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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I have loved the grip of the yoko's for some time now. Indeed, about three years now. THat said, as I bought another set of tires, i decided to step out of the box a little. I just bought a set of R888's in stock sizes. should be here in a few days. I'll be at a bunch of track events during the next few weeks and let you know what I think. personally, the higher tread wear rating is exciting.
 

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Any follow up? I'm nearing the point where I'll need to replace at least the rear tires. The R888 seems the likely candidate.
I recently replaced my stock A048s with R888s in stock sizes (bought at The Tire Shoppe, BTW). They're good tires. I ran a two day HPDE at Mid-Ohio with them and they were very confidence inspiring. As for a comparo, it's hard to say. The last time I was on A048s on a track was in the rain at PIR and they had 4 track days and 5,000+ miles on them. I haven't had the R888s on PIR yet.

If I was forced to compare, I'd say that the difference is not significant enough at my skill level (newbie) to say one is different over the other. Supposedly, the R888s wear better, are better in rain, and will have better grip down to the wear bars. Time will tell. This was according to personal opinion on the web, so add many grains of salt. I've also read that the R888s are quieter. I'll call bull$h!t on that one. I drove from PDX to Columbus, OH on A048s and came back on R888s. While the pitch of the noise is different between the two tires at 80 mph on the interstates, neither were quiet tires, especially on concrete. On concrete, both tires would just scream. Regardless of road type, the loudest part of the car when cruising on the interstate was the tires, regardless of whether they were A048s or R888s.

-Brad
 

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My take: the R888, Nitto NT-01, and Toyo RA-1 all share the same rubber compound, but they differ in carcass design and in tread pattern. What's nice about the compound is that it's thermally stable and -- unlike to Yoko A048s -- does not loose grip to heat-cycling. I found that the balance of the car changed dramatically as the Yokos aged. At first, that was amusing. Later, I found it annoying, and I'm too cheap to buy new tires simply because they've given up some grip but still have 50% of their life left. In my experience, new RA-1s (and I would guess, also the NT-01s and R888) have a bit less grip than new A048s, but they retain that grip over their entire life. Relative to 50%-worn A048s, I'd take the R888 any day.

From the appearance of the tread design, both probably evacuate water as effectively -- translation: be wary of hydroplaning, as they aren't versatile road tires. Whether they have the same transient behavior, I cannot say, as that reflects carcass and sidewall design, and I have yet to drive on R888, but I cannot imagine that -- for most Lotus owners -- they aren't close to being comparable.

With regard to noise, all tires produce roughly comparable levels of noise. What makes one tire sound less loud has to do with the frequencies produced, and more complicated tread designs permit more variation in the tread block sizes. [An aside, but look closely at the tires of your daily driver -- unless you're among the masochists and you actually dive your Lotus to places other than racetracks -- and you'll see that the treadblocks are all slightly different sized for exactly this reason.] That's great for street tires but not so great for track tires, as you want as little tread deformation as possible for reasons of feel and grip. Thus, if you're looking for a good "highway" tire, you'll need to buy a real street tire, not a DOT-legal track tires. Me, for long trips, I wear a noise reduction headset on the highway... :rolleyes:

Twin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I have over 700 track miles on the new tires now, in 4 track days. The grip has been great and IMO no difference between the AO48 and R888. I'll be in Europe for a few months so I can't give you anymore until next season. So far, I'll stay with this tire, hands down. Lots of grip.

I will add though, that right now stock sizes is about all you can do. AO48s you can play with the sizes a bit. I plan on dropping to 15/16 front rear wheels and running 205/245 front rear. That should be better all around. Gearing, weight, and I can have both street and track sets of tires.
 

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He bought R-compound tires. How do you THINK they're holding up? RA-1s, NT-01s, R888s, A048s are all going to wear at about the same rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He bought R-compound tires. How do you THINK they're holding up? RA-1s, NT-01s, R888s, A048s are all going to wear at about the same rate.
I'm out of the country right now so...


I put several trackdays on them and I love them. The treadwear rating is higher than the yoko's so it should last longer all else being equal.

I will get them again unless I switch to smaller wheels (likely) and can't find the size I want. Then I may go to RA-1s like others here.
 
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