Lotus Elan

Sumitomo tires (tyres...) @ $50 each

PostPost by: prezoom » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:27 pm

David dug up an old post of mine about my use of Sumitomo 175/70-13 HTR200s and PM'd me. I actually like them and the way they handle. My disclaimer was, I have adjustable perches and small diameter springs on the rear and am using Plus2 wheels. Which may account for better distribution of the sidewalls. David's car is similar an on 6" wheels.

I am known to flog the crap out of my Elan (latent retired racer syndrome) on a certain local mountain road, and love the fact that the tires only make noise when pushed hard and slip across a painted surface, just a chirp. As a former tail out driver, I have yet to get these tires to break loose on dry pavement. In fact the only time I got the tires to slip was when starting from a stop on ice at the top of the mountain.

The tires are not soft, as they show a 380 tread wear. But they do have a construction of 2 plies polyester, 2 plies steel, and a one ply nylon belt. This type of construction is similar to high speed rated tires. Not lumps of rubber that are semi-round and black. The nylon belt helps prevent the standing wave that forms just forward of the tires contact point with the pavement. This helps to prevent a breakdown of the casing when driven at speed. Which makes them pretty good for a go-to-market lump. They also have a maximum load rating of 1047 pounds each, which totals more than double of the weight of a fully loaded Elan.

When compared to the 165/15 Vredestine Sprint Classics I have on my Sabra GT, they both exhibit similar characteristics. My Plus2, which I have yet to drive, but getting closer to the completion of the Zetec conversion also has Vredestine 185/70 tires. Eventually I will have more to compare.

Like Ross says, buy the tires, try them out, and if you don't like them, try something else, the initial investment shouldn't be a deal breaker. I think a lot has to do with a persons driving style. red mist vs picking up a six pack and a bag of chips.
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PostPost by: nomad » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:27 pm

Disclaimer: On wider rims your experience may vary!! :shock:

[Concerning Sumitomos!]

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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:35 am

Sumitomo = Dunlop. Same company now
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PostPost by: nomad » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:20 pm

nomad wrote:Disclaimer: On wider rims your experience may vary!! :shock:

[Concerning Sumitomos!]

Kurt


On the Sprite I thought wider rims would help but didn't have the option. 5.5 or 6 inch rims would make a big difference.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:35 am

I went ahead and ordered the tires as several here suggested-if they prove to be unsatisfactory I am only out $200.

The link to the ebay listing no longer works from this forum despite the listing still being active-when you click on it you are redirected to a site called 'Vaglink' or something-anybody know why that would be?

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/122287612145?_tr ... EBIDX%3AIT
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:35 pm

Good to hear David. Looking forward to your feedback, and how shipping to the Great White North works out.

I had the Sumitomo's on the Plus 2 immediately after the restoration. I have stock sized 5 1/2" Minilites.

Didn't like them as the car tended to feel unstable and dart about. To be fair, this was immediately after a chassis replacement, and heaven knows we were doing a lot of sorting while I used the tires up, so the exact sequence of various Suspension tuning changes is a bit blurred.

I thought the instability was due to 175 being wider than stock; had not seen others experience mentioning soft sidewalls. Also recall a friend of mine trying Wide Ovals on his Plus 2 back in the day and saying the handling was terrible. Honestly don't recall how the Sumi's were in the wet.

Replaced with stock sized Vredestein Sprints from Coker on the same Minilites, which felt way better. Unfortunately they are NLA, as I would like another set. Was thinking of trying the Sumitomo's again as I cannot find a stock sized tire anywhere in Canada now, and $1,000 for Michelin XAS from Coker seems excessive.

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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sat Apr 01, 2017 9:02 pm

I agree with everything Ross said (about tires).
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PostPost by: Davidb » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:50 am

Stu: I live only 1 mile from the US border so shipping was free and fast! Canada Customs didn't show any interest in the tires so they came in free...

Certified Lotus: I agree that what Ross said was good-however, I asked for opinions on Sumitomo HTR 200 tires on Elans...
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PostPost by: Davidb » Tue May 09, 2017 3:12 am

An update on the Sumitomos as promised.

I drove the car last week for the first time and following a total mechanical restoration. Then on Friday morning set out on the Spring Thaw Rally here in beautiful British Columbia (Western Canada including Vancouver Island for the rest of you). This entailed 1700km of driving, most of it in the mountains, over a period of three days. We have had incredibly bad weather here for months! This weekend things got serious and floods occurred. Hours before we got to one town the Chief of the Fire Department was washed away by floods and had not been found at the time of writing! We had heavy snow showers-although it did not settle, hail and occasionally, dry roads.

The tires were/are brilliant! I spent a lot of time setting up the suspension and have adjustable spring perches on all four corners with Gaz adjustable shocks set as per Tony Thompson. The rims are 6 inch Revolution and I think 'Prezoom' is right-these tires need the wider rims to support the side walls. I never felt any of the 'softness' that some have reported.

In the wet they never felt remotely loose and in the dry I could drive as hard as I wanted. I raced a 26R back in the eighties and other cars from Formula Juniors and sports racers to a GT350 so I know how a good tire feels.

If they are still for sale on ebay I would suggest them to other Elan owners-as long as you have wider rims.
p1060938.jpg and

My travel stained Elan S2--the sticker was put on in the pouring rain...
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