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      04-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
PhilR
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Ditched the RFT's

Like quite a few on E90 Post I have replaced my rock hard, unforgiving, bone crunching, back aching Bridgestone Potenza's with the more affordable and forgiving Falken's.

I ordered some FK452's at a alocal tyre / exhaust centre and was a bit miffed to witness that the tread pattern didn't look like that of the FK452's on close inspection and that was because they had ordered in the ZE912's instead as their supplier didn't have any 452's. Nice of them to tell me eh?

After a closer inspection and a little debate (and a further discount i might add) I decided to let them finish fitting the 912's had them filled with Nitrogen (Claims of upto 25% less wear and 5% better MPG - I am a sceptic by nature) and initial impressions are very good.

Immediate positive feedback is the ride is so much more forgiving and they are definately quieter too. Initial downside is the steering isn't quite as pin sharp although I have yet to check the tyre pressures myself as I doubt they have been inflated to the required 38 and 42psi for front and rear respectively. The rim protection is there but not as pronounced as the Bridgestone's offered although I have still mananged to kerb the alloys once or twice with those.

Anyway after parting with 400 for 4 new tyres and 6 for a can a goo from ASDA I am happy chappy and looking forward to the drive home from work.

I will let them bed in a little before I test the grip levels which I anticipate will no be as good as the Bridgestone's.
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      04-15-2009, 11:36 AM   #2
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Good stuff, pleased you are happy and the price is quite good too. After much deliberation I've had three Bridgestone runflats put on the car today. The thing that swung it for me is that I already had one nearly new rear tyre therefore only needed to buy three RFTs, All in for a bargain price of 603 Then again, if they last 30k miles like my old ones I will be more than happy.

To be honest, when it comes to grip, the falkens will be more than up to the job. I feel that BMWs are over tyred anyway, massive rubber when really it isn't needed on most cars unless you are kicking out 300bhp plus.
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      04-15-2009, 11:56 AM   #3
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Back when I had a Focus, I ran Falken FK451s, which I replaced with FK452s when they wore out, and I was delighted with both sets - very grippy, especially in the wet, and pretty progressive when they did lose grip.

I heard stories from others who got the 912 by mistake that they weren't as good a tyre, but I don't know if performance on a Focus translates directly to an E9x, so I'll be interested to hear how you get on with them!
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      04-15-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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Well done on taking the plunge mate.

Be sure to post up an update. Do you find the steering to be lighter?
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      04-15-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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I await with interest how they perform. At less than half the price of OEM tyres I would be really pleased to save a packet and improve the ride.

I understand that they are a little wider than standard tyres does this effect the paintwork with stones flying up or is the difference to small to matter.

Good luck
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      04-16-2009, 02:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaytar View Post
Well done on taking the plunge mate.

Be sure to post up an update. Do you find the steering to be lighter?
Steering not noticeably lighter although lacks a little bit of the sharpness and feel over the RFT's and leans a tad more when cornering hard which I actually quike like as the car feels a little more alive if that makes sense.

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Originally Posted by CraigUK View Post
Good stuff, pleased you are happy and the price is quite good too. After much deliberation I've had three Bridgestone runflats put on the car today. The thing that swung it for me is that I already had one nearly new rear tyre therefore only needed to buy three RFTs, All in for a bargain price of 603 Then again, if they last 30k miles like my old ones I will be more than happy.

To be honest, when it comes to grip, the falkens will be more than up to the job. I feel that BMWs are over tyred anyway, massive rubber when really it isn't needed on most cars unless you are kicking out 300bhp plus.
I am running circa 280bhp (mapped). Checked the pressures last night and they were all at 32psi Having corrected the pressures (38 F and 42 R) the ride is a little sharper and firmer although no where near as firm as with the runflats.

Had a spirited drive on the way to work this morning and I cannot notice any difference in grip levels. That said they are new scrubbed tyres so should be at least as good as 2mm RFT's
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      04-16-2009, 02:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JLR1969 View Post
I await with interest how they perform. At less than half the price of OEM tyres I would be really pleased to save a packet and improve the ride.

I understand that they are a little wider than standard tyres does this effect the paintwork with stones flying up or is the difference to small to matter.

Good luck
No they actually appear a little narrower due to the rim protection not being as noticeable as with the Bridgestones. Maybe the FK452's are wider than the ZE912's?
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      04-16-2009, 02:52 AM   #8
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Glad you are pleased with the change Phil

Anyone else running the Falkens? I am interested to hear if they perform and last well?
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      04-16-2009, 06:57 AM   #9
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Yep..I did the same about a month ago, replaced the RFT with Falken 452s after a mysterious bubble appeared on one of the almost new thump flats.

To be honest it has transformed the car. I now enjoy driving some twisty rural roads around my locale rather than try and play "spot the pothole" or suffer the bone shattering consequences. After moving from my E60 to the E92 the first time I hit one in my E92 I nearly cr*pped myself...thinking I'd left half my suspension up the road.

Since my local council are too busy playing around with speed limits, daft signs and other important things to be bothered with anything as trivial as fixing gaping great holes in the road I figured action was necessary.

Overall the car is so much more enjoyable and capable. Its more fun on a spirited drive becuase you aren't fixated on the pot holes and the ride is as good as my non RFT equipped E60 when you just need a smooth drive. Grip levels are all I need, ride is transformed and slightly less road noise IMHO. If I was being ultra fussy I would agree that perhaps its not as ultra sharp handling. But I'm very happy overall...a definite good move in my opinion.
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      04-16-2009, 08:20 AM   #10
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Good write up and responses guys, many thanks. I will deffo replace once the current set of RFTs wear down.

I know there are millions of posts about ditching RFTs etc. But its always good having fresh up to date perspectives.
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      04-16-2009, 09:10 AM   #11
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Always good to hear everyones thoughts on non-RFT. I'm also going to change from Bridgestone RFTs to Falken Non-RFTs in a couple of weeks and I just can't wait.

I've always moaned on here about the harsh ride on my E90 and have been waiting for the tyres to need replacing before I do anything (it's been fun thrashing the arse off her in the meantime ).

Now the rears are now virtually gone, I've got 450 in the bank, just waiting for payday to give me some more flash cash then straight down to the local tyre guy followed by Halfords for the goo.

If, as I suspect, it improves the ride comfort then I'll finally be extremely happy with the purchase I made 12 months ago. Might even treat myself to a remap too.

Finally, I've only ever considered the FK452's (as recommended on here) as opposed to the ZE912's - what's the difference betwee the two - is one considered superior to the other??

Edit - just checked and the 912's are marginally cheaper than the 452's. Both descriptions predictably highlight their strengths online so can't really see what the differences are.
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Last edited by rogerxp; 04-16-2009 at 09:30 AM.
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      04-16-2009, 09:26 AM   #12
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Anyone else running Falkens that can share their experience?
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      04-16-2009, 09:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTRHEAD View Post
Yep..I did the same about a month ago, replaced the RFT with Falken 452s after a mysterious bubble appeared on one of the almost new thump flats.

To be honest it has transformed the car. I now enjoy driving some twisty rural roads around my locale rather than try and play "spot the pothole" or suffer the bone shattering consequences. After moving from my E60 to the E92 the first time I hit one in my E92 I nearly cr*pped myself...thinking I'd left half my suspension up the road.

Since my local council are too busy playing around with speed limits, daft signs and other important things to be bothered with anything as trivial as fixing gaping great holes in the road I figured action was necessary.

Overall the car is so much more enjoyable and capable. Its more fun on a spirited drive becuase you aren't fixated on the pot holes and the ride is as good as my non RFT equipped E60 when you just need a smooth drive. Grip levels are all I need, ride is transformed and slightly less road noise IMHO. If I was being ultra fussy I would agree that perhaps its not as ultra sharp handling. But I'm very happy overall...a definite good move in my opinion.


Same happened to me when I first got the car, what a bang it made. Its amazing how you just accept thats how it is. Thinking about it I cant beleive that I drive round also dodging pot holes.
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      04-16-2009, 09:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booforty View Post
Anyone else running Falkens that can share their experience?
Jules does and Hotcoupe too.
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      04-16-2009, 09:35 AM   #15
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Jules does and Hotcoupe too.
They are fine but due to the suspension set-up then I think the Michelin RunFlats are the better option.
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      04-16-2009, 09:53 AM   #16
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At the cost saving I'll still be going down the Falken route.

I take on board your comments regarding the suspension set-up however when it's combined with RFT's (admittedly I understand Michelins are much more forgiving then Bridgestones) it's just too damn hard. Yes, great when nailing it on a super-smooth road, but in most daily drives, I'd prefer to sacrifice a little of the handling in exchange for 'some' comfort the rest of the time.

My car is just not acceptable when driving normally down normal roads. I'm literally being bounced around in my seat; not pleasant at all. If at speed on a bobbly motorway (M60 being the nearest) my head can almost hit the roof when my car hits the peak of a bump (I'm not exaggerating either - one spirited drove back home had me howling out loud laughing it was so ridiculous )
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      04-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude1 View Post
They are fine but due to the suspension set-up then I think the Michelin RunFlats are the better option.
That's an interesting comment Jules, and one I would agree with to a point.
I had Bridgestone RFT's on the 225's and they were rock hard and gave an unacceptable ride in my opinion.
I have 452's on the G-Powers, and I would say the ride is slightly better than the RFT's, but as Jules has pointed out the suspension set-up on our cars is firmer than the MSport suspension.

Gripwise the Falkens are good, and I would recommend them for the money,4 tyres for little more than 400ish is a bargain.

(They were shite at Santa Pod, but my rears were fitted on the Friday before we ran, so no surprise there!)

Camskill are very good on price for Falkens:

http://www.camskill.co.uk/brands/fal..._fk_452_-_.php

Or if your near Hampshire, Micheldever will pricematch

http://www.micheldever.co.uk/
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      04-16-2009, 10:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hotcoupe View Post
the suspension set-up on our cars is firmer than the MSport suspension.
Have you boys (Jude1 & Hotcoupe) not got 'standard' M Sport suspension anymore?? Not sure why that makes too much of a difference though...
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      04-16-2009, 10:14 AM   #19
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Playing devils advocate here, ride comfort aside do you think there will be that much of a saving by using Falkens instead of the Bridgestones?

The reason I ask is that my Bridgestone RTFs have been changed at 29,000 miles. To be honest if it wasn't for the edge wear on the fronts they could have went a fair bit further. Now, I'm on my fourth BMW and haven't had any other make or type of tyre that has lasted that distance.
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      04-16-2009, 10:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerxp View Post
Have you boys (Jules & Hotcoupe) not got 'standard' M Sport suspension anymore?? Not sure why that makes too much of a difference though...

I was referring to the M-Sport suspension and not modified suspension.

The suspension is set-up to handle the stiff walled runflats. If you replace the runflats with a standard tyre then the soft wall will compromise the suspension set-up. The car instantly "feels" less harsh, but to me was more wallowy and I found myself having to over inflate the non runflat tyres to compensate, over inflation = premature wear, cost saving therefore becomes negligable. Others may prefer this set-up though so only my opinion.
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      04-16-2009, 10:39 AM   #21
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Everyone is probably looking for slightly different things in their cars (comfort, ride, handling, wear) so there will be no 'right' answer but interesting to hear peoples thoughts.

I'm still convinced that non-RFT's are the way forwards for me. And, at the price, if they are the wrong choice, at least I've minimised the damage to reverting back.

I'd happily exchange 'some' of the dynamic driving qualities of an M Sport set-up for more comfort when at weekends the family are also onboard. I just see them bouncing around all over the place from the corner of my eye. My nearly-two year old bursts out laughing when we hit a big (mmm, probably only small!!!) pothole.

5 days of the week it's just me but I'd prefer the other 2 days to be more enjoyable when there are three of us.
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      04-16-2009, 10:42 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigUK View Post
Playing devils advocate here, ride comfort aside do you think there will be that much of a saving by using Falkens instead of the Bridgestones?

The reason I ask is that my Bridgestone RTFs have been changed at 29,000 miles. To be honest if it wasn't for the edge wear on the fronts they could have went a fair bit further. Now, I'm on my fourth BMW and haven't had any other make or type of tyre that has lasted that distance.
I just wouldn't use Bridgestones again full stop after my BMW experience with them. I know the Falken is an inferior tyre to the Michelin, and I may change them more often, but they'll fit the bill for my current purposes. I still reckon you'll be up over time on the Falkens - I can't see them wearing out TWICE as quickly as the Michelins which cost TWICE the price.
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