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07 Elise, std OEM Yokohamas. The couple times I've been caught out in a good rain, I experienced feelings that I've never felt in any other car and wonder is this common & what causes it. First unusual thing was on a sweeping turn, concrete overpass. As I passed over the 1" wide (maybe metal) expansion joints I could feel the front tires slip out a small distance. This makes sense to me as the tire should slip in very small amounts when it crosses something with zero traction. It just came as a shock because in all my Corvette or Porsche days I've never felt anything like it. Chalked it up to feedback from this car, lack of tire-to-driver isolation, etc.

The other instances were more puzzling / disturbing. They involved straight line braking on asphalt surfaces with small amounts of standing water. Not enough that would lead to terminal hydroplaning. Moderate braking would generate a feeling like a very mild ABS deployment. By intentionally activating the ABS under hard braking, I've kind of ruled out ABS as a cause for this. Also this sensation occurs at speeds that should be well below the point of boy-meets-guardrail. When I'm not expecting it, even now it's a bit disturbing as I read into it something more sinister than I presume it is. The feeling occurs at maybe 20 MPH less than I feel a sense of impending doom in the 911.

It this an Elise thing? A Yokohama thing? Or is it time for that lobotomy I've been promising myself? If tires, are they really giving up in the wet or is this an anomaly due to the specific tread pattern?
 

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Could be your tires are getting dried out, but I think I have felt what you're feeling and not been real concerned. Probably just feedback as you said, you're feeling what actually goes on down there. The Elise is good about that right from the factory. Not just an Elise thing, my Integra does it too since I "de-squished" it by putting on reasonable rate springs, shocks etc.

Edit: it occurred to me that the tire sidewall stiffness might play a part in what we're feeling. High-performance tires tend to be stiffer than passenger car tires since ride isn't as much of a concern.
 

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How many miles on the tires?
Which Yokohamas?
 

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Check your tread depth. As AD07's wear, the wet weather performance markedly degrades. Starts by feeling increased understeer and as the rears wear, the back end starts to seriously break loose on wet surfaces. When you start to approach the wear bars REPLACE THOSE TIRES!! They get seriously dangerous. Made a trip from Wisconsin to Naples, Florida last fall and it rained from Stevens point, Wisconsin to Lake City Florida. Rear tires were down to the wear bars and it seemed like a 1,000mile ice race. Back end of the car broke loose while passing a semi tractor trailer and the rear end actually slid under the trailer. Major seat cleaning episode was almost required...Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #6
3000 mi on car but its an 07. tires look new +this is fronts not rears. Sidewalls are definitely not stiffer than the Porsche rated tires Im used to. I've been on shallow tread tires before (drag radials & just worn out tires) & they didnt feel this way. dont know which tires. whatever came on 07 elise. its raining now & im not going out to look.
 

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Your tires are fine at 3000 miles. You're just feeling, for the first time, things all of your cars have done in the past. Closest thing to a Lotus feel is an open wheel formula car in terms of braking. You'll know whether you just ran over an ant or a fly!! Seriously, I love the car in the rain because of the visceral feeling it gives. Keeps you honest without all the nannies kicking in. As far as wear is concerned, grip in the AD07's gives up quickly below 6/32nds. I just drove into work in a downpour, and due to my negative camber, insides are down to 4/32nds but outsides are still 6-7/32nds. Needless to say it sucks in a straight line but still corners fine! Will pull off those fronts in another 500miles tops and put on my Exclaim UHP fronts
 

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First of all the Buzzbomb is a street-legal go-kart amigo!

07 Elise, std OEM Yokohamas. The couple times I've been caught out in a good rain, I experienced feelings...

... are they really giving up in the wet or is this an anomaly due to the specific tread pattern?
So she drives like a go-kart many times. :rolleyes:

Always been a Yokohama fan but the Buzzer's stock tire set-up sucks. Grab some Goodyears and feel the need for speed.



:shift:
 

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Yup, i've always felt my cars slip on expansion joints and similar things.

Regarding wet weather performance and hydroplane resistance, considering the resaonble tire width and the light weight nature of the front of the vehicle, i would be very concerned about hydroplaning. There have been some fairly concerning experiences by people with the tires and standing water. Granted lots of people don't seem to have a problem, but i for one think most tires people put on this car are not particularly safe in standing water. There is a huge difference between a tire designed to stick in wet weather and a tire that is designed to shed water that's standing... and they're not substantially differentiated when you look at tire marketing info online. For example a wet track tire will not shed much water.

I'm running general grabber exlcaim UHP's on my car. Do they have softer sidewalls and not grip like some of the fancier tires in the dry... correct. Do they have less general traction in even in drained wet surfaces compared to other fancier wet weather tires... correct, but they're still basically normal feeling. Have i hit big puddles on highway 101 at speed on my commute in heavy rain and lived to tell about it... correct. And the water shedding grooves go deeper than the tread so even when you're running out of tread, they still shed water.

I did NOT feel confortable in the a048s with any standing water. Granted they're a little wider than the advan ad07's but fact remains those ad-07's aren't designed to shed a lot of water even when they're brand new. Hydroplaning is the only thing you often CAN'T anticipate. You can slow down for all the other scenarios. Soooo... if you live in a place that has road well enough maintained to not have standing puddles, or you don't use it ever in the rain, then buy what you like, but if you're roads are like what my car sees... (big deepish puddles) then I highly recommend you pay careful attention to the tread design and consider it's ability to flush water. End rant.
 

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The std Yoko Neova are pretty bad on wet. I am running now Dunlop Direzza DZ101 on street, not a lot of traction on dry, but great on rain, the car feel a lot better and I am using the every day rainning or not. I have two other set of wheel/tire for track day.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thx. Some good answers. AD07's on car. They look to me like they should shed water. At least better than the Toyo RA1's I ran on the Vette and the Porsche. I wish they had those tires for my car. I never felt more surefooted in the wet than on those Toyos.
 
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