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Old 06-19-2008, 01:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

Well, as I mentioned once upon a time in my Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 review, after those tires were about done, I was going to move to DOT-R's and track how they handled heat cycles to see if they really are a potentially viable dual purpose contender.

For those not too familiar with them, DOT-R tires are Race-compound tires that have just enough tread to make them street legal by DOT (US Department Of Transportation) standards. The problem with R-compounds is that many/most of them have a finite heat cycle life. A heat cycle is defined as getting the tire up to driving temps and as such, simply driving around on a tire for 15-20 minutes or more could potentially qualify as a heat cycle.

When R-compounds are subjected to repeated heat cycles, they tend to get harder, which means they're less sticky and thus less grippy than when they started. Some R-comps/DOT-R's heat cycle faster than others just as some tires wear faster than others. Hoosiers would be a prime example, the R6 being one of the fastest tires on tracks, but having the shortest lifespan (you can use them up in a single weekend or even a single day on a roadcourse). Toyo RA-1's (which are being phased out) are the opposite end of the scale for DOT-R's. Most folks who've used them report that they have very good heat cycle life and are one of the R-comps best suited to dual purpose (track AND street) use.

Racers and dedicated track nuts tend to note the condition of their tires and they track the changes in rubber hardness using a device called a tire durometer. Durometers measure the hardness of various elastic substances. Tires are measured on the Type A scale (which is what tire durometers operate on).

For hardcore racers, the durometer has 2 primary functions:
a) Tires matching. Even the same brand and model tires can have variances (older tires get harder just sitting on a shelf and doing nothing). There can also be batch to batch variances so to ensure maximum consistent, predictable performance, racers will test tires to make sure that a set measures the same durometer (the term is both used for the tool and the measurement) before mounting them.

b) They then track the changes in durometer over the life of the tire (assuming you don't wear them beyond usable life first), and note the changes in grip so they know when to change the tires to retain the maximum grip and handling and when the tires have exceeded their heat cycle life and are now costing them time.

Most folks understand that R-comps tend to have more traction than street tires, even the top of the line street tires (although some of the newest top-end street tires are coming darn close to the older R-comps), but some folks who've used them contend that by the time some R-comps 'heat cycle out', they actually end up with less traction/grip than the best pure street tires.

It's also entirely possible for some R-comps to heat cycle out before they've worn out, i.e. they still show ample amounts of tread depth (for an R-comp), but they've been heat cycled so much that the rubber is now hard and they now have way less grip than they started out with (and potentially less grip than a top end street tire does).

This thread is for the dedicated tire nuts to chime in (especially if you have a durometer, or know a track nut with one who's kept track of measurements).


Max
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Old 06-19-2008, 02:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

Now on to the measurements:

The first tires I measured when I got my durometer were my Yokohama Advan Neova AD07's.

Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 Brand New : 70 durometer Shore Type A scale
Yokohama Advan Neova AD07 Used 4/32nds : 70 durometer Shore Type A scale

Let me say that the AD07's (I will refer to them as such from now on since Yokohama will soon be releasing the AD08, soon meaning maybe next year for the US), are an awesome street tire. Dry grip is incredible for a true street tire (non R-comp) and they even have incredible grip in the wet (although hydroplaning resistance isn't the greatest when standing water 1/2" or over is encountered. These tires ARE a great dual purpose tire as I have street driven them and run them on roadcourses numerous times. The 265/35/18 widths I run have handled the heat of roadcourses admirably without showing signs of heat-induced fade that some other top-end street tires might show.

Take the Tirerack's subjective opinions about the AD07 with a grain of salt. If you look at the Tirerack's tests and reviews of the AD07. They are now ranked 3rd best Extreme Performance street tire, but the devil's in the details. don't bother with their subjective opinions, go straight to the test result charts. The AD07 still beats out the Bridgestone RE-01R and Dunlop Direzza Z1 (the 2 tires that Tirerack now ranks better than the AD07) in all the dry performance categories (The Direzza is better in the wet). Why? Because a tire is quieter? Uhh.... EXTREME PERFORMANCE SUMMER TIRE? My criteria would tend toward ultimate performance. ***BTW, the tire in those tests was the original Direzza Z1, NOT the new Z1 Star Spec mentioned below.

There have also been tests conducted by some Japanese tuner magazines on roadcourses pitting the AD07 against the RE-01R to see how they handle roadcourses as opposed to autoX's, specifically to see how they handle heat (no need to mention the RT-615's since those can overheat after 1 or 2 50-second autox runs that don't even exceed 55mph). I've quoted the results before but may as well repeat them here. The RE-01R exhibited noticeable grip loss within 10 laps due to overheating while the AD07 was still fine at 20 laps. The test platform was a stock Evo. I can tell you that as the AD07 heats up on the roadcourse, the tire gets grippier and grippier. If you think the street traction is great, once they get up to track temps, it's incredible.

After running my AD07's down, they still measure in at 70 durometer at ~70f (temps matter when measuring rubber durometer. Colder = harder). And they're still grippy as all heck, maybe grippier since there's more rubber and less tread as you wear them down. If it wasn't for the ridiculous price, they'ld still be my pick for one of the best all-out dry grip street tires available.... but there are a few interesting new tires on the horizon that I'm very interested in to see, namely

- Bridgestone RE-11 (already out in Japan/Asia), back-to-back testing ~1 second faster on Tsukuba than the RE-01R. The design is based on F1 rain tires. No projected availability date in the US as yet

- Dunlop Direzza Z1 Star Spec. Already currently available in the US. The word on the street (and at autoX's) is that this tire handily beats the Falken RT-615 and RE-01R and could be as good as (or better than) the AD07 for waaayyy less money. The Star Spec version (denoted by a star after the Z1) differs from the original Z1 in rubber composition, originally aimed specifically at autoX's, the rubber compound supposedly works better over a wider temp range than the original thus providing more grip when cold than the original Z1 (and supposedly retaining that grip even as the tire heats up). This tire has helped Miatas and other light autoX cars pull 1.1 - 1.2 lateral G's during runs. How does it handle sustained abuse on roadcourses on heavy cars though? As yet unknown.

- Kumho XS. Projected US availability, 3rd quarter 2008. Kumho's effort at next-gen contender for autoX's (seeing as how Kumho's MX is no longer competitive). Curious to see how they turn out because although the MX doesn't quite have the ultimate grip the AD07, RT-615 and RE-01R's have exhibited, they handle heat very well (better than the RT-615 and RE-01R). Hopefully, the XS will increase grip while retaining the heat handling capabilities.

- And last but not least, the AD08. Yokohama Advan USA tech guys don't even know about this one yet (hallelujah for the internet). Projected successor to the AD07. Announced by Yokohama Japan insiders, this tire (AFAIK) doesn't really even have a projected release in Japan yet except for a tentative 2009 Spring, but having driven the AD07 and knowing Yokohama will want to compete fiercely with the RE-11, this should be good.


Max

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Old 06-19-2008, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

I just received a brand new set of DOT-R Yokohama Advan A048 tires:

Yokohama Advan A048 MH compound Brand New : 65 durometer Shore Type A scale


As with the AD07. I will be running these as dual purpose tires on the daily driven 3/S. They'll see quite a lot of street use and I'll be taking them to the track too. I'll continue to monitor the durometer to track how they handle heat cycling.


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Old 06-19-2008, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

Great thread. Not sure how many people on here will actually have/collect this kind of data. You might have to scour other forums to compile all the data you want.

Are you starting out with full tread tires or do you shave them? Shaving is supposed to reduce heat build up in the tire and provide better traction since the tread blocks won't deform or chunk-out. (Although an article in a SCCA magazine showed that shaving doesn't make the car any faster when autocrossing.) I'm not sure, but I don't believe that shaving will affect durometer measurements.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

So to put the durometer with respect to wear in perspective for everyone, how many miles and track sessions did you get out of the AD07's? Do you have any durometer recordings once the tires were warmed up? I'd be curious what the durometer change after heating will be between the AD07's and the A048's.

Great writeup as always!
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juko View Post
Great thread. Not sure how many people on here will actually have/collect this kind of data. You might have to scour other forums to compile all the data you want.

Are you starting out with full tread tires or do you shave them? Shaving is supposed to reduce heat build up in the tire and provide better traction since the tread blocks won't deform or chunk-out. (Although an article in a SCCA magazine showed that shaving doesn't make the car any faster when autocrossing.) I'm not sure, but I don't believe that shaving will affect durometer measurements.
Yeah, the folks who geenrally have this kind of data are racers and they don't usually post the info (stingy bastards). Believe me, I've tried numerous searches on the net to find out what the A048's starting durometer was and couldn't find ANY info.

As for shaving, I'm starting out with full tread A048's (which means 6/32nds). not quite the depth of the Toyo Ra-1's (which run 8/32nds new), and since I won't be tracking these off the bat, I left them full tread. BTW, IIRC, Jack T. tracked these at RA full tread and didn't have any problems.

As for the reason for shaving, it does reduce the chance of chunking (since the thinner tread distorts less therefore generating less heat AND dissipates the heat faster) and it also tends to be faster on roadcourses because there's less tread squirm increasing the confidence to push the car, and with the better tire heat management, they don't overheat as easily so there's less chance of traction reduction due to overheating. But no, shaving will have no effect on durometer. Since I'll be street driving these as well, I'll see what kind of wear they show on the street and keep monitoring them from street and track heat cycling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jandoaudio View Post
So to put the durometer with respect to wear in perspective for everyone, how many miles and track sessions did you get out of the AD07's? Do you have any durometer recordings once the tires were warmed up? I'd be curious what the durometer change after heating will be between the AD07's and the A048's.

Great writeup as always!
Never occurred to me to take hot durometer readings. I know the AD07's got pretty darn soft and sticky when they were really hot. They were picking up bits of rubber left behind by other cars. As for mileage on the AD07's, I would estimate a rough total of 8000 miles with the majority of the wear due to ~250 track miles. They started out at 10/32nds full depth and I would say that on average, each track day ate about 1/32nds and sometimes 2/32nds if it was really hot or I was pushing really hard.


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Old 06-20-2008, 02:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

Just for fun I'll grab the hardness of from my old Yoko street tires this weekend so you have a reference number to compare to.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boostaddict View Post
Just for fun I'll grab the hardness of from my old Yoko street tires this weekend so you have a reference number to compare to.
Cool, the more data, the merrier.


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Old 06-23-2008, 08:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

Just an update. I just had the tires mounted today and took them out for the break-in heat cycle. Now to let the tires cool for 48 hours.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm modding the car to make it go faster or noisier.

Welcome to the newest addition to Max's VR4's symphony orchestra. I have a BOV that whistles, a clutch that groans, an exhaust that growls, brakes that squeal, a TOB that rattles and now, tires that like to hum (because they don't know the words?). My air intake is the only civilized mod on the car,.. When I start to go faster, it tells everything else to "Shhhhhhhhh...."

Now all I need to complete the symphony would be a fully straight-cut dogbox so the car will whine too. Oh well....

The A048 hum isn't as bad as I thought it might be from the way some have described it (some folks call it a roar). So far, it's just a hum at lower speeds, although at highway speeds, it sounds like a muted air raid/tornado warning siren. Some folks claim that they get louder the lower the tread depth. We'll see.

More updates to come.


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Old 06-25-2008, 07:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Anyone else with a tire durometer? Tire hardness/softness measurements thread.

For an additional data point I checked my yoko avs es100 tires for you. They are about 1.5 years old but probably have ~ 500 miles on them. Data was taken with a calibrated Rex durometer hardness tester using the Shore A scale. The tires had an average Shore A hardness of 73.0 (data range of 71-74).

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