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Powerful V10 cars and high revving in-line four bikes are what we put posters of on our walls. But, it's merely a myth that it's the engine of a car that makes it go fast. Yes, while it is responsible for making power, it's the tyres that do most of the work and put this power to the ground. And if that rubber is not as performance-oriented as the car you drive, disaster could be just around the corner. Here is why buying the right tyre is important for your performance vehicle and how you can pick one.
Tyres are the contact patch your vehicle has with the ground. Depending on the kind of terrain you drive on, tyres come with different tread patterns to optimize the contact patch and grip. Road and performance tyres have a larger contact patch and smaller grooves which ensures that during rapid acceleration, the friction with the tarmac remains high and the tyres do not spin. Even while taking corners at high speeds, these tyres ensure you have the grip required to not break friction and slide.
Tyre compound is essential while choosing the correct tyre for your performance vehicle. While a harder compound tyre will give you more miles and durability, it will slide more easily and offer less grip. High-performance cars use soft compound tires because they offer maximum grip. Be it while starting or during high-speed cornering, these soft compound tyres heat up more easily and grip the surface better keeping you in control of the car.
Tyre profile is an important aspect of a performance tyre. It is the sidewall thickness of a tyre and can be read from the tyre size. Performance vehicles tyres have a shorter profile, which means a shorter sidewall. And because they run on higher tyre pressures, the tyres squat and compress less when cornering at higher speeds. This helps the car remain stable and offer better handling. Taller sidewall tyres will be more comfortable because the tyre compressing also acts as a suspension.
This is the most important aspect of a performance tyre. At high speeds, the tyre heats up more. And because you need a softer compound for grip, the life of this tyre is very short. Operating at a higher speed for longer times can result in the tyre bursting. Hence, all tyres come with speed ratings. These are alphabets written next to the tyre size and denote the maximum speed the tyres are meant to do. For a car to do 300 kmph, the tyre requires a "ZR" speed rating in the size designation.
These are the four factors that make up the essentials for a good performance tyre. If a tyre is missing any one of these aspects, the performance will be compromised. And if you drive a vehicle that offers good performance, you now know what to look for before buying your next tyre.