SSR Competition Wheels with Kumho V700 Tires

Subject: SSR Competition 17″ x 8.5″ Wheels
Kumho Victoracers V700 225/45-ZR17 Tires
Cost: $ 2,118
Good: Sticky, Light Weight, Good Cost vs. Performance Ratio
Bad: Dedicated for racing – off goes the stock system and on goes the racing system and repeat. Plus, I need to put on a “GASP” trailer hitch and pull a trailer with my Z!!!!
Installer: Mounted, Balanced & Heat Cycled by The Tire Rack. Mounted on car by yours truly

When I started autocrossing my car, I used stock 16″ tires & wheels, even though I race in the ASP class in North Carolina & Virginia, which allows for larger & wider systems. I found myself a consistent 2 seconds back from the winner. So I promised myself that I would go to the next step to start winning some races if not close the gap, by purchasing a tire/wheel set for autocrossing.

After viewing past posts on the message board and the Tire Rack Q&A section. I made a list of things that I expect from this investment.

1. Best Cost vs. Performance ratio for the tires & wheels

2. Best Lightest weight vs. Strength ratio for the wheel

3. Capable to rotate tires from front to back to maximize usage

Wheels: The list of wheels I looked at was BBS RK & RX, SSR Integrals, Forge Lines, IFG, and various other lightweight track wheel manufacturers. I wanted my wheels to be spoked, so that the maximum amount of air can cool the brakes and make it easy for me to clean the wheels. I came close to purchasing either the SSR Integrals or the BBS RKs. But this past Christmas, I saw those new SSR Competitions and saw the estimated weights and costs and I was sold on them. After calling Aaron of The Tire Rack (www.tirerack.com), we determined that the 17 x 8.5″ wheels would work for me. I want the wheels to be the same size all the way around so that I could rotate my system from front to back. Aaron informed me that he weighed one of the wheels and it came in at 15.1 pounds. Now I could not verify his weight, because, I had Aaron mount and balance my system before shipment. The cost of the wheels was: $ 365/ea

Tires: The list of tires were of-course Hoosiers, BF Goodrich, & Kumhos. Since the Kumhos were the least expensive tires and the “new-kid-on-the-block” for track tires, I searched the website for people that has experience with these tires & The Tire Rack has an article on how to use the V700. I found that they were satisfied with the purchase and any down falls were minimal. This was good news for me, because of the Kumho’s low cost versus the other brands’ high costs. I originally wanted 235/40-ZR17, but after looking at the Tire Rack’s ad and talking with Aaron, I had to be satisfied with 225/45-ZR17 tires. Kumho does not offer a 235 in the V700s, only 225 & 245. I also had The Tire Rack heat cycle the tires, so that they will be ready for racing. For those persons who do not know what heat cycling is, The Tire Rack has a good explaination. The cost of the tires was: $ 130/ea, The cost to heat cycle them: $ 15/ea.

When the system arrived it was nicely packaged so that the wheels would not be damaged during shipment.

The wheels also included mounting bolts that works with the SSRs and a center hub adaptor to make the wheel hub centric. Now I would rather wished that SSR made the wheels dedicated to the BMW, but that is only wishful thinking. I do love the look of those center adaptors. They are made of aluminum and anodized black with the “Mille Miglia” logo printed on the surface.

Conclusion: I did a brief drive around my neighborhood. Of course I could not do any speed trials or see how she corners. I did not feel like using up my tires before I could race them. But, I can say this, that I could tell the difference in stiffness and stickiness of the rubber – – WOW! All due to the larger rim diameter, thicker sidewalls & slower durometer of the tires. I will give an update later during the racing season after I have a couple races under my belt with these new tires and wheels. Plus, I might bring home a trophy =:o

Update: I recently talked to my friend who autocrosses a Mustang 5.0L in the ESP class and he told me I could use the 245 on an 8.5″ wheel with no problems, because he does. I guess I know what tire size I will be purchasing next.