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New Tyre Technology

Broadcast dates : 18th December 2005
24th December 2005


The Bridgestone My-Zero-One tyre is breaking new ground for this Japanese manufacturer. 

At the Gerotec testing facility near Hartebeespoort, Hendrik sampled the red control car with standard tyres, and the identical white Golf with My-Zero-One Bridgestoneís. 

The fitment of alloy wheels and wider, low-profile tyres is a trend that has been growing over the past few decades. 

The wide-rim, fat-takkie phenomenon grew from an identification with racing saloon cars in the 1960s.

Nowadays, image is probably ninety per cent of the motivation behind a switch to alloy wheels and low profile tyres.

But as Hendrik discovered in his tests through a lane-change simulation at speeds of 90, 100 and 110 kilometres-per-hour, wider lower-profile tyres can transform a carís handling.

There's greater stability in the white Golf with its My-Zero-Oneís. After comparing the two, Hendrik found the low profile tyres made the Golf just so much more precise.
In the all-important braking department, the My-Zero-One came up trumps on a wet track. The My-Zero-Ones have special tread patterns to disperse water as quickly as possible, and in the dry, the greater footprint area of the wider tyres imparts better stopping power too.

When it comes to a base-model car like the CitiGolf, the tyres fitted as original equipment are adequate as far as safety and longevity are concerned. But because of cost considerations, "adequate" is the operative word.

Fitting a set of 15-inch alloy wheels and 195-50 My-Zero-One tyres to a CitGolf would cost in the region of R3000 to R4000, depending on your wheel of choice.

Itís worth bearing in mind that the lower profile tyres are more susceptible to potholes and other road irregularities. However in the grip department, a set of fast footwear can make the world of difference. There is no substitute for contact when a tyre is pushed to its limits.

The right wheel and tyre combo turns an ordinary ride into something special in the looks department. But as Hendrik found on the Gerotek ride and handling course, the My-Zero-One benefits are a lot more tangible.

With the holiday season truly upon us, many people are kitting out their cars with a new set of tyres for that long haul to the coast.

In the past few years a new approach to tyre technology is the run-flat system, which in the case of BMW built products such as the Mini, does away with the standard spare wheel.

At Wesbank Raceway, Goodyear set out to demonstrate their new RunOnFlat tyres. First a puncture is simulated in the RunOnFlat tyre.

Despite a hole being drilled into the tread area, the Goodyear RunOnFlat tyre doesnít allow the rim to sink onto the road.

With a degree of stability still present in the deflated tyre, the driver was still able to control the vehicle.

For illustrative purposes, the Goodyear team fitted a standard tyre, and simulated a similar puncture. The rim on the tyre quickly sank close to the tarmac and the sidewall distorted.
The idea behind run-flat tyres is simple, but the technology now available has made the system possible.

Car Torque is still not convinced about its viability in South Africa, where long distances have to be covered, with no service facilities in between towns. The ideal situation would be to have a run-flat tyre spare wheel as a backup system.

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