Steve from R3Rockingham talks tyres
When it comes to avoiding crashes the single most important thing that most of us drivers forget is the black round rubber things that are actually in contact with the ground. At R3Rockingham on our skid courses we have a saying… “safety from the ground up”. What we mean is, start thinking of grip from the bit actually touching the ground then work your way to the ultimate cause of losing grip… ‘the Nut holding the wheel’.
When you think that an average car only has the equivalent of an A4 piece of paper touching the road at any time, the quality and performance of that contact patch is very important.
The challenge here is that all drivers want tyres with the best grip in all conditions that last forever. Sadly, the laws of physics do not allow this and therefore a compromise is necessary. Here then comes the issue, what to buy and how much to pay?
Just buying the most expensive tyre does not necessarily mean you have the best. For example you may shop occasionally at Waitrose, but an everyday shop is more likely to be done at Tesco yet, we don’t feel the product is inferior. To me the Kumho HS-51 is the Tesco to other brands’ Waitrose.
With the Kumho HS-51 we have a tyre that fitted to most cars from medium saloon to sporty roadsters, has a performance level that exceeds its price and position in the marketplace.
We have driven these tyres regularly on our R3Rockingham Golf MK7s and also MX5 Roadsters, both on track and more importantly in everyday road driving too.
On public roads the tyre is noticeably quieter than others when cruising on motorways, yet provides good feel and surefootedness in cornering capability for roundabouts and country lanes, both in wet and dry. When asked to perform at the extreme level of grip, on track or in an avoidance situation on normal roads, the HS-51 has no surprises. No sudden loss of grip or sharp response, everything happens very progressively providing the driver with feedback that allows feel and understanding of what the car is doing. Whether understeer or oversteer, a subtle warning is delivered with a virtual tap on the shoulder before things become serious.
In short the Kumho HS-51 is designed to be a realistically priced tyre punching above-its-weight in the marketplace, delivering Waitrose quality for Tesco prices.