Replacement tyres for MGV8s
Replacement tyres for a classic sportscar like the MGBGTV8 and MG RV8 has been a topic often discussed by V8 enthusiasts. This note provides links to comments from several V8 Bulletin Board threads on the topic. (26.6.09)

V8BB thread started by Dennis Wharf on 16.5.08
What is considered to be the best all round tyre for an MGBGTV8 used for fast touring? On my previous BGT, which I had owned for many years, the final set of tyres I fitted were a set of 185x70/14 Continental Sport Contacts which were superb. Quiet with plenty of wet and dry grip, coupled with side wall suspension giving a smooth ride, I was very pleased with these tyres, which at any speed gave a real sense of security. Has anyone used Contis on a V8?

Currently the car is on 185x70/14 Yokohamas which might have been good when fitted, but now being over eight years old, and although still showing plenty of tread, are very very hard with little grip - especially in the wet! Bridgestone and Yokohama both make extremely good tyres which I understand are highly rated for V8s, however I would be grateful for a little advice.

Barry Martin responded: As no one else has replied yet I can offer the following. When I purchased my RV8 two years ago it still had the original Michelins so I looked at replacements. One problem I encountered was the rating with conflicting advice that V rating may not be man enough as it is as much the torque as the speed achieved that affects this. Deciding to go higher than V rating I settled on Continentals which had W rating. Approximately £320 for all four tyres4, fitted. Two years later I have no regrets, as you say the grip is excellent, due in part to a softer compound, which will wear quicker, but at 3,000 miles per annum I think the walls would harden and crack with age before the tread reaches the minimum. The ride, handling, low tyre noise and general feel are excellent and i am pleased I chose continental. In case you are not aware, there is a large tyre survey result in the archives which is of interest.

Dennis Wharf replied: Thanks Barry, I think I will in fact be buying a set of Continentals again, if for no other reason than the fact that I was so pleased with the set I had on my MGBGT. I did have a look at the tyre survey but found it largely inconclusive although very interesting. I guess like with so many things different drivers are looking for different things from their cars, and tyres are big part of that. As I pointed out in my original question, my car is used for fairly quick touring, so I am looking for a tyre that offers a quiet comfortable ride, but with confidence inspiring grip.
I noted too your comments regarding speed ratings, having always ensured I have over, rather than under rated tyres fitted to my cars. This is very important if only because insurance companies will use lower rated tyres as a reason for not settling a claim should a vehicle be so fitted and involved in an accident, with the police also taking a dim view should people have been hurt.Many thanks once again for your kind response.

Victor Smith responded: I am coming up to a tyre replacement this year and whilst I have been pleased with my Michelin XWS tyres, really the long life of that brand is of little use on a classic car used for around 3,000 miles or so a year. So like Dennis I ideally want a tyre with good wet and dry grip, a comfortable ride and if possible quiet in terms of road noise. I am interested in the comments on Continental tyres but also recall the comments earlier from Geoff King in the tyre reviews on the Toyo tyres fitted to his V8 Roadster. More on Geoff King's Toyo report

Look back at fellow members' views

V8BB thread started by Andrew Jeyarajah on 26.3.09

V8BB thread started by Matt Jones on 9.11.08

V8BB thread started by Dennis Wharf on 16.5.08

Tyre sidewall markings explained
Understanding the markings on the sidewalls
of tyres will help you to choose the right tyres
for your car. Here’s a guide to those sidewall
markings using a 175/80 R14 88H tyre as an
example. It was published in Safety Fast! in August 2008. More

Caution with replacement tyres
Howard Gosling (Quicksilver 3001 and Flamenco Red 4001) from Dorset released a caution in a letter to Safety Fast! in January 2009. More

Really a tyre that wears faster than my Michelins is not a concern because with an 8 or possibly 9 year life, the tyres on my V8 will have done barely 25,000 to 27,000 miles. Looking at the tread now there is a great deal left but of course the rubber is ageing and the ride is no longer as good as earlier from the "wooden" feel of the rubber I have now. So I shall be very interested to hear the feedback from Dennis once he has had a new set of Continentals fitted.

The difficulty with choosing replacement tyres is each V8 enthusiast fits a new set of tyres at intervals of around 8, possibly 10 years, and none of us has the benefit of trying a variety of tyres before so we can make an informed comparative choice. So in the end the views of fellow members are the best source of information we have to go on. So to that extent our ongoing V8/RV8 replacement tyre survey is all we have with all its imperfections. I would urge members to contribute feedback via the replacement tyre survey when they do go through the process of fitting new tyres.

I feel I would quite like to have a new set of rubber before the V8 Track Day at Castle Combe on Monday 8th September 2008 because the prospect of driving on my present Michelins (whilst I am sure they are not too old for road use but will need replacement in the next 12 months) will mean the handling will not be as sure footed as that provided by new, softer rubber.

George Muller added: I’m pleased to see this thread because the replacement of tyres on my RV8 should be done this year. It’s an issue I’m thinking about already for more than a year. Main target is to get some more grip on the road. But I'm thinking as well about run flat tyres. Getting rid of the spare tyre would provide some more space in the boot. And this would be really helpful on longer trips. It would be as well interesting, if somebody has some experience with wider tyres for the rear axle. Thinking about grip I would probably go for a Pirelli and for sure not for a Continental. Would be interesting to get some more feedback in regards to this topic.

Peter Jevons added: My experiences with run flat tyres last year were so awful that it made me change my car. They were standard fitment on my BMW 325d M Sport. Firstly I had 2 punctures within 1 month and the replacements were £250.00 each!!!! and secondly and more importantly the ride was terrible. The very rigid side walls of the tyres especially low profiles contributed to the worst ride I have ever experienced. Why not source a SAAB space saver spare wheel to give you more boot space? Hope this helps.
Footnote from Victor Smith: I found Toyo do not supply a 175/80 R 14 88H in the required H speed rating for a V8
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