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Wednesday, March 29, 2006


The Focus's new tires

The Focus had a set of cheapo tires on it when I bought it. I can't even distinctly remember the brand name; I think it was Mastercraft. It certainly wasn't something that had any reputation in the performance world. I did a little searching and it seems Mastercraft is a division of Cooper Tire. Not only did the tires have a hard time getting any grip in an autocross, they were starting to lose their tread by now and make a lot of noise at around 60 mph. So it was clearly time for new tires.

I decided to replace them with a set of Kumho Ecsta ASX tires in the stock size. I built a Ford Probe for the Grassroots Motorsports $2004 Challenge, and it used Kumho Victoracer V700 tires. Still have the tires sitting around, even though the Probe is long gone. (Actually, it belongs to a neighbor down the street now.) Those tires had an unreal amount of grip, but I'm not sure I would want them on a daily driver. They had a lot of tire noise, and I suspect I'd have to replace them every other oil change. So I decided to try a slightly less extreme Kumho tire this time, and ordered a set of the ASX's from Tire Rack.

These tires do transmit a bit more feel and road noise than the old tires. The whine at 60 is gone, though, and they're not quite as harsh as the Victoracers. I haven't tried pushing them anywhere near their cornering limits, but I plan on autocrossing on them and will let you know how they perform when driven hard.

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