I have finally had enough of the stock run flat tires my Mini came with. I swapped them out with a new set of Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires and I am amazed at how quiet and better handling my Mini is now! Plus, being born in Ohio, the Firestone plant was about 15 minutes from my house so it’s pretty neat to have a piece of home on my Mini
Tires were always on my to-do list but other modifications always took priority but this spring, I made the change. I only had around 15,000 miles on my stock tires but I just couldn’t take it anymore.
The ride on the run-flats was very uncomfortable. The sidewalls keep the tires driveable when they lose air, and the ride is very rough because there is no flex. I knew when I hit a bump because the impact was jarring. The deflection of the sidewall helps displace road bumps. If the sidewall is like a brick, then the car gets the full brunt of a bump.
People on various Mini forums commented on how poor the ride quality was with the run-flats and I never knew how bad it was until I took them off. I did a lot of suspension work to my Mini; coils, undercarriage bracing and new rims but always felt the tires were hindering the suspension upgrades.
With the Firehawks on, the suspension is truly awesome now. The tires work with the coils, not against them. The car really hugs the road because the “normal” sidewall flexes in and out of corners. Being an ultra high-performance tire, the compound is softer and the tread is designed to keep the tire on the road.
- Improved handling
- Better traction
- Better braking
- Quieter ride
- improved cornering