Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nexen ZR Tyres - Surprisingly Good

Ever since a whole bunch of no-name (no brand value) tyres were imported into Malaysia and passed off as "ZR" performance tyres, I've been wary of buying other than established brands. As a result, I've been sticking largely with Yokohama tyres for their good performance and reasonable price.

Then, one day, the tyre shop I usually go to ran out of my preferred Yokohama tyre, the R1 A-Drive 235/45ZR17*. And since I was in a hurry, I had to settle for a relatively unknown, if not lesser known, NEXEN tyre, the N3000 235/45ZR17. It also helped that it was about RM100 cheaper than the RM400 Yokohama R1 A-Drive.

Lucky for me, the N3000 felt better than R1 A-Drive. So, almost instantly I was hooked.

At corners, the N3000 felt far more responsive than the R1 A-Drive - the grip was firmer and steadier.

On straights, the N3000 felt far more comforting and relaxing compared to the often bouncy R1 A-Drive.

In the wet, the V-pattern of the N3000 makes fast driving through the rain an enjoyable feat, whereas R1 A-Drive felt like it would more likely hydroplane if I don't slow down. The fact that R1 A-Drive tends to bounce and jolt doesn't help much either.

Perhaps the only major drawback the N3000 has is that it is not as quiet as the R1 A-Drive. It can be quite noisy when it rolls actually - like pieces of thick hide being slapped onto the pavement. Maybe this is because of the tyre's V-pattern.

Still, the N3000 is far better than the R1 A-Drive and gives better value for money.

And with around RM90 more, you get a better NEXEN tyre, that is the N8000. Like the N3000, the N8000 is very firm and steady around corners, and very smooth on straights, if not smoother. In the wet, it's also very sure-footed, owing in no small part to the wide troughs between the tyre treads. And it's a lot quieter than the N3000, perhaps due to the tyre's in-line pattern.

So, moving forward, I won't be going back to buying the Yokohama R1 A-Drive any time soon, not when I have the Nexen N8000, which performs a lot better and costs just as much as the Yokohama R1 A-Drive.


*235 being the width measurement, 45 being the height and 17 being the size of the rim in inches to which the tyre would be fitted.

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