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Sumitomo Tires - Trash or Treasure?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by dave80gtsi, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. dave80gtsi

    dave80gtsi Formula 3
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    My search for a high performance 308 replacement tire in "old school" 205/70 x 14 size keeps leading me back to a Sumitomo brand, model HTR-200, which appears to be just about the only brand and style available nowadays. I have no prior knowledge nor experience with Sumitomo, and I am wondering if anyone else might perhaps have used these tires on their Ferrari (or maybe a different hi-po car)? If so, are they good, bad, or ugly?

    Or, might anyone else have any favorite tire brands / styles which are still readily available today in this size range to recommend?

    Thanks - DM
     
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  3. rudy

    rudy Formula Junior

    Jan 13, 2004
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    I don't know about sizes, but I put Sumitomo tires on my '98 740iL. A big heavy fast car. They were great. Stuck well, wore well. They were better than the Michelin Pilots they replaced on the car.
     
  4. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Dave, you have a GTSi with 14" rims? That's not stock, is it? Carbed 308s I thought had 14" rims stock.
     
  5. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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  6. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
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    Dave.

    I'm about to put them on my 246GT. Only issue I see is they are an "H" rated tire. Load rating is ok, just a little tight on the speed rating.

    I have Sumitomos (HTRZ) on my 911, and they work great. Good tread life, great handling, my Porsche mechanic loves 'em.

    And, you can't beat the price. Run them, if you hate them, you're only out about the same cost as one Michelin XWX.
     
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  8. dave80gtsi

    dave80gtsi Formula 3
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    Yup, I have an early GTSi with the 14" x 7-1/2" wheels. Must have been one of the last ones off of the line before they switched to the metric rims, and for that I am grateful.

    I have considered switching to a 60 series tire as well, but, for now, would like to stay with the 70 series.

    I had not been able to locate any Yokohamas or Falkens in the correct size, but the search continues on that front.

    DM
     
  9. dm_n_stuff

    dm_n_stuff Global Moderator
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    Or, you can go to the Michelin XWX, it's z rated, costs about $260 a piece from coker tire, but was probably the original tire on the car.

    http://cokertire.com/default2.asp

    BF Goodrich Comp TA's are probably period correct, but not anything like original equip. Michelins.
     
  10. Il'inglese

    Il'inglese Karting

    Dec 6, 2003
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    Dave80: To answer you ariginal question - Sumitomo is the Tire and Rubber part of the Sumitomo Zaibatsu of Japan. The quality is sure to be there. I think they are the folks who own the Dunlap brand name. The tires are sold here in the US as "off brand" and fairly are cheap as they do little advertising. The HTR is sure to be more advanced than the decades old XWX (nostalgia aside..) Inexpensive enough to try a pair and report back...
     
  11. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
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    I've got the Sumitomo tires on my gt4. A big improvement over the old WXW tires that were on the car earlier. I bought them from the tire rack for something like $40/tire - real cheap.

    Eventually, I plan to upgrade to 16" tires.

    dom
     
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  13. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
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    I'm getting some Goodyears for my set of OEM 14" x 7.5"

    The rep says Aquatread 3s and one of the street Eagle GTs are available in this size. I'll post pics when I have them on the car.

    I wouldn't sweat that speed rating too much, if you are doing that much on the track you might go with a repro Goodyear Blue Streak racing tire.
     
  14. Mike328

    Mike328 F1 Rookie
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    Also, Yokohama 321s--now discountinued--work well. Might be able to find some new old stock of these... I have a set, I'll sell 'em to ya for $5,000! lol j/k
     
  15. groovzilla

    groovzilla Karting

    Nov 28, 2003
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    william
    i just purchased and had mounted 4 sumitomo tires that goodyear priced at $39@(they matched the tire rack prices on the internet)...mounted and balanced $275...excellent tire...very happy and it fills the wheel well gap very nicely...smooth, better ride and turning than the 215 60's that came with the car when i bought it last month....

    sumitomo is a great handling tire!!!

    i will post some photos soon..

    william ceriale
     
  16. dave80gtsi

    dave80gtsi Formula 3
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    Thanks to all for the feedback so far! Comments on user forums like this one are very valuable.

    It's kind of funny - the main reason that doubt concerning the Sumitomo brand came up in my mind in the first place was due solely to their inexpensive price and overall 'no-name' status. Marketing 101 would generally indicate that high price + famous name = good quality, and that low price + unknown name = junk. If these exact same tires had been, say, $150.00 each instead of $39.00, and carried a well known name like "Goodyear" or "Pirelli" or several others, then I admit that there would likely have been little outward concern on my part about their suitability. It is a very pleasant surprise to find that these tires apparently contradict this broad stereotype!

    At any rate, one can certainly try a set of these for little money, and ditch them if for some unexpected reason they don't work out. One can buy a complete set of four (4) Sumitomos for notably less than the cost of a single Michelin reproduction XWX, so how can you lose? But, judging from the comments herein, as well as extensive similar positive rave feedback from others on the Tire Rack comments website, I don't foresee any surprises.

    Cheers - DM
     
  17. 308 GTB

    308 GTB F1 World Champ
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    Dave,

    Another possibility is the Pirelli P4000 205/70HR-14. Although H-rated in the United States, a large tire dealer might be able to order the European market P4000 for you which is V-rated.

    Barry
     

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