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Merak vs Merak SS

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by tdskip, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Froggie

    Froggie Karting

    Sep 27, 2017
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    Interesting.
    I must confess that it is not easy to know from Longstone what is the "best" tyre for handling, from XWX and CN12, for cars of that period.
    I see that CN12's are sold at a cheaper price, so if better, they would be the choice to make instead of XWX's, also for Bora's, Ghibli's and Indy's.
    Dougal, any advice?
     
  2. boralogist

    boralogist Formula Junior

    Jun 21, 2005
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    Look at the CN12 write-up on page 12!
     
  3. 71Satisfaction

    71Satisfaction Formula Junior

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    Maybe a contemporary auto magazine tire comparison could be found? I'll look thru my collection for anything on the Bora, Merak, etc..

    In the meantime, I offer the personal anecdote that the new Longstone CN12's I fitted to my Bora last year are fantastic. I was happy with the prior tires too, 215/70 ZR 97 W Pirelli P4000 Super Tourings, no longer available, but they were a decade old and rubber probably getting "crispy". My hunch is most owners moved away from the XWX when the CN12 came out as a more modern performance tire, but that's just speculation. Dave Burnham Citroen stated that neither the XWX nor the CN12 are easy to install - their rubber compound is stiffer than modern tires, and the bead is tight and tough as nails - getting them on an off rims is a tough chore.

    - Art

    PS.. G, In what do you mean "page 23", where? I don't see it in Longstone's link.
     
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  4. boralogist

    boralogist Formula Junior

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  5. 71Satisfaction

    71Satisfaction Formula Junior

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    Oops, I mean "page 12".. ?
     
  6. boralogist

    boralogist Formula Junior

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  7. 71Satisfaction

    71Satisfaction Formula Junior

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    Here are what contemporary magazines listed as fitted to their test cars:

    Merak:
    September 1974 issue of Road & Track, lists: "Tires - Michelin XWX, 205/70VR-15"
    June 13, 1975 issue of Autosport lists: "185/70 front and 205/70 VR 15 rear"
    April 1975 issue of Motor Sport lists: "185/70 VR 15-in front and 205/70 VR 15-in rear Michelin XWX tyre.."
    1978 Sports Car Graphic: "Michelin 185/70s in front and 205/70s in the rear..."

    Merak SS:
    September 24, 1977 issue of Motor lists: "The VR-rated tyres are now the same size as those fitted to the Bora (215/70 on the rear, 195/70 on the front, with 15in X 7J alloy rims at each end), and their grip is beyond what most drivers could imagine."
    March 1978 Road & Track lists: "Michelin XWX; 185/70VR-15 front, 205/70VR-15 rear"
    October 1981 Motor Sport lists: "..shod with 195/70 VR 15 tyres, on the front, 215/70 tyres on the back, Michelin XWX.."

    All the magazine specs for contemporary Boras, Khamsins, even Quattroporte list their test cars as fitted with Michelin XWX's.

    MIE's annual Maserati Club magazine, "Viale Ciro Menotti", features the Merak in their Issue number 102, December 2012.
    On pages 20-21, this issue lists the following tires;
    Merak - Front 185/70 VR 15 X, Rear 205/70 VR 15 X
    Merak SS - Front 195/70 VR 15 X, Rear 215/70 VR 15 X
    Merak 2000 GT - Front 185/70 VR XWX, Rear 205/70 VR 15.

    Cheers,
    - Art
     
  8. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Exactly right. They used to charge an extra $15 per rim back in the day to mount those and you better have the best tire installer if you didn't want your rims chewed up.

    BRING BACK THE Michelin XGTs! Or Goodyear GatorBacks ... :) Both are far, far superior these two old lady tires. We they were at the time, maybe they've improved?
     
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  9. Froggie

    Froggie Karting

    Sep 27, 2017
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    Longstone apparently succeeds to convince Michelin or Pirelli to start a refabrication of these "classic" tyres only when there is a sufficient market.
    For example they did so for the Pirelli P7 because of the Countach and for the Michelin Pilot Sport because of the Testarossa, still only in a few dimensions that fit these cars.
    Would be interesting to know if they could make the case of the Michelin XGTs...
     
  10. 71Satisfaction

    71Satisfaction Formula Junior

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    One can only hope - or 3D printing at its apex? o_O

    The calculation will likely be whether enough owners are seeking to buy "Day 2" performance tires, vs the "Day 1" originals. The market is finite. There are only so many Ghibli, Mexico, Grifo, Espada, Bora, Khamsin, Merak, Indy, etc. Unless we match up to a contemporaneously large-volume car like the E-Type, Corvette or Ferrari 308's.. the more tire options are made in a given size, the smaller the market share for each variant. An inward spiral.

    - Art
     
  11. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    If it's a concours queen then go with the $2200 set of tires. Other wise 235 front 245 rears in a 60 series XGT is a fabulous tire and I think makes the car look properly a bit aggressive.
    I had BFG comp TA Rs on it for the track and man did that handle well. The 255 size fit in the rear WO rubbing on the track anyway. I could do 4 wheel drifts but it did lean a lot LOL :D

    No one is going to do that stuff now with these cars but with the XGTs the car does so much more than with those ancient tires.
     
  12. Longstone Tyres

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    Just to get some accurate feed back. Can i ask, in what way you prefer the CN12?

    When considering the comparison, can i point out that you will be comparing a new CN12 to an old XWX

    https://www.longstonegomme.it/pirelli-collezione/cinturato-cn12.html

    https://www.longstonegomme.it/michelin-d-epoca/xwx.html

    Just to clarify, i think they are both great, but in different ways, and i would be very interested in your view.
     
  13. Froggie

    Froggie Karting

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    Dougal, that was my question to you, could you better clarify, please?
     
  14. boralogist

    boralogist Formula Junior

    Jun 21, 2005
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    Be happy to respond!
    First off, my Bora is never driven in the rain so wet characteristics are not an issue in this case.
    The car is mostly driven on hi-ways on 100-200 mile weekend trips at average speeds of 90-110 mph.
    The P4000 was used on the car in the past out of necessity and was mostly adequate for my needs but never looked right on the car!

    The XWX is a very very hard tire, with huge top speed capability, but too uncomfortable and noisy for my needs.
    The CN12 is a newer compound than the XWX, more comfortable and with less tire noise yet with similar performance within real world parameters.
    IMHO it also looks just right on the Bora.
    After all it was a Factory option on my car's Build sheet.

    It also represents a decent bargain compared to the XWX.
    A very brief synopsis.

    I just love this tire.

    Regards.
     
  15. Longstone Tyres

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    Thank you Boralogist

    yep i would agree with your analogy. The Michelin is a more robust tyre, which does have its advantages. I think if i was going to find myself on a race track, i would expect an XWX to last longer. Michelin also make tyres that are very stable at high extended cruising speeds.

    The CN12 has more thin sypes in the tread which help move water better, and the tyre is somewhat softer than the XWX from which we would expect better comfort, wet behavior and grip.

    Both these tyres are exceptional quality. either will work well with these cars. you can't have everything, some features of a tyre counter act other features you would like, so it is always a balance.
     
  16. Froggie

    Froggie Karting

    Sep 27, 2017
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    Dougal,
    When you say softer, do you mean softer compound with lower tread wear life or with softer sidewalls?
    If so, the CN12 would be more adequate for cars that are not used much, because tyres have to be changed anyway after a number of years.
    Also what about tramlining and steering in general?
     
  17. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    So shipping is free to the USA?
    When I add the tires to my cart there's a tax added on ... is that the VAT and is that not charged if shipped to the USA?
     
  18. Longstone Tyres

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    No VAT to USA

    if you go through our check out it will work out any carriage charges if there are any and an taxes VAT that is applicable. but VAT is for customers inside t he EU
     
  19. Longstone Tyres

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    both

    Tramlining will be minimal because it is a period quality tyre.

    Build quality and suitable carcass structure are major contributers. These tyres are made by Michelin and Pirelli so the quality is there without doubt. Modern tyres will make a Bora or Merak tend more towards tracking on uneven road surfaces, because of their wider foot print. a modern 205/70R15 will put more tyre in contact with the road than a period CN12 or XWX. the outer extremities of t he tyres foot print are further away from the steering components and therefore have greater leverage, meaning that they will pick up the uneven ness of our rutted roads and tend to pull the car around at cruising speeds, tramlining . so a period more rounded shoulder tyre will handle better and track less.

    If you look at a modern car parked with some steering lock on you will notice that the tyres stick out of the wheel arches at an odd angle.This is called caster. that is there to overcome the tracking caused by wider tyres. Modern cars they overcome the unpleasant effects camber has on the steering with modern very clever power steering. but who wants that in a classic car?
     
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  20. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Funny that I never had any of those issues with my Bora when using much wider tires 235 F and 245 R in Michellin XGT and Goodyear Gatorbacks in the same size. Those were quite square shouldered tires as compared to the XWX.

    The XWXs were horrible handlers in the turns but in a straight line they were superb. But I don't think that qualifies them as great handling tires.

    I see that the CN12s come in a 255/60 so that with a set of 215/70 in the front might make for some decent handling if the compound is as grippy as the old XGTs were. I always liked 235s at the front for driving but not parking! :eek: ;)

    If I can get a measurement on the actual width of the BFG Comp T/A R1s I used to run in a 255 x 60 size for the rear I could compare it with the CN12s to see if it would fit. That tire did fit with 1/4" spacers but just barely. The 245s were a more comfortable fit, just slightly undersized in diameter.
     
  21. Longstone Tyres

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    It won't handle as nicely if you start fitting over sized tyres.

    If Maserati though it would have handled better with bigger tyres. they would have fitted them. lets face it they didn't just guess what were the best tyres. they did loads of testing with real live test drivers. I have been in the car with a test driver they are from another planet.

    The 255/60R15 CN12 https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/catalog/product/view/id/5363/category/6441 was the OE tyre for the later SV model of the Muira. it did a couple of years on the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and the De Tomato Pantoony

    The subject of Michelin XVR interested me:

    Its funny i have come across the name XVR before and i was intrigued by it, so i asked my freinds in Michelin.

    Some time ago i was in a discussion about Daytona tyres on this very forum. The Daytona came out before, i thought the Michelin XWX was produced.i also thought that Michelin were not making 70% profile tyres at that point. We live and learn. On doing some more research i found that these first Daytona tyres were called "X radial" which looked and were almost the same as the XWX, as was the XVR which came out in May 1968. There were some internal compound changes in 1972 when it became the XWX.

    i hope to get a bit of XVR imagery to you soon to back up what i'm saying. I like a picture.
     
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  22. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Well they just didn't have the good modern tires during the Bora's production. But they were very durable and safe at speed and under load. Now by 1987, when I got my Bora, there certainly were great modern tires available. Very few kept to those 215/70 VR 15 XWX's or any other brand on these cars during the later 1980's or 1990's. It's been only since the concours originality fever has set in that people have gone back to these and that's fine. A number of us actually drove the cars at the limit back then when these cars were still legitimate high performance vehicles, different times now. The Bora handles wonderfully better with those XGTs on it. It truly is trans-formative.

    I wish Michelin would start making those again now that the P4000 and P4000E are extinct. Not bloody likely though ...

    Interesting story about the XVR.
     
  23. Longstone Tyres

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    Is that the reason that they didn't fit 60% or 50% profile tyres. or is it because under testing they drove better on thinner taller profile tyres?

    Worth noting that in 1978 the Countach was fitting 205/50R15 front and 345/35R15 P7 tyres on the rear. the option was there but Maser didn't fit them because they didn't handle as well or give as good ride.

    However it is fair to say that during that period there were improvements in compounds and quality control. but of course these improvements were across the board. ie on crazy low profile tyres as well as taller tyres. The carcass developments were relevant to modern car chassis design.


    Can't agree. Flares were also in fashion once.

    I know people fitted wider more modern tyres and convinced themselves they were better. but they were wearing flares and had their hair cut in a mullet! They didn't do proper testing they, just convinced themselves they were cool, because fatter is better. Yep if you start modifying other elements like fatter wheels stiffer springs and adding caster and adverse camber you might get more grip, but at the expense of handling and comfort.

    Straight line stopping distances are shorter with fatter tyres, and you will do less wheel spin. do not confuse this with handling. Back in the 1980s many a man, wearing flares and a mullet, would have stood at the bar and said the handling of my car is much better now that i have fitted massive tyres. I can, tell because it doesn't wheel spin any more.
     
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  24. Froggie

    Froggie Karting

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    Seems to me that Bob is speaking of "wonderfully improved handling" with those XGT's.
    Maybe the 255/60 CN12's (also a 60 profile like the XGT) would be inbetween the 215/70 XWX and really fat/low profile P7's as put on Miura's or Countach's...
    If that kind of tyre would have been easily available in the 70's for their GT's, wouldn't Maserati have used them as the best street tyres wrt handling instead of the ageing XWX or CN72, e.g. 215/70 front and 255/60 rear?
     
  25. staatsof

    staatsof Six Time F1 World Champ
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    Did you drive a Bora equipped both ways back then?

    All I can say is wow, that's the most inane arguement I've heard in a while. But quoting hair styles and clothes fashion? :rolleyes:

    Please understand something first. I am not attacking your business or the great service you offer by providing the tires that you do for vintage cars. So cheers for doing that! :)

    By 1978 Maserati was a dead company (much earlier actually) and had no money for any further development of much of anything so as they rolled the last of their GT cars out of the factory status quo was the MO. They had the development of the QPIII to worry about and DeTomaso was creating various GT styling exercises via with the Kyalami/Longchamp in a desperate effort to save the company.

    It's also always a mistake to compare the Miura/Countach/Boxer with the Bora. Completely different animals but that doesn't mean there wasn't room for handling and ride comfort improvement. We found that these newer tires did both actually and on the stock rims WO any suspension adjustments! In the mid 90's I did see some of the Europeans building different rims to accommodate the 50 series tires. I never rode in nor drove those cars equipped like that. My experience is that 50 (or less) series tires are typically less compliant and you end up with damaged rims far more easily. I'm not a fan of the current Conestoga wagon wheel trend of 22" rims with rubber bands as tires. My Jag has 18" rims with very low profile and much wider tires (stock) than we're discussing here and I've had the rims repaired a couple of times already.

    Plenty of us Bora owners actually drove the cars, at speed and on the track so figuring out which tires performed better wasn't a matter of style for us. The XWX is also not a comfortable tire because it has such stiff sidewalls. Back then at least it also had a nasty habit of braking loose under lateral load rather suddenly as opposed to progressively.

    Bell bottomed trousers were already long gone by the late 1980's which is when many of us started using the newer tire technologies. A 60's series tire is not such a huge departure visually and those XGTs had amazing handling characteristic for a 60 series tire as did the Goodyear Gatorbacks. I remember trying a variety of new tire technologies in various sizes back then. The absolute worst on the Bora was the 225/70VR15 Gatorbacks. It felt like the car was wearing a set of Hush Puppies, very sloppy sidewalls. I sold those the Frank Mandarano as apparently they were great for the QPIII. He thought so anyway. The 60 series Gatorbacks were great at that time. I still have a set of those fossils in storage ... :eek: Some people also put 235/60s on all around typically in a BFG Goodrich Comp T/A which I see you also sell! I thought they looked too small in that size and they were in diameter.

    I always found the 60 series performance tires of that era a remarkable combination of comfort, certainly better than 50 series or less P7s, performance and style.
    I never thought the Bora looked out of place with a somewhat more aggressive looking set of tires on it. It did not look like a ridiculous boy racer set up you can typically find on a lot of Panteras which do get flared wheel arches. That's also a very different car than the Bora but a remarkable one none the less.

    I also understand why some people now prefer the slimmer original style tire and that's fine but better performing ... NOPE.

    There are some folks making larger, original style rims for the Bora and Merak in the hopes of finding more and better tires for their cars. I wonder how those projects have panned out from a ride and handling perspective? I've seen some of the rims and they look rather nice. Particularly the Merak ones. It would be nice to hear from them.
     

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