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article details
Author Various
Categories All Honda/Acura
Create Date January 17, 2002 16:37
Last Update April 03, 2002 00:20
Competition Tires


From: Karl Shultz 09/26/98

BF Goodrich Comp T/A R1
Treadwear: if you have to ask...
$122 each from Tire Rack
Availability questionable

Here's the fun stuff, and the whole reason I bought the extra wheels. These are autocross-only tires for me, mounted on the stock wheels (95 GS-R coupe). I ruined a set of good street tires autocrossing, and hoped this would be more cost effective in the long run. I think that it is.

I got mine shaved to 4/32" and heat cycled by Tire Rack. Heat cycling alters the molecular makeup of the tires so that they last better and grip better. And shaving them prevents some of the "chunking" that can happen, since the R1s do actually have some semblance of tread blocks. The guys in my club recommended this procedure; since it's my first set I can't say whether it's better or worse to do it, but at 15 bucks a tire, why not.

As to the tires, well what can I say...the limits of my mostly stock car (all stock suspension) are shockingly high with those tires on it. R1s allegedly break away more abruptly than comparable Yoko A008s, but I haven't found this to be a problem. Steering response is immediate...super stiff sidewalls and effectively no tread blocks. Braking and launching are much different - the 2nd gear tire chirp is long gone, and invoking the ABS actually bottoms the front shocks (!). At a recent high speed "Solo 1.5" event, the grip was so fierce I was banging my mud flaps on the ground during slaloms. Thump...thump...guess I should get those shocks soon.

The tires are designed so, as they wear in racing, the outside edges become like a racing slick. They are wearing pretty well given how soft they are, and the abuse they see. I expect to get well over a season of events out of them total, doing events from two local clubs and hopefully a regional SCCA event or two.

Availability of R1s has lately been a problem - they (BFG) apparently made a set for the Nationals in Kansas, and there is a shortage. BFG is also rolling out a new R-compound tire, called the "G-Force," so perhaps they're not making the old so they can force the new on us. Either way, BFG is dedicated to this market and I'm confident the new G-Force tires will be good.

Worth mentioning is the savings on street tires. Recently I chaired an event for my club, and got to design the course. This involved driving through it a couple of times to make sure the course flowed right. Those four runs really hurt my Pirellis - a lot. So for those of you who are doing autocross, road racing, or other track events, a dedicated set of tires is highly recommended. You'll have more fun too.

From: Sheening Lin (IZZYOX3@MVS.OAC.UCLA.EDU)
I went to a P.O.C. event today with my brand new R1s (first time with R compound tires) and I figured I might as well get all my questions out right now. Keep in mind I have a '91 Nissan NX2000.

After some serious experimenting, I seemed to find the right set-up but a couple things happened that made me scratch my head.

a) one of the middle treads of both front tires essentially disintegrated... about half of it is totally gone. Does anyone know why this would happen?

b) I noticed that these tires ran considerably hotter than regular street tires. (i.e. jump from cold --> hot psi readings was enormous) What is the maximum pressure that the tires should be run at. (i.e. to avoid blistering and such assorted nasty things)

c) Should I run at a lower (i.e. less negative, more positive) camber setting now with the R1s than before? Lower at both front and rear?

d) Any other helpful hints that I should know? Best way to store them, best way to get most tread life, etc.

From: Jeff Benagh (benagh@ICD.Teradyne.com)
I received a somewhat used, free set of 230 series R1's last year. Two of them had developed severe scalloping so bad I threw them away. All the tires I've bought since then were shaved. I use them for road racing also, and there the opinion definitely is that they last longer.

From: Hank Cadra (Hank.Cadra@ENTEX-BOSTONSLS-MA.ENTEX.sprint.com)
Any of you newbies out there who have been thinking about loosening up the ol' purse strings for a set of (insert favorite auto-x tire here: _________ ), let me give you my perspective: just do it! I ran the super-nimble '89 Taurus SHO [ ;-) ] in an NERSCCA event yesterday, shod for the very first time in BFG Comp T/A R1's. Sure, it wasn't the tightest course you've ever seen. But these are 60 series, softer sidewall (206 compound--yep, clearance prices!) gumballs, and I don't even have aftermarket shocks, springs, bushings, whatever--basically all the ingredients of a low-response setup--and the difference was incredible! I hadn't had lots of time to walk the course, so I didn't really have a great idea what I wanted to do. Sailed into the first challenging corner way too hot-- too hot for the *street* tires, as I would find out--and immediately figured the car would start plowing any microsecond now. Wrong. Tires bit, big, heavy car slewed around, but I wasn't even on the gas anymore 'cuz I expected to be trying to reel it in by that time! Knocked a second off on each successive run, and clearly still hadn't completely adjusted to the new, higher limits. So again, new- or recent-comers, if you have yet to heed all the veterans' advice and still have been wondering whether getting autox tires is worth it, I think if you can afford it you should get 'em. Instantly better grip (break 'em in right!) Longer life for your street tires. And lots more fun. Later!

From: Andy Hollis
For the most part, you can get away without shaving them, but you may end up developing a "trench" in the outermost circumferential groove. This will eventually cord well before the rest of the tire.

My experience has been that the scalloping that people see can be avoided by running a little more air in the tires until they get that first good heat-cycle and get worn down some. If you just bolt-em on brand-new, full-tread and run the pressures the fast guys are using for "primo-depth" tires, you will develop the scallop.

Personally, I've been having mine mildly shaved and then trying to get a heat cycle into them before going into full-abuse mode. Your CRX should be fairly gentle on tires, so you could be fine with just some extra air for the first 15 runs or so.

From: Randy_Stocker@rexham.com
I drive a CSP Miata that weighs 2100 pounds. I never really had a problem with the BFG R1's gouging the center tread block or cupping the outer tread block. Even with the 226's. The key, I found, was to maximize negative camber to get even wear across the tread surface. If you do not have enough negative camber (and are running the lower air pressures that the fast and smooth drivers run) then the center of the tread surface will actually buckle from too much side load and cause the gouging and cupping. I saw many stock class FWD cars that could not produce adequate negative camber get those results. Thank God the Miata is a wonderfully adjustable and balanced car.

Don't ask me what adequate negative camber is. Your settings are determined on what kind of car you drive, how stiff it is set up, and your driving style. When I first started autocrossing I used 2 or more degrees of negative camber. Now that I am becoming a better and smoother driver I am using around 1.5 degrees negative.

I feel somewhat slighted by BFG since they discontinued the 226's because I never had a problem with uneven or accelerated tread wear. BFG, PLEASE make the 226's again! With the new Hoosier radial becoming legal next year you might have to!

From: Andy Hollis (ahollis@origin.ea.com)
My daily driver ('85 Corvette) sports 230 R1's. Having now gone through two sets (and about to mount another) I can offer a few pointers. First off, they are a real hoot on the street (not that I would *ever* drive in a "sportive" manner ;-). Be careful, though, once you start wearing them down, you will have abysmal wet-weather performance due to hydroplaning. Also, because of the super-stiff inner sidewall, you'll wear out the inside WAY before the outside of the tire. To combat this, I run *much* lower pressures on the street. This helps a lot.

One final observation: these tires seem to go off pretty bad after extended street mileage probably due to heat-cycling (what?...Heat in South Texas?).

From: RICKTALBOT@aol.com
I too echo Dan's thoughts here. Though I wouldn't have considered myself a total novice after 4 years of autocrossing (primarily at the regional level), I experienced the dreaded "360" the hard way. My '87 Integra had Tokico Illuminas and Yokohama's RSII's mounted. While exiting a slalom, I got overly aggressive, got behind, failed to bail thinking I could save it or at worst, just slide but alas.... As for mileage, I think I got about 20 runs and 3000 street miles out of them (I only live 10 minutes from work).

From: jgoeke@eskimo.com
Expect the 230 compound R1 to last as long as and RSII as far as compound goes. Maybe slightly less. As far as every day use as described, I would say they will last about 1/2 as long as the RS Yok's did. One additional note: If you ran the RSII, you can remount them inside out after about 1/2 there life, and have them last as long if not longer than the RS. The RS cannot be remounted due to the directional construction. I have been able to get around 175 to 200 auto-x runs on a set of RSII's this way, and still win! Most events I drive down on them (~30 miles each way). They do tend to lose there stick around 150 runs, on rough surfaces, but seem to still work ok on smoother ones. All this is based on using a Miata. ---JCG

From: "Don Carlos" (buckland@alinc.com)
BFG R1's are all the rage in every discussion group, but I can't find any articles telling the whole story, eg., break in, shaving, use on various surfaces, etc. Could someone please assume the role of "R1 Expert" and enlighten those of us not yet in the know?

I ran the tread right off my nearly new Mich' MXX3's($250 each) at a drivers school, and learned the hard way that one MUST use race tires for high speed events or pay dearly in poor cornering traction and ruined street tires. I have called 1-800-RACE BFG, joined "Team TA", and ordered tires for my new M3. I took a chance that my instincts were correct and had them shave them, and now hope that I did the right thing.


From: Andy Poling I have been running Yoko RS's (not RS-II's) on my Miata for the last few years - both at autox events, at track events and on the road (though I don't drive the car daily, I do use it as a normal road-going automobile). The RS's have typically lasted for about a year of this sort of abuse. I like the run-what-ya-brung aspect of running the same tires on the street, track, and at autox's.

Does anybody have experience with running the BFG R1's on the road? After watching cars running the R1's at recent autox events, I've become convinced that they are a better choice (for me) for autox. I'm concerned, however, about using them as a road tire. My guess is that since they are a road racing tire, they should handle it OK, but what kind of longevity can I expect? I would be running the 205 mm width...

From: Randy_Stocker@rexham.com
You are lucky to get 150 sticky runs from A008 RSII's. I maybe got 20 before they heat cycled to rocks.

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