You're going the wrong way! (RIP John Hughes)

Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3 directional tireBridgestone Potenza 960AS Pole Position

Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3                    Bridgestone Potenza 960AS PP

As a sponsoring member of the forums, I occassionally come across an interesting question.  In this case, the original poster asked, Can I mount my ultra high performance directional  Bridgestone summer tires to rotate the wrong way?  It didn't take long for the name calling and genetic defect references to start rolling in.  The general consensus was at best you would ruin the tire and at worst kill yourself and others on the road with you. 

The Tire Rack asked themselves this same question and decided to do a tire test.  By running a Goodyear F1 GS-D3 uni-directional tire first rotating in the proper direction and then in the wrong directional.  Not only wasn't the tire damaged, the performance in the wet and dry were not all the diminished when run backwards on our test track. We did not test the affect of higher speeds, puddles, or deeper standing water.

The actual article is currently not on The Tire Rack website, although I am told it will re-appear soon.  Here are some excerpts and  a summary:

In order to get a better understanding of the performance characteristics of directional tires we tested Goodyear’s Eagle F1 GS-D3 Max Performance tires on a 2003 SVT Cobra Mustang equipped with a six-speed transmission and a DOHC 4-valve V8 engine producing 390 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque.

Mounted Correctly on  Dry Track

Average lap time 29.387 seconds

Mounted Backward on a Dry Track

Average lap time 29.465 seconds

Mounted Correctly on  Wet Track

Average lap time 30.373 seconds

Mounted Backward on a Wet Track

Average lap time 30.387 seconds

Why wasn’t there more of a difference? There are two main things to consider.


Our test track was built with a 1-degree grade to the inside.....It does not have the puddles associated with rutted roads or the standing water sometimes encountered during a heavy rainfall.

The track’s average lap speeds approach 40 mph and the top speed is around 55 mph. Evidently the uniform layer of water did not challenge the Eagle F1 GS-D3’s ability to provide wet traction at these relatively moderate speeds.

Higher speeds, deeper water or puddles would eventually have increased the differences in wet performance related to how the tires were mounted

NOTE: If directional tires are accidentally installed backwards during initial installation or following tire rotation; the driver should simply reduce speeds in the rain and have the tires installed correctly at the first opportunity. Running directional tires backwards for a brief period of time will not hurt their internal structure.



Friday, May 21, 2010 by mike norris

It finally answered the question which was will temporary and short running of tires backwards when first installed hurt them? Thanks.

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