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I'm looking for tyres in original dimensions. (205/60 R14)

but there are only cheap brands and only H–speedrating tyres available.

Falken ZIEX ZE-912

Sonar SX1 EVO RFD

Nexen CP641

Nankang Ultra Sport NS-II

Nankang XR611

Maxxis MA 510

What are your expiriences and sugestions?

Edited by LOTUSPOINT
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Oups... Haven't noticed that I have forgotten to tell which tyres are now on: Kenda Kaiser 20 in 205/60/14 88V Grip in the dry: better than good in the wet: again better than good. Suits the ca

Hi Richard, your elite looks really good! I've gone the non original route, I've got 15" excel SE wheels, because they are what came with the chassis, and it has a Brembo  brake conversion on the fron

Thanks guys. I know that to drive the car as it is intended, one must go to a larger wheel if you want a high rated tires.  You just can't go back to the 70's low profile tires of the day ( 60 series

There is a chinese brand (Kenda) offering V rated 205 60 14's but the reviews on the net were not good. I would go for a decent set of H rated tyres.

I've used Nankang in the past and found them to be ok in the summer heat when it is dry, but with very poor grip in the wet.

I used Champiro 60's and in truth they were ok. Not much difference between them and the Yoko's. I also have tried Bridgestone RE71, but felt they were a bit hard (they were quite old).

I currently use Yokohama S306 on the V8, which are not a particularly high performance tyre and are no longer available new, but I watched ebay for a year and picked up a matching set of 5 with 7-8mm tread depth over a period of 12 months. They are ok, but feel a bit "soft" compared with the Goodyear Eagle NCT 60's which were on before. Yoko S306 pop up on ebay from time to time - I bought another two with 6mm last week.

Falken are the default choice for most people from your list above as they are a "brand name". I like to be different. :mellow:

I would like to try Nexen directionals, as I have driven a performance car with a set fitted (not a Lotus) and they seemed ok, but I thought that they had gone out of production in 205 60 14?

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there should be:

Firestone Firehawk 700 FS 205/60 R14 88V

There have been also alternatives from Federal some months ago with the SS595 and the SS535 in 195. But both tires are not in their offer anymore. I have drop them a note, whether this is only temporary or not. I have made good experiences with these tires. So I hope, they are only out of stock at the moment.

Also in 195 is the Michelin Energy E3A and the Toyo Proxes CF1

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  • Gold FFM

From your list, I too would chose the Nexen. I've had them on a Merc a long time ago and loved them. My Esprit SE also has Nexens on the rear from when I bought it, soon to be replaced by the correct size. I can't fault them, but can't compare (yet) either.

Several people I know had bad experiences with Maxxis: balancing problems on a 4x4, blow-outs on a trailer and delaminating thread on a normal car. So I'll stay away from those.

On our Triumph, we have fitted Hankook, after a long search. Most tyres in that size (185/80R14) are high load commercial tyres, and way to stiff for a light and sporty car. The Hankook does excellent though, I've had and liked them on other cars as well, but not sure if they still make an 205/60R14.

 

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Hankook don't offer a 205 60 14. :no

I think the Firestone's went out of production  in 205 6014 a long time ago, so make sure if you see these they are not ancient stock.

Your list looks pretty much complete for currently available tyres, with nothing jumping out as missing apart from Zeetex, Kenda and Champiro.

It is possible to get road legal track day tyres that fit the rear in a 225 50 14, from Toyo (888) and Kumho K70. I'm not sure if they fir under the arches on the front yet tho.

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They used to have them: http://www.poweralloywheel.com/hankook-tyres-13-inch.html

But not listed on their site anymore.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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I'm on Nexen in my Eclat S2.2. They seem ok, maybe another brand could have better grip but the overall feeling seems quite good.

Sadly... I do not have experience with other possible brands to compare. The Pirelli P4000 I've removed off the car were dated... from the eigthies or middle nineenthies  :no

Best regards,

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It was the nexen N2000 directional tyre that I referred to trying on another car, which was previously available in 205 60 14, however it doesn't seem to be available anymore...

I know they were produced as I saw one on an Elite

:-(

no experience on the Nexen CP

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I bought my Dunlop Sports recently from Amazon Tyres - delivered free and a local garage fitted/balanced them for £10 per wheel.

Couldn't see any 14 Inch Rims for 205/60?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_abn_pp_h_307677031?ie=UTF8&bbn=307677031&rh=n%3A307677031%2Cp_n_feature_seven_browse-bin%3A427323031%2Cp_n_feature_five_browse-bin%3A429157031%2Cp_n_feature_four_browse-bin%3A427383031

If you see Khumo brand for your size anywhere - I've always found they give great grip/wear/value.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here in the US Hoosier makes a DOT (Dept. of Transportation) approved race/autocross tire in 205/60-14

They do not recommend using it on the street though, and definitely not in the wet unless it has grooves cut in it.

Otherwise we have Nankang, Federal or Geostar; none of which I have experience with.

- David

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This web-site seems to say that 185/65-14 is the closest to the standard 205/60-14:

http://ejelta.com/tiresize/index.html?ws16=1&ws15=1&ws14=1&tiresize=185%2F65-14&minwidth=185&maxwidth=205&minratio=45&maxratio=70&m

These are all 195/60-14:

Fuzion Touring (H or V)

General Altimax HP (H)

Hancook Optimo H246 (H)

Kumho Sense (H)

Kumho Solus KH16 (H)

BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S (H or V)

Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (H or V)

 

In 185/65-14:

General Altimax HP (H)

Hankook Optimo H418 (H)

Hankook Optimo H246 (H)

Kumho KH18 (H)

Sumitomo HTR A/S P01 (H or V)

 

I'm not sure whether "H or V rated" means they are available either way?

 
These tires are all from the tire rack web-site.
I have a friend who works in the tire industry who is researching some more...
 
- David
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For a tyre to be legal for road use in Europe it needs to have been type approved and carry the ECE mark or the newer equivalent.

http://www.tyresathome.info/tyre-advice/tyres-uk-legal-requirements/

without EU approved tyres,  a UK car should fail its MOT (annual roadworthiness inspection), and if your in a smash, your in a whole heap of trouble without EU approved road legal tyres.

For this reason, we can use US brands that are sold globally like BFGoodrich, but we run into issues with other US market tyres that we might want to buy like Hoosier, if they don't display the European type approval marker.

For EU readers, I wouldn't be tempted to buy US or Australian market tyres and import them for use in Europe. Just buy what we have available here.

with regard to 185/65  being the closest to the original rolling radius, I personally wouldn't go that narrow. I'd go for 205's in an H rating.

If people really do have a hang up over speed ratings, buy those Kenda V rated tyres in 205 60 14. But personally, I'm more than happy with H rated 205 Yoko's.

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Thanks for that clarification.

I'm just sharing information, not advocating to break EU law!

I haven't found any 205 wide tires here in the US yet, of ANY speed rating, but will keep looking.

Today I need snow tires to drive the Eclat to the mechanic's!

- David

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  • 7 months later...

This might be a stupid question but since the sizes are different to the cars original spec, what pressure do you inflate them to. Also since I am a new owner what oil does everone use again since there is better stuff than in the 80s

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I have on my Excel SE the stock tire pressure. I have tried several combinations but after all the factory specs are the best for me (quelle surprise ;-)

The best tire you can get for the Excel in my view is the Bridgestone Adrenalin. Top grip, no tram lining, good wet behaviour, great value for the money :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

A long time  ago when I was looking for tires, I came to the same conclusion that there weren't any tires that met my needs and my Elite. So, I updated my wheels to 16 s and got some z rated Dunlop sp 8000 which had just won a tire war of 10 or so high performance tires. The Dunlops  either were first or second in every category with the exception for the ride. Really good especially in the wet.

I put 205 45 16 on the front and 225 45 16 on the back which also aid in with my new increased power from the aluminum Buick 215 aluminum engine (father of the rover V8 ) now punched out to 298 cid or 4.9 L. I really like the wheels from American mag and they were reasonable and look better IMHO on my Elite. Plus the performance is really no comparison to the old Dunlops and the original 14 inch Lotus wheels. 

Check them out if you like. http://www.britishv8.org/Other/RichardNorman.htm

I really don't know any other way to get some tires that can take the punishment and heat generated from the superb handling of the Elite.

Richard

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Hi Richard,

Good to see you posting on here!

Your wheels look amazing, and I wish we had access to some of the kit you can get over there, without us having to pay shipping to the UK and import duty.

Tyres are becoming a pain over here for anything modified in 14 inch. 225 50 14's are available from Toyo and Kumho in road legal track day tyres, but despite their extra width and grip, you lose a little in diameter which lowers the gearing slightly - great for track days, not so good for running down the freeway/motorway.

I have noticed that Toyo are also producing a 225 50 14 in the T1R, which is available from Demon Tweeks. It is a more sensible road tyre than the other R888 available and has a lot more grooves. A friend uses them on his road/track elise and reports good results.

I kind of like the looks of the original speedline in the 14, and I am keen to keep them as long as possible. I went as far as buying a set of Superlite's in a 15 inch, but would have to swap the hubs to the 114.3 pcd from the usual S2. Current plan is to keep them for my eclat track car.

Duncan

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Hi Richard,

your elite looks really good!

I've gone the non original route, I've got 15" excel SE wheels, because they are what came with the chassis, and it has a Brembo  brake conversion on the front so 14" wheels will not fit.

But I've also got a set of 4 16x8 Compomotive wheels that came up cheap near where i live. The fronts will be an issue so I might have to get smaller fronts and sell two of them. I'm still thinking about this, and waiting for a pair to come up cheap. The Compomotive 6 spokes have so much more air round them that brake cooling should be better.

I kind of wish the original S1 wheels would fit, as I like the look of these the best, but as Richard points out - there is a much better choice of tyres with larger rims, and as my car is not very original(!) the main thing for me is what I end up with on the car works best and is safe, and after that the consideration is how it looks and originality. But i can see how this is different for people with totally original cars.

Mat.

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