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      11-20-2009, 06:03 PM   #1

Drives: 05 M3, 95 M3 euro, 01 M5, e91
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: West Chester, PA

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Post Review: Nitto NT05s

About two months ago, a representative from Nitto contacted me with an offer I couldn't refuse: a free set of tires in exchange for an honest review of them (I bolded the honest because when they contacted me I made absolutely certain that they were fine with me saying bad things, should I feel them). They were fine with that.

So, I did what any rational person would do-- got the biggest set I could possible fit on the car-- 285 square .

A bit of my tire background: To this point I have run Michelin PS2s (daily summers) in 265 front 275 rear, Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta in 265 front 275 rear, Conti sport contact 1s in 225 front 255 rear (came with the car), and Pilot cups in 265 square and then 285 square, Goodyear ultra high performance all seasons in 255 square for long (1000+ mile) drives, and wintersport M3s for snows. On the track car (e36 m3) I've run yokohama slicks and hoosier rain slicks. So, I've run a pretty good variety of tires on M3s at this point .

Anyway, on to the review:

Dry Performance: In short, I'm very impressed! These tires are as grippy as the pilot cups were, but much more steerable. According to the iPhone G meter I was able to continuously pull 1.04 G at 50mph. As a point of comparison, the PS2s would give me .95 in the same spot. The best I was able to get out of the Pilot cups was .94, but I wasn't able to get them up to operating temp before hand as this is all in a traffic circle I like to use for this purpose :roll:. I'm sure the Cups would have performed better if they had been able to get up to temp, but I don't think they'd ever be up to what I was getting with the NT05s. Further, the NT05s are that grippy when you're actually street driving!

Breakaway is very progressive, so despite the increased grip I'm still easily able to get the back end out easily. Drifting is very controllable, albeit it takes a bit more effort to get it started (clutch pops are the order of the day after first gear ).

Wet performance: Still very grippy, and I haven't hydroplaned yet. That said…. I did drive slowly for heavy rain. While I haven't hydroplaned, the tread pattern just doesn't look like it's conducive to moving water out of the way. This tire has BIG blocks of rubber, and they just… scare me :clueless:. They are still very grippy on wet pavement, though-- probably the grippiest tire in the wet of all that I've have on the 46.

Ride quality: Overall, good. The PS2s do ride better, but these ride on par or better than any of the tires on my list. The PS2s are notorious for having soft sidewalls (which causes them to trip all over themselves on the track), so it makes sense that they would ride better.

Tread life: too soon to tell. I really just put it on here so you wouldn't think I was ignoring it. :shifty:

Looks: first off, who cares :roll:. That said, I think they look cool .

Road noise: The PS2s are quieter, everything else is about on par (except for the snow tires, which are louder). Makes sense, again with the soft sidewalls of the PS2s

Track: I haven't been able to get them out on the track yet…. basically because I'm tracking the 36 these days, and 285s won't fit on it at the moment. We're wide bodying the 36 over the winter, so I plan to strap these on for a couple sessions next year, but as of yet I haven't been able to try them on track. I have high hopes-- they grip well, let go progressively, and from what I've read, don't chunk up under track heat. Here's a pic on someone else's car of the tire after a whole day of tracking:

Overall: I love this tire. If your M3 is street/track, and you run the same tire for both, I think this would be a great choice. If your M3 is your toy/weekend car, likewise. If you're just getting into tracking, I think this would be a great first track tire-- much easier to drive (more progressive breakaway) than R comps or slicks. If your car is a daily driver and you drive 20,000 miles per year… might not be the best choice. I don't know yet, but with how much grip these have, I suspect they won't have the longest tread life of any tire I've ever had :shifty:. I like them so much that I'm saving them for special occasions-- tail of the dragon, rallies, etc (I drive ~20,000 per year, and don't want to use them up on highway driving). Oh, and they have the rim protector lip, which is always a good thing imo. I've never curbed a wheel, but I sure don't want to start now!

Pics on my car (I washed the car today, but the sun went down before I could get any pics. Better pics tomorrow when my car is clean):

In the first pics I'm trying to convey the size of the tread blocks on these things but using my hand as a reference. My hands aren't small, I'm 6'4.

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      11-21-2009, 06:04 AM   #2
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Drives: F82 M4, F15 X5, E92 M3, 1199S
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sydney/Chicago

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Good review, nothing bad so far
I was thinking of trying these RE-11 or AD08 and every time I read a review of either it is making the decision harder to make
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