Kosei K1 Racing Versus New Kosei K5R

Monday, February 23, 2015 by Gary Stanley

Are you looking for a strong, lightweight wheel for autocross events? In the past, you would look no further than the Kosei K1 Racing wheel. Designed for track use, the Kosei K1 Racing meets many of the demands of the weekend warrior racer. Whether you are a driver participating in HPDE track days, driving schools or even just autocrossing, the Kosei K1 Racing is both light, durable and an outstanding value for the price. All good things eventually come to an end, and the production of the Kosei K1 Racing wheel is no exception. There are still a few sizes of the K1 Racing still in production, but many sizes have been phased out. 

Fortunately, Kosei designed a worthy successor to the popular K1 Racing with the new Kosei K5R. Just like its predecessor, the new K5R is lightweight, attractive and its flow formed construction should be just as durable as the K1 Racing. The new Kosei K5R is available for many popular 15x7, 15x8, 17x7, 17x8 and 17x9 applications, as well as offered in two different finishes.

 Kosei K5R Silver
Kosei K5R Silver Painted
 Kosei K5R Light Grey
Kosei K5R Light Grey Painted


Both finishes look great, but if you have a race application or a vehicle that tends to put off a lot of brake dust, you may want to lean towards the light grey painted finish, as the color is a bit darker to help hide the brake dust.  

While both the K1 Racing and K5R are popular as track wheels, they also make great street wheels for many drivers. In fact, I used the Kosei K1 Racing wheel on my Mazda Miata almost exclusively as a street wheel. You can read about about my experience with the wheel by taking a look at "Kosei K1 Racing Wheels for Mazda Miata."  

Just keep in mind that K5R wheels do not come with a cosmetic center cap as they are not needed for racing or fair weather street use. If you'd like a center cap for cosmetic reasons or for all-season driving, an optional center cap is available for most applications.

Shop by vehicle to check for pricing and availability.  

Best All-Season Tires for the Honda Civic

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 by Gary Stanley

If you're the owner of a newer Honda Civc, then you probably already know that the Original Equipment tires are tuned for a quiet and soft ride. However, they're not among the best choices for all-season traction in wet and snowy conditions. While it is great to have the best tires, many drivers prefer to have affordable tires that represent a good value for their hard-earned dollars.  

Most recent generations of the Honda Civic typically use one of three common tire sizes: 195/65R15, 205/55R16 and 215/45R17. Many Civics use 195/65R15, but there are quite a few higher trim levels that use 205/55R16, so be sure to check your actual tire size that is on your car. If you aren't sure where to find your tire size, check out "Sidewall Markings."  

Top choices for 195/65R15 and 205/55R16 

 PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
Continental PureContact with EcoPlus Technology
 Michelin Premier A/S
Michelin Premier
A/S


Top choices for tire size 215/45R17 

 Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus
 General AltiMAX RT43
General AltiMAX RT43


Each of these tires have been carefully selected due to their combination of all-season traction, ride quality, treadlife and value. All four tires are also rated and reviewed quite favorably in our survey results.

Even if you have a Honda Civic with one of the smaller 15" or 16" wheels, you can purchase larger wheels and tires. To learn more about installing larger tires and wheels on your Honda Civic, read "Plus Sizing 101."

Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package vs. Buying Winter Tires Only

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 by Gary Stanley
You've decided that dedicated winter tires are the right choice for you. After doing your research, you decided to go with either the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 or Michelin X-Ice Xi3 to increase your driving confidence and safety. Next, you must decide if you want to simply purchase tires to mount on your current wheels, or buy a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.  
 
While initially more expensive, a complete tire and wheel package offers many advantages versus simply swapping winter and summer tires off the same set of wheels each season. Here are some of those advantages to consider:  
  • A Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package is shipped ready to install either by yourself or an installer. 
  • The cost of mounting fees over the life of a set of winter tires may make buying wheels less expensive than mounting tires each season. 
  • Most aftermarket wheels cost less than Original Equipment wheels.  
  • You can bolt on your package at your convenience and avoid waiting in line at a tire shop.  
  • Save the wear and tear on your expensive factory wheels that winter salt and sand dish out.
  • Protect your expensive factory wheels from winter's damaged roads and potholes.


If you're not convinced of the advantages of winter tires compared to all-seasons, be sure to take a look at "Ice Traction Comparison Between All-Season and Winter Tires."   

Is the General AltiMAX Arctic the Best Studdable Winter / Snow Tire?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 by Gary Stanley

General Altimax ArcticWith recent snow falls still making news, many of us our reminded that we still have many weeks (and months in some areas) of winter driving left this season. To see if February is still a good time to purchase winter tires, take a look at "Is it Too Late to Buy Winter / Snow Tires?"  

The Bridgestone Blizzak WS80, and Michelin X-Ice Xi3 and Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 tires are outstanding, cutting-edge designs that offer the best ice and snow traction on the market today. For those looking for a more value-oriented option on a tight budget, consider the General AltiMAX Arctic. This Studdable Winter / Snow tire has a tread pattern that is aggressive enough that it actually works pretty well, even without studs. Check out how the General AlitMAX Arctic compares, both studded and not studded, in our test "Winter Testing at the Arctic Circle: Studdable Winter / Snow." 

General AltiMAX Arctic tires meet the industry's severe snow requirements and are branded with the mountain/snowflake symbol. If you decide to maximize this tire's traction by having them studded, it's important to note that there are special break-in procedures for studded tires.  

General produces the AltiMAX Arctic in a large variety of sizes to fit coupes, sedans, minivans, passenger-oriented light-duty pickup trucks, SUVs and crossover vehicles. Odds are that this great winter tire is available in a size to fit your application. Shop by vehicle to check pricing and availability!
 

Four Common Winter / Snow Tire Myths and Facts

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 by Gary Stanley

With many drivers looking to purchase their first set of winter / snow tires, we've been receiving many questions about the overall performance of snow tires. To help customers better understand winter tires, take a look at the following myths about these tires.

Myth #1: Snow tires are only needed on the drive axle of a vehicle. 

Fact: Dedicated winter / snow tires are meant to be installed on all four wheel positions. Using just two winter tires can cause very unstable handling, especially during cornering, emergency maneuvers and at highway speeds. This is the most common, yet most dangerous, myth of all. Check out the following video for more information on why mixing winter tires is an accident waiting to happen.

Myth #2:  Bridgestone Blizzak tires turn into all-season tires after they are half worn, so they are no better than all-seasons at that point. 

Fact: It has been over a decade since any Blizzak tire used an all-season compound. Even those old tires didn't "turn into all-season tires" at 6/32". Their more aggressive tread patterns and siping still provided better snow traction than all-season tires. Regardless, the more recent generations of Bridgestone Blizzak tires have a winter compound in both layers of their dual layer tread compound. 

Myth #3: Snow tires "burn up" or wear out very quickly on dry roads. 

Fact: Driving on cold, dry roads in normal winter driving conditions will not prematurely wear out winter tires. Rather, it's warm temperature driving that will cause them to wear out much more quickly. These tires are designed for temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and work best at lower temperatures. Prolonged warm weather driving (typically caused by leaving snow tires on year-round) will lead to premature wear, but driving on cold dry roads will not harm your winter tires.

Myth #4: All snow tires have very poor handling and slow steering response. 

Fact: The Performance Winter / Snow category addresses this issue. If you live in an area that receives mostly light and occasionally heavy snow, and wish to maintain much of the quick steering response and handling your vehicle offers, you'll want to consider tires from this performance category.

Note: These tires do give up some snow and ice traction compared to Studless Ice & Snow tires. For help deciding which category fits your needs best, take a look at "Choosing Between Performance Winter / Snow Tires and Studless Ice & Snow Tires."

Is it Too Late to Buy Winter / Snow Tires?

Monday, January 19, 2015 by Gary Stanley

The winter season of 2014-2015 has been a tumultuous one! First, we had a very early cold snap with several inches of snow in early November. This caught many drivers off guard and forced quite a few drivers to install their winter / snow tires a few weeks ahead of schedule. Following that early chill and snowfall was nearly a month of unseasonably warm temperatures and almost no snowfall.  

Now that Christmas and New Year's Day are over, it may seem like there is not much of winter left. Don't be fooled. Keep in mind, most drivers in the snowbelt still have at least two months of wintry driving conditions ahead of them. Also, much of the country has its coldest temperatures of the year through the month of January.  

This weather has brought with it some of the most brutal driving conditions of the season. You don't have to settle for mediocre all-season tires and white-knuckle driving. Winter tires provide a huge advantage in snow, ice and slush traction for added driving safety and confidence. Take a look at "All-Season vs. Winter / Snow Tires" to see how much a difference winter tires make, especially in stopping distances.

If you haven't yet considered purchasing winter / snow tires, it's not too late to experience the difference that they can make in winter driving. Find the right winter tires for your vehicle and have them shipped directly to one of our Recommended Installers

Second Season with Dunlop Winter Maxx Winter Tires

Monday, January 12, 2015 by Gary Stanley

Last year, I purchased Dunlop Winter Maxx tires in the middle of winter for my 2009 Infiniti G37X coupe. These tires replaced the Graspic DS-2 and performed very well in their first season of use. But, how would they perform in season two? 

So far, this winter season has provided me with a variety of conditions in which to further evaluate these tires. First, our area was hit with heavy snowfalls and unseasonably cold temperatures earlier than normal. Next, Northern Indiana experienced nearly a month of warmer-than-average temperatures with very little precipitation and dry roads. Finally, we are now experiencing sub-zero temperatures and nearly a foot of snowfall this week that began with freezing rain. This may sound like a nightmare to many, but this allowed for another great opportunity to put the Dunlop Winter Maxx tires through a variety of winter driving conditions.  

During that initial snowstorm, the Dunlop Winter Maxx tires performed just as well as they did last season. They provided me with traction and confidence in snow and slushy conditions and handled the wintry roads with ease. As the weather warmed and snow turned to slush, and finally to wet roads, I had no problems with braking or handling. Even as temperatures climbed into the 40s, I felt safe and secure even at highway speeds.

This latest bout of sub-zero temperatures didn't phase the tires at all. They still performed just as well on snow-covered roads in below-freezing conditions as they did at near- or above-freezing temperatures. 

Bottom line: I am still happy with my Dunlop Winter Maxx tires!  

If you're concerned about winter driving in your area, install a set of dedicated winter / snow tires to increase your driving confidence.

How Long Do Summer Tires Last Compared to All-Seasons?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 by Gary Stanley

As a moderator of several forums, I was recently asked the following question in a forum in regards to the wear of summer tires compared to all-season tires:

"Gary, I currently have Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport tires (Ultra High Performance Summer) on my car. However, I do a lot of long-distance travel, and I am thinking that it may be better to get all-season tires. How big a difference is the treadlife between summer and all-season tires? Is it big enough to justify the loss in performance?"

My response to the customer was:

"The difference in treadlife can be quite large since many all-season tires can routinely see 60,000 miles of treadlife. With mostly highway driving, it's even more likely you'll see longer wear. On the other hand, most summer tires are more in the neighborhood of 20,000-25,000 miles. For longer wear with a smooth and quiet ride, I'd suggest the Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus and Michelin Premier A/S."

 Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
Bridgestone Turanza Serenity Plus
 Michelin Premier A/S
Michelin Premier A/S


Many drivers do not realize how dramatic the difference in treadlife can be between some of the industry's top summer performance tires like the Michelin Pilot Super Sport and Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position compared to some of the best all-season tires. The most noticeable performance difference is typically the slower steering response that all-season tires have compared to summer tires. The plus side of the softer sidewalls of all-season tires is a softer, more comfortable ride, and of course, much longer treadwear.  

If you've already decided that you want the best handling tire regardless of treadwear, take a look at "Bridgestone Potenza S-04 Pole Position vs Michelin Pilot Super Sport."

Michelin Tires Make a Great Choice for Almost Any Vehicle

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Michelin is recognized by many as one of the top car and truck tire manufacturers in the world. They are the company that created the first radial tire and have been at the cutting edge of design and technology ever since. Many of their tires rank at or near the top of nationally recognized tests and customer survey data. Depending on the tire's performance category, Michelin tires offer the following benefits over most of their competitors:

  • Superior wet traction
  • Smooth and quiet ride
  • Outstanding dry grip
  • Generous wear warranty, even on most performance tires
  • Eco-friendly design and low rolling resistance
 Michelin LTX M/S2
Michelin LTX M/S2
 Michelin Premier A/S
Michelin Premier A/S
 Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Michelin Pilot Super Sport


For street-driven trucks, larger crossovers and SUVs, check out the Michelin LTX M/S2. This is the top-rated tire in the Highway All-Season performance category, and for good reason! Our customers praise its wet and snow traction, quiet and smooth ride and long treadwear.  

If you have a sedan, wagon or smaller crossover that's your daily driver, then check out the Premier A/S. An innovative tread design and compound allows the tire to maintain great wet traction even as the tire wears down. In addition to great wet traction, the Premier A/S features a good ride quality and performance that has placed it on top in a recent test of Grand Touring All-Season tires.

Even Michelin's flagship summer performance tire, the Pilot Super Sport, has good ride quality and a wear warranty. The latter is quite rare to see in a summer performance tire. The Pilot Super Sport is a fantastic tire that I've installed on one of my vehicles. You can read about my experience with the tire by taking a look at, "Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 5,000 Mile Update."

Can My Winter Tires Last Another Season?

Monday, December 22, 2014 by Gary Stanley

The early snowfall this season caused many drivers to think about the condition of their tires sooner than they might normally. Drivers who use dedicated winter / snow tires should check the tread depth of their tires every year. Simply because a tire "looks like it has good tread" doesn't mean that the tire is suitable for driving safely in wintry conditions. The more tread depth the tires have, the more effective they will be in loose snow and slush. 

Tires need adequate tread depth so they can bite into the snow. Most winter tires start at 10/32" to 12/32" of tread depth. 6/32" is the minimum tread depth that we recommend for winter driving. It's important to do more than just a quick visual check of your tires' tread depth. While a tread depth gauge is preferred, you can also use U.S. coins by using this method

If you find that your current snow tires have less than 6/32" of tread depth, they're ready to be replaced. For those in this situation, check out a few of our top winter tires.   

For more information on properly checking your tires' tread depth, read "What Honest Abe Doesn't Tell You About Minimum Tread Depths."

Ice Traction Comparison Between All-Season and Winter Tires

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 by Gary Stanley

You may already know how much more traction winter tires provide on snow-covered roads compared to all-season tires. However, what about icy surfaces? Many drivers think that no matter what tire you drive on, nothing can help you on ice. The truth is that accelerating, cornering and stopping are all dramatically improved with winter tires, even on the slickest road conditions.  

To prove and illustrate how much a difference winter tires can make, we perform testing at a local ice rink. Why? An ice rink provides repeatable and consistent test results while effectively replicating icy intersections that are often found in winter driving.

As you can see in the video, the tires you use make a huge difference on ice.  

The results of this test echo my own experiences over the years of using winter tires on my own vehicles, including the Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V1 on our family crossover. To learn more about my experiences with winter tires, read "My Story on Winter Tires."

Three Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Car Lover in Your Life!

Thursday, December 11, 2014 by Gary Stanley

When you think of Tire Rack, you likely think of our extensive information and selection of tires and wheels. You may have even purchased a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for your car to help conquer the snowy conditions this season. Did you know that we offer more than just tires and wheels? In fact, we have a variety of automotive accessories that would make for the perfect holiday gift or stocking stuffer!

1.  Tire pressure air gauges are a useful and practical gift idea that the car enthusiast in your life will use often. Our most popular air gauge for the casual enthusiast is the AccutireDigital Set Point™ Programmable Air Gauge with Light. This easy-to-use, stylish air gauge includes a bright white L.E.D. light and even allows for programming of the vehicle's recommended air pressures. The L.C.D. display is also back lit for easy viewing.  

2.  Seasonal Tire Totes are more than just bags to store your tires in. Unlike plastic bags, these totes are durable, attractive and have a sturdy carrying handle built in that makes moving tires easy. You won't have to worry about rolling tires around and ending up with dirty hands. They may be difficult to fit into a stocking, but otherwise, make an excellent holiday gift idea. For more ideas on storing tires, check out "Get Organized with These Three Storage Solutions."

3.  Gift certificates make the perfect stocking stuffer for the hard-to-buy car nut. They can be purchased in almost any amount over $25 and can be sent via mail or directly to your lucky recipient's email inbox!  

View all accessories available including apparel, tire storage options, tools and more. And, all accessory orders of $50 or more ship at no charge.

What Air Pressure to Use When Changing from Run-Flat Tires to Non-Run-Flat Tires

Monday, December 1, 2014 by Gary Stanley

"I've decided to get rid of my run-flat tires that came as Original Equipment on my 2009 BMW 335i Coupe Sport Package and make the switch to non-run-flats. I've heard that I should use higher air pressure, is this true? If so, what tire pressure do you recommend?"

As a moderator of several BMW forums, this is a question I receive often. Switching from run-flats to non-run-flat tires has become more common for BMW drivers.

When changing to a non-run-flat tire, some drivers feel the tires may appear to be underinflated, when in fact, they are not. While you could add more pressure to correct this appearance, this often causes more rapid tread wear in the center portion of the tire. Because of this, we recommend using the same inflation pressure, even when going to non-run-flat tires. 

The vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire inflation pressures have a lot to do with load capacity, handling and a variety of other factors. Vehicle manufacturers, in particular BMW, take the time and effort to tune and test before recommending inflation pressures based on how the vehicle is being loaded and driven. We also strongly discourage going lower than what is recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. 

Depending on what year your car was manufactured, the doorjamb placard or owner's manual may show only one inflation pressure recommendation to keep things simple. Usually, the OEM defaults to the worst case scenario of fully loaded and higher speed use, which puts a pretty high psi recommendation on the placard. From a tire durability standpoint, it's better to be 5 psi over than 1 psi under. Therefore, erring to the high side makes some sense, even if not ideal for the way many drivers actually use the vehicle.

Remember that the pressure listed on the sidewall is a maximum pressure only, not a recommended pressure. Instead, use the air pressure recommended in the vehicle's owner's manual or tire information on the placard label. The placard is typically found on the driver's side doorjamb (like the example in the photo above). For more information about recommended inflation pressures, read "What Air Pressure Should I Use in My Tires?"

If you're still unsure about whether or not to change your tires from run-flats to non-run-flats, check out "Ditching Your Run-Flat Tires for Non-Run-Flat Tires on Your BMW? Read This First!

New Finish Now Available for Value-Priced BBS SR

Monday, November 24, 2014 by Gary Stanley

With over thirty years of experience, BBS produces some of the highest quality motorsport and street wheels on the market. BBS wheels are famous for their robust designs and lighter weight for increased performance on high-performance vehicles.  

While the cost of engineering, designing and testing a BBS wheel does translate into a more expensive wheel compared to other options, the quality associated with BBS is top-notch. The higher cost of most models of BBS wheels limited the market of buyers to the point where BBS decided to design a lower cost wheel. Enter the BBS SR, which costs about 25% less than other BBS models.  

 Machined w/Matte Graphite Accents
BBS SR Machined with Matte Graphite Accents
 Anthracite Painted
BBS SR Anthracite Painted


The BBS SR is made in the same factories as other BBS wheels and adheres to the same quality control and testing. To keep costs down, the BBS SR wheel is made in two simple finishes and only produced in a limited number of higher volume wheel sizes. Many of these sizes are appropriate for use with a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.  

For more information on installing winter tires, read "Is it Too Early to Shop for Winter Tires?"

How to Break In Your Winter Tires

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Just like all-season and summer performance tires, dedicated winter / snow tires contain a release compound and lubricant in the top layer of the rubber compound. The purpose of this thin, slippery layer is to aid the tires in coming out of their molds during the tire production process. Without this release compound, the still-hot rubber can stick to the inside of the mold as the tires cure.   

To wear off this layer while maintaining safe traction, it's best to spend the first few hundred miles of driving on your new tires taking it a bit easier than usual. Use more gentle acceleration and braking, and avoid taking corners and turns at high speeds. For more information on properly driving on your tires when they're new, read "Breaking In New Winter Tires."

During the break-in period of driving with your new winter tires, it can take some time to get used to their different handling characteristics. As you will notice, most winter tires have a slower steering response and less dry grip than most all-season and performance tires. While this may be a bit unsettling at first, you will naturally adjust to the different feel as you put more miles on the tires.  

The extra tread depth, special compounding and more aggressive tread patterns associated with snow tires may be a step down in handling in the dry compared to non-winter tires. However, they offer much better traction in snow, slush and on ice than other types of tires. When winter driving conditions are at their worst, there's no substitute for a set of winter tires.

Visit our Winter / Snow Tire Decision Guide for assistance in finding the right winter tire for your vehicle.

Is a Staggered or Square Set-Up Best for Winter?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 by Gary Stanley

"My BMW is equipped from the factory with wider rear tires. Should I stick with this staggered set-up or switch to a square set-up and use the same size on all four wheel positions?"

A staggered set-up simply means that your rear tires are larger than your front tires. A square set-up simply means a vehicle has the same tire size on all four wheels.

Advantages to a square set-up:

  • Better winter traction from a narrower rear tire
  • Ability to rotate the tires for longer wear
  • Simplicity of installation with all four tires being the same
  • Generally a lower price in a more common front tire size

Advantages to a staggered set-up:

  • Better straight-line dry traction from a wider rear tire
  • Improved cosmetic appearance
  • More protection to the wheel from curb damage

For example, if you drive a 2007-2011 BMW 3 Series with the staggered 18" wheels, you can use 225/40R18 on both the front 8" wheels and rear 8.5" Original Equipment wheels. This is actually very common, especially when installing a set of winter / snow tires. Eliminating the stagger in this way results in better winter traction by changing the rear 255/35R18 to a narrower 225/40R18.

To learn more about the advantages of using winter tires, read "My Story on Winter Tires."

Who Makes the Quietest Winter Tires?

Monday, November 3, 2014 by Gary Stanley

While most drivers expect a winter / snow tire to be louder due to their more aggressive tread patterns, there are some winter tires that are quieter than others. You may not have to give up the smooth and quiet ride that you've come to appreciate with your non-winter tires if you choose wisely.

When it comes to comparing winter / snow tires, most drivers look at options in the Studless Ice & Snow and Performance Winter / Snow categories. Tires in the Studless Ice & Snow category focus on maximum snow and ice traction, while Performance Winter / Snow tires sacrifice some traction in slippery conditions for better dry road handling and a quicker steering response. 

 Michelin Xice Xi3
Michelin X-Ice Xi3
 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3
Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3


Michelin is known in the tire industry for producing quiet all-season tires, and we've found that the same is true for their winter tires. Among the more aggressive Studless Ice & Snow tires, the quietest tire as rated by customer feedback is the Michelin X-Ice Xi3. The tire is fantastic on ice and in snow, and also meets Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance and confirms the tire's contribution to reducing vehicle fuel consumption and emissions of CO2 gases.

When it comes to Performance Winter / Snow tires, take a look at Michelin's Pilot Alpin PA3. The tire also meets Michelin's Green X standard for low rolling resistance, while featuring an asymmetric tread design with Variable Thickness Sipes technology where wide sipes on the inboard side provide traction in the snow and narrower sipes on the outboard enhance dry road handling.

Take a look at all the winter tires available from Michelin and see if one is right for your application.

Are Sport Edition Wheels Good?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Yes! They may not equal the high style and lightweight of the more expensive wheel lines like BBS, O.Z. Racing and Enkei Racing Series, but for many drivers, the Sport Edition wheels are a great lower cost option. Sport Edition offers aluminum alloy wheels that have durable painted with clearcoat finishes offered in a variety of colors and styles.  

One popular use for a Sport Edition wheel is to make it a part of your Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package. Why submit an expensive Original Equipment wheel or high-end aftermarket wheel to the harsh conditions of winter driving and salt-covered roads when you can use a quality wheel at a good price? The stylish Sport Edition A7 and A8, available in black painted and silver painted finishes, have been very popular with BMW drivers for years. The same applies to Porsche drivers using the Sport Edition Cup 4 for their winter set-ups. Both of these styles accept the vehicle's Original Equipment center caps for a clean appearance.  

 A7 Black Painted
Sport Edition A7
 A8 Titanium Gunmetal
Sport Edition A8
 Cup 4 Silver Painted
Sport Edition Cup 4


We also offer basic steel wheels as well for many vehicles. Are you unsure of which is best for your car? Take a look at "Steel Rims vs. Alloy Wheels for Winter Use" to see the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c vs Bridgestone Blizzak WS80

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by Gary Stanley

We've been testing and selling Yokohama performance tires, all-seasons and light truck/SUV tires for over twenty years. This season, we now offer their winter / snow tires for the first time in over a decade. Since it had been awhile since we carried the iceGUARD line of Yokohama tires, we decided to familiarize ourselves with their winter traction by testing them on the ice against some other top Studless Ice & Snow tires, like the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80.  

 Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
Bridgestone Blizzak WS80
 Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c
Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c


In earlier testing versus the Michelin X-Ice Xi3, the Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 had faster acceleration and shorter stopping distances, proving itself the superior choice for winter traction. For complete test results, read "Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 Introductory Test Report" and "Sneak Peek of New Bridgestone Blizzak WS80." 

It was no surprise when the Blizzak WS80 also out performed the Yokohama iceGUARD iG52c in our ice rink testing. What was surprising was how very close the two tires were in the test. The iceGUARD iG52c performed just slightly worse than the WS80 in braking and cornering on the ice. The difference was so small that I will recommend the Yokohama with confidence. It would make an excellent lower-cost alternative to the Blizzak WS80. 

In the market for a new set of winter tires? Take a look at the options available from Yokohama.

Winter Wheels for BMW: Sport Edition A7 and Sport Edition A8

Monday, October 13, 2014 by Gary Stanley

Whether you're minus sizing to a smaller diameter wheel for your BMW Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package or just trying to save your expensive BMW wheels from the potholes and salt of winter driving, Sport Edition produces some great winter wheel options.  

The Sport Edition A7 is one of the most popular winter wheels for BMWs. It's one of the few aftermarket wheels that fits over the large brakes of the newer BMW 335i vehicles in 17 inch options while accepting BMW center caps. The wheel is offered in both a black painted and silver painted option. 

New this year from Sport Edition is the A8. The A8 brings an updated design based on the look of the Sport Edition A7. The A8 maintains the same dimensions, sizes, widths and offsets as the A7, while will still accepting BMW center caps.

 Sport Edition A7 Silver
Sport Edition A7 Silver
Painted
 Sport Edition A8 Silver
Sport Edition A8 Bright Silver
Painted
 Sport Edition A8 Titanium Gunmetal
Sport Edition A8 Titanium
Gunmetal


The new Sport Edition A8 is offered with a titanium gunmetal finish and makes a great edition to the silver and black finish wheels currently available. Both the A7 and A8 have a durable, painted with clearcoat finish that is good for winter driving. 

Do you still need to decide which winter tires are best for your BMW? First, you'll want to decide between a Performance Winter / Snow tire and the more aggressive Studless Ice & Snow option. For assistance on choosing a tire from the right performance category, read "Choosing Between Performance Winter / Snow Tires and Studless Ice & Snow Tires."