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Started by OzBenzHead, 16 November 2005, 07:28 AM



Have any of you experience with, or opinions on, Sumitomo tyres on your 116?

It appears to be about the only brand, available in Oz, offering a 205/70/14 with white sidewall.

My experience is mainly Michelins, but I have given up on them unless I can find real ones (i.e. made in France or UK) - the Asian-made Michelins are of typically too-hard compound with inferior grip.

I'm concerned that Sumis will be similarly hard compound or otherwise less than ideal.

I'd be quite happy if I could find whitewalled Bridgestone Donuts, as I've found Donuts to be an excellent tyre on my 108.

If I can't find whitewalls with my preferred characteristics in Oz, I'll have some customised in the US and import them privately, but don't particularly fancy the bill for that!

There is an agent in Oz for Diamond Back Tyres - the US specialist customiser - but he's absolutely hopeless at maintaining an email correspondence; it's taken me four months to get nowhere with him, and the parent company in the US doesn't respond, either.

Ultimately, I'd like whitewalls on all my chariots; the 300SE coupe currently has a set of whitewall Sumis, but they're getting on in years, and I've done so little driving on them that I can't use them to judge what new Sumis might perform like.

All comments appreciated.   :)
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Thanks for those tips.

I've trawled all through the Conti site, but found no mention of 205/70/14. Perhaps they're too new to have found their way to the site yet.

I've checked Pirelli, Michelin, Bridgestone ...

If only the Oz agent for DiamondBack would get with it and reliably answer his email, he could make a killing (like 20 tyres). He seems to be rather hopelessly disorganised.

The only whitewalled 205/70/14s I can find (on the web) in Oz are a Sumitomo and a Yokohama. I'll go worry the local agents for those brands tomorrow but, given the usual attitudes of tyre dealers in these parts, I don't hold high hopes (makes one wonder why they bother to open their shops!).

I long for the old days when I got 40,000 miles (not Ks) out of a set of Michelins - and enjoyed good roadholding to boot.
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Did you know that the Michelin "classic" catalog offers the XWX tyres ?

Gieven teh means, I would gladly order some and prepare them for shipment to Oz, the real issue is shipping.


Denis (cold Paris day but very sunny)


Quote from: "Denis"OzbenzHead: Did you know that the Michelin "classic" catalog offers the XWX tyres ?

Thanks to your tip, Denis (and to a similar one from styria) I found them in the classic catalogue (on the Michelin UK site - my 40-years rusty schoolboy French just wasn't up to the French site).

No mention of them on the Michelin Oz site, so I guess they're not locally available.

Also no mention in the catalogue of whitewalls.

Have emailed Michelin (Oz) to enquire.

Thanks for the tip.   :)
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You probably will not find whitewalls as premium tyres on the continent. They are associated with american or american-descent cars like Opels and Simca Versailles of the 50s and early 60s.




Success (of sorts) at last!

I now have fitted to my 116 a set of Sumitomo 3/4" narrow-band whitewalls.

I had to travel to another town 80 km away to get them, but they're on, filled with nitrogen, and looking and feeling good.

In the dry, at least, they have great grip, a nice feel, no undue sideways roll, and are surprisingly quiet.

Have yet to test them in the wet.

They were not expensive ($135 each, fitted, balanced, and filled with nitrogen).

They just eat the dead Chinese Michelins that they replaced.

Next project: Wide-band whitewalls for the other three chariots. (They will cost me!)
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