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Old 09-22-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
nsxtasy
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Default Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01

I've been using the Toyo RA-1 for my track events (full-treaded, heat cycled when new). I realize that it isn't the fastest R comp tire out there, but it's relatively inexpensive and it lasts a long time (~1600 track miles).

I'm considering the R888 and NT-01 for my next set. (Why? Because both are similar in price to the RA-1, and should be a bit quicker.) I realize that they probably won't last quite as long as the RA-1, thanks to 2/32" less tread depth, but I'm hoping they might be close.

Can anyone comment on how the R888 compares with the NT-01, in performance as well as treadlife and anything else?
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (nsxtasy)

I am having this exact same dilemma right now. Which one to choose.....
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (get RIGHT)

I imagine that a full-treaded NT-01 might last as long (or maybe even longer) than the RA-1 because of the large tread blocks it has. It looks like it'd be the cooler tire at full-tread.

I'm got some NT-01s, but got them used (shaved, basically) so I'm not offering any comparison. I've already decided on replacing these with new, full-tread NT-01s, though. I just want some full tread tires so I can avoid hauling multiple sets of dry/wet wheels. Is that also a reason you're looking for a full-treaded tired?
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (ThoseDarnKids)

Keep in mind, I'm trying to compare the NT-01 against the R888, not the RA-1. Both tires have those large tread blocks, as you can see in the photos below.

I'm not sure why large tread blocks would last longer than smaller ones. Remember, the void percentage (the percentage of the tread which does/doesn't have rubber meeting the road, vs tread grooves) is fixed by federal law for all DOT tires.

I generally get full-tread tires because I'd rather have a bit more treadlife; I'm not in competition so whatever performance benefit there is in shaving them down to a lower tread depth (e.g. 3/32") isn't important to me. Also, keep in mind that both the NT-01 and R888 come from the factory with 6/32" tread depth, which is already shallower than the 8/32" of the RA-1.

Price seems to be roughly the same; in 205/50-15, the NT-01 is $136/tire with free shipping at Discount Tire Direct, and the R888 is $131.xx/tire plus shipping at Tire Deals 4 Less (which is somewhat local to me so I can go pick them up, but I pay sales tax instead; those not in Illinois can have them shipped with no sales tax).

Nitto NT-01
Click the image to open in full size.

Toyo R888
Click the image to open in full size.



Modified by nsxtasy at 7:14 PM 9/22/2008
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (nsxtasy)

My reasoning for them possibly lasting as long as the deeper RA-1 is that a larger tread block wouldn't squirm as much, which would run a little cooler.

But, like I said, I can't offer personal experience. Just throwing it out there...
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (ThoseDarnKids)

^ hey Bobby!

I just bought a set of NT01's. You want my half-tread victo's?

P.S. sorry for the thread hi-jack...
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (ThoseDarnKids)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThoseDarnKids
My reasoning for them possibly lasting as long as the deeper RA-1 is that a larger tread block wouldn't squirm as much, which would run a little cooler.

But, like I said, I can't offer personal experience. Just throwing it out there...
I don't know if it's true, but if it is, it's probably true of the R888 as well as the NT-01, since both have large tread blocks.
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:50 AM   #8
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I've heard good things about both tires from various people at HPDEs. If you're worried about tire wear you can swap the NT-01 L/R and not worry about directional issues (I'm assuming the NT-01 is a non-directional tire). Although I've also seen Porsche guys run the R888 backwards in order to maximize camber wear treadlife...
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red 5
I've heard good things about both tires from various people at HPDEs. If you're worried about tire wear you can swap the NT-01 L/R and not worry about directional issues (I'm assuming the NT-01 is a non-directional tire). Although I've also seen Porsche guys run the R888 backwards in order to maximize camber wear treadlife...
Good point. Based on the tread pattern, it appears that the R888 is directional and the NT-01 is asymmetric.

With directional tires like the RA-1, the directionality is primarily functional in channeling water away from the center of the tire in rain, and doesn't matter when used on dry pavement; I assume this is true of the R888 as well. Since I don't track my car in rain, I rarely pay attention to the directionality. (Besides, with the RA-1, once you get down to 4/32", all you have is circumferential tread grooves anyway.)

I don't know much about how important the assymetry of the NT-01 is. It has larger tread blocks on the outside of the tread than on the inside, for help in cornering; I don't know if the sidewall construction is any different. Yes, with asymmetrical tires, you can maintain the proper outside/inside orientation and swap the tires from the left to right side of the car without dismounting them. However, if you "flip" the tires on the rim to even out the wear (on the track, the outer shoulder wears more than the inner one), you lose the proper asymmetrical orientation, but I don't know how big a deal this is. Since the tires are somewhat worn by that point, I suspect you can flip them without any huge adverse effects.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:07 AM   #10
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For whatever it's worth, maybe not much, I spent the money on a spare set of shaved RA-1 specifically because Honda Challenge drivers and others at NASA Nats continue to insist that the RA-1 is faster and easier to drive than the R888.

For whatever that's worth.

If it is worth anything, it looks like RA-1 are still available, although the price has climbed above the price of R888 in many places.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Knighton
If it is worth anything, it looks like RA-1 are still available, although the price has climbed above the price of R888 in many places.
I believe Toyo will continue to make the RA-1. For one thing, full tread, it's better in rain. For another thing, I know some people use them on the street. (I don't, other than between the track and the hotel.) So they might want the extra tread depth of the RA-1.

Regarding pricing, it's interesting that the R888 is also available in 195/55-15, at a lower price than 205/50-15. Here are current prices at Tire Deals 4 Less:

Toyo RA-1 205/50-15 $128.41
Toyo R888 205/50-15 $131.63
Toyo R888 195/55-15 $119.95

According to Toyo's specs, the R888 is also available in 195/50-15, for those interested, although they aren't shown on TD4L's website.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (nsxtasy)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nsxtasy
Can anyone comment on how the R888 compares with the NT-01, in performance as well as treadlife and anything else?
I can only comment on the R888. I have a set for the EVO. I bought them for just about the same reasons you are considering Ken. And that I got a $100. rebate from NASA for them.

IIRC they are the spec tire for Speed touring this season, that's not anything important but something I remember.

On the street at full depth they are loud as hell between 60 and 90 mph. Louder than the Dunlops I had on the R last year at Expo.

In the rain at full depth they are pretty decent. I had to drive with them through near monsoon conditions to a local autocross recently. With the exception of mine being significantly wider than stock, being an AWD car and actually flipping the ACD switch to afford better traction in this situation I thought they did pretty well.

At autocross they are a step or 2 above an Azenis but are not as grippy as a Kumho or Hoosier r compound. They have good progressive breakaway characteristics and definite audible warning. They perform better when colder. They tend to get greasy after 1 fast autocross lap and need to be cooled and watered down between laps or you can feel them give out and see your times rise. Wear has been pretty good with them from driving to events no more than total couple hundred miles this season and only doing autocrosses on them on a couple different surfaces all of which are not smoothe and forgiving but rather rough like cheese graters.

Don't know what else you'd want to know but feel free to ask me whatever you lke.

Also a tid bit I heard at an autocross recently is that the NT01, R888 and the Hankook version are all the same or extremely similar compounds just different molded tread patterns. I have no idea if this is true but thought it was an interesting point that maybe someone can research.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: Toyo R888 vs Nitto NT-01 (1GreyTeg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1GreyTeg
Also a tid bit I heard at an autocross recently is that the NT01, R888 and the Hankook version are all the same or extremely similar compounds just different molded tread patterns. I have no idea if this is true but thought it was an interesting point that maybe someone can research.
I've heard this stated about the NT-01, R888, and RA-1. Nitto and Toyo are the same company (or, at least, has what's described on Toyo's Japanese website as a "comprehensive business partnership"), so it's quite plausible. Hankook is a separate company based in another country (Korea, rather than Japan) so I'm a bit more skeptical regarding them.



Modified by nsxtasy at 10:37 AM 9/23/2008
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:00 PM   #14
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Ken, how did you come to conclusion that RA1 is better in the rain?

I can tell you just that the R888 outperform the RA1 in the rain. Not in the dry, though.

The difference in the R888 and NT01 is sidewall construction. R888 is much stiffer while NT01 is more like RA1.
I tested both tires back to back in the evo. Me personally like the feel of R888 better. But lap times and setup is nearly identical.




Modified by Andrie Hartanto at 10:07 PM 9/24/2008
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: (Andrie Hartanto)

What are your thoughts on driving to and from the track (~ 90 miles) on either of these tires? I want to upgrade from my Azenis, but would need to buy a separate set of wheels/tires to drive to and from the track unless I use these.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:35 PM   #16
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In my first couple seasons of racing I drove to tracks as much as 250mi one way, no noticeable wear from it but I did have to pull over due to rain once. This was on ra1's
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:32 AM   #17
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Default Re: (Andrie Hartanto)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrie Hartanto
I can tell you just that the R888 outperform the RA1 in the rain. Not in the dry, though.
Thank you. I was afraid somebody would make me drag out quotations from all over the place.

I think people would generally take your word for it, so that makes my work a lot easier. :-)

Do you feel the R888 performs better in the rain or in the wet? Not that I'm any kind of good driver, by any stretch of the imagination, but I always felt that on a wet or damp track (but not necessarily standing water), the RA1 + a Honda LSD did pretty well.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: (Jeff_B)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_B
What are your thoughts on driving to and from the track (~ 90 miles) on either of these tires? I want to upgrade from my Azenis, but would need to buy a separate set of wheels/tires to drive to and from the track unless I use these.
180 miles round trip, plus 8 sprint sessions over a couple of days is going to substantially lessen the life of your tyres, IMHO.

You'll quickly wear them down to the point where you'll get an extra ticket when you're pulled over.

When the RA-1 get to the point that they are truly sticky on the track, they are an absolute hazard with inclement weather.

If you're at a stage of development where you are buying full tread tyres, then you'll be fine while the tyres are relatively new, but please, please bear in mind that when they've worn they will be truly awful in sudden downpour.

I know it's a bit of trouble, but almost everyone's going to tell you to have a set of track wheels and a set of road wheels. It's only complete nincompoops like me who try to do otherwise, and it's usually because I've left the other wheels on somebody's trailer. :-)
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: (George Knighton)

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Knighton
I think people would generally take your word for it, so that makes my work a lot easier. :-)
I don't know if that is true. But I will only offer opinion if I either did the testing myself, or I got the info from a very reliable source. Either way, I will note to the effect.

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD>Quote &raquo;</TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">
Do you feel the R888 performs better in the rain or in the wet? Not that I'm any kind of good driver, by any stretch of the imagination, but I always felt that on a wet or damp track (but not necessarily standing water), the RA1 + a Honda LSD did pretty well.</TD></TR></TABLE>

The test was done in the rain. West coast rain (light), but the track completely wet and there are some standing water. I've never like RA1 in the rain. But it is spec tire for HC and we have to deal with it. I have no problem since everyone has the same problem.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrie Hartanto
Ken, how did you come to conclusion that RA1 is better in the rain?
The tread pattern, and general scuttlebutt. However, I haven't run the R888, and I don't generally run in the rain anyway, so it's not a big deal to me. I'll take your word on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_B
What are your thoughts on driving to and from the track (~ 90 miles) on either of these tires?
My answer is similar (but not identical) to George's.

If the question is, "Can I drive these tires on the street?" (meaning highways as well as local roads), the answer is a big "yes, but". All of these tires are DOT rated, so it's legal to use them on public roads. However, when the tread wears down less than 2/32" of tread depth, it is not legal to do so on public roads. That's the legal answer to that question.

On a practical basis, though, there are several concerns. One, of course, relates to the legal one about tread depth. Street tires start with 10/32" of tread, and need replacing no later than 2/32" of tread. R compound tires start with 6-8/32" of tread depth, and I don't know about you, but I wear 'em down till the belts show. That means that when they're worn, they're not legal for use on public roads. Granted, it's highly unlikely that you'll get pulled over and that they refuse to let you go on your way for that reason, but that's within their rights.

Another concern is rain traction. Track tires are notorious for being relatively poor in the rain. Part of that is due to their tread patterns with huge tread blocks, and part of that relates back to the tread depth issue. Tire Rack tests show that on the same tires, braking distance in rain at 2/32" is double that with new tread depth, and even at 4/32" braking distance increases by 50 percent.

Another concern, which George mentioned, is treadwear and value. Track tires wear fast, and they're generally much more expensive than street tires. Granted, they wear faster (maybe 3-4 times faster) on the track than on the street. Still, they will wear a lot faster on the street than street tires do. How fast? Just using rough numbers here, the treadlife of a set of R compound tires might be 1500 track miles, or they might last 4500-6000 miles with street use. So if you have a 90-mile distance to a track event where you're driving 180 miles on the track, the wear on the round trip might be equivalent to 1/4 to 1/3 of the wear on the track. With the high cost of track tires, that's a consideration.

It sounds like you only have one set of wheels. Is this a track-only car, or do you drive it (at least sometimes) on the street? If the latter, there are that many more street miles where you will be using up those expensive track tires.

What are the upsides of putting R compound tires on your only set of wheels? You won't have to pay for another set of wheels, and you won't have the inconvenience of swapping tires and dealing with the storage space at home and room in the car.

I'll tell you what I do, in terms of weighing all these factors. I drive on street tires to the track. Granted, the tracks around here are further from home than yours; the closest one I frequently drive is 130 miles away, and others are much further. If I were driving to a track that's say 30-50 miles from home, I'd probably do so on track tires, and leave my street tires at home. But that's not the case for me. (And even if the track is 90 miles away, aside from the fact that it's further, is that the ONLY track you're EVER going to drive on? If not, get extra wheels.) I also drive between the track and the track hotel (a distance of up to 25 miles) on my track tires. And yeah, I do that in the rain, although it isn't fun and in rain I keep it to around 40-45 mph.

Obviously, you can do whatever you want. But those are the things to think about in making your decision.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:20 AM   #21
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Default Re: (nsxtasy)

we used ra1 and now r888 as spec tire in canadian touring ..
most of us found that the r888 is stiffer, wider but wears faster

from Toyo:
- Generally, the R-888 has a higher spring rate than RA-1, meaning it is stiffer
- More cornering force per camber angle vs. R-A1
- More cornering force at smaller slip angles
- Overall wider tire
- These will affect car/tire setup
- Testing shows RA1's tendency to produce fast lap times at the end of it's life.
- If racers are testing worn out RA-1s (corded) to new R-888 (shaved), they may see that the RA-1 is faster in some instances.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:41 AM   #22
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Default Re: (nsxtasy)

Thanks for the great responses. I live in So Cal, so wet traction isn't a big concern for me. Also, I hardly ever drive the car on the street (besides to and from track) because I have a daily. The value factor is what I care most about - how fast I will be wearing them driving to and from the track (all highway miles).
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:07 PM   #23
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Default Re: (nscirocco)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nscirocco
-
- If racers are testing worn out RA-1s (corded) to new R-888 (shaved), they may see that the RA-1 is faster in some instances.
Well, that explains it, 'cause you can bet that at any given time most of Spec 30 will be on corded Toyos.

:-P
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:17 PM   #24
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I usually drive back and forth to VIR on RA-1's. 60miles one way. So over the course of a weekend, I put 240 street miles on them. I see no wear on them from the street. Maybe because its a relatively light CRX
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
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over the course of a weekend, I put 240 street miles on them. I see no wear on them from the street.
Based on my rough estimates above, the amount of treadwear you would incur in 240 street miles is not enough that you would notice. Do it a bunch of times, though, and it can make a significant (albeit not necessarily huge) difference in the treadlife of your tires.

Besides, you are putting on track miles at two different points in the middle those street miles, so of course that will make a bigger difference in treadwear.



Modified by nsxtasy at 1:00 PM 9/26/2008
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