Kizashi Club

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 #48324  by KuroNekko
 Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:24 am
Got new tires today for my Kizashi. I took advantage of the Black Friday deal at Pep Boys to get myself 4 new Falken Ziex ZE950 tires. The deal was essentially buy 2, get 2 free which is a very tire way of saying 50% off. While I personally think the MSRP listed by Pep Boys was inflated to give the illusion of a stellar deal, the tires were a good price and undercut everyone else selling the same product of the same size that I could find. They came out to $91.50 each which is a good price for name brand High Performance All Season 235/45 R18 tires. I got them installed plus an alignment for a tad over $600 which was about $400 less than I paid when I got my last set of tires installed and aligned. Those old tires were the Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3's which I want to talk about:

Overall, great tires and I really liked the Michelins. I put roughly 50,000 miles on them and by the wear indicators, could have gone a bit longer. However, at the last tire rotation (I do them myself), I noticed that they were chunking. I wasn't sure what it was at first but I did some research to determine the issue was tire chunking; when small bits of rubber come off the tire in chunks. The most common cause is tire fatigue from stress and wear, especially in hot conditions. Tire chunking is most commonly seen in track use, but can occur in normal driving too. Given this issue, I realized I needed to replace my tires sooner than later so when I found the Black Friday deal, I jumped on it.
While I wish I could have gone further with the Michelins, they were warranted to 45,000 miles and I exceeded that. Tires are wear items that don't last forever so despite the chunking, I was okay with moving on to new tires at 50K in tire mileage. The customer rep at Pep Boys was surprised to hear that my Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3's were chunking given the caliber and reputation of the tire but he also was surprised I got 50,000 miles from them too. He stated most Pilot Sport A/S 3's don't last that long.

Why did I go with the Falken Ziex ZE950's? Two main reasons consisting of the special deal and high ratings. The buy 2, get 2 deal only applied to certain tires and fortunately the Ziex's were part of that. The tires (in prior iterations) have also received praise here by folks like Woodie and others. Consumer Reports liked the older models and praised the new ZE950's as even better. Most places selling them online have at least 4/5 star ratings for them. The ZE950's seemed to be a highly rated tire at a good price point... and on sale.

I've only driven them several miles but they do already feel highly responsive. Noise seemed like the biggest issue on reviews but I've noticed nothing concerning thus far. Once they are broken in a bit, I'll report back.

Anyhow, here's a photo of my Michelin's tire chunking. It was taken this morning. All four had some sort of unusual wear in this position on the tire with the pictured tire being the worst of them.
As a reference, my tires were rotated at every oil change and in a diagonal pattern. This meant every tire served both front and rear roles on either side. Alignment wasn't an issue for tracking on the old tires but the tech did make adjustments after installing the Falkens.

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 #48329  by Ronzuki
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:21 am
Yeah that would be very concerning, especially the way I drive. Nothing good could come of the tires flying apart. Aside from the chunking, they appear to have worn evenly across the surface. Inner edge issue...that's where mine have consistently worn thin. No difference in that regard on my current (3rd) set. This set of Kumhos has lasted the longest and had been regularly cross-forward rotated as well. Probably get some new rubber come spring since the current set are now very loud, losing wet grip in the twisties and are at the wear the indicators on the inner edges.
 #48330  by KuroNekko
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:42 am
Yes, the Michelins did wear evenly which I was glad about. My factory Dunlops wore heavily on the insides in comparison but perhaps that was due to the bad alignment specs from the factory which was later corrected (likely too late for the tires). While I'm not pleased about the chunking, having the new Falkens have made a big difference in restored grip and responsiveness. While I do think they may be a bit noisier than the Michelins (when they were new), it's nothing bothersome. If I wanted really quiet tires, I would have gone with Touring tires, not Ultra High Performance.
 #48350  by Engineer60
 Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:34 am
2nd set fitted here and went for the newish released (last year I believe) Michelin Primacy 4's 235/45x18 94W XL which were on offer fully fitted at Costco for £419, the original 235/45x18 94W Dunlop Sport Maxx (fitted as standard in the UK) were @ 2/3 to 3/4 worn having swopped them around last year, total mileage 14200.

The reason for changing early was because one had caught a screw close to the side wall which is not an advisable repair and as I didn't want Dunlops again or just one new tyre fitted I opted for a new set.

The wear rate on the these Dunlops was consistent with what my Jaguar STR's Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres achieved.

The Dunlops also gave a harsh ride and were noisy on both cars, but did offer excellent performance in regard to feel, handling and grip etc.

The Michelins are not yet fully bedded in having only been fitted this week but initial impressions are a much quieter and smoother ride.
 #48380  by KuroNekko
 Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:23 pm
Update on the Falkens:

The Falken Ziex ZE950's are proving to be great tires for the value. They are exceptionally grippy in the corners and the Kizashi hugs the curves very very well. Southern California also had a lot of rain recently so I got to test out the wet traction. Again, excellent with no issues with traction confidence.
I've also noted improved braking grip with these tires. Ride quality is quite good too. The Kizashi is comfortable with these tires.

My only complaint is the slightly elevated road noise at higher speeds over imperfect roads. They are noisier than the Michelins and OE Dunlops when both were in new condition. However, it's really nothing bothersome. I have my roof crossbars on most of the time and those really create more noise than anything when on the freeway.
The reason I'm focusing on the noise issue is maybe because that's what most people on online reviews noted as a negative with these tires. Even Falken themselves rated road noise as something these tires aren't the best at suppressing.

My GF's Mazda3 has Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 Plus tires we put on shortly before the cross-country trip last year. These Grand Touring tires are very quiet and comfortable but don't offer the grip of Ultra High Performance tires in dry or wet conditions. This was experienced firsthand when we drove from Orange County to Los Angeles in the rain recently in the Mazda3. While driving in the car pool lane, we went through areas where the water must have puddled a bit as it was pouring down. The tires seemed to have a harder time with water than most UHP tires I've experienced. Then again, these Ecopias are the most quiet tires I've ever driven on and really transformed the Mazda3's ride experience. They really highlight the pros and cons of Grand Touring vs. Ultra High Performance tires.

Overall, again, I've very pleased with the Falkens. The tread pattern is quite interesting and aggressive too, giving the Kizashi an exquisite look wearing them.
 #48383  by Ronzuki
 Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:49 pm
We have the EP422+ on the SX4...super quiet tire with a nice, comfortable ride feel. Got a stellar deal from Tire Rack on them at the time. She drives like an old lady, so grip challenges (be it dry, wet, snow, ice) have not been extensively tested on the SX4. They get her where she needs to go whatever she's driving through. Wish I could find something that quiet, and be reasonably priced, to put on the K that would keep the driving dynamics (cornering response and grip) as they are w/ spec tires.
 #48386  by WESHOOT2
 Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:45 am
The best AS I've used is this latest set or Radar 225/50 R17 W-rated $50 choice from Walmart.
Still surprised.......grip wear noise.....
 #48388  by motosonic
 Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:52 pm
WESHOOT2 wrote:The best AS I've used is this latest set or Radar 225/50 R17 W-rated $50 choice from Walmart.
Still surprised.......grip wear noise.....

And these are good in snow?
I've never even heard of "Radar" tires.
 #48389  by WESHOOT2
 Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:28 am
I bought Radar all-season; like all all-season tires, they're eventually dangerous in snow.
I run dedicated Michelin snow tires in the snow.
 #48420  by KuroNekko
 Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:26 am
Finally got around to taking a photo of the Falken Ziex ZE950 tire.
A tread pattern is asymmetrical and rather chunky with larger gaps between the treads for a UHP tire. I believe this contributes to the louder road noise but allows for the tire to have improved grip in wet and snowy conditions for a UHP tire.

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