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Thread: 13" Road Tires: ZZS vs R888R

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default 13" Road Tires: ZZS vs R888R

    Looking for a set of road tires for a Caterham build (Duratec 2.0). Running 13x6 wheels all-round and there seem to be two good options:

    Avon ZZS in 185/55/13
    Toyo R888R in 185/60/13

    Assuming I don't care about the difference in sidewall/ride-height/gearing between these two, which would you go for? I'm in SoCal and this is a weekend warrior in the canyons. I don't typically drive in the wet, but my preferred time to drive is in the cooler months, when it can be down in the 40s of an early Sunday morning in the hills.

    Also - TireRack lists the R888R as competition-only. But they're road-legal, right? I ask because I've seen folks refer to different compounds on the R888R (soft and medium). I'm just wondering if the US supply is the softer compound which is only for track use...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have not driven the Toyos but use the Avon ZZS on my UK Caterham in that size on the fronts. I use a wider set on the rear (its a 13x8 wheel). I like them as a tire. I just bought a set for 15 inch wheels as my road/rain set for my CSR. Definitely an improvement over the old Avon CR500s.

    It was a while since I last checked but the Toyos were heavier than the Avons. Given we are supposed to be adding lightness and reducing unsprung weight I went for the Avons.

    I have tested ZZS back to back with the ZZR. The ZZS is notably slower in a track environment - 1.5-2 secs on a 1 minute circuit. However, the ZZR is lethal as soon as there is a damp surface. Not worth it for the road - stick with the ZZS was the lesson from that comparison.

    Someone should chime in on the Toyos shortly. I know people use them on sevens.
    Last edited by Croc; 11-14-2019 at 04:09 AM.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (will repaint to original color in 2020)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic

  3. #3
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    Thanks Croc! Anyone know if the R888Rs are road-legal in the US, please?

  4. #4
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    Try PMing fastg and Andy69 on this forum - they both use R888


    A search using R888 might turn up others.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (will repaint to original color in 2020)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic

  5. #5
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    I do use the R888R but in the 15" size. I had R888's before and also liked them a lot, I replaced them with R888R and at first had a lot of tire pressure issues. I used a tire pyrometer to get the "right" pressure and ended up with crazy low 12/14 psi pressures. I was at a track day at Mid-Ohio and talked to Johnny Miller long time Trans-Am racer and now owner of https://trackdaytire.com/ He did a 15 minute Tires 101 presentation after the last track session, very informative. I asked him to wonder over to my car when he had a chance and after a brief chat he just said adds an extra 10psi and you should be good. He was right they are now back to shit to a blanket grip level. I love the tires, have heard storied about there wet weather performance and I have driven them in the driving rain, with no issues, but I was very careful. They last well enough I replace them every 3 years or there about, just because I can rather then any performance issues.

    Graham

  6. #6
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    Wow, +10lbs! So what was your final cold pressure level, 28? Was it all 4 corners? I had R888's which I credit for putting me in the tire wall at Mid-O. I loved the Toyo R1's, I have a set of R888R's for the front but haven't tried them yet. They have a fairly deep tread pattern so shd be good in the rain.
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Civic, Type-R

  7. #7
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    Graham's issue likely was the R888 has a stiff sidewall at zero inflation. You want the sidewall to flex. With our cars so light thats difficult. My recollection from NJMP was he was running just 12psi all round. So assuming I have the math right (using the calculator) 12psi + 10 psi equals....errrr.....duhhh....sucks finger and looks stupid....22psi.

    Interestingly, Caterham recommend 20/22psi front/rear cold for the Avons on the CSR.

    The reason I prefer the Avons is that they were designed for lighter cars and so the sidewall flexes more readily. Even so I usually run 18psi cold all round in 13 inch and 15 inch wheels. That ends up around 24psi hot on track which is the recommended temp for Caterham.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (will repaint to original color in 2020)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic

  8. #8
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    I think Croc is right, the R888R has a stiffer sidewall than the R888. I will check my log tomorrow, but I think I ended up with 22/24. I looked at the Avon tires but the sizes were not good for 15" wheels and they are expensive almost double the R888R cost. I am keeping with the R888R for next year then I think the Hoosiers will be on my shopping list for 2020

    Graham

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitcat View Post
    I loved the Toyo R1's .

    What happened to the R1s? Did they stop making them? For a while there they were THE tire alternative to the Avons that you saw people use on sevens.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (restoration - engine rebuild)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (will repaint to original color in 2020)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic

  10. #10
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    Actually, I mis-spoke, they are Toyo RA1's. They are still available, AFAIK. They last forever and seem to get more grip, not less, with age. The Toyo R888Rs have become more popular than the RA1's, not sure they are better tho.
    Last edited by Kitcat; 11-21-2019 at 08:45 AM.
    Kitcat:AKA, Sir Spinsalot
    '97 Caterham Super Sprint, 1700 Crossflow-sold
    '09 Birkin S3, Duratec-sold
    '03 Caterham Zetec track car
    '19 Honda Civic, Type-R

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