5s. They are flat-out terrible. Sidewall is much too stiff. Ride is destroyed. I have been on the two OE tires for over 25 years. It was a shocking difference. I will be looking for a set of softer sidewall tires...
 
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I've never heard of the rival...why did you choose those?
 

RYU

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Given your description I would probably go with the Conti ExtConSport as well. I have RT660's now but it's pretty much exclusive a track tire for me. My street tire is the Maxxis VR-1 which is plenty sticky, but compliant, has decent steering wheel feedback and good for California year round weather.
 
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Continental Extreme Contact Sports 205/245

I ended up getting lucky because Continental has a satisfaction guarantee which the people at the Tire Rack alerted me too. So I was able to trade up to the Continental Extreme Contact Sports 205 front and 245 rear for a nominal fee to return the Continental Extreme Contact DWS 06 Plus SL tires which were poor on spirited turns..

I could not be more happy with the Continental Extreme Contact Sports. They withstand spirited cornering and have plenty of grip. And also offer a much smoother ride than the track tires. I went with the 205 on the front and that’s working out very nicely. I highly recommend this set up for anyone who still wants the ability to drive aggressively yet get decent wear and comfort.

I want to thank Superhatch and everyone on NSX Prime for their help. It is an invaluable resource!
 

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I ended up getting lucky because Continental has a satisfaction guarantee which the people at the Tire Rack alerted me too. So I was able to trade up to the Continental Extreme Contact Sports 205 front and 245 rear for a nominal fee to return the Continental Extreme Contact DWS 06 Plus SL tires which were poor on spirited turns..

I could not be more happy with the Continental Extreme Contact Sports. They withstand spirited cornering and have plenty of grip. And also offer a much smoother ride than the track tires. I went with the 205 on the front and that’s working out very nicely. I highly recommend this set up for anyone who still wants the ability to drive aggressively yet get decent wear and comfort.

I want to thank Superhatch and everyone on NSX Prime for their help. It is an invaluable resource!
They developed that tire with the Hoosier engineers (after acquiring them). I've heard nothing but good things about it. Congrats. Glad it worked out.
 
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I ended up getting lucky because Continental has a satisfaction guarantee which the people at the Tire Rack alerted me too.

Oh that's great news! I was just out driving in some pretty wet conditions today with them and never had a second thought. Glad they worked out!
 
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