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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at the reviews for the Ultra High Performance Summer tires on their website, and the shitty Michelin Pilot Exalto PE2's that we all hate are rated at #2 out of 39 tires in its class. I WAS highly considering purchasing the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec considering they're ranked #1 in Extreme Performance Summer tires, but now I'm not too sure. I realize that those rankings are based on customer surveys so it's not Tire Racks fault... but I'm guessing most of the people who fill out those surveys have no idea what they are talking about.

I want some tires that provide pretty good grip and would be driven on daily but can also kick ass at the occasional autox event. I'm willing to sacrifice some life as long as the performance is worth it.
 

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The PE2's are outstanding tires. You're confusing them with the all-season MXM4's.

TR surveys should be taken with a grain of salt since they're based on consumer satisfaction and whether they would buy the tire again. A lot of times, people coming from OEM tires will upgrade to something else with little frame of reference and think "Wow this is the best tire money can buy."

Read the staff reviews and compare the survey results with how many total miles the tires have reportedly been driven on. The S. drives, for example, are ranked 3rd in the UHP category but consumers have only driven about 600,000 miles on them. I'm not impressed yet.
 

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The PE2's are outstanding tires. You're confusing them with the all-season MXM4's.

TR surveys should be taken with a grain of salt since they're based on consumer satisfaction and whether they would buy the tire again. A lot of times, people coming from OEM tires will upgrade to something else with little frame of reference and think "Wow this is the best tire money can buy."

Read the staff reviews and compare the survey results with how many total miles the tires have reportedly been driven on. The S. drives, for example, are ranked 3rd in the UHP category but consumers have only driven about 600,000 miles on them. I'm not impressed yet.

:yeahthat: Couldn't have said it better!
 

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Maybe. But for the most part, at least according to what I've read here and on other sites, the PE2s are superb tires and praised by many. What I'm trying to say is the surveys should serve as a tool to help you decide on a tire, but should by no means be regarded as expert advice.
 

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I rely on the reviews by tire rack and the test results from them more than the consumer surveys (which are very inaccurate since a lot of people who write them do not push their car to the limits or have the experience to give a good comparison)
 

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The PE2's are outstanding tires. You're confusing them with the all-season MXM4's.

TR surveys should be taken with a grain of salt since they're based on consumer satisfaction and whether they would buy the tire again. A lot of times, people coming from OEM tires will upgrade to something else with little frame of reference and think "Wow this is the best tire money can buy."

Read the staff reviews and compare the survey results with how many total miles the tires have reportedly been driven on. The S. drives, for example, are ranked 3rd in the UHP category but consumers have only driven about 600,000 miles on them. I'm not impressed yet.
S-drives get great reviews from the members here, a good percentage of us on the site use those and are impressed.
 

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Umm the Exalots are amazing tires.

I had the Z1 Star Specs. Take it from me, they are literally the best tire you can buy. You'll find it hard to find the limit on exit ramps, and they are predictable and EASY to manuever when near the limit. Amazing wet grip too, almost as good as dry. Won't last you longer than 15K miles though.

10/10.
 

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S-drives get great reviews from the members here, a good percentage of us on the site use those and are impressed.
OK that's great. I'm sure it's a fine tire, but according to the TR reviews, "The S.drive offered appropriate levels of wet grip but lacked the ultimate traction to match the others in the test feeling somewhat slippery, especially during acceleration and hard braking."

Would I buy a set of S. drives? I'm considering it. But they're still fairly new, and for the price there are better alternatives. To rank them 3rd in their category is a bit premature. No offense, but your fondness of them alone doesn't convince me enough to throw down $600.
 

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You must take most anyone's opinions on tires with a grain of salt, including the members of this board. Most people don't have the experience, skills, or opportunity to spend enough time at 10/10ths to really judge outright performance. Owning a Si changes this not. But you can spot the trends, especially when you have as many reviews as tend to get collected by tire rack. Here's a few things you can bet on:

Exalto PE2's are fine tires. If you think they aren't you are not likely to be satisfied with anything.

S.drives are good tires, combining good grip with sane ride/noise properties.

Sumitomo HTR-ZIIIs are of similar nature, but offer more outright grip and cost less. They aren't quite the equal of Exalto PE2s in the wet.

Dunlop Z1 Star Specs spank all of the above in dry grip, and their closest competitor, the Bridgestone RE-01R, in the wet. They are noisier than the above choices, especially as they wear. Most users report their awesome grip decreasing to mortal levels after 5-10K miles. Star Specs are autocrosser's dream--if you're really looking for a competitive advantage at autocrossing they are your ticket. When that becomes a lesser (or no) priority, it's really hard to beat Exaclto PE2s when you consider dry, wet, noise, and ride qualities. But the HTR-ZIIIs comes close to providing the same utility for half the money.

You can't believe the absolutes found in tire rack reviews, nor in opinions posted here outside of the few posted by people with a lot of track time of one sort or another. It's easy to fancy yourself really fast or capable when you've never seen how a stopwatch boils away BS. And it's really hard to make finite judgements regarding the fairly minor differences that exist between most of the top tires without controlled back-to-back testing. But above all, you must recognize that most people, even those that autocross, leave more on the table via their driving than can be gained by the most excellent of tires. I raced continuously for 20 years, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that even many that race aren't great drivers--the only difference between them and street-only 'hotshoes' is that they know it. Not everybody gets to win.

A good source of information is the tire rack tests. These are back-to-back tests of a controlled nature. Their biggest limitation is they they generally test different sizes than Si owners will use, and test them on 3-series BMWs. Each and every size of a given tire is a different sidewall design, and there sometimes exist as many as 3 different sidewall designs in the same size of a given tire. The OEM Pilot H4 MXMs are an example of this--the specific 215/45/17 fitted to Sis is a different sidewall design than the 215/45/17 that predates them. I guess Honda thought the existing 215/45/17 version didn't suck enough, and developed a second version to eliminate the concern.
 

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You must take most anyone's opinions on tires with a grain of salt, including the members of this board. Most people don't the experience, skills, or opportunity to spend enough time at 10/10ths to really judge outright performance. Owning a Si changes this not. But you can spot the trends, especially when you have as many reviews as tend to get collected by tire rack. Here's a few things you can bet on:

Exalto PE2's are fine tires. If you think they aren't you are not likely to be satisfied with anything.

S.drives are good tires, combining good grip with sane ride/noise properties.

Sumitomo HTR-ZIIIs are of similar nature, but offer more outright grip and cost less. They aren't quite the equal of Exalto PE2s in the wet.

Dunlop Z1 Star Specs spank all of the above in dry grip, and their closest competitor, the Bridgestone RE050, in the wet. They are noisier than the above choices, especially as they wear. Most users report their awesome grip decreasing to mortal levels after 5-10K miles. Star Specs are autocrosser's dream--if you're really looking for a competitive advantage at autocrossing they are your ticket. When that becomes a lesser (or no) priority, it's really hard to beat Exaclto PE2s when you consider dry, wet, noise, and ride qualities. But the HTR-ZIIIs comes close to providing the same utility for half the money.

You can't believe the absolutes found in tire rack reviews, nor in opinions posted here outside of the few posted by people with a lot of track time of one sort or another. It's easy to fancy yourself really fast or capable when you've never seen how a stopwatch boils away BS. And it's really hard to make finite judgements regarding the minor fairly minor differences that exist between most of the top tires without controlled back-to-back testing. But above all, you must recognize that most people, even those that autocross, leave more on the table via their driving than can be gained by the most excellent of tires. I raced continuously for 20 years, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that even many that race aren't great drivers--the only difference between them and street-only 'hotshoes' is that they know it. Not everybody gets to win.

A good source of information is the tire rack tests. These are back-to-back tests of a controlled nature. Their biggest limitation is they they generally test different sizes than Si owners will use, and test them on 3-series BMWs. Each and every size of a given tire is a different sidewall design, and there sometimes exist as many as 3 different sidewall designs in the same size of a given tire. The OEM Pilot H4 MXMs are an example of this--the specific 215/45/17 fitted to Sis is a different sidewall design than the 215/45/17 that predates them. I guess Honda thought the existing 215/45/17 version didn't suck enough, and developed a second version to eliminate the concern.
That was a near perfect response. Props.

Anyways, I've heard the Z1s provide great greap until you hit the wear bars. Obviously it won't be peak grip, but mine never faded.
 

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Anyways, I've heard the Z1s provide great greap until you hit the wear bars. Obviously it won't be peak grip, but mine never faded.
I guess I could have more fairly said 'some' users report their grip declines after an initial period of joy. Some go as far as to speculate the rubber compound changes as you get nearer the bars. Be that as it may, if you're really serious about competition you fire as many tires at a car as it takes. It would be interesting to find out if shaving Z1s helps. This has been standard practice with street tires used for competition purposes for decades--and doing so with some Star Specs might debunk the notion that the rubber at the surface is softer--or perhaps confirm it. Either way, they are certainly one of the best--if not the best--of the pure street tires.
 

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I guess I could have more fairly said 'some' users report their grip declines after an initial period of joy. Some go as far as to speculate the rubber compound changes as you get nearer the bars. Be that as it may, if you're really serious about competition you fire as many tires at a car as it takes. It would be interesting to find out if shaving Z1s helps. This has been standard practice with street tires used for competition purposes for decades--and doing so with some Star Specs might debunk the notion that the rubber at the surface is softer--or perhaps confirm it. Either way, they are certainly one of the best--if not the best--of the pure street tires.
I agree completely.

I was using PE2s before I jumped to RE-01Rs to Z1s and just the jump from Ultra high perf. summer to Extreme was a HUGE difference. I found myself scared at times to hit a limit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Well it looks like I'll probably be getting the Z1's within the next month or so. I haven't read anything bad about them other than not-so-great tread life, but that alright with me as long as they perform well. Michelin Proving Grounds here I come :D

Thanks for the responses guys.:thumb:
 
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