205x65 R15 tyres - any thoughts?
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Thread: 205x65 R15 tyres - any thoughts?

  1. #1
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    Default 205x65 R15 tyres - any thoughts?

    I will soon be in the market for a new set of tyres to replace an aging set of Michelin XM1s (to suit my newly acquired Citroen XM).

    I have just used the Jax website to identify what tyres are made in the 205x65R15 size (https://www.jaxtyres.com.au/tyres/si...65r15?limit=30).

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    I note that Dunlop FM800s (which I remember Peter / 4cvg recommending in the past) are available in that size (but are also the most expensive passenger tyre listed).

    Which other tyres in that list are worth considering - for example Pirelli Cinturato P6 and Continental UltraContact 6 are available in that size?

    Cheers

    Alec

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    It'd help to know what your priorities are as some tyre qualities conflict with others.

    The original size was 205/70 was it not? (I ask not for serious consideration of offerings in this size but as a gearing reference point.)
    Last edited by 4cvg; 16th March 2019 at 12:09 AM.

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    Can strongly recommend Hankook Optimo,Andy.

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    I put Dunlop SP sport FM800 on the front of the C5. No problems or criticisms at all. They are as quiet and comfortable as the original Michelins, and haven't given me any cornering or stopping difficulties. I don't think you'd have any complaints on the XM.

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    Hi Peter,

    The placard on the door frame actually claims that the correct tyres are 205x60R15. The tyres fitted (XM1+) are 205x65R15, and the speedo reads about 5% fast. Websites like Jax think that 65 is the correct height %age.

    The book solves the issue (more or less) - it states that the V6 manual should use 205x60, while the V6 autos use 205x65R15. This brings it into line with my Pug 605, which also has 5-stud wheels and uses 205x65R15.

    However without actually checking the rims, it appears that, while the 605 has 6.5" rim width, the XM only got 6".

    As to what I will be using it for - mostly long trips I hope! However some of those trips will be on the Oxley highway, going down to (and back from) Port Macquarie. This road features 80+km of seriously windy road, with sections where 35km/h and even 25km/h corners are common. It travels partly though rainforest, so the road is often wet, with of course many blind corners.

    So I am looking for the holy grail - a quiet tyre that contributes to a comfortable ride, but which also has excellent cornering and braking in the wet! I have FM800s on the 605, and as it happens, Hankook Optimos on our Xantia wagon (my son's choice). I also have RE003s on our 406, but on 16" rims (salvaged from a 307). I am quite open to fitting 16" rims to the XM, but the 5-stud rims from 407s and later C5s have too much offset, and would likely foul calipers and wheel arches.

    Not sure that the Hankooks have enough wet weather grip. I don't have any problems with the FM800s - just keen to hear about good alternatives.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    For what it's worth Alec, my XM has 205 60 R15's all round but Pirelli P6's on the front rated at 91H and Michelin Primacy LC on the rear rated at 91V. Nevertheless I have plenty to do without about them at the moment.
    John

    PS: Tyresales seem to have a variety of makes in that size to choose from.

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    Hmm! as you are alert to, I think that 205/60 is to be avoided because of paucity of good tyre types.

    Within 205/65, I think that you have a good shortlist. (The K415 Hankook is not a bad tyre & would be an advance in the wet over the XM1+, or XM2 for that matter, but you can do better so why not?)

    The UC6 is a regional type & so is the P6. Both are good enough for most purposes but the former is not in the same wet grip league as its European PremiumContact cousins (a matter of compounding). Ditto for the P6. 0K wet grip & nicely transparent & responsive limit behaviour but better is available. A merit of the P6 is that it's relatively crisp in response.

    So that leaves the FM800. It's another regional type & that's usually a bad thing for wet grip prioritisation but, as I imagine you've discovered, the FM800 is a bit of an exception to this generalisaion & it is a very competent wet tyre (grippy & with good limit behaviour). It is less crisp than the P6, especially with full tread.

    Given what you've said about what you want from the tyres, I'd choose the FM800. (The price difference for a set of 4 is worth paying in my view.)

    And yet, and yet . . . .

    205/60 was the original size. A closer gearing match than 205/65 is 195/65. This size gives you access to two splendid tyre types which I'd choose over the (very good indeed) FM800. One is the Conti PremiumContact5 & the other is Michelin's new Primacy4.

    The former is a longstanding tyre test podium finisher on almost any parameter of performance one cares to name. Wet performance (laterally & longitudinally) in particular is exemplary although the flip-side of that is relatively lower life (not usually an issue with classic cars whose tyres tend to date-expire rather wear out).

    The P4 is not to be judged by association with previous Primacies (the LC, ST & P3) which are not good wet road tyres. Michelin is undergoing some sort of rebirth of competence at the moment & the P4 is seemingly very good indeed (see the tests at Tyre Reviews).

    So, either would fit your brief better the any other option I think.

    A concern might be the size being one width smaller. Functionally, this is a non-issue as 195/65 is plenty of tyre for an SM (the first Falcon GT had 185/80-15 Xas) in terms of both load capacity (at 91, identical to 205/60) & dynamics. The worry would be legality & insurance & so forth. (A laughable situation given that they'd be happy with Chinese-dreadful Deathmaster Slipquick GTs so long as they matched the placard.)

    Personally I'd just do it & insist that an insurance company show that choice of tyre was a factor in any untoward event. Mind you, each tyre type is so good (I have huge respect for the PC5 & the P4 seems to be testing very well) that the chances of such an event would be less, I think, than even with a slightly wider & very good FM800.

    My (ordered) choices?

    195/65 PC5

    195/65 P4

    205/65 FM800

    YMMV

    cheers! Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post

    ...

    205/60 was the original size. A closer gearing match than 205/65 is 195/65. This size gives you access to two splendid tyre types which I'd choose over the (very good indeed) FM800. One is the Conti PremiumContact5 & the other is Michelin's new Primacy4.

    ...

    My (ordered) choices?

    195/65 PC5

    195/65 P4

    205/65 FM800

    YMMV

    cheers! Peter
    Just to clarify - 205x60 is standard for V6 manuals - sticker on my car is wrong. Mine is an auto, and V6 Automatics were fitted with 205x65R15s (all XMs sold new in Australia were V6 autos). The speedo is already reading high (about 5%) - even with 205x65. So 195x65 would put the speedo out that bit more, and possibly have a small effect on fuel economy (as engine would rev a little higher). That said, I will still consider them. Haven't tried any Continental for over 10 years - only Conti in the 205x60R15 size was the "Comfort Contact", so I bought a pair for my Xantia. I don't know about comfortable, but they didn't actually grip the road very well - especially over bumps. Most disappointing!

    Thanks for explanation of why UC6 and P6 might not be best option - but what do you mean by a "regional tyre"?

    Such a shame that the options are so limited in 205x60 and 205x65R15.Cheers

    Alec

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    On gearing:

    Each of my 4 toys has shorter gearing than it was born with owing to tyre choice.

    For two of them (R8 & 4CVG) this doesn't affect speedo reading as the instrument packs have also been replaced by ones whose gearing matches the rear tyres.

    For the other two (Moke & Djet) the instrument pack is original & the under gearing (10%) requires mental adjustment. I find this easy. The shorter gearing is a merit for top gear flexibility &, for me, that outweighs the lower top speed (unusable anyway) & fuel economy (no-one who fits side-draught Webers or Dellortos rates fuel economy).

    So, perhaps the flexibility gain outweighs the disadvantages.

    On 'regional':

    Tyre manufacturers don't sell the same range of tyres in every market but offer tyres tailored to what they take to be the priorities of that market. So, North American market tyres prioritise longevity, fuel economy & comfort. Middle East & Asian region tyres prioritise longevity & robustness. European market tyres prioritise wet braking & fuel efficiency (in some tension). All roughly speaking of course.

    Sometimes this is done by tweaking a given tyre (same name & tread pattern) with respect to structure & compounding. This is irritating because it's sometimes unclear what relationship a seemingly identical tyre made in one place has to one made in another. Can one, for instance, apply test performance earned in one place to a tyre made in another?

    Sometimes it's clearer. The manufacturer has a different name & tread pattern for a tyre designed for a particular market. I'm calling these 'regional tyres'.

    The ComfortContact range (now up to CC6) is a case in point. It's not available in Europe. The CC6 & its predecessor, the CC5, are poor tyres in the wet. As a rough generalisation, the North American & the ME/Asian regions' tyres from Continental, Michelin & so on are less prioritised for wet grip than the European ones. Within the latter, the worst wet tyres are those prioritised for fuel economy (Conti's EcoContacts, Michelin's EnergySavers & so on).

    But: the PremiumContact5 & Primacy4 have different priorities & are splendid wet tyres. That said, I can't imagine that you'd've been displeased by the FM800 in the wet & gearing might well incline you towards them.

    cheers! Peter
    Last edited by 4cvg; 17th March 2019 at 11:00 PM.

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    I used to drive on the Oxley Highway in the early 60s, mostly at night Then it was dirt from past Walcha to outside Wauchope; only two wheel ruts in the grass, with graziers' gates to open and close in the high country. The narrow forest section below was graded every blue moon for timber trucks which left massive ruts behind them. All on cross-plies. Driving there today feels like a motorway.

    Prewar my family used to go to Port for seaside holidays, and apparently the trip was quite a multi-day adventure.

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    Alec, when you've chosen & driven for a bit (especially in the wet) please report back with your impressions.

    cheers! Peter
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    Hi Peter

    I have had a look at the 195x65R15 tyres, and now realise that they have a slightly bigger circumference than the 205x60, and are typically only 2% smaller than the 205x65 (my "correct" size), so I was tempted to try the P4s. However I have been forgetting about Load Index, and have found the following info in a NSW Roads & Maritime Services document.

    "All replacement tyres must have a load rating equal to or higher than the rating of the original tyres fitted by the vehicle manufacturer. This information is available from the tyre placard or the vehicle manufacturer."

    "If the speed rating of the tyres specified for your vehicle is higher than 180 km/h, you may fit tyres with a lower speed rating, but not lower than the vehicle’s top speed."

    So it seems that it's OK if I downgrade from V rated tyres to H rated (still rated at 210km/h), but not OK to downgrade the load rating. My Pug 605 (same floor pan, and similar size and weight, definitely has a minimum load rating of 94. I believe the XM to be the same, but not having access to the car (or handbook) at the moment, I am having trouble confirming that.

    So it's looking like I had better stick to the FM800, even though they are 'H' rated. If the top speed of the XM is >210km/h, then I don't want to know!

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Hmm, if your door placard says 205/60 & 91 then that will be the operative legal guideline I suggest & 195/65 = 205/60 on load. I really can't imagine you getting belted on this one. The whole thing is absurd when one looks at tyre load capacity x 4 & gross vehicle mass but . . ..

    That said, the FM800 is unlikely to disappoint.

    Enjoy! (it's nice when each option is good).

    cheers! Peter

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    Back home, so just slipped out to have another look at that door placard on my recently acquired XM. It actually gives a load index of 88! However I'd previously overlooked the very top line:

    Citroen Xantia Wheel Rim/Tyre Information

    Oh dear! But all was not lost - I actually have a Xantia parked behind the shed, so just slipped down to check it's door placard (conveniently placed inside the glovebox), and sure enough, it says

    Citroen XM Wheel Rim/Tyre Information

    and it specifies a minimum Load Index of 94.

    What's more, both were sold by Continental Motors! But before you all jump to the obvious conclusion, the XM was sold in 2000, but the Xantia, a Series 1 model, was sold in 1997 - so no chance that they were switched at birth (or at least no chance their labels were).

    Sleep well all Citroen owners, knowing that the Bureau de Batard is always at work!

    Au revoir

    Alec

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    Sigh!

    An remarked earlier, I'd ignore this stuff & point out to any fussing member of officialdom that the (91) tyres have a load rating that exceeds by far the load placed upon them. I'd choose the tyre that is best on other grounds.

    YMMV Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Sigh!

    An remarked earlier, I'd ignore this stuff & point out to any fussing member of officialdom that the (91) tyres have a load rating that exceeds by far the load placed upon them. I'd choose the tyre that is best on other grounds.

    YMMV Peter
    My fuegu had a load rating far higher than was practical.
    I paid my bucks and had an engineer sign off on a lower number so at least I had more tyre choice than 1.

    Alec, don't overthink the speedo/tyre size.
    The numbers written on the tyre is a rough approximation of the actual size. From memory <10% is an acceptable error in sidewall spec.
    Makes sense too. Who'd believe a measurement that was half metric half imperial.
    Jo
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