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      05-27-2008, 05:03 AM   #1
rogerxp
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"M Sport Ride" - Alternative Angle

Having read 'silverbmwz3's thread there is obviously a RFT/Non-RFT debate raging - one of which I'm seriously considering the switch when the current tyres need replacing.

Thought I'd start a new similar thread so not to detract from the original one.

As opposed to simply changing the tyres isn't another route to just alter the suspension/springs??

I know that Finnie, who bought my E92 'SE' two months ago, changed the springs which had an immediately positive effect on ride, made even better by the change from RFT to Eagle F1s. My point is has anyone else changed anything other than the tyres, which helped the ride (are the springs cheaper than new tyres to try out first???). Finnie, hope you're well mate, maybe you could elaborate on your changes and effects??

I've now got an E90 M Sport and, now I'm getting used to it, am finding the ride very hard (especially with my wife & daugher in the car). I find the handling great when pushing it (on my own) it's just so hard when pottering about at the weekends - I can see my daughter bobbing along in the back - can't be comfy. Pot-holes are a nightmare, even just rough surfaces throw the car about.

I'm a real novice when it comes to anything other than topping up the oil/water/air/fuel so will apologise in advance if there is some really obvious reason why springs couldn't be tried before taking the plunge with a new set of tyres.
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      05-27-2008, 06:11 AM   #2
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Well tires are consumables that need to be replaced on a fairly regular basis. So they are easier/cheaper to replace and there are tons of reviews/information/feedback on different tyres. Springs will be harder to replace, but can actually be done at home and price wise I think are on par with tires (not sure). But since people often change wheels, its much easier to try out new tires.
Most people with M-sport suspension I think wanted a compromise between compliance and handling. There is a trade-off and I dont think most M-sport owners want to compromise handling or else they wouldnt have gotten M-sport. If you still want really good handling (not M-sport standards though) and a compliant ride, I think non-sport is the way to go.
It boils down to doing research before buying. You shouldnt buy a BMW if you want a Cadillac ride and vice versa.
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      05-27-2008, 06:38 AM   #3
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Good point weez.

i prefer Non runflats, but will be going back to runflats next time which is very soon!
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      05-27-2008, 07:20 AM   #4
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Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy with the M Sport set-up, after all it's only me in the car 90% of the time, just wondered whether anyone had tried any alternatives other than changing the tyres. I actually prefer the handling of my E90 over my old E92 however it can be a little savage when the family are on-board - they could always get the bus I suppose!!
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      05-27-2008, 07:24 AM   #5
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I can see a new product range coming of inflatable car seats

The ride is hard but is something I can cope with, I dont find mine too bad when having 4 people in it though
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      05-27-2008, 07:29 AM   #6
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Don't forget that there are other benefits to the M Sport package.....in fact the suspension is actually only a small item.....but in order to get everything else you have to have the suspension....personally, for road use, I'd say the standard set-up is more than adequate, but it is of course a personal choice....
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      05-27-2008, 07:34 AM   #7
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I can offer an alternative but it's not what you are looking for. An SE model without M Sport suspension or a Merc C Class Sport. Both of which I have tried in the last few weeks. Both more complient on the rear end. Neither as sharp to drive when you want to push through some bends.

Having read various things on the web on RFT's and BMW's 'harsh' ride I feel the critisism from most people has come because they jumped onto BMW's bandwagon for being a 'drivers' car but not willing to compromise their luxury ride. One guy I read was incensed by the SE ride saying it was appalling compared to his Volvo V70 and had already placed an order for another. It was his first and last foray with BMW. The guy should never have bought one in the first place and did he not test drive first?!

I like the firm hands on feel/drive of my M Sport but do agree it is a little skittish on poor/wet roads. Thats what keeps me alert doing 40,000 miles a year.

If you drive the car 90% of the time on your own and like the drive put your foot down with the missus or tell her to pay for non RFTs!!!! which will soften the ride slightly.
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      05-27-2008, 07:36 AM   #8
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is SE stock suspension that much softer than the sport suspension?

I think the sport suspension could be a little stiffer.
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      05-27-2008, 07:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxb335d View Post
is SE stock suspension that much softer than the sport suspension?

I think the sport suspension could be a little stiffer.
I am sure it could be Carlos having seen your track day pics!!!

Yes the SE is more complient but by no means soft. Equal to the C Class Sport I tried. But its a luxury feel not 'Sport'. Merc offer a Dynamic Package which is adjustable. I understand the Sport mode is similar to M Sport so the dealer told me. At 1500 quid I wasn't going to find out!!!
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      05-27-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrerarsr View Post
I am sure it could be Carlos having seen your track day pics!!!

Yes the SE is more complient but by no means soft. Equal to the C Class Sport I tried. But its a luxury feel not 'Sport'. Merc offer a Dynamic Package which is adjustable. I understand the Sport mode is similar to M Sport so the dealer told me. At 1500 quid I wasn't going to find out!!!
I mean mine does feel sporty, and handles very well. But i wouldnt mind it a bit stiffer. (Mine is same as Sport suspension)
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      05-27-2008, 07:52 AM   #11
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335d SE coupe comes with msport suspension as standard Carl:

http://www.bmw.co.uk/bmwuk/pricesand...0spv-S,00.html

It's an option on the 330d though:

http://www.bmw.co.uk/bmwuk/pricesand...0spv-O,00.html

I don't think it makes that much difference to the ride, but then I'm also one of the people who finds the msport ride to be absolutely fine.
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      05-27-2008, 08:00 AM   #12
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Good point NFS. My E92 SE (335i) would have had M Sport Suspension on it anyway, with 19s, so seems strange my E90 M Sport (330d) seems much firmer, and only sits on 18s.

Perhaps the roads round here are a little more unforgiving than other areas but I don't beleive that - so many external factors that could effect everyone's experiences.

You take these cars for a couple of test drives but it's only after a few months you really know the car. I'm pretty used to hard-drives - maybe I'm just getting old!!!
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      05-27-2008, 08:05 AM   #13
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I also found my ride getting 'firmer' or more harsh as the tyres got more worn. Also more skittish. New rears at 42,000 and new fronts at 45,000 seemed to restore a more complient ride. Yes that was the first set to be changed in that mileage!!!
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      05-27-2008, 08:10 AM   #14
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M Sport

I have recently bought a 325 SE. I also found the M Sport setting too firm for normal motoring. Having selected an SE version I am very pleased indeed with both the comfort and road holding. If it was just me driving, then M Sport would be fine. With the family in the car, then go for SE. You would really have to push the car to notice a difference in the handling. Please note, I have no problems with the RFT on the SE, no tramlining or discomfort from humps or bumps.

The test drive is so important in order to make comparisons, a post purchase fix is expensive with BMW, or any other car for that matter! I agree changing the tyres might be the least expensive option, but even that might not solve your problem.
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      05-27-2008, 10:37 AM   #15
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Rogerxp

Think of all the things that make the M Sport such a superb hands on drivers car

M Sport suspension
18'' Alloys
RFT low profile tyres (this one is ambiguous with RFT's)

Now each small element add to a firm, direct driving style which we all love. Remove any one of those elements and you start to compomise the M Sport package.

Return the car to stock SE suspension, 17'' Alloys and softer non RFT tyres and you've lost all that makes the 3 Series the best handling car in its class (oh and the chassis!)

In my mind the first option would be to look at a softer side wall non RFT tyre. Its never going to be a massive change due to still needing 18'' low profile tyres but it would be the easiest route to trial. Your wife might be persuaded that its a bigger change than it is?
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      05-27-2008, 10:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carrerarsr View Post
Return the car to stock SE suspension, 17'' Alloys and softer non RFT tyres and you've lost all that makes the 3 Series the best handling car in its class (oh and the chassis!)
I think that the trend for larger diameter fat tyres is actually detrimental to handling. Race cars don't have 18 inch 255 tyres. They have smaller rims to reduce unsprung mass and wider sidewalls.

Arguably 17 inch rims should handle slightly better than 18's and the car should be fractionally faster. It's all vanity really when it comes to wheels.
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      05-27-2008, 11:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFS View Post
I think that the trend for larger diameter fat tyres is actually detrimental to handling. Race cars don't have 18 inch 255 tyres. They have smaller rims to reduce unsprung mass and wider sidewalls.

Arguably 17 inch rims should handle slightly better than 18's and the car should be fractionally faster. It's all vanity really when it comes to wheels.
very true. Race cars only get bigger wheels to clear the brakes. BMW puts bigger wheels on to look the part. (though the meatier tyres do help) Nothing looks sporty with 205/55/R16s on.
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      05-27-2008, 12:42 PM   #18
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I spent some time at Porsche some years ago. Internally when tested the Boxster and 911 handled, drove, ride quality was always better with 17'' wheels. As always being commission based you would always play the looks and resale card to get customers to upgrade to 18''s.

We all want 18'' minimum and would all go for 19''s if available and price is right!!!
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      05-27-2008, 01:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxb335d View Post
i prefer Non runflats, but will be going back to runflats next time which is very soon!
Why are you switching back Carlos?
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      05-27-2008, 01:38 PM   #20
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It's just dawned on me that I did have an 330dSE for a couple of weeks whilst mine was being sorted. So I'll wade into the SE / MSport spring comparison...

Whilst it was more compliant it certainly wasn't the sublime ride of a 5, rather it was a slightly softened ride with an increase in bodyroll without a dramatic improvement in the general ride quality. On balance I felt that the MSport, despite the increase in harshness was the better balanced car as the SE was adrift between soft and comfortable and firm and focussed.

As I have said before, my view is tainted (as others will be) by the driving that I do. City work and motorway cruising mean that the firmness of the MSport is a non-issue. If I were driving miles on b-roads then I'd probably look elsewhere.

That said it's not beyond probability that someone could come up with a better spring and damper setup than the OEM fit. Alpina have constantly been praised for their suspension work (using the BMW parts bin) so it would be interesting to compare their settings on the older D3 that shared the 320d engine.

As others have said through, changing the tyres is a very simple thing to do, just not something that will necessarily have the dramatic effect that some seek.
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      05-27-2008, 01:43 PM   #21
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Quote:
mjh93sa Alpina have constantly been praised for their suspension work (using the BMW parts bin) so it would be interesting to compare their settings on the older D3 that shared the 320d engine.
The answer - Buy an Alpina, which reminds me.........................
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      05-27-2008, 01:48 PM   #22
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Doubt that RFT's are part of what makes BMW's a 'drivers car', if they were a key ingredient then they would appear on M series cars, and they don't ! In fact there are plenty of reviews, blogs, forums pointing out that runflats ruin Beemers handling.

Others have made good observation, people are buying in to the whole 'sport' option without fully testing what it entails. Unfortunately, in my case, RFT's are compromising the cars handling.

Most people go for the spring/ brake upgrade route for improved performance/ stiffen the suspension, etc - haven't heard of many people trying to soften the set-up. Easiest way for me is to buy proper, normal tyres - just like the ones they put on M's.
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