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Tire Opinions and Experience Requested

AustinOski

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Hello forum! I am a new registrant and first time poster. Excuse the long first post!

I am in verbal agreement on a 1972 E3 (Bavaria). Should consummate transaction Monday/Tuesday. Will post details once title in hand so as not to 'jinx' said transaction.

Quick background on me - longtime BMW fan, dad had 3.0s, 3.0si and others (later). I was 9 when he bought 3.0s. Made an indelible impression. More later.

Hello to those in Austin, whom I've met via the 2002 crowd and thanks to Zinz for much support and sage advice over the past few weeks.

I want to go with a classic style tire to be as period correct as possible. I want to buy the correct tire size, not oversized. I have my 2002 with 1" larger than stock BBS for the twisties. I've looked high and low and have only found a few options. I've read posts on forums (mostly EU & UK). I have attached a tire test of classic tires for your interest.

Choice 1 - Dunlop Sport Classic 195/70 r14 91v. Has gotten good reviews from what little I can find. Also this PR about a tire test. Like the look.

Choice 2 - Michelin XAS 175HR14 - Would be my first choice if they made in the 195/70. Love the look. Michelin fan. Downsides - skinny, though very period correct, and requires a tube.

Distant Choice 3 - Vredestein Sprint Classic 195/70 r14 or modern tire - The Vred is 'classic' look, but I don't like the script on the sidewall. Many on forums that have seen them in person have commented they don't like the look, but many positive comments about the functional aspects. Looks more square shouldered in pictures than the two above making it less period looking in my mind - less like a early radial and more like a bias-ply tire. Why buy a 'classic' tire if it doesn't look the part on the car?

I would especially appreciate input from anyone with experience with any of these tires.

BTW, seller is an E9 owner and I mentioned this site to him. I'll get him introduced later this week.

Thanks!

Joey
 

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bavbob

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I think you are overthinking this. With a Bavaria, unless modified, tires make little difference. I would start by looking under the ars of the car you are going to buy. Rear sway bars were on option in 72 and many dont have them. For 200 bucks you can totally change the way the car drives, regardless of the tires. The car already has all the mounting sites.
 

AustinOski

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@bavbob - Thanks. Yes, going to install a rear sway as I don’t believe it has one. Have not seen one in pics and forgot to ask (not a purchase decision point).

I guess I could I want as specific as I could have been - one of my primary goals is period look. I understand many don’t care where tires are concerned, but I’d prefer it. Especially since I’ll live with the tires for years.

Per my original post, corner grip is not my primary concern (have the 2002). Really, original look, ride and then, yes, general adhesion (wet, dry). I think they’ll all do well enough in regards to the latter.

Thanks,

jk
 

HB Chris

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We have Michelin Defenders in 195/70-14 on the 2800 and I just put them on my 69 NK. They are very good tires and made the NK ride much better than the prior Yokohamas.
 

AustinOski

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@HB Chris - Thanks. If I don't go "classic", these are my likely choice being the Michelin fan that I am. All our MB's ride on Michelins. I had to go Conti Contact Tour for the 2002 due to size availability. Not bad, but not as grippy as Japanese tires that were on there (from PO, can't recall make).
 

AustinOski

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@mmccusername - Thanks. Yes, I really like that tire and know people who have them and love them. I am sorely tempted. However, I'm going to stay stock size even if it means riding 'skinnies'. I'll put the CN36s on the 2002 when I go to 13" rims.

I've decided to go with the Michelin XAS. I had some back and forth messaging with Dougal from Longstone Tyres in the UK, who sells all of these tires and wrote,

"The Dunlop Sport Classic and Vredestein Sprint Classic are not classic tyres. It takes more than writting the word classic on the side of a tyre to make it a classic tyre. They both look dreadful, but they also do not have the advantage of a period carcass. the only attraction to them is they make the correct size tyre. However i would much rather fit the slightly wrong size 205/70VR14 Pirelli Cinturato CN36 (link above) than either of those tyres.
However what i would actually fit is the Michelin 175HR14 XAS https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/tyres/175-14/175hr14-michelin-xas.html

I love Michelin XAS tyres because:

  • I have had them on several of my classic cars and they handle fantastically and look great. The handling is the most importtant thing for me.
  • When i sell Michelin XAS customers they love them and it reflects well on my company"
My understanding is their prices include shipping to the US. Looks like they also include a free tube.

I'll likely order from Longstone, but they are also available from Coker tires in the US - https://www.cokertire.com/michelin-xas-175hr14.html

Thanks,

jk
 

HB Chris

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Longstone is great, I ordered XWXs for a friend and they arrived in one week, much cheaper than Coker as well. Highly recommended.
 

AustinOski

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Looking at Longstone, the XAS are $193. Coker is $181 and I get a 10% Haggerty Club discount, so $162.90. Did you do something to get a less than listed price? I think Coker is $24/tire shipping and Longstone includes standard shipping. Is that the difference?
 

rsporsche

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my thought is that a 175-14 is too narrow of a tire for an e3. the 205/70-14 pirelli cn 36 is a beautiful tire and a really good tire. the tire test listed above had the dunlop best the pirelli ca67 ... which is NOT a good tire.

4 - cn36 is $1062.60
4 vredestein 195/70-14 are around $920
4 vredestein 205/70-14 are more expensive then the cn36
4 michelin xwx 205/70 are more than 1280 bucks

if you want vintage, go with the pirelli cn-36 in 205/70-14. if you go with a modern tire get a michelin defender - best tire in the right size for the buck
 

AustinOski

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@rsporsche - Yes, a 80 aspect ratio is certainly not a modern choice - but it is what they rolled-off the factory with. I am sorely tempted by the oversize CN36, I think I'm going to stick with a stock size.

Dougal at Longstone actually recommended the XAS over the oversized CN36. He said he's run the XAS in this size and says the car handles great with them. I lose 1" of width vs. the 205 but there are some benefits - lighter wheel feel, lower rolling resistance, etc.

I have 285-30/19's on one of my cars, so I have plenty of fat tire in my life!

Per my original post, I've heard too many negatives on the look of the Vredestein and this is a beauty contest, of sorts, after all. Have you seen the Vreds in the wild?
 

Luis A.

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I have the Vreds. Had them for 5-6 years. I like them. The tire and the tread pattern look classic to me. I like I can have the correct size on the 5 slot 14" wheels. I have CN36 on another (Italian) car and also like them. I am not autocrossing or otherwise driving the coupe in anger so I can't say how they would respond at 9/10ths.

"Do these tires make my coupe look ugly...?" :)

IMG_9796.JPG


Better look at the tread pattern. The writing on it is discreet with the word "Classic" in script.
TE0_9112.jpg
 

AustinOski

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@Luis A. - Thanks for posting the pics. I think they look great. 195/70R14?

A couple of other comments as I evolve my thinking on the whole "period" or "original" thing. Is it being defined as the day the first of that model/body rolled off the factory line or is it what was really popular during the early life of the car?

The XAS and CN36 are certainly nice tires and were very much period in the 60's and early 70's. But, by the mid 70s Pirelli P7s and Michelin TRXs are out and much looking much more like today's square shouldered tires.

Are you wanting to buy the the CN36 in 1976? No, you're wanting the cool, new P7! I'm only a few weeks into my 2002 ownership. I've already had a few people sniff at my 14" BBS wheels. No, not stock, but it's what I would have put on my 2002 in 1980 (if I could have afforded one back then).
 

Dick Steinkamp

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@rsporsche - Yes, a 80 aspect ratio is certainly not a modern choice - but it is what they rolled-off the factory with.
A little OT, and there are differences of opinion on this...but I believe those tire sizes with no aspect ratio stated have an aspect ratio of 82, not 80.

This from wiki... "The "aspect ratio" of the sidewall height as a percentage of the nominal section width of the tire. If the information is omitted, it is assumed to be 82%

.

Based on this understanding, a 205 70 14 is dead on to the diameter, sidewall height, circumference, and revs per mile as the original 175 14.

 

Luis A.

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@Luis A. - Thanks for posting the pics. I think they look great. 195/70R14?
Correct.

Based on this understanding, a 205 70 14 is dead on to the diameter, sidewall height, circumference, and revs per mile as the original 175 14.
But the original is not 175 14, it is 195/70 VR 14. Or are you referring to the E3 or 2800?

tire size.JPG
 

HB Chris

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175-HR14 was the original tire in 1970 for the e3 and e9, even the 3.0CS tire sticker lists this tire plus the 195/70-14 tire which was ordered on US 3.0 coupes.
IMG_4246.JPG
 

Dick Steinkamp

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It looks like a DR70 HR 14 has a tire width of 200...so splits the difference.

Standard tire size for 1971 BMW 2800 CS:
(in case of different tires in front and rear the dimensional data are valid for driving or rear wheels)

Standard tire size:DR70 HR 14
Tire width (mm):200
Tire sidewall factor:70
Rim size (in):14
Total wheel diameter (mm / in):636 / 25

 
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