Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tire Review - Bridgestone Potenza RE050 RFT

Cars tested with these tires:
- Volvo S40 mk2 2.0d 136ps, 340Nm

Tests performed:
- I went through 1 set's of these.

Dry grip:
- It's a brilliant tire. The compound has an excellent grip. It will grip better while hot, but the cold grip is still better than most of it's competitors hot.
- The dry cornering abilities are less than expected probably due to extra thick reinforced sidewalls of the RunFlatTire reference, but also the design. The 050 is a mirror design, the 050A reference is only 50% like the 050, but the inside part runs a full 100% contact band, improving cornering grip.

Wet grip:
- Good wet grip. The compound clearly works right "off the line".
- The wet cornering was good but bumps made it slide. Again I would suspect the RunFlatTire wall thickness is to blame.

Aquaplaning resistance:
- Good. Not brilliant, but good. It's not a tire to run fast through a large water pool. But it does handle occasional small pools every now and then. Clearly a tire fit for a car WITH LSD.

- If The Pirelli is the "Honeymoon tire", this is the "premature ejaculation tire."
- You feel that the tire CAN grip further...but the RFT sidewalls are not letting it form to the road and that's just frustrating.

Integrity maintenance:
- It's brilliant. You can abuse it all you want and it will wear evenly and with all it's parts. HEY... you can shoot them and still drive off... It's a RunFlatTire that is so hard that the compound has trouble working out it's grip... can't get more robust that this.

- It's a soft rubber compound with some silica and carbon in it. The wear resistance was very improved from the S02 without loosing grip....if only the RFT allowed some forming!

- Brilliant. The best grip with the best wear resistance money can buy. The only problem would be it's price. I've switched from Bridgestone to Falken and Toyo because of the price. I can use a set of Bridgestones for 30.000Km, or spend the same amount of money in 2 sets of Falken or Toyo and do 20.000Km each. That's the ONLY reason.
These ones, I drove until one blew... than I drove it to the show and replaced it.

- The tires side-walls are very STRING... but NOT Good. The wall kill the tire here by being too stiff and spoiling road hold ability.

- Not a single balance problem. The tires went through it's life with no maintenance at all. Very well balanced from factory.
- Sadly It's coherent in a straight line only... although the compound has the ability to do more in the bends.

Load Behaviour:
- Spectacular load behaviour. But them under your 4tones mercedes and remove the air from it, and you still can drive away. It's ONLY good for stunts like that though.