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Old 18th October 2008, 17:56   #1
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Thumbs down Surprising experience with Yokohama S-Drives.

Had recently changed tires on my car(Elantra CRDi) to 205/55/15 Yokohama S-Drives(on stock alloys), and here goes some surprising observations. Surprising to me, because I have only heard good things about these tires, but unfortunately, my experience have not been all good!

Here goes my experiences, in chronological order...

* Looses traction under hard acceleration. This was among the first thing we noticed while driving back after changing the tires. And "we" is Vidyut and I. It was wet and slippery, but even then, the I had never ever seen the TCS warning constantly light up like this!

* Car had already done about 87000Kms, and I thought, maybe the suspension is on it's last legs. Left the car for a *complete* suspension replacement.

* Drove to Kerala the next day. Speeds were low, mostly < 140. Did not have any issues, and was pleasantly surprised at the lack of aqua-planing compared to the Michelins I have been using. Heavy rain, and speeds upto 120, the tire was behaving very well. Road noise in the dry was bearable, even on broken surfaces. Grips fine on ghat roads.

* Drive back was much faster, and there started my troubles. Braking performance deteriorates drastically after around 10 minutes of high speed driving. Had a couple of major scares trying to slow down from 180+, reduced speed, and then again I forget all about it, speeds rise only to have the next scare...

* Been out on a night drive/dinner to Mysore with Satya/Vijay yesterday, and I realized quickly that I can no longer keep up the with their cars, primarily from lack of grip from the tires. Ok, I could keep up until the tires overheated, and that happens in around 10 minutes. So, mostly stuck to ~120, while the other cars were doing unparliamentary speeds...

My Conclusions?

* These are not meant for high speed use. If you are like me, and drive faster than 140 on Expressways/GQ/4 lane highways, please think of safer alternatives. Once the tires heat up(overheat?), practically every jab at the brakes had the abs/ebd and the tires howling in protest. Probably like 50% worse at braking from high speeds, even compared to cheapo Michelins.

* If you are a slow driver, these are a good cheap option for our bad roads as these tires have strong side walls, and will not bubble up like the Michelins. Plus, hard compounds mean the tires will last you quite a while.

* These tires are very good on a wet road. Unfortunately for me, the tires work better when they are cold and wet!

* These have good lateral grip(compared to straight line), as in did not have any major issues on ghat roads, but again, at slower speeds. Have not tried a ghat section at higher speeds yet.

* Next time, listen to Ishan and pick up PP2s. And when they bubble up, pick up the next set of PP2s. :-)
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Old 18th October 2008, 18:06   #2
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Very strange! I had S Drives (same size) on my Magnum. I was quite happy with the performance. Maybe your tires are defective?
I used those for about 2.5k kms and I found drastic improvements in grip and braking. Not too noisy either!
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Old 18th October 2008, 18:11   #3
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Listen to Ishan? I thought he became a convert to Yokohamas after his bad experience with Michelins.

Thanks for writing out than genuine driving experience about the S-drives. Very nice and helpful to many.
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Old 18th October 2008, 18:17   #4
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I doubt about the grip levels of the s-drives. I have a friend who is heavy footed always and drives a Honda City (modded). He has never faced such issues till date.
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Old 18th October 2008, 18:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvd View Post
Very strange! I had S Drives (same size) on my Magnum. I was quite happy with the performance. Maybe your tires are defective?
I used those for about 2.5k kms and I found drastic improvements in grip and braking. Not too noisy either!
Some guys who saw what was going on were suggesting the tires are fakes! Of course, I dont think so.

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Originally Posted by speedzak View Post
Listen to Ishan? I thought he became a convert to Yokohamas after his bad experience with Michelins.
Not really? He suggested PP2s, I was the idiot who wanted to try something different. And of course, that decision was probably influenced by all the good feedback from the forum, and then, every guy I know with new PP2s are having side wall issues. Like Satya's car is already on it's second set of PP2s(in some 17000kms), and he needs a new set because the current sets sidewalls are all bulged up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikibusa View Post
I doubt about the grip levels of the s-drives. I have a friend who is heavy footed always and drives a Honda City (modded). He has never faced such issues till date.
To really know the difference, you should probably try driving with a similarly powerful car, on a better set of tires, like I tried yesterday? The enormity of difference in tire performance did not dawn on me until yesterday, ie, until I tried maintaining the speeds which the other similarly powerful cars were doing.

And for better perspective, the last set were Michelin 195/60/15 Mxv8(hope that is right?). Cost some 4K each. With those tires, I could keep up with the PP2/Bridgestone clad Elantras in the pack, but with these, there is simply no way I can ever dream of doing that.

Last edited by tadukuttan : 18th October 2008 at 18:45.
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Old 18th October 2008, 18:58   #6
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You need Advans my friend, S-Drives are for us tortoises
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Old 18th October 2008, 19:03   #7
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I have them on my RS, upgraded when the OE dunlops bubbled. The traction is much improved and car can cruise at 140 although I prefer to stick to 120 and leave room for error.

In the ghat roads, it gripped well and I had no problem with the brakes. PP2's are the bee's knee's but with lousy roads, this is more optimum
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Old 18th October 2008, 19:10   #8
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Them S-drives on Tadu's elantra were simply not up to the task. To the non-believers I say, take your cars to the speeds that the elantra will happily go (read 190 kmph), and you will certainly experience all that Tadu has said. Would that be correct Tadu?
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Old 18th October 2008, 19:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s0uljah View Post
You need Advans my friend, S-Drives are for us tortoises
Too expensive, and too soft. Probably will not last more than 20000Kms on these heavy cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I have them on my RS, upgraded when the OE dunlops bubbled. The traction is much improved and car can cruise at 140 although I prefer to stick to 120 and leave room for error.
I did not have any trouble at those speeds either. Trouble starts only when you increase speed a bit more from there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kartikkumar View Post
Them S-drives on Tadu's elantra were simply not up to the task. To the non-believers I say, take your cars to the speeds that the elantra will happily go (read 190 kmph), and you will certainly experience all that Tadu has said. Would that be correct Tadu?
With some mods in, it does a bit more than that. I have seen an indicated 220, god knows what the real speed sans speedo error is.
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Old 18th October 2008, 19:45   #10
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i drive a Elantra but i never tried S drive,but my experience with yoko es100 and db has been very satisfying.

I could feel the difference on the day of change itself when i switched to ES100 from stock hankooks,the car felt stuck to road i had to push her harder and harder to make them scream,Even yoko db are as good as ES100 plus a more comfortable ride.

OT: On hard surfaces i find TCS quite useless in Elantra its very well behaved compared to swift and verna,even my Swift VDi with 205(NCT5) tires breaks traction every now and then,Verna(195/55 R15 Yoko C Drive) is even worse with loads of torquesteer and uncontrollable wheelspins on loose surfaces.

Last edited by .anshuman : 18th October 2008 at 19:52.
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Old 18th October 2008, 20:30   #11
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You have mentioned that when you were returning after the tyres were changed, you felt loss of traction.
I dont know if anyone has posted this, but tyres also need some running in period i.e. tyres also need to run some distance before they give their best performance. Typically, that range is around 300-350 kms for hard tyres and around 250-280 kms. for softer tyres. Also, as somebody has already mentioned about these tyres being soft ( and the wet surface futher reduces proper running in ), atleast wait for approximately 250 kms. Things might imporve.
When we changed our Maruti 800 tyres to radial from Goodyear, initally my dad came back and scolded me that these tyres are not offering good traction, and the earlier cross-ply nylon tyres were better. I asked him the same to wait for atlesat 350 kms and after that period of running in, the braking and everything ( like traction ) have improved.
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Old 18th October 2008, 20:31   #12
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This is news to me.

I recently upgraded the Ikon to 195/50 R15 and although I haven't come close to the speeds that you're talking about (the Ikon isn't even capable of those sustained speeds even with the K&N to help it breathe better at high revs), I find the ride much more composed, braking is better, and of course, the handling's improved as well.

I don't know if I'll ever find the limits that you're driving at in the Ikon, but I'm still a little surprised to read your post.

Maybe you're right, and the S-drives are are for people living on the sane side of 140/150.
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Old 18th October 2008, 20:54   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadukuttan View Post


. Had a couple of major scares trying to slow down from 180+, reduced speed, and then again I forget all about it, speeds rise only to have the next scare...

)
Though Elantra has awesome braking capablity thanks to all the technology but please i would never suggest anyone to slam brakes at those speeds under the kind of driving conditions we have in india.

Last edited by .anshuman : 18th October 2008 at 20:56.
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Old 18th October 2008, 21:12   #14
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I was planning for S drives, but after reading your review i have put hold on the decision, the real performance of tyres can only be judge by a performance vehicle.
Any body else facing the same issue?
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Old 18th October 2008, 21:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
You have mentioned that when you were returning after the tyres were changed, you felt loss of traction.
I dont know if anyone has posted this, but tyres also need some running in period i.e. tyres also need to run some distance before they give their best performance. Typically, that range is around 300-350 kms for hard tyres and around 250-280 kms. for softer tyres. Also, as somebody has already mentioned about these tyres being soft ( and the wet surface futher reduces proper running in ), atleast wait for approximately 250 kms. Things might imporve.
You are right, the tires did improve as I was driving to kerala, distance from Bangalore around 650kms. But, my expectations from the tire have the running in etc factored in. Also, I was expecting around 30% less grip compared to a PP2. The "surprise" was when it behaved a lot worse than I expected it to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
I recently upgraded the Ikon to 195/50 R15 and although I haven't come close to the speeds that you're talking about (the Ikon isn't even capable of those sustained speeds even with the K&N to help it breathe better at high revs), I find the ride much more composed, braking is better, and of course, the handling's improved as well.

I don't know if I'll ever find the limits that you're driving at in the Ikon, but I'm still a little surprised to read your post.

Maybe you're right, and the S-drives are are for people living on the sane side of 140/150.
The Ikon is one my favourite cars, for the sustained speeds it can do! But, braking is a serious issue.

The road we went on yesterday has some killer road humps, without proper warning etc. Right after one such hump, we met a Ikon 1.6, practically broken in half. Obviously, could not slow down in time.
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