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Old 12-30-2005, 01:31 PM   #1
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Time for new tires - let the debate begin

OK I know - Tires are totally subjective but it is still a great thread to bring in the new year with. I am due and will need to pick some up in the next couple of weeks. I was thinking about a set of these

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Pirelli&tireModel=PZero+Nero+M%26S

Here's my details
2003 Boxster with 18" Carrera's with stock Michelins- got 12k on them.
I drive this 2-3 days to work + weekends.
Maybe do a nice road trip every 2 months.
I like tires that stay quite as they wear (the Michelins have been pretty good at this - my Kumho directionals on my TT were terrible).
I live in Florida so lots of summer rain.
I live in Florida so lots of summer heat.
Driving mostly straight roads except for the extreme fun I get hitting an on ramp - again it's Florida.


Questions - Should I order on-line and have my local dealer mount and balance?
Local guys ok? Directional versus asymetric? Which tires would you get?

Let the debate begin.

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Old 12-30-2005, 02:13 PM   #2
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I most certainly would not go with the Nero's, they are an all season tire and will greatly detract from the precision as well as ultimate grip the Boxster has.

In the 18" size I'm a fan of the Michelin Pilot Sport N1 (Rib) tire. It's very quiet, has great traction, retains the proper sidewall stiffness to keep the steering from going numb and offers pretty good wear relative to the other N-Spec tires out there. In an N-Spec tire this is the most responsive I've tried.

If I was going away from N-Spec I would seriously check out the new Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD07. This tire has been getting rave reviews. The Bridgestone S-03 is also a top notch tire but it's noisier and even shorter lived than the N1 Pilot Sports.

I personally do not like the Michelin PS2's in the 18" size and have them taken off the car after 1000 miles because they simply didn't feel right. They caused the car to feel sluggish and made it tail happy at the limit, especially when off weighted in turns. Please note, this is the non N-Spec PS2 in the 225/40x18 and 265/35x18 size. The N-Spec PS2's don't seem to exhibit this trait but they don't make them in our sizes.
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Old 12-30-2005, 03:45 PM   #3
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I'm in the same boat as well(03 with 15k miles) and I don't know if I should go with the Advans or the PS2's. Excuse my ignorance but what is N-spec and why don't they make 265/225 PS2's in N-spec form?
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Old 12-30-2005, 04:45 PM   #4
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N-Spec refers to tires that have been tested and certified by Porsche. This is more than a rubber stamp (regardless of what some people on these forums will have you believe), Porsche actively tests the tires as well as analyzing the specification to make sure they meet the engineer's requirements.

In application the "N" is followed by a number. That number increments if the manufacturer updates the tires or introduces a new tire line in that particular size. Porsche doesn't specify a specific N number by model but they do state that you shouldn't mix N numbers on the same car. That means is you have N0's on the front you can't put N1's on the rear. You should also never mix brands as the N1's from one manufacturer have no relation to N1's of another.

The major advantage in using N-Spec tires is to ensure that your car is performing within the limits it was designed to. Using non N-Spec tires isn't a problem but it can introduce handling and ride issues that your dealer (if the car is still under warranty) cannot resolve.

On the flip side, there are many Non N-Spec tires that people have used on their Porsche's with great success, Bridgestone S-03's are a case in point.

As to why there are no N-Spec PS2's in our sizes, I think that's primarily because by the time Michelin had the PS2's certified by Porsche our sizes were no longer a size that any current Porsche uses. I believe the tire makers only go through the specification process when there is an expectation (or contract) that they will be used a OEM. PS2's in our sizes will probably never be OEM so it's unlikely we will ever see an N-Spec PS2 in the 225/40x18 and 265/35x18 sizes.

BTW, many here have used the PS2's and love them. Many seem to be in the 17" size but some have also used them in the 18's as well. I tried the 18's and hated them but YMMV.

I didn't like them because their high slip angles cause the front to be numb and the rear to be twitchy. They also tramline very bad compared to the PS Rib (N1). On the plus side, the highway ride was excellent up to 90 mph where the soft sidewalls reared their ugly head and made the car wander a bit. Not something I like at 110
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Old 12-30-2005, 04:55 PM   #5
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I'm a bit confused. Are pilot sport rib the same as standard Pilot sports? Porsche used PS1's as OEM equipment. Why not use the PS2's? I believe Porsche is still using the 265 and maybe the 225 18 sizes on the 987 and the Cayman.
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Last edited by Adam; 12-30-2005 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 12-30-2005, 05:19 PM   #6
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A bit off topic......

Porsche doesn't specify a specific N number by model but they do state that you shouldn't mix N numbers on the same car

This seems a bit confusing to me.....If the N designation was approved by Porsche, what would be wrong with putting N2's with N3's? Aren't we splitting hairs a bit on this? I have N2's in the back with N3's in the front, same brand of tire Pirelli Zeros, and I have had zero problems!

Just because they say not to do it doesn't sound good enough to me, because I'm not hearing WHY this is not advised?

Don't they also say not to use any tire without the N specification, but plenty of people on this board have had great success using non N specified tires?

Sorry for the rant...but...

Call me skeptical
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Old 12-30-2005, 06:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
I'm a bit confused. Are pilot sport rib the same as standard Pilot sports? Porsche used PS1's as OEM equipment. Why not use the PS2's? I believe Porsche is still using the 265 and maybe the 225 18 sizes on the 987 and the Cayman.
Actually they produced 2 version of the Pilot Sport (PS1), the N0 was the older, directional tread.



The N1 has a hybrid tread, much like the MXX3 on the Pilot Sport (PS1) carcuss (sp?). The Pilot Sport Rib is what the N1 Pilots are called here in the US.



The 18" sizes on the 987 S (and Caymen S) are 235/40x18 and 265/40x18. Since they have a different rolling radius, front to rear, I suspect the PASM (PSM) system has been recalibrated to accommodate this.
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Last edited by mjw930; 12-30-2005 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12-30-2005, 06:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigislandboxster
This seems a bit confusing to me.....If the N designation was approved by Porsche, what would be wrong with putting N2's with N3's? Aren't we splitting hairs a bit on this? I have N2's in the back with N3's in the front, same brand of tire Pirelli Zeros, and I have had zero problems!

Just because they say not to do it doesn't sound good enough to me, because I'm not hearing WHY this is not advised?

Don't they also say not to use any tire without the N specification, but plenty of people on this board have had great success using non N specified tires?

Sorry for the rant...but...

Call me skeptical
What's wrong with mixing N versions is that the different numbers indicate a different tire. Either the compound or construction or both have changed, hence the different number.

The Why is as simple as That's what it is stated in the manual. It didn't find it's way into the manual to take up space, it's there because the engineers know a little more than the guy at your local tire store.

As for using Non N-Spec tires, I never said that was a problem. As long as you maintain the minimum speed and load ratings of the OEM tire you won't have any safety issues and I agree, there are a lot of people using non N-Spec tires without a problem and in fact, my track tires are not N-Spec.
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:19 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

Boxsitter: In regards to your question which originated this thread, for what it is worth I purchased P-Zero's last year from Tire Rack for my Mercedes "C" based on Tire Rack's ratings, and I love them. Of course, I was looking for an Ultra High Performance All-Season type tire for this car. However for my '01 Boxster "S" I have Tire Rack's highest ranked (Customer Survey) Max Performance summer tire, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3. These tires came new on my "S" when I purchased it, so I can't compare them with the other tires mentioned, but I can tell you that they have been excellent performers for me so far. I have always enjoyed Tire Rack's reviews and place a lot of confidence in their surveys of various tires.

Ken
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Old 12-31-2005, 09:14 AM   #10
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Interesting thread.......

I f I were living in FL, driving the way you do, I 'd be concerned with, in no particular order:
-Ride quality
-Noise
-Wet weather performance
-Dry weather performance
-Longevity
-Steering response

I would put special attention on wet weather handling, noise and ride quality since you don't track it.

The PS2's and Goodyear GS-D3's I think handle all those issues per tireracks comparisons and reviews. Sounds like the Goodyear may get a bit more tread wear. People in our club that have used the Goodyears gave them rave reviews.
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Old 12-31-2005, 04:39 PM   #11
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I just put Pirelli P-Zeros on my 98 non-S boxster about 4 months ago. I have been VERY happy with them. FWIW, I do have the 17" sport classic wheels.

Edited to clarify that they are the Rosso's.

Last edited by creseida; 01-01-2006 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creseida
I just put Pirelli P-Zeros on my 98 non-S boxster about 4 months ago. I have been VERY happy with them. FWIW, I do have the 17" sport classic wheels.
Just remember that there are multiple variations on the P-Zero tire line. The P-Zero Rosso is the correct max-performance tire for the Boxster. The P-Zero Directional is obsolete and the P-Zero Nero is an all season tire and not what I would consider appropriate for a Porsche.
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Old 01-01-2006, 03:50 PM   #13
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that's right have had Rosso N1 on my last two boxsters, changed rear ones once a year and had front ones for nearly three years (they needed changing when i sold the car) but i am not as happy with the rosso on the S, quite tail happy, now at the same time weather is crap and they are building a motorway near my home which leaves tons of crap on the roads.
Porsche club Ireland has a deal going with Bridgestone if you are a member you can get 25% off a full set, does Porsche US have something similar?
also i hear often that if you do not use N rated tyres some insurance companies won't insure you! any comments?
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Old 01-01-2006, 05:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olly986
that's right have had Rosso N1 on my last two boxsters, changed rear ones once a year and had front ones for nearly three years (they needed changing when i sold the car) but i am not as happy with the rosso on the S, quite tail happy, now at the same time weather is crap and they are building a motorway near my home which leaves tons of crap on the roads.
Porsche club Ireland has a deal going with Bridgestone if you are a member you can get 25% off a full set, does Porsche US have something similar?
also i hear often that if you do not use N rated tyres some insurance companies won't insure you! any comments?
No tire deals where that I've seen linked up with PCA members but some local merchants do give discounts. We have mail order places like Tire Rack that tend to keep our prices low and our local tire stores competitive.

The insurance and warranty issues with non N-Spec tires are a non-US phenomenon since we have laws that prevent PCNA and the insurance industry from being that overbearing. One thing you do need to be careful of is the speed rating of the tire you install if it's not the N-Spec. A smart insurance adjuster can refuse a tire related claim if they can prove you have tires on the car that are rated lower than the OEM tire but I suspect that's a one in a million chance.
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:17 PM   #15
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I would also agree that an insurance adjustor would even know to look at the performance ratings. When I insured my boxster with a Name Brand insurance company, they were like, "Oh, I've never insured a Porsche before".
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Old 01-01-2006, 07:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creseida
I would also agree that an insurance adjustor would even know to look at the performance ratings. When I insured my boxster with a Name Brand insurance company, they were like, "Oh, I've never insured a Porsche before".
Agreed

Of course I'm the exception, my agent has owned many Porsche's and has done the PCA tour to the factory, it's impossible to get anything past him

Well, that's not really true, being another P-Car enthusiast he's gone to bat with me and gotten me special ratings on my older 930 as well as an offshore race boat I had registered as a cruiser (hey, it had a cabin and a head )

On the tire issue, tire dealers can be held liable if they knowingly install a tire on a car that is below the minimum speed rating that the manufacturer specifies for that particular model. I know it's asking a lot of a person who's JOB it is to sell tires to actually understand speed ratings but hey, I guess I'm a hard ass.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:21 AM   #17
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You are pretty much spot on

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikenOH
I f I were living in FL, driving the way you do, I 'd be concerned with, in no particular order:
-Ride quality
-Noise
-Wet weather performance
-Dry weather performance
-Longevity
-Steering response

I would put special attention on wet weather handling, noise and ride quality since you don't track it.

The PS2's and Goodyear GS-D3's I think handle all those issues per tireracks comparisons and reviews. Sounds like the Goodyear may get a bit more tread wear. People in our club that have used the Goodyears gave them rave reviews.
Actually the order is just right. Since I am not tearing up the streets ride and noise are top's on my list. Performance is nice for the occasional on ramp. Longevity - well you just can't expect a lot here. I mean if you get 15k that is probably all that can be expected - you aren't going to get 30k out of these kinds of tires. The Goodyears seem to get rave reviews - except for a couple of BMW track sites that complained about them wearing down wayyyyyy to quickly. Guess I'll see if I can find them local for a reasonable price. Thanks to everyone for the input.
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Old 01-02-2006, 06:48 AM   #18
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Car and Driver did a test of max performance tires recently (in conjunction w Tire Rack)...the Goodyears, PS2 and Yoko's all performed well. Contis were mushier but surprisingly good numbers wise.

Here's the url...

http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=4&article_id=10252

They offer a lot of subjective opinion and objective info...I found this very helpful.

I love my ps2s (06 987S) and will likely stick with them as I have had good results with Michelins on my Porsches. Had good experience with n-rated Pirelli Rossos on my 993 too...very quiet with exellent wet and dry grip.

N-ratings definitely make a difference. If you look up the specs by tire on TR's site, you can see that the PS2s (for example) in N-sizes are significantly lighter and designed for lighter loads. They are different designs. I too have used non N tires on my performance cars but, as some commented, there is a risk they don't mate well with your suspension/spring rate, etc.

Definitely never mix tires on the same axle, or even from front to rear. Amazing how many times i see "performance" cars with 2 different brands/tread patterns front to rear. Geez.
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Old 01-03-2006, 04:37 PM   #19
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How long have you been running the GS-D3's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BengalsFan
Boxsitter: In regards to your question which originated this thread, for what it is worth I purchased P-Zero's last year from Tire Rack for my Mercedes "C" based on Tire Rack's ratings, and I love them. Of course, I was looking for an Ultra High Performance All-Season type tire for this car. However for my '01 Boxster "S" I have Tire Rack's highest ranked (Customer Survey) Max Performance summer tire, the Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3. These tires came new on my "S" when I purchased it, so I can't compare them with the other tires mentioned, but I can tell you that they have been excellent performers for me so far. I have always enjoyed Tire Rack's reviews and place a lot of confidence in their surveys of various tires.

Ken
I assume you bought your 01 boxster used since these tires were new but I don't see them listed anywhere as an N spec tire. How is the tread wear? Noise? I keep teetering back and forth as to weather an N spec tire will make that much of a difference in ride and performance. None of my other vehicles are performance oriented and generally speaking I just get something middle of the road aka best value for the money for the particular car but with the Boxster I am enjoying the quality of driving so much I don't want to mess things up and at roughly $1000 - $1200 that could be a costly mistake.
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:42 PM   #20
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Hi,

Reports, Comparisons, etc. can be very helpful, but be sure to realize the Subjective nature of most Tire Satisfaction. Testing is usually done at extremes which few people ever drive to. But even empirical measurements have a Subjective side to them. A Tire running at 15db may be considered quiet by some, noisy by others, etc.

Your Driving Style, Local Roads, Patterns, Habits etc. are fairly unique to you. No one drives Your Car, Your Route, Your Way. Add to this that everyone's Tire Knowledge and Expectations vary widely as well. This is why so often a particular Tire is both Loved by some and Hated by others. Add to this mix the relatively new factor - Aesthetics (Fancy Sidewalls or Agressive Tread Patterns) and it gets even more confusing. For the most detailed Primer on Tires go to: http://www.safercars.gov/Tires/Index.htm .

In other words, buying a particular Tire for the first time is pretty much a Crap Shoot. Only when you buy a Tire again can you have a reasonable expectation of what you're getting...

Happy Motoring!...Jim'99

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