Low profile tyres

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Johnny 216GSi
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Low profile tyres

#1 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:11 pm

Here's a question.

15", 16" and apparently now 17" rims are an option on the R8. Working on an SLR of about 600mm, you need to go down to 45 or 50 profile tyres for the larger rims, but the standard steel 14" wheels take a 65 profile tyre.

How do low-profile tyres feel compared to standard profile ones? Is the ride hardness very noticeable? I know there will be less tyre roll, etc. but I'm aiming for comfort, not speed...
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Re: Low profile tyres

#2 Post by 1234dist » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:33 pm

Bone shaking on current roads and you will also track where the road is worn sometime almost taking the steering wheel out of your hand.

I fitted 18" straights to my 75 once, i took them off after 3 days as i just couldn't live with it following the road on its own course.
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Re: Low profile tyres

#3 Post by Julesmat50 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:48 pm

I have 55 profile tyres on my 15"alloys (as the optional wheel/tyre combo). Compared to the standard profile tyres on the 14" rims, the ride is noticeably harder, but the steering is more precise and there is less "roll" in turns. The 55 profiles are not that much broader, which is part of the reason for "tramlining" which is what 1234dist mentions. The harder sidewall and broad tread of the ultra low-profile tyres makes the wheels far more likely to "lock on" to white lines and parallel lorry ruts in roads. One of the worst cars I ever drove for this was the BMW Z4 - which had a ride much like the 75 as described by 1234dist
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Re: Low profile tyres

#4 Post by JOHNDQ » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:13 pm

You all must be getting old think that's bad try driving a BMW M car with run flats and a 30 profile :wink3

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Re: Low profile tyres

#5 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:08 am

1234dist wrote:Bone shaking on current roads and you will also track where the road is worn sometime almost taking the steering wheel out of your hand.

I fitted 18" straights to my 75 once, i took them off after 3 days as i just couldn't live with it following the road on its own course.
Julesmat50 wrote:I have 55 profile tyres on my 15"alloys (as the optional wheel/tyre combo). Compared to the standard profile tyres on the 14" rims, the ride is noticeably harder, but the steering is more precise and there is less "roll" in turns. The 55 profiles are not that much broader, which is part of the reason for "tramlining" which is what 1234dist mentions. The harder sidewall and broad tread of the ultra low-profile tyres makes the wheels far more likely to "lock on" to white lines and parallel lorry ruts in roads. One of the worst cars I ever drove for this was the BMW Z4 - which had a ride much like the 75 as described by 1234dist
JOHNDQ wrote:You all must be getting old think that's bad try driving a BMW M car with run flats and a 30 profile :wink3
Thanks for all the replies. I may have to rethink my alloy policy then. I'm pretty used to the steel wheels so the closest fit is the 14" cross-spokes which I have a full set of. I do have a set of 7-spokes too. I've only ever considered alloys to be a decorative thing TBH, not really interested in extra handling.

I suppose I could try putting subtly larger profile tyres on 15" rims, like a 60 profile if such a thing exists, accepting the problem of slower acceleration, a speedo that reads too low, and potential wheel arch liner scrapes.
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Re: Low profile tyres

#6 Post by Mr Teddy Bear » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:38 pm

If you fit a non factory option wheel as a 17" definitely is and probably a 16" too [unless that was an option on the 220?] that's a modification and could well increase your insurance premium!

A wheel that tramlines at speed is a horrible experience too! :o
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Re: Low profile tyres

#7 Post by GTiJohn » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:15 pm

Lower profile will almost certainly mean wider which will give you clearance problems, especially at the front. MGs had lock-stops fitted to prevent this.

If you want comfort on an R8 remember that the diesels and the 420 non-Sport derivatives came with 175/70R14s but with a raised ride height.

The 195/50R15 represents a cheaper option to the 185/55 as it's a more common fitment
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Re: Low profile tyres

#8 Post by Mr Teddy Bear » Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:21 pm

The largest wheel/tyre specification in Jan' 93 was 15 inch alloys [ 7 or 6 spoke] with 195 x 55 radial tyres spec'ed for the 220 Turbo.
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Re: Low profile tyres

#9 Post by GTiJohn » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:10 pm

Mr Teddy Bear wrote:The largest wheel/tyre specification in Jan' 93 was 15 inch alloys [ 7 or 6 spoke] with 195 x 55 radial tyres spec'ed for the 220 Turbo.
195/50 on Turbo so it was bigger than the 185/55 introduced on the GTi. They are nearly the same Static Laden Radius.
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Re: Low profile tyres

#10 Post by Mr Teddy Bear » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:55 am

I did wonder about that while looking it up! must be a typo in the catalogue :D
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Re: Low profile tyres

#11 Post by Kriss707 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:38 pm

Hi,
I'm running 205/40/17's on MG Straights on my 216 Cabbie & the ride is firmer. There's nothing wrong with feeling the road.
They only scrub on hard lock in reverse, but I can live with it *laughs*.

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Re: Low profile tyres

#12 Post by Paul_1978_yorks » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:11 am

Well I never knew you could fit 195/50 15's on the 7 spokes instead of 185/55 15's.... they are quite a bit cheaper!

I've got four new tyres on my 420 but they're not good budgets, and also the balance weights are on the outside which really gets on my nerves.

So I might go for a new set of 195s next year if there's nothing to worry about? And get all the weights put on the inside!
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Re: Low profile tyres

#13 Post by The Origina lNom » Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:11 pm

i have used 195/50/15 195/55/15 and 205/50/15 on different R8s over the years, all having 6J wheels.
The 205/50s gave a very harsh ride on standard suspension, let alone lowered.
In the end I settled for 195/55/15 as my preferred tyre for general use. 195/50s were always a cheaper option that improved acceleration very slightly but dropped the overall gearing effect on motorways and made it very easy to kerb the wheel.

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Re: Low profile tyres

#14 Post by Vinny1979 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:40 pm

Didnt know the 220 came with anything other than semi slick 205/40/17 tyres :wink3
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