Hi i wanted to cover 3 issue in 1 to give my findings.
I hate runflats they bang and crash and throw the car off line and I think can be dangerous. I have read much about changing up to 215/45/17 which are wider than the 205 tyre and didnt want to pay silly prices and generally 215 tyres are cheaper as although bigger are less used. I have done many tests before having owned over 200 cars, yes I have an illness as my wife says. So I have just had fitted 4x 215/45/17 Jinyu tyres and can state that they drive much smoother over potholes, I threw it round some roundabouts in the wet and dry and they did not slide.They are not noisy and did not rub on any arches. My son also has these but in a 205 on his Cooper D and also rates them, we both drive hard in wet and dry and like them. I paid £220 all in fitted and have listened to all the people who slate Chinese tyres and have never even tried them. I did the same thing when I had my Audi and bought a set of Falkens which I rate but couldnt afford them. You just have to carry a can of tyre foam and a pump in case of a puncture. So in summary and proven to myself from the horses mouth.
Yes you can ditch the runflats. No it wont affect your insurance.
Yes 215 size drives smoother, handle very well in wet and dry and you can buy a cheaper tyre that still handles well and wont cost the earth and if anyone disputes this ask for there proof which is what I have done to satisfy my own mind, hope this helps.
I did state in my post if you read it that they are Jinyu tyres. They are normal all year round tyres. I have thrown it round roundabouts in the wet and dry and they handle really well and dont slide about and have transformed the ride. I do not quote things unless I have proved to myself that they are any good. Dont believe in spending over £500 when the same tyres do the job safely for £200 and having owned over 200 cars I know my stuff, hope this helps anyone
1) Generally in life, you get what you pay for. Things are cheap for a reason. I work with some big name tyre manufaturers and I can tell you that the testing and quality standards undertaken for OE branded suppliers are way stricter than applied to cheap import tyres. Theres even quite significant differences between the leading brands.
2) You can have the fastest accelerating, quickest braking, sharpest handling car in the world, but if you compromise the tyres, you are compromising the only thing thats between you and the road when pushing the car hard. Sure you can buy remoulds and put them on a Skyline GTR, but whats the point? Youve sacrificed everything thats great about the car. Same for the Mini. A fine handling car calls for good tyres.
3) My last car came with unbranded tyres. They were surprisingly impressive when new, but performed very poorly once they were about 50% worn. They wore out quickly too. Im not convinced that they offered true value as I was left disappointed overall.
Personally Ive never used 'Jinyu' tyres, and Im pleased youre happy with them.
There will always be some gems in the budget tyre market, but finding them without buying 'lemons' is another matter.
I dont know how old your car is, as my arguement diminishes with a cars age. By the time a set of good tyres is half the cars value, the cars ride and handling will generally be shot too, so the benefits of good tyres are not felt so much.
Anyway I guess we agree to differ on this one. My advice to anyone looking for tyres is to buy the brand approved by the manufacturer. The find a deal online from black circles etc. That way youll restore your cars ride, handling & NVH.
Dave my lad had the Jinyu tyres with a lot more miles and they have been good thats why I got them and also I wanted to ditch the runflats but didnt have money to buy premium but thats not why I rate them. I also had an Audi with autogrip tyres, all new but slid everywhere in the wet and were dangerous so changed to falkens which I liked. My car is an 07. If you buy what BMW say its a jarring crashing ride on runflats which chuck the car across the road everytime you hit a pothole so they can keep their approved tyres. If youve got loads of money then yes buy premium as Dave says.
Fair point on the run flats. What were bmw thinking? All tyres are a compromise of grip, wear, noise and I guess price. You pay your money and take your choice. Thats why I follow the engineers choice who developed the car.
We just ditched the run flats from the 2005 Mini Cooper S and changed to Falkens which we had fitted for $209 each (aust). Am carrying compressor and tube of goo in the boot but considering the purchase of a spacesaver wheel from US. (Cant access them here in Aust).
bey, do you mind if I ask where you bought these tyres from? im looking online at the min and looking at paying approx £250 for 2 budget tyres, fitted with wheel alignment etc.
im my eyes this is excessive but seems the norm. I too am opting for non run flats as think they are the biggest waste of money going.
and as far as quality and safety goes, im driving around on 2 bald tyres and 2 not far off bald so anything at this point will be better than that. I rarely hammer the car and 99% of the time the missus drives it and im pretty sure shes not a ralley driver so im sold on these tyres.
do these 215/45/17 go straight on the standard mini cooper s 17 inch alloys?
I presume you mean 4 budget tyres? Or do you mean 2 budget runflats, which still seems expensive considering you can get Pirielli runflats for £150 each (unless when you say "wheel alignment", you mean a full 4 wheel alignment check, not just a run of the mill "laser" alignment check which can run to £70-140 rather than the £35 "Kwikfit" type check).
Anyway, here's my 2p. In my experience, you definitely get what you pay for and whilst some budget tyres are OK in the dry, it's in the wet when they really show up their flaws - many budget tyres are borderline dangerous in the wet and let's be honest here, it's in the wet where you really need the grip.
Even at 30-40 mph, the difference in stopping distances between budget tyres and mid range tyres can be several meters which might be the difference between having an accident or not. So that few £s saved could end up costing you a lot more in lost excess and increased premiums.
For £300, you can get a set of midrange tyres such as Kumho KU39s (which are a very good tyre BTW and I can guarantee that they are a lot better than Jinyus). You're basically talking £80 difference over the course of the life of the tyres (say 20k miles or 2 years) which is not even half a penny per mile mile more expensive. For the difference in cost, compared to the difference in performance and safety, it makes no sense to cut corners IMHO - it's just being tight.
The tyres are the only part of the car that are in contact with the road so it really pays to fit good quality tyres - it doesn't matter whether you drive like a rally driver or not.
As far as switching from runflats to normal tyres, yes, definitely worthwhile doing so. Also, switching from 205/45/17s to 215/45/17 is absolutely fine and they will fit on the stock 17" wheels with no problem.
Now: 2005 R52 MCS
Plus: BMW X3 3.0d, BMW Z3 2.8, BMW F700GS, Vespa ET4 125
Was: 04 R52 MCS, 06 R53 MCS
I've gone for the kumho's over the budget tyres at a grand total of 330 for all 4. Wheel alignment inc. not sure what wheel alignment is for that though, probs the cheaper option.
I agree, tyres are the only thing keeping you to the ground and agree the manufacturers choice is not always the best for the car and I think we all agree the run flats are shocking.
I went for the kumho's as they seem to have the best reviews without the over inflated brand name prices! I went with an old faithful independent tyre specialist that I've gone to for years, the Internet companies are a dead loss!!
Thanks for advice, I'll be in touch with my thoughts on the kumho's
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