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Official Michelin PSS Back to Back Tire Test | by: TSM


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#1 Cicio@TopSpeed Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:01 AM

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With the amount of GT-R owners switch over to the Michelin PSS after the stock run flats we decided it was time to get you guys some hard data.  We teamed up with Michelin USA and they were kind enough to supply us with several sets of tires for back to back testing.   Prior to the stock sizing being released for the GT-R it was very popular to run the 285 square setup for may GT-R owners.  Whether the car was full street or street/track many people were seeing great results from this setup.

The purpose of this test was to really see the difference between the stock tire and the PSS.  Michelin was very clear with me that the exact results were to be totally public whether good or bad...they wanted the community to have back to back, real world data.  

So I went to work, I needed to find a completely stock GT-R (harder than I thought it would be) to use for testing and employ professional driver Leh Keen to give us the back to back driving precision we would need for an accurate test.  With all that gathered up we headed for Roebling Road in Savanna to start testing.

The test was performed using three different setups, on the same car, back to back, with the same driver.

Track: Roebling Road Raceway
Car: 2010 GT-R BONE STOCK
Driver: Leh Keen

Setups

#1
Stock Bridgestone Potenza RE70

Sizes:
255/40/20 (F)
285/35/20 ®

#2
Michelin Pilot Super Sport (PSS)

Sizes:

255/40/20 (F)
285/35/20 ®

#3
Michelin Pilot Super Sport (PSS)

285/35/20 (F)

285/35/20 ®

Here is the feedback from driver Leh Keen concerning the three different setups.

Stock Potenza staggered - This obviously is a great tire for dry conditions. It works very well on the GT-R as it was designed specifically for the GT-R.  This is a proven setup that the factory has chosen. It is a runflat and has a very stiff sidewall. I know this tire does not last long with normal road use. It is also horrible in the wet and noisy on the road. Compared to the factory sized PSS setup the Potenza was 0.1 seconds slower in lap time. The Potenza did not quite have the overall grip of the staggered PSS but did show more response from the front and better balance although still had a bit of push. The threshold of lateral grip held a bit longer than the PSS but then had a quicker release rate. The sharpness of the front helped with understeer and this gave the car better balance then the staggered PSS. The front would simply respond to inputs better resulting in a better balance in the car. Although the time was 0.1 slower on the PSS, the car was nicer to drive and "felt" better on the factory setup.

PSS staggered - The PSS showed great overall grip but lacked balance.  The 255 just doesn't seem to be as aggressively built as the 285 relatively speaking. That said it was 0.1 quicker due to overall grip and was easier to drive with push being the determining factor. The response was dull from the front and would easily slip into a push. The threshold of grip had a steady fall and was smoother than the Potenza. It was easier to find the limit of the tire and go over it. The PSS "talks" to you more and tells you its limits easier. The rear 285 easily overpowered the front 255. The PSS is great in the rain also and has less road noise.

PSS Square - This was awesome. This setup "fixed" the understeer that the stock and staggered PSS setups had. The front responded well to steering inputs and had the overall front grip to make the car turn. Although not as sharp as the Potenza the general front grip made up for that. Overall grip increased but only marginal the big difference was the balance. The time was a full 1.0 second quicker using this setup!  80% of that time increase was thanks to the better balance in the car. Actually I would say the car was almost perfectly balanced (for a completely stock car). Slight understeer in lower speed corners with slight oversteer in entry to med and lower speed corners, which is simply a GT-R character trait. It was easier to find the limit of the tire and that resulted in a great overal feeling and confidence. I was very impressed with this setup and was surprised to see how much quicker it was.





Overall we are we were very happy with the performance of the PSS.  The tire lasts longer, rides better, and is just as fast or faster than the factory setup.  I want to personally thank Michelin for the opportunity to doing this testing for them and look forward to more real world/track research in the future.  The new combination that Michelin just released (285/295) will be tested hopefully in the coming weeks.  While it may add a little more push to the car we are hoping the increased rear grip will compensate for that and translate into lap times.  If for no other reason the 295 simply looks better on the car :)

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.  I am sure that all of the information you guys need isn't totally covered in this writeup, but we are here for that.  Leh and myself will be answering questions that come up so don't hesitate.  I had the guys put together a little video for the community as well as some pictures....see those below.

We also have a huge stock of all the tested tires.  Everything is in the building and ready to ship.  So if anyone is looking for a PSS setup please shoot us a PM, email, or just call the shop.

Thanks for the continued support, we hope this writeup aids some of you in your decision making process.

~Team TSM





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Edited by Cicio@TopSpeed, 19 April 2012 - 11:02 AM.



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#2 icarus Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:08 AM

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Great write-up, much appreciated.  Would have loved to see the comparison versus the OEM Dunlops instead of the Bridgestones.  I think the OEM Dunlops would ultimately give a faster laptime than the Michelins, although the Michelins have a better overall feel (less squirm).


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#3 Cicio@TopSpeed Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:13 AM

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View Posticarus, on 19 April 2012 - 11:08 AM, said:

Great write-up, much appreciated.  Would have loved to see the comparison versus the OEM Dunlops instead of the Bridgestones.  I think the OEM Dunlops would ultimately give a faster laptime than the Michelins, although the Michelins have a better overall feel (less squirm).

I can certainly try to test those as well when we go back next time.  It may not be back to back, but we could get a time in similar conditions.  I doubt they will show the same results as the square 285 setup though.


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#4 audioenvy Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:24 AM

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Thanks for the write-up!

Obviously, the focus was more on track performance than convenience, cost savings, or daily drivability but I've heard people say that the PSS has a smoother/quieter ride on the street than the OEM runflats.

My assumption is that the PSS are uni-directional tires so even in the square setup the tires cannot be rotated (left/right) without breaking them down, correct? Obviously, rotating front/rear would still require break down. There is only one shop around here I would trust to do that and even then I'd be worried about potentially beating the sh!t out of the rims.

For a "lightly tuned" GT-R (Stage 2 bolt ons and tune, for example, say a mid 10sec 1/4 mile car), I'd be curious to know if the 285/295 setup would feel better on the track than the 285/285 setup. Seems like there would be theoretical drag strip (not everyone's cup of tea, I know) improvement with the 295 rears, but I could be wrong.

Again, thanks for taking the time to make this comparison.


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#5 icarus Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:29 AM

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I'm running Michelin PSS 285/35/20 square on OEM rims and it is an amazing all-around tire.  Excellent on street, excellent on track. In the rain it KILLS the OEM Bridgestones on track.


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#6 rio_gtr Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:35 AM

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quick Question: for a square setup, do you use two sets of rear wheels & mount to the front and back or just mount the 285 tire to the stock front wheel?


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#7 rio_gtr Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:36 AM

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View Posticarus, on 19 April 2012 - 11:29 AM, said:

I'm running Michelin PSS 285/35/20 square on OEM rims and it is an amazing all-around tire. Excellent on street, excellent on track. In the rain it KILLS the OEM Bridgestones on track.

do you have pics of what your setup looks like?


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#8 UnaBomber Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:44 AM

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Im currently running OEM sized PSS's and have been happy with them so far but i plan on doing a set of squares when you have my car in the next few weeks.


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#9 GTRISMO Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:47 AM

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Thanks for the feedback.  I'm running the new Dunlops and would be curious how the PSS compares to those.


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#10 rio_gtr Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:52 AM

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View PostGTRISMO, on 19 April 2012 - 11:47 AM, said:

Thanks for the feedback.  I'm running the new Dunlops and would be curious how the PSS compares to those.

Me too, The Dunlops were always better than the Bridgstones.


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#11 RPM Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:16 PM

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Interested to see the comparison against the Dunlops as well.



#12 mistacheese Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:27 PM

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Thank you for doing this. You guys really are a huge asset to us all.

+1 for seeing the dunlop results. I am really interested in these tires for my next set, and this review has pretty much solidified that.

Cheese


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#13 rcalcaide Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:39 PM

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Cicio, was the OEM Bridgestone tire R1 or R2 version?



#14 mcduck Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:49 PM

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View Posticarus, on 19 April 2012 - 11:08 AM, said:

Great write-up, much appreciated.  Would have loved to see the comparison versus the OEM Dunlops instead of the Bridgestones.  I think the OEM Dunlops would ultimately give a faster laptime than the Michelins, although the Michelins have a better overall feel (less squirm).
agree with everyone else... it is widely accepted the Dunlops are the better factory tire so would be more interested in that comparison.

Dumb question regarding the tests... were the Bridgestones the ones on the car or did you also acquire a fresh set of those for the test?  Tires aleady with wear would not be comparable for test purposes.

Oh, and another repeat question... can you run square 285 using stock front rim or do you need an extra set of rear rims to put on the front?


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#15 nlpamg Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:50 PM

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Thank you for doing this!  This is definitely a great test.

I'm very interested as to how the PSS compare to the Dunlops as well.


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#16 jmunjr Posted 19 April 2012 - 12:59 PM

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View Posticarus, on 19 April 2012 - 11:08 AM, said:

Great write-up, much appreciated.  Would have loved to see the comparison versus the OEM Dunlops instead of the Bridgestones.  I think the OEM Dunlops would ultimately give a faster laptime than the Michelins, although the Michelins have a better overall feel (less squirm).

Yes the Dunlops would have been the appropriate tire to test since I believe that is what is most popular on track...  Are the Bridgestones even offered on newer GT-Rs?  Regardless, thanks for doing the testing.  One kind of test that would also be beneficial is long term performance.  How do each of those sets of tires do after many sessions over time?  They all do worse, but some worse than others.  Not an easy thing to test of course...  I do know that I always have tons of traction on new tires no matter what the brand...

Also running the OEM tires in a square setup would only be fair as well...  Do a square 285/35 Dunlop Maxx test !

Edited by jmunjr, 19 April 2012 - 01:02 PM.



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#17 jmunjr Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:01 PM

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View Postaudioenvy, on 19 April 2012 - 11:24 AM, said:

My assumption is that the PSS are uni-directional tires

They aren't and they can be rotated L->R and F->B


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#18 Cicio@TopSpeed Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

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View Postaudioenvy, on 19 April 2012 - 11:24 AM, said:

Thanks for the write-up!

Obviously, the focus was more on track performance than convenience, cost savings, or daily drivability but I've heard people say that the PSS has a smoother/quieter ride on the street than the OEM runflats.

My assumption is that the PSS are uni-directional tires so even in the square setup the tires cannot be rotated (left/right) without breaking them down, correct? Obviously, rotating front/rear would still require break down. There is only one shop around here I would trust to do that and even then I'd be worried about potentially beating the sh!t out of the rims.

For a "lightly tuned" GT-R (Stage 2 bolt ons and tune, for example, say a mid 10sec 1/4 mile car), I'd be curious to know if the 285/295 setup would feel better on the track than the 285/285 setup. Seems like there would be theoretical drag strip (not everyone's cup of tea, I know) improvement with the 295 rears, but I could be wrong.

Again, thanks for taking the time to make this comparison.

You are correct that this was more a track based comparison then a street.  On the street the PSS wins hands down.  Better ride, longer life, quieter...just a better tire.

These are not directional tires, so you could easily swap side to side if you wanted to.  

I personally think that the 285/295 setup would make the car more vestal and better looking, however Leh really liked the balance of the square setup.



View Postrio_gtr, on 19 April 2012 - 11:35 AM, said:

quick Question: for a square setup, do you use two sets of rear wheels & mount to the front and back or just mount the 285 tire to the stock front wheel?

We used the factory front wheels.  You can’t put the rears on the front on a GT-R the offset is to aggressive.


View PostGTRISMO, on 19 April 2012 - 11:47 AM, said:

Thanks for the feedback.  I'm running the new Dunlops and would be curious how the PSS compares to those.

View Postrio_gtr, on 19 April 2012 - 11:52 AM, said:

Me too, The Dunlops were always better than the Bridgstones.

View PostRPM, on 19 April 2012 - 12:16 PM, said:

Interested to see the comparison against the Dunlops as well.

View Postmcduck, on 19 April 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

agree with everyone else... it is widely accepted the Dunlops are the better factory tire so would be more interested in that comparison.

Dumb question regarding the tests... were the Bridgestones the ones on the car or did you also acquire a fresh set of those for the test?  Tires aleady with wear would not be comparable for test purposes.

Oh, and another repeat question... can you run square 285 using stock front rim or do you need an extra set of rear rims to put on the front?

Boy I guess we dropped the ball big time by not taking the Dunlops that are sitting in the shop mounted didn’t we!!  Dang it....hindsight.


The Bridgestones had very low miles on them, but they WERE NOT stickers...probably would have picked up a couple 10ths if they were totally fresh.



Thanks guys for all the questions!! Keep them coming.

I’m really sorry we didn’t test the Dunlops as well...big regret now..I didn’t know you guys would be that interested in it this much.  I’ll try hard for next time.

Edited by Cicio@TopSpeed, 19 April 2012 - 01:07 PM.



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#19 konaforever Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:08 PM

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Great analysis!


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#20 Cicio@TopSpeed Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:09 PM

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View Postjmunjr, on 19 April 2012 - 12:59 PM, said:

Yes the Dunlops would have been the appropriate tire to test since I believe that is what is most popular on track...  Are the Bridgestones even offered on newer GT-Rs?  Regardless, thanks for doing the testing.  One kind of test that would also be beneficial is long term performance.  How do each of those sets of tires do after many sessions over time?  They all do worse, but some worse than others.  Not an easy thing to test of course...  I do know that I always have tons of traction on new tires no matter what the brand...

Also running the OEM tires in a square setup would only be fair as well...  Do a square 285/35 Dunlop Maxx test !

LOL!!!  I'M SORRY!!!  


I have never heard of anyone trying the factory run flats square...thats an interesting thought.


As for the longevity test I really feel the PSS would BLOW the other tires out of the water.  With our experience in OneLap of America with the PSS tire, there is nothing out there that can take that kind of beating and still be that fast!


~Cicio

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