Wheels and Tires by The Tire Rack Discussion about wheels and tires for the S2000.
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Tire replacement time

Old 04-02-2019, 05:02 PM
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Default Tire replacement time

I plan to replace the tires on the S2000 this summer. I will be sticking with the stock sizes and use the car primarily on the backroads, sometimes in a spirited manner. The previous owner had another set of the original spec Bridgestone RE050 tires installed on the car. I will be replacing due to age rather than wear. This will likely often be the case as the car is only used during the nicer months and I am not racking up a whole lot of miles (just a few thousand per year). I only mention the RE050s because they represent my baseline and are the only tires I am familiar with on this car.

My main question has to do with grip. I realize that the RE050 can be improved upon in this regard but at what expense if any? In other words when the back end breaks loose right now it seems fairly predictable without much drama. I am imagining that as grip levels go up some of that predictability might be lost.

i am looking primarily at max performance rated summer tires (as opposed to extreme performance) and I imagine that most of the usual suspects will outperform the RE050. I have no idea how the RE050 might compare in terms of road noise to something like the Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position, the Continental ExtremeContact Sport or the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S. If anyone has input on this it would also be appreciated.

I am guessing that steering feel/response is going to be decent amongst the class of tires I am considering. I have read that the S was designed with a stiff sidewall in mind, but by what standard? I do not see any mention of this when it comes to specs although some reviews might bring it up. That probably covers it as far as questions go. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Last edited by GuthNW; 04-02-2019 at 08:21 PM. Reason: typo
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99MCoupe (04-12-2019)
Old 04-02-2019, 05:49 PM
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Your comments and speculations are all spot on.

Any of the three tires you're contemplating would be a significant improvement over the original tires in all areas you're concerned about. Especially old, aged ones.

My vote would be the S04. Its an evolution of the original tires, and its arguably the stiffest of the lot. Its definitely down on grip compared to especially the 4s, but its still way more than what you're rolling on now, and you wisely realize on the street more grip isn't as important as predictability.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:33 PM
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Thanks for the response. Even with the aging RE050's, the S2000 feels like it is on rails compared to anything else I might drive. New tires are bound to be an eye opener. Perhaps my only saving grace is that I grew up riding dirt bikes where things like the back end breaking loose and learning the importance of throttle control are common. Still I'm aware that there are a number differences between a motorcycle and a car. I'm also aware what the S2000 is capable of, and maybe more importantly what it's not capable of, demands my respect. I'm wise enough to realize that there are plenty of guys that could drive circles around me with lesser tires. I'm just hoping to find a set that is a good match for my needs and priorities.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:41 PM
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The Continental ECS are a high quality, quiet tire. For street driving, especially in potentially wet and cool climates, they work well. For very aggressive driving they won't last as long, but then again none of these tires will. The Michelin is significantly more expensive, but better for track oriented driving. If it's a street car in oem sizing and you're only doing back roads, I'd get the contis given the price. Darcy did a YouTube review of them I agree with, I think his channel is something like "driving with Darcy".
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:09 AM
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Some guys are passionate about tire brands just like are passionate about engine oil brands. If you look at the forum for 5 minutes you should notice there are 5 or 6 or 18 threads on this exact subject running at any one time and all the respondents note the same thing in all of them.

I've come to the conclusion "it don't matter" for street driving and your favorite tire is just as good as someone elses's recommendation or experience. I like asymmetric tread pattern Bridgestone tires and am currently running the S-04 tires on my 2006 car. Formerly ran Dunlap and Bridgestone Extreme tires.

Recent drive in some Virginia mountain switchbacks with a dozen S2000s last week found no one having handling problems and I suspect we had close to a dozen different tires on our cars including All-Seasons on at least one.

Good luck on a choice. Extremes are noisy and the reason I have Max rated tires. While "it don't matter" for street driving overkill always works.

-- Chuck

Last edited by Chuck S; 04-03-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:46 AM
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All of those tires should work for you. I have Conti ECS 225/255 on my 2006 and they are great.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:58 AM
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I Sort of like tires made in Japan
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:48 AM
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S04 is likely your best option if you want to retain the precise handling character of the car. This car is very sensitive to tires, and not all are created equal (equating to oil brands) you want a double ply sidewall, and generally Bridstones run the stiffest. This is important, even over grip. You can slap on your favorite all season or max summer brand and have its design primarily built for comfort and noise and realized you have totally ruined the original precise handling feel of the car. Now it wallows around and not only takes the fun out of driving the car, but removes your confidence level when pushing it. Back when I didn't know any better, Ive run tires in past that were downright unsafe in normal conditions because of overly soft sidewalls. Simple lane changes at highway speeds were a white knuckle experience, feeling like the rear end of car swaying around and wanting to come around on me.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:05 PM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I realize that there are a plethora of tire threads on this forum. So I appreciate those who have taken the time to respond to yet another such thread. I did want to approach the subject with my own specific questions in mind otherwise I wouldn’t have started a new thread. Your time and thoughts are definitely appreciated and have been really helpful.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:12 PM
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General G Max RS.
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