We often see people buying road legal slicks for on the normal road use and I often wonder do you actually get any benefit from using them on the road? Apart from looking pretty awesome, what are the pro’s and cons? Also on the flip side is there an argument for using normal road tyres on the track?
So firstly lets explore the humble road tyre and for arguments sake I am going to pick Pirelli as a brand, specifically the Pirelli Pzero. Now this is a high performance tyre fitted on many high end cars, the type of cars that may be taken on track days. Now although you could happily take your Ferrari on the Nurburgring with them on, the argument would be that you would not get the best grip performance against the same car but with slicks on. This is correct. But would you really want road legal slicks on your vehicle going round the pothole ridden country roads, definitely not, the softer compound area would not weather very well.
So the Pro’s for using Normal summer tyres on the track aren’t really clear, if they are top branded they will perform ok and at least you’ll be able to drive to and from (if there is any tread left) the track without having to change them and have some decent performance on the track itself. But there are many things to consider such as weather, temperature, other track users and of course your own skills. I have asked a few people and they very much say Track car use Track Tyres
Then we go over to Road Legal slicks on everyday roads, for this I’m looking at the Toyo R888R and to be fair this is an awesome tyre! It looks good, the performance outstanding (on the track) but would you use it on your daily? People I have spoken to say yes! It’s an expensive option for normal road use but they say they feel they are getting their moneys worth in performance . .on the road?? When it comes to track, this tyre also brings the beans with its stiff side wall and softer compound it really keeps the rubber to the tarmac. The only ‘downside’ that people have told me about when using road legal slicks for everyday use is that you have to be careful in the wet. In the dry, once the tyres have warmed up you get really good performance but if there is any puddles or surface water to take extra care.
To sum up, really its a case of each their own. If you’re a die hard track day driver then you will probably have event specific tyres, track day tyres for your track day and wouldn’t even consider using normal tyres on the track. If you have road legal slicks on your everyday car – it’s probably not an everyday car and maybe your weekender but if they are on your daily, you’ll be driving very carefully in the wet!
Here at The Tyre Shop we deal with all types of tyres and can get you what you need or want, we can only advise you but ultimately it is always your choice.