New shoes – 14″ R888

Whilst at the Abingdon track day back in July I went out in a friends Vauxhall powered Westfield. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the 220+bhp that got me, I suppose I was expecting that. It was how much harder he could brake and turn in. His Westfield was shod in Yokohama A048s, so I made a decision that tyres was going to have to go on the upgrade list at some point. My current Yokohoma Parada tyres are wearing very well, and now that the tread is slightly shallower I find them much more predictable, if still lacking in outright grip it appeared.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to decide what to replace them with as some R888s on 14s appeared on the Mazda forum for a good price so I snapped them up. Without having to do track day duties, my current tyres will last until age kills them rather than a lack of tread I suspect.

The R888s were based down near the south coast, just 11 miles from where I was going on holiday. Fortunately the guy said he’d keep them aside for me, and now that I’m back, here they are.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is very little wear on the tyres, and whilst the wheels aren’t perfect they’re all round. They come in at twelve and a half kilos each, so around one kilo less than the current wheels.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI test fitted them to the front first and they seem ok. Obviously they don’t fill the arches, they’re only 185s. It’s surprising how much difference that 10mm makes though. This is the 195 for comparison.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPerhaps also exasperated that the cycle wing stays were bent to match those wheels which will be why it comes to the edge nicely. Still a big gap on the inside of course!

The rears are much more obvious…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey look somewhat lost! Perhaps a different set of wheels with a lower offset would be better. Ah well, can’t see it whilst I’m driving it, and they are only track day wheels after all. Here’s the ‘top shots’ for comparison.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext track day is on the 12th September, so looking forward to seeing how they perform. Will hopefully get some road miles under the belt before then too, though as I never pushed the normal tyres on the road I shouldn’t really notice any difference.


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