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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > For people who went RFT -> non-RFT



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      11-09-2007, 09:22 PM   #1
Notorious
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For people who went RFT -> non-RFT

It might just be me, but i find the steering on my 335i e90 w/ SP to be absurdly heavy, especially when compared to my old e46. I don't consider myself weak either, but driving this thing agressively seems like a workout. Also, this is the first set of low profile, wide tires i have ever had the chance of driving, and cetainly the first set of run-flats. I've read about the dislike of the RFT's here on e90post and the positive impressions from those who removed them in favor of non-RFT's...

What im looking for specifically is what if any improvments people have found in the steering department. Does it feel lighter? More lively? More responsive?
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      11-10-2007, 03:15 AM   #2
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Don't have an answer for ya...I am in the process of making the switch (should have my new wheels and tires installed on monday) but I am interested in hearing what people have to say about this one.


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      11-10-2007, 07:55 AM   #3
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If you change to non-RFT the height of the steering will be the same but the confort and the comportment of the car will be much better.

If you had buy your car with the extra active-steering, you will be very happy because this specific steering is very light and when you want to park you don't need to turn so much the wheel.
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      11-10-2007, 09:08 AM   #4
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The car is smoother, goes better over humps, steering is easier...made the switch on winters 1 week ago...
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      11-10-2007, 10:06 AM   #5
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The contact patch and the compound of the tire will change in relation to the new tire. If you get a similar tire in dimensions and compound/treadwear you will get a very similar steering feedback because the tire's properties dictate in large part these characteristics. Lighter wheels or harder tires definitely help. Hope this sorts out your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
It might just be me, but i find the steering on my 335i e90 w/ SP to be absurdly heavy, especially when compared to my old e46. I don't consider myself weak either, but driving this thing agressively seems like a workout. Also, this is the first set of low profile, wide tires i have ever had the chance of driving, and cetainly the first set of run-flats. I've read about the dislike of the RFT's here on e90post and the positive impressions from those who removed them in favor of non-RFT's...

What im looking for specifically is what if any improvments people have found in the steering department. Does it feel lighter? More lively? More responsive?
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      11-10-2007, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
It might just be me, but i find the steering on my 335i e90 w/ SP to be absurdly heavy, especially when compared to my old e46. I don't consider myself weak either, but driving this thing agressively seems like a workout. Also, this is the first set of low profile, wide tires i have ever had the chance of driving, and cetainly the first set of run-flats. I've read about the dislike of the RFT's here on e90post and the positive impressions from those who removed them in favor of non-RFT's...

What im looking for specifically is what if any improvments people have found in the steering department. Does it feel lighter? More lively? More responsive?
I have your answer. Trust me on this one, you will know I'm right the second you make this improvement:

Forged wheels at 20lbs each or less.

The stock wheels are absurdly heavy, over 30lbs each. The day my BBS RG-R forged (<20lbs) went on I did not even get out of the parking lot before I could tell a difference. I was skeptical going into it if there would be any difference other than looks. The car definitely is lighter and more responsive (at the cost of a little bit of straight line stability on the highway).
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      11-10-2007, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quieter, smoother, and handles a lot better.
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      11-10-2007, 01:07 PM   #8
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Wow, a lot of interesting insight, thanks so far. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that moving to a lighter wheel will pay more dividends than making a tire switch? This opens a new bag of questions from me but i think i may leave that for a later time.


I asked my previous questions because im in the process of making the switch over to winter tires and the plan currently is to buy a staggered set of non-RFT 18"'s to wrap around my 162's. More specifically, Pirelli w240 Sottozero's (the only set anyone can find around here, ill be lucky if i even get these). My hope currently is that i will notice enough of an improvement when running on those that i can ditch my stock summer run-flats in favor of non-RFT's as well. But again judging from the replies so far, this solution may not work out as well as i hope.


A lighter wheel and non-RFT tires must be the best combination (and the most expsensive), but which of the following combo's would yield the most success in reducing the weight of the steering? 1) Stock wheels + non-RFT, or 2) Light wheels + RFT, assuming all dimensions are the same?
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      11-10-2007, 04:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Wow, a lot of interesting insight, thanks so far. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that moving to a lighter wheel will pay more dividends than making a tire switch? This opens a new bag of questions from me but i think i may leave that for a later time.


I asked my previous questions because im in the process of making the switch over to winter tires and the plan currently is to buy a staggered set of non-RFT 18"'s to wrap around my 162's. More specifically, Pirelli w240 Sottozero's (the only set anyone can find around here, ill be lucky if i even get these). My hope currently is that i will notice enough of an improvement when running on those that i can ditch my stock summer run-flats in favor of non-RFT's as well. But again judging from the replies so far, this solution may not work out as well as i hope.


A lighter wheel and non-RFT tires must be the best combination (and the most expsensive), but which of the following combo's would yield the most success in reducing the weight of the steering? 1) Stock wheels + non-RFT, or 2) Light wheels + RFT, assuming all dimensions are the same?
Definitely option # 2, sorry man, but you need to go the expensive way for what you're looking for. The upside is that there are many many wheels lighter than stocks (get forged wheels) and styles that will run your brain for many days plus it'll make your car will look so much better!

So the problem for the heavy steering has nothing to do with tires, it's a mass/weight thing. Reducing the weight is the only way to go.

RFT's will provide a barely harsh ride due to the tire's side wall added components to help you run them with little or no air pressure. This is the 2nd reason people tend to eliminate them; the first reason is price. Kee p posting if you need additional help!
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      11-10-2007, 05:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
A lighter wheel and non-RFT tires must be the best combination (and the most expsensive), but which of the following combo's would yield the most success in reducing the weight of the steering? 1) Stock wheels + non-RFT, or 2) Light wheels + RFT, assuming all dimensions are the same?
Option 2.

Contrary to popular opinion (flame suit on), the stock RFT's are really good performance tires, as good as PS2's EXCEPT in ride comfort (stiff sidewall), drag racing (stiff sidewall does not allow tire to grow), and in the wet.

Dry lap and braking distances times are nearly identical to PS2's, with the tests I've seen showed a slight edge to the RE050 RFT in these catgories.
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      11-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #11
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I like RFT

I am not kidding: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56258
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      11-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #12
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the stock RFT's are really good performance tires,
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      11-10-2007, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quieter, smoother, and handles a lot better.
RFT handles great for me
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      11-11-2007, 04:34 PM   #14
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All you can do is laugh, but you have no facts.

Who are you going to trust, a board member who has been on the track (pics posted) is an ex semi-pro road racer and has done the research, or laugher boy?
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      11-11-2007, 04:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdiver68 View Post
All you can do is laugh, but you have no facts.

Who are you going to trust, a board member who has been on the track (pics posted) is an ex semi-pro road racer and has done the research, or laugher boy?
The much heavier weight of the RFTs is a big detriment to performance/handling.
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      11-11-2007, 09:38 PM   #16
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RFT's are not bad for daily driving but bad for track use. The weight difference from RFT to regulars is not much; 2 lbs at the most considering same dimensions. The side wall being so stiff makes it bad for racing but the treadwear for stock Bridgestone RFT is 140 which is quite low!
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      11-11-2007, 09:48 PM   #17
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I put the new Contisport 3's on mine a few weeks ago. The change in ride quality (for the better) is noticable right away. It is much more compliant but strangely feels more responsive in spite of what have to be much softer sidewalls.

I had the opportunity to give them a good run in the mountains this weekend and I am very impressed. I can't wait to feel the difference when I get it on Road Atlanta next year at the next BMWCCA event.
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      11-11-2007, 11:51 PM   #18
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Unless you have a 335, get rid of the rft's. A 330 only has 220 ft/lb of torque. The heavy rft's are hard to turn. I just put on toyo T1R's. It's like I got a new car again. Bumpsteer is gone (which was beyond terrible before), it no longer follows every groove in the road, and the 1-2 shift hesitation is almost gone. It's great!! And of course handling and comfort are vastly improved!! If you have a 335, there's enough torque to compensate for everything else. But if you have a 330, 325, or 328 then get rid of the rft's. It's the best thing you can do for the enjoyment of your car!!
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      11-11-2007, 11:59 PM   #19
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I got rid of the stock RFTs in favor of non-RFT winter tires (Dunlop Winter Sport 3D). Albeit going up 1" in size, the non-RFT winter tires feel much better than the RFT. The ride is significantly less harsh and bouncy.
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      11-12-2007, 12:55 AM   #20
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I think I agree that non RFTs are a better ride. But I still don't have the courage of putting them on since I don't have a jack to change my tires if I get a flat tire (and haven't accepted the logic of using the tire emergency inflator cans yet). I don't even know if you can find a jack set for E90s (including a small spare tire).

I just hooked up my winters. I went with the 18's Pirellis 240 RFT Sottozero with the original set up of 255/35 rear and 225/40 front. I was able to secure a set of189s from a 335i coupe sport package in US via ebay (60% cheaper from what BMW will sell them for). I just came back from a trip to Edmonton (289 kms away) and I'll tell you these Pirellis are a better ride but I'm not sure if it is becasue of the winter characteristics of it since they are softer (designed to stick on the ice or snow better).

On this trip I was able to hit 210 kms/hr (130.5 miles/hr) and tires can handle it really well and the ride was smooth. The tires looks great as they look like summers. But the price is what makes me think, once my tire insurance lapsed in 5 years I really need to consider RFTs and maybe I can switch to 19s without worrying about the stiffness too much since they will be non-RFTs.
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      11-12-2007, 10:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC 335i View Post
The much heavier weight of the RFTs is a big detriment to performance/handling.
I'm switching to non-RFT but the RE050RFTs aren't much heavier than regular tires, just a pound or two.
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      11-12-2007, 08:08 PM   #22
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I caved and put in an order for the Pirelli winter tires i mentioned earlier in this thread. Unfortunately time was not on my side when i made the decision as most staggered sets were flying off the shelf. I had Dunlop 3D's lined up two weeks ago and htey were gone by the time i went back to make a deposit. I guess ill have a first hand chance to find out the answer to my own question soon enough. FWIW, the guy at the wheel/tire shop said non-rft's can be 30% lighter than RFT, though that's probably exception rathan the norm.

Well, the knowledge i gained here will benefit me down the road should i decide to switch wheels. Thanks all.
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