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Thread: Any opinions on StarSpec vs. Nitto NT05 vs. Hankook R-S3?

  1. #1
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    Any opinions on StarSpec vs. Nitto NT05 vs. Hankook R-S3?

    These are the tires I'm looking at for HPDE on my HEAVY M3. I was set on the StarSpecs, but someone else (STALKER) with the same car went through 3 sets of tires due to vibration and the car pulling to one side. He had the car aligned (again) and balanced the wheels a couple times too. The 3rd set seemed OK, but then started having trouble after a weekend HPDE. He's tracked a lot when he had the E46 M3. He got some NT05's and it's straight and no pulling.
    I'm just wondering if anyone has tried a couple of these tires or maybe all three, could give some insight.
    Thanks.
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    Felt a little bit of the StarSpecs(not on my car), have burned through a fair bit of NT05s, and never driven or seen RS-3s.

    My take from talking to people and my limited experience. The NT05s take very well to track day heat, and never seem to fall off or get greasy as you push them(I run 255/40-17 on a <2500 lb car, so YMMV). The StarSpecs offer more cold grip, and seem like their sidewall is a bit stiffer so response is a slight bit sharper.

    Honestly, I think these three tires are so close to each other I'd just buy the cheapest one for HPDE usage. It was the NT05s when I got mine last year, and I imagine it's still the same story.

    After Tirerack jacked the prices of SS's, I'd avoid them for HPDE usage. No one is going to notice that maybe 0.1-0.3 sec/lap difference, so you might as well let the check book take a minor breather.

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    read the August issue of GrassRoots....the StarSpec apparently doesn t handle the heat as well as the Kumho XS and the 'kook RS-3....

    that s not to say the Star Spec is bad, it s just saying that the XS and RS-3 are exceedingly well designed........ plus the XS and RS3 are competitively priced to the SS

    in the wet though, it s been generally shown that the SS is king of the hill

    The NT-05, I don t have much experience with. How does the price compare?

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    In my experience with star specs and a friend's experience with nt05's I would say if you only do driving events, the Nt-05's may be the better tire. Like mentioned the star spec is a great tire but IMO it seems to act better as an autox tire. Because I do autox and DE's/time trials I really like the star specs. They also wear very well. The only downside like mentioned is they do grease up and slippery after a while. Even when they greased up I was still very fast. I may have lost .5 second lap times at the most on the track. It really is an amazing tire and does great in the rain. I also drive my car on the street quite a bit so the star spec really was the tire for me and I don't see myself switching. Again, it depends on your application and if track only with some street driving seems to be your style then the Nt-05's may be the better tire to go with.

    On another note another friend of mine used the nt-05's on his 330zhp and hated them. His car is at least 300 lbs heavier than my e36 so it's possible the nt-05's do not do well on heavier cars. The star specs seem to do very well on the heavier cars.

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    I've run the dunlops and just got a set of RS-3's. I have not run the NT-05.
    Between the dunlops and the hankooks I far and away prefer the hankooks. Slightly numb on center, but better overall response, great grip, and so far very good heat tolerance. The car takes a better set on the hankooks too. I suspect the dunlop has a softer sidewall and that is part of why it is a good wet weather tire.
    Oh, and the hankooks are cheap.
    I have no experience with the kooks in the wet.

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    rs3 is softer than ss; for my 3100 lb autox 95 m3 it's also faster [dry; i've never raced rs3 wet] and less durable.
    -An

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    Good stuff. Thanks.
    Any impressions on how the R-S3 or NT05 wear?
    The NT05 has a pretty high wear rating (I think 280), while the R-S3 is 140. Obviously is manufacturer specific.

    I guess the Kumho XS is another possible tire to consider.
    The Nitto's are pretty damn cheap, like $180/tire in my size, where the SS and R-S3 are around $280 (DAMN TIRE RACK!!!), and $240 respecitvely.
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    NT-05s have a 200 treadwear IIRC. They come with less molded depth, but at least on a lightweight car I can't really detect much wear after a few track days and maybe 1-2k miles on the street.

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    I've seen a few instances where the Star Specs wore out exceedingly quick with regular daily driving with the occasional HPDE.

    I also noticed that the Star Specs feel a little too greasy for my liking as they heat up. I'll probably try something else when they need replacement.

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    Star specs wear very well. They may be one of the best wearing tires in this category.

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    Quote Originally Posted by savage217 View Post
    Star specs wear very well. They may be one of the best wearing tires in this category.
    THIS....

    I have over 10K on my current set of SSs. MULTIPLE auto-x's and some HPDE use (if I cord one of my R's, or it's raining). They are still wearing VERY well, and I run -2.6F and -2.0R street camber
    "Torque is like cowbell... you can never have too much." - Michael Cervi


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    I have only used StarSpecs (2nd set) and I can agree with they get greasy after 15mins of hard driving on track, great in the wet, almost perfect wear (-3 front, -2 rear) and VERY fast.

    Things I have noticed is that you must balance all track wheels out to perfect zero vs zero +/- 15oz like most tire machines do or you will give a minor vibration at speed and during braking.

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    What size are you guys running?
    No PMs. Email through forum please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    What size are you guys running?
    Depending on the tire, but something around 265/35-18 front and 275/35-18 rears. I'm using the APEX wheels with a 9.5" front and 10" rear.
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    Considering they are for an HPDE, you really should go with the longest wearing tire as they all have comparable performance. The Star Specs and RS-3s are on par with one anther for overall grip. The Dunlops will last FOREVER (we have had them on a car for well over 300 autocross runs and they still have life in them and a little tread). The Hankooks will not last as long and aren't as heat resistant as most people think. Two weeks ago we had a hella hot day here in Atlanta and the Hankooks were going off as much as any other tire when heated up. Kumho XSes will handle heat a lot better, IMHO (though the SUCK in the cold and especially the wet). The Nittos, from what I hear, handle heat well and as a 200 treadwear tire, they will probably last the longest. Since you're not "competing" and you're not looking for an R-compound performance, they might be the way to go.
    WUTCONE?

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    Thanks for the insight. I was wondering how the RS-3 wear and you seemed to answer that. For some reason the SS suck on our heavy cars. Two people have had trouble with them pulling the car to one side or causing vibration.
    The Nitto's are also the cheapest too!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by aus View Post
    Thanks for the insight. I was wondering how the RS-3 wear and you seemed to answer that. For some reason the SS suck on our heavy cars. Two people have had trouble with them pulling the car to one side or causing vibration.
    The Nitto's are also the cheapest too!!
    I'm all for the Nitto choice, but I would like to clear something up about the Star Spec...

    Pulling to one side or causing vibration is not a problem with the tire...it's a problem with either the alignment, mounting or worn suspension parts. I've ridden In a number of E46s and E90s which ran Dunlops with no problems. Additionally, if you look at the results of various SCCA National Tours, you'll see the Dunlops used on many of the top STU cars (the heaviest of the Street Touring classes):

    Finger Lakes: http://sololive.scca.com/STU.html
    Blytheville: http://sololive.scca.com/2010BlythevilleTour/STU.html
    San Diego: http://sololive.scca.com/2010SanDiegoTour/STU.html
    Texas: http://sololive.scca.com/2010TexasTour/STU.html

    The STi and the EVO are heavy cars (3200+) and if you look at the weight capacity, they are WELL within the limits. If anything, the Dunlops are some of the stiffest UHP (Ultra-High Performance) tires on the market (the Yokohamas are the only ones that are stiffer with full on carbon-kevlar walls) which means good things for heavy cars.
    WUTCONE?

  18. #18
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    i agree that tires shouldn't be blamed for uneven wear/vibration, and suspect something else got fixed in orig post that fixed the tire wear problem.

    i've run 255 xs, ss and rs3.
    durability: ss > xs > rs3
    stiffness: ss > xs/rs3
    -An

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceE30 View Post
    if you look at the results of various SCCA National Tours, you'll see the Dunlops used on many of the top STU cars (the heaviest of the Street Touring classes):
    Hah! I wish I could get to STU weight!

    But my star specs, whether the 255s I've had for a couple years mostly for track use, or the 265s I just put on for DD and autocross, have only given me problems when there were problems in my car. Other tires I've run have not exposed these problems, but it wasn't the tires. (worn control arms, wheels not mounted perfectly)

  20. #20
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    I know what you guy are saying about the SS, but this is from someone who has done a good number of event and know's about cars.
    He had them balanced a couple times and did the alignment twice. The wheels were spun for roundness too.
    As soon as he put other tires on, the car was fine. Then it happened to someone else too.

    It starts on post 40 here:

    On the next page, Modbargains II said he had the same problem with the SS.

    Then there were a few posts about the tires being shredded by drivers known to be good drivers. I wonder if they changed production to some extent?
    .
    Last edited by MauiM3Mania; 03-09-2011 at 11:00 PM. Reason: pointed to competitive site
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by aus View Post
    I know what you guy are saying about the SS, but this is from someone who has done a good number of event and know's about cars.
    He had them balanced a couple times and did the alignment twice. The wheels were spun for roundness too.
    As soon as he put other tires on, the car was fine. Then it happened to someone else too.

    It starts on post 40 here:

    On the next page, Modbargains II said he had the same problem with the SS.

    Then there were a few posts about the tires being shredded by drivers known to be good drivers. I wonder if they changed production to some extent?
    .
    Must be a bad batch of tires.
    Last edited by MauiM3Mania; 03-09-2011 at 11:01 PM. Reason: quote pointed to competitive site

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aus View Post
    These are the tires I'm looking at for HPDE on my HEAVY M3. I was set on the StarSpecs, but someone else (STALKER) with the same car went through 3 sets of tires due to vibration and the car pulling to one side. He had the car aligned (again) and balanced the wheels a couple times too. The 3rd set seemed OK, but then started having trouble after a weekend HPDE. He's tracked a lot when he had the E46 M3. He got some NT05's and it's straight and no pulling.
    I'm just wondering if anyone has tried a couple of these tires or maybe all three, could give some insight.
    Thanks.
    I don't think you can get the R-S3 in the states with 275/35-18 tires. If you can, please let me know. I've been looking EVERYWHERE!

  23. #23
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    FWIW, I've run the Star Specs on my 3,100 lb car at numerous HPDEs and time trials, including this year's One Lap.

    Although I haven't run the NT-05s or the Hankooks, the Star Specs are the best non-DOT R tire I've ever run.

    Neil
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  24. #24
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    They're not on your list, but the Yoko AD08's are the best non race tires I've ran. I ran them on an E92 M3 at VIR and the car did 2:17-2:18 with just an exhaust and H&R springs. After a 2 day track event and a few thousand street miles you couldn't even tell they were worn.

  25. #25
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    I would definitely consider the AD08 but they're also a lot more money and I think the sizing was an issue, but don't remember right now. It sounds like they wear well, which is another consideration for getting them.
    Thanks.
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