Participated in BF Goodrich Rival tire unveiling in New Orleans on January 22, 2013 at the NOLA Motorsports Complex.
Obviously BFG wants everyone that was there testing to spread a good word about their new product. I was impressed enough that I bought (pre-ordered) a set to try under my own autocross conditions. My current competition tire is the RS3.
Bottom line is that compared to the competition (RS3, R1R, 615, Star Spec) the Rival feels like it has a wider useable range of slip angle, is super stable under braking, has great grip under acceleration, handles heat very well, and very nice wear under extreme conditions. Basically every claim that BFG made in their literature and presentation was verified by all of us test drivers (~40).
Note that the Star Specs were not included in any of the tests we performed. According to BFG they could not get enough of either the ZI or the ZII to allow testing by our group. Andy Hollis did get to run an MX-5 Cup car with ZIIs back to back with the Rivals. He stated that the ZIIs were very edgy relative to the narrow useable slip angle range. See Andy's FB page for his specific comments.
Most of the popular sizes will be produced for 15-20" wheels. They did not tell us pricing, but say it will be competitive what ever that means. I hope they are less than R1Rs. They will be on the TR web page tomorrow for pre orders. First ones will ship in March. I don't remember all the sizes but the 255/40R17 will be among the first. :)
Yes it was a lot of fun, wish I had brought my suction mount with video camera...
There were four tests: autox M3 on Rival vs RS3, autox STi on Rival vs RS3 vs R1R, Road course GT500 race prep on Rival vs 615, and skid pad MX5 Cup BFG test G-Force Sport Comp 1 vs Rival vs R1 S.
These tires feel sharp like Star Specs and have a wide useable range before falling off (very forgiving). Temperature distribution was very even compared to others which indicates a very stable construction. We beat the hell out of them and they held up well. Transitions were very fast and would not easily get behind in the slalom compared to RS3 on these heavy (M3 and STi are about 3,400 lbs) cars.
The front left tires from the STi are included here. The STi was an autocross test. For each driver we got 2 runs rival, 2 runs RS3, 2 runs R1R, 1 run rival. Again here the Rivals just felt easier to drive than the R1Rs and RS3s. One of the key things about the Rivals is not to back off when they start to scream as they have a very broad useable slip angle range. The typical thing to do is back off at first sound of tire scream. The Rivals like to scream and can be pushed beyond the initial scream quite a bit before you feel the car start to break loose.
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