Home | Mailing List | Specifications | Care and Feeding | Modifications | Vendors | Literature


Rational & Quantitative Method for My Next Summer Tire Buying Decision

new 3/13/03

I have 4/32" left on my summer Yokohoma AVS Sports which would be starting their 5th summer. I liked them, they cost me about $190 back in spring 1999 and they were hot stuff then, but they trade away a some dry  performance and ride quality for amazing wet performance.

I may have learned that for me Ultra high performance tires on 16" rims may make more sense than the same tires on 17" rims for daily use. It is a good combo when winning is everything but maybe something with 95% of the same performance may be kinder to my behind?

I would like to try Bridgestone S-03 Pole Position because they reportedly  "do it all" well but nobody wants to give them away. The price on Yokohama AVS Sports is $50 less than it was which is a strong motivator. Friends whose opinions I respect have recommended Kumho tires for both performance and value.

I went to www.Tirerack.com and they have neat features for selecting and comparing tires which save me a lot of work. I want 235/45-17 tires rated for 150 mph or better, maximum performance or ultra high performance in the brands I trust and respect. Tire racks rates tires in several performance criteria and honestly the criteria are all about equal priority to me. If your criteria are not equal in merit, you can weight them. Your priorities may not be same as this old man.

S-03 AVS Sport Kumho MX AVS ES100 Kumho 712


 $169.00  $138.00  $121.00  $111.00  $91.00


9 8.5 8.9 8.6 8.1

Dry Traction

9.4 8.7 9 8.7 8.4

Wet Traction

9 7.9 7.8 8 8

Ride Comfort

8.2 7.3 7.2 8.1 7.5

Noise Comfort

8.1 7.1 7.2 7.9 7.6


7.3 6.7 6.5 7.9 7.4

Raw score

51 46.2 46.6 49.2 47

Value (score/$)

0.3018 0.3348 0.3851 0.4432 0.5165

Based or raw performance numbers the S-03 come in first, then the AVS ES100, then the Kumho MX, then the Kumho 712 and the AVS Sports came in last. I didn't expect that. The delta between #1 & #2 is $58 per tire. That is a clue! 

The whole point of looking at less then maximum performance tires is to get a handle on costs or value. If we divide the raw score by can get a measure of value. ( performance per dollar, higher number is better)

Not too surprising the most expensive tires had the lowest value and the least expensive tires the highest value because the price is spread much larger than the spread in performance. My Bridgestone winter tires were out of round when almost new and don't like how Bridgestone could care less about that. That makes it easier to walk by the S-03 guilt free and even forget about them.  The Kumho 712 are a hell of a deal but may give away too much dry handling for my taste, just a little to far off the pace for the next convention track events. Either the Kumho MX or AVS ES100 give performance equivalent to what I expect from my AVS Sports for $17-$27 less per tire.

I don't know exactly what to say about tire wear, tires of this quality are not know for long wear. The S-03 have some kind of "magic" compounds that prevent them from getting hard and useless when worn down. I am pleased that I have 4/32" after 4 full summers on my AVS Sports, I don't know how well they will stick this spring. Lord knows my OE Goodyear all season tires were worthless after two years.

I may have to choose between the two remaining tires, the Kumho MX  or the AVS ES100. The Kumho has better dry stick vs. some significant comfort, noise, wear improvements and $10 each. Either has better dry stick than my AVS Sports and to be honest with my suspension set up I never came near the limits.

I don't know what I'll do,
you may not agree with my taste, or conclusions, 
you may profit from my methodology?


Contact Information