Lotus Elan

Tyres for Plus Two.

PostPost by: G4ILN » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:09 pm

Back in the days when my Plus Two was a daily runner I used 165SR13 tyres. Either Dunlop Aquajet SP Sports or Goodyear G800's. After 30 years of storage I need new tyres as the old ones have cracked sidewalls.

"Classic" tyres such as the SP Sports and Michelin XAS's are available, but at a price approaching ?200 each and I need five of them.

Tyre technology must have moved on in the last 40 years. Are there modern tyres available which will do the job at an affordable price?

These are for road use, not racing or rallying. As I live in the UK they're sure to be used in the wet.

Any advice gratefully received.

Thanks, Graham.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:49 pm

Graham,

I think that this subject is a regular question.

You could try searching for recent similar threads to start with. As you say the tyre market changes constantly.

My +2 has Uniroyal Rain Masters
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:29 am

I would suggest a Continental 165/80 T13 at around ?65 each fitted

https://www.tyre-shopper.co.uk/continen ... =t&load=83

The original plus 2 tyres were 82 sidewall, a lot of people seem to fit 70 profile these days but they are nearly an inch shorter than an 80 and don't fill the wheel arch properly, those with saggy springs will probably disagree.

Standard tire size for 1969 Lotus Elan +2:
(in case of different tires in front and rear the dimensional data are valid for driving or rear wheels)

Standard tire size:
165 SR 13
Tire width (mm):
165
Tire sidewall factor:
82
Rim size (in):
13
Total wheel diameter (mm / in):
601 / 23.7


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PostPost by: vincereynard » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:36 am

I had Contis on my wifes shopping scoot. Excellent overall tyre.
When one developed a side bulge, mainly because of availability, She changed to -
https://www.tyre-shopper.co.uk/uniroyal ... rt-3-tyres

I believe Uniroyals are a division of Continental anyway. You pays your money etc etc ....
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:54 am

I quite like the Barium Briliantis - again a Conti brand on my 2 seater.
Only T rated, it's damn near impossible to get h rate except for ?200 each for xas and that's just too much.
They do a 175/65/12 H rated which would be same rolling radius aa 165/80 and just a bit wider for the pus 2 rims.
I reckon that with the improvements in rubber compounds research are the equal of our old favourites.
The shape of these Bariums is more rounded and forgiving than modern super grip tyres in my view.
Their wet grip is not the best but I don't go out in the rain that much and when I do I slow down a lot!
Last edited by MarkDa on Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:29 pm

i have the Barum Brilliantis 2 on my +2 also. So far they seem ok, soft and decent amount grip. Mine are 175/70r13 so slightly smaller diameter than standard 165r13. You're luckily to be in the UK where you have a lot more options than here!
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:19 pm

They're not bad in the wet but with a C rating not as good as the best.
I've not had any problems with them, which is more than I can say for some of the. =rubbish even main dealers put on cars to make them look good when selling.
I've has some that I've not done 200 miles on before selling them to a used tyre place.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:08 am

It's been a few years, but in 165-13 I picked up some Kumhos that I felt were stickier than the Michelin Rainforce tires my Europa came [to me] with. As I recall they were under $30 USD each at the time. Bought them from Tire Rack.

Not super high-performance, but plenty good enough for doubling the speed limits on any road I drive.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:03 am

I changed from Vredestein to Kumho Solus's on my +2 due to lack of availability of the former & can't fault them. They don't look out of place, like many modern tyres do on a classic, they grip incredibly well in both wet & dry, wear seems good despite 'spirited' driving & they should be available sub ?40 a piece for 165/80X13's.

I have Uniroyal Rally's on my Elan & they don't have anywhere near the grip of the Kumho's, although I'm reliably informed the new RainExpert 3's are much better.

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: theelanman » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:58 am

Im another Kumho Solus user......
about 100 times better than the tyres of the 60's 70's so not an issue.....
dont see the point of getting tyres at ?100 a corner when theyre liable to be out of date before Ive got anywhere near wearing them out.....
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:16 am

Orsom Weels wrote:I have Uniroyal Rally's on my Elan & they don't have anywhere near the grip of the Kumho's, although I'm reliably informed the new RainExpert 3's are much better.

Regards, Tim

Only thing to watch with RainExpert 3's is the side wall, i have used Rainexpert 2's and 3's and i found the side walls very soft on the 3's even thought the wet and dry grip is very good indeed the made the car feel a bit spongy.

I recently fitted Michelin E3B2 tyres to my 2 seater and am very happy with them, only problem is the tread pattern looks very modern. If you can live with that they also are very good in the wet and dry.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:57 pm

The Michelin may look a bit modern but so what?
In the limit we want safe tyres and these I'm sure will be streets ahead of anything we might have had 40/50 years ago.
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PostPost by: G4ILN » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:10 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

I figured that just because Dunlop SP Sports cost three times as much as other tyres didn't mean they'd last three times as long. In fact given the low annual mileage I'm likely to do, the tyres will probably succumb to old age rather than wear out. In fact they're likely to outlast me.

The car is now equipped with five new Uniroyal Rainexpert 3's.
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