Dunlop SP8000

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Posted by Supra Turbo on January 04, 1997 at 22:17:34:

I have a 1994 Toyota Supra (6spd.) Turbo. After properly breaking in this monster for the first 1000 miles (driving at around 55 or 60 [which was very hard to do] and not pushing it on initial takeoff), I finally got the opportunity to see what it could really do. I was thoroughly impressed with every aspect this car had to offer (and still am two years later) from looks, quality, fit and finish and outright brute performance and power. Unfortunately, one shortcoming I noticed immediately was the tires that came as O.E. on this vehicle (Bridgestone RE020s 235/45ZR-17 on the fronts and 255/40ZR-17 on the rears) were not up to par with the car's power and performance. Almost everytime I punched it, the rear tires would give out. I thought about taking the stock tires off and replacing them with a better tire, however, I was not sure with which one to do so.

One weekend I went up to Limerock in Connecticut to watch my friend run his rice rocket on the track. He had the BF GOODRICH R1s (pre-shaved track tires) on his Integra. As luck would go my way that day, I met a gentleman that owned a '93 Supra Turbo. Everyone there was running on either BFGOODRICH R1s or YOKOHAMA RS-1 pre-shaved for the track. The man with the Supra, however, had his stock 17" wheels with the Dunlop SP8000s on them. I asked him why he did not have track tires like everyone else had and his reply was "with these tires, there's no need to have the others - if you ever drive on them, you'll see what I mean - these are great for both street and track and I don't have to bring a trailer with a jack and spare wheels and track tires like the others do. The way I drive in is the way I drive out".

With that, not only was I impressed with the way his car handled on the track and the excellent lap times he was accomplishing with them, the very next opportunity I had, I not only ordered the SP8000s, but did it in an 18" configuration (18x9 235/40ZR-18 fronts and 18x10 275/35ZR-18 rears). Then TRAGEDY struck! On the SECOND day after installing this set up, I found a SCREW on my passenger side rear right where the tread and side wall met. I was devastated to say the least ($395.00 for one rear tire). I didn't know what to do! I heard about all the horror stories that once a tire is punctured on the side wall or on the edge (where the screw was in my tire) that it should not be patched or plugged, especially on a high performance type tire like I had. I wasn't about ready to purchase another tire, so I ignored all the bad I had heard about fixing these type of tires and went ahead and plugged it myself. It has now been almost two years since the tire was plugged and I never looked back.

About three weeks ago I was driving on this open highway (will not mention which) around 4:30 in the afternoon; with the opportunity to do so (without jeopardizing anyone else's well being other than my own) and without realizing that one of my rear tires HAD A TWO YEAR OLD PLUG IN IT, I took the car up to and held it at around 138 mph for about three to four miles. I couldn't believe how incredibly stable the car handled. Thank goodness nothing happened to me like it did to the other gentleman with the Talon TSI AWD incident on the same tire and thank goodness everything turned out ok with him.

Only later that night I realized that one of the tires I had taken to 138 mph had a plug in it and almost pissed my pants. The car currently has 21k miles and the rear tires still have excellent tread wear left. Once the time comes for new ones I will replace them with the same SP8000s again.

I'm sure the new Pirelli Asimmetrico and Directionale, the Bridgestone Potenza S-02 (O.E. on the incredible '96 Porsche 911 Turbo) are excellent tires too; however, they cannot offer the versatility and flexibility (handling in both dry and wet and the longevity) the SP8000s can. Thank you for taking the time to share this with me.

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