Lotus Elan

Tyres - Dunlop Formula-r?

PostPost by: nuvolari » Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:26 pm

It seems virtually impossible to get performance tyres in an appropriate size for the Elan so I was wondering if anybody has had any experience of these Dunlop Formula-R tyres. They are essentially road legal competition tyres, comparable to the R compound Yokohama 032R. They are a very soft compound but with a stiff sidewall construction. They should have very high levels of grip although I guess the downside will be wear rate. The D83J version is available in a 165/70 x 13 (actual width 161mm).

There's a picture here <a href='http://www.stuckey.com.au/new/d83.htm' target='_blank'>http://www.stuckey.com.au/new/d83.htm</a>
I found details of them on the Dunlop Motorsport website <a href='http://www.dunloptyres.co.uk/site/tyres/motorsportRange/saloon/index.shtml' target='_blank'>http://www.dunloptyres.co.uk/site/tyres/mo...oon/index.shtml</a>

Could they be the perfect performance road/track tyre for the Elan? Any thoughts, experiences?

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PostPost by: steveww » Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:36 pm

Should be good for track days :D

As they are road legal OK for the road too but like you say their life may be limited but then again most Elans only do a couple of thousand miles a year. I think you will find that these tyres are a bit expensive.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:14 am

I have 185 / 60 x 13 Formula R's on my plus 2 for mainly road use. They are a very similar tyre to the yoko A032R. Great for the grip but soft. But I like it this way as if you dont get soft tyres for a road elan they never wear out.

Only downside is that they a very sensitive to road camber and other road irregularities and you need to actively drive the car to kept it on line unless the road is smooth and flat. But actively driving is what Lotus is all about !!!

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:50 pm

Don't forget to use a good aftermarket aluminum wheel, such as Panasport, Minilites or Revolutions. These sticky tires will bend the OEM steel wheels.

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PostPost by: nuvolari » Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:56 am

Thanks so much for your thoughts. I am very encouraged. Rohan, I would think that sensitivity to camber or tramlining may be reduced with the narrower and more round shouldered 165/70 size?

Steve, like you, I thought that they would be very expensive but I called Dunlop Motorsport who quoted ?62.55 + VAT per tyre - a lot less than Elise owners are used to paying for their tyres!
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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:52 pm

I will keep this in mind once I have finished off a few more things on my ever expanding list. Should be a real hoot for the track days :D
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PostPost by: Jolly Jumper » Sun Jul 04, 2004 7:55 am

A well known restorer in the UK once pointed out to me the dangers of fitting non standard tyres on the Elan. He said wider tyres like 185 will of course generate more grip, but the rear suspension was only designed to take a certain amount of load. If the tyres put more load on the rear suspension, it can break. Not on public roads probably, but on a racetrack. With sticky tyres like the Yokohama A032/Dunlop Racing the danger will be even bigger. The solution is to fit an uprated 26R spec. rear suspension.
Even on the Elise you must alter the rear suspension with a kit supplied by Lotus if you go for the A038.
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