Run-flats (4 replies)
Anyone changed from run flats to normal tyres and did it make a difference.
Yes, Ive driven the latest Mini Cooper with Radial tyres (and another with run-flats) The radials are far better in both ride and handling. If you do go to Radial tyres I recommend you buy the electric (cigarette lighter) tyre pump that comes with a sealant cannister. Its standard on all "M" models but can easily be bought on Ebay for £50 odd. The other thing is that Radial tyres are very sensitive to tyre pressure, so keep them absolutely pumped up properly! R
Presumably the suspension is "factory" set up for run-flats. Does it not need tweaking for radials?
Despite what MINI may say to the contrary, I'd recommend dumping the brick hard run flats (have you actually felt how stiff those side walls are?) and go for some nice 'normal' radial tyres with a nice pliable side wall which will improve the ride tremendously. And if you really want to improve things in that department, dump the 17 inch rims and get some 15" rims and enjoy the comfortable ride. As to punctures, just get a can of goo and hope for the best.
I switched to normal tyres soon after I bought my 2003 MCS JCW. Even driving it home with the runflats (Pirelli's) I found the tramlining and general ride pretty awful.
Although my car was prepared as a trackday 'special' by the original owner, as far as I know, it only has the original sports suspension option and I am running the 17" crown spoke alloys.
I switched to Kumho Ecsta as they had the best wet grip but not the best lifespan! The ride on these tires is great, and I no longer suffer from the front of car tracking all over the place following the seams/repairs in the road.
I carry a couple of cans of halfords tyre sealer in the boot and an electric pump. Touch wood I haven't had to use them yet.
Back in 2002 I had a new Cooper S which had runflats but not the sports suspension option and I never thought the ride or handling of that car was particularly bad.