Monday, December 30, 2013

Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R

Throughout my mod journey from SP to Slowtra to Sharkie I have never come across a set of tyres so difficult to find/source. I'm not sure if the supply chain for YHI is simply screwed up or something more sinister at work. You decide. I used the AD07 previously on the SP and never had such an issue. Tyres were actually ordered in May around the time I got my Toyo R1Rs and were expected to arrive in June or July. By September the AD08Rs were still MIA. During an auto show in Auto City Juru in September I cornered a YHI SA who told me the tyres would be here around October. Gave my contact number to the SA who promised to call me when the tyres arrived. Came back with a nice brochure and an even nicer Yokohama 2013-2014 tyre catalogue.

By November I had already given up the ghost. Suddenly in December I was contacted by Tao. "Your tyres are here. You still want?" "Of course I want" was my response. These tyres are apparently top draw from what I have been reading. The AD08R is not a semi-slick version of the AD08 as what some people have been saying on the web but is succeeding and replacing the AD08.

The AD08R uses a new compound called the "MS (Micro Silica) 2R" that improves both dry and wet grip over the older "MS2" compound. MS2R has the following:
  • More carbon for improved dry grip
  • More micro silica for solid wet grip 
  • Macromolecule blended polymer to improve rigidity and resistance to wear
  • Orange oil to enhance adhesion to road surfaces. 

Is this purely marketing talk or is the AD08R really as good as what it claims to be? TireRack in the US recently did a test of the AD08R vs its competitors in the Extreme Performance Class of tyres. You can watch the video here and test results here. In summary TireRack concluded that the AD08R is one notch away from being the best at everything. Fine praise indeed!

My AD08Rs were sourced and purchased from a shop in Kulim whom I shall not call out as price wasn't competitive at RM 680 a piece. Apparently one can get these tyres in the Klang Valley well below RM 600 and I did not even do the install at the shop. Got a half decent trade-in for my still relatively new R1Rs though. With my not so good experience installing my R1Rs over on the mainland I decided to revert to the excellent hands of Goh Swee Hin on the island. This meant I had to collect the AD08Rs from Kulim and drive to Penang with the tyres in the boot and rear seats then repeat the journey with the R1Rs from the island back to Kulim. Took me half a day including the install. My tyre specs courtesy of TireRack. Sorry for the super small pic. Please click to enlarge.

Picture below of my AD08Rs at GSH waiting to be installed.  Thread pattern is the same as the previous AD08 and looks really cool in an organic spinal cord kinda way compared to the R1R which looks like Freddy Krueger just had a practice session on it. 

Label on the tyre. 

Official import from YHI. Apparently there are group buys going on over @ Lowyat. Not sure if these are official import but the prices are much lower than what I got my tyres for. Try that if you are looking for the same tyre. 

Mounted and awaiting inflation and balancing. 

Ready and awaiting to be installed on Sharkie. Cold tyre pressure was 250 kPa front and 230 kPa rear. Tyres were filled with nitrogen.

Did not have to do any alignment as I had just done the alignment bout a month back. Install + balancing cost was very reasonable for the workmanship @ RM 16 per tyre, RM 64 total. 

My drive back home was during wet conditions. Even though it was not a downpour the roads were still relatively wet but I did not notice any loss of grip. The ride quality improvement in terms of less tyre roar and a less crashy ride when going over uneven roads was evident when compared with the Toyo Proxes R1Rs. Picture below after a cleanup session. Believe it or not someone from the main YHI/Yoko distributor for Penang called me to let me know the AD08Rs were here and if I still wanted one a couple hours after I installed my tyres. Thanked and told her I already had the tyres. Apparently the YHI SA did his job.

Nice sidewall graphics but the R1R wins in this area IMHO.

All AD08Rs per my knowledge are made in Japan at this point. 

This picture tells you a lot of info including the manufacture date.

Profile on the shoulder appears even rounder than the R1R. You can compare with the R1R here

Took Sharkie for a nice blast/drive and did not notice any less dry grip compared to the R1R. Steering feedback and response is very very good. Again the lesser tyre roar when compared to the R1R is very noticeable. Like the R1Rs, the AD08Rs also has steel inserts in the sidewall but Yokohama have engineered a better ride quality (Just don't compare this with your regular everyday driving Michelins and Goodyears. This tyre is as close to a semi-slick as it gets so all my review is relative). Very balanced and progressive feel. I would also expect better tyre wear over the R1R given the better UTQG thread wear rating (180 vs 140 for the R1R). In conclusion the AD08R has similar levels of dry grip and probably wet grip too, better steering feedback and response and better NVH than the Toyo Proxes R1R but at a higher Bolehland retail price. You can also read up more decent reviews over @ Lowyat.  Further reports to follow with more use and thrashing of the AD08R in all the typical Malaysian weather conditions. Picture of Sharkie with the new shoes.

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