Time for Tires Again (Post #241) 1/7/2011

I’ve blogged about this subject a few times. One of those posts sits in the top position of most pageviews for my site.

As you may have gathered from the post’s title, I’m looking for new tires for the Range Rover Classic. The project and calendar have progressed to the point where it is time for new rubber to meet the road. We have pending snow storm coming on Sunday. It will not be the blizzard we had last year. Hell, it probably won’t even snow enough to measure it. But after the local weathermen(and women) get finished with the weather tonight the grocery stores will have a run on milk, smokes, booze, bread and canned soup. And by Wednesday the roads will be clear so new tires are not an emergency situation and neither is running to the grocery to buy something you can wait a day or two for the trucks to deliver.

Consider this, I have not put even a hundred miles on the Classic since last year’s Snowpocalypse storm the tires on her right now will most likely work just fine. They are bald for sure, but I was able to manage with just a failed viscous coupling and front wheel drive and bald tires in blizzard conditions. Now I have both axles working correctly so…I have that going for me.

I have been digging around on the net and I found some bad news today. Bridgestone Dueler AT REVO’s are being discontinued. At the very least they are on closeout at TireRack.com. It’s no great surprise to me. I knew it would happen. Every time a company produces a product that is genius it only takes a few production runs for someone to change it and thusly screw it up. Or someone at corporate to declare we need a new product and thus kill all the successful products they have produced to date.

This is pushing demand for Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo II’s and the smallest size of that tire which is perfect for your Range Rover, 235/75R16, is listed on TireRack.com as….back ordered. Of course it is, I need to buy four of them. I’m not going to wait for them. My local tire shoppe, Hibdon’s Tire Plus, which is normally able to shit me a pair of Tiffany cuff links on command, can’t get either the Revo or Revo II’s. What the hell is that all about?

So I’m looking for a new tire. I could wait to buy, but there is a pending snow storm coming on Sunday night/Monday. That in itself is not enough reason to go buy tires but I need to start looking. So what do we have available as a replacement.

Here is an obligatory graphic that will be out dated 15 minutes after I post it.

These are the top 7 tires in this category at TireRack.com and an associated observation from my point of view for each…

Kumho Road Venture SAT KL61
Never owned a set. Smallest size 225/75R15. The brand is one of those you perhaps don’t know what to expect. I’ve seen more Kumho tire signs on abandoned tire shops than active ones. But they seem to have hit a homerun with the folks on TireRack.com.

Firestone Destination A/T
Lots of sizes. Firestone let me down in the 1990s with a set of tires and I’ve never forgiven them. You remember when Ford and Firestone were sued for tires that fell apart and caused cars and SUVs to flip over? I had a set of those tires in the smaller 15 inch size. They didn’t get recalled, but they fell apart just like the 16 inch ones. I took them back to Firestone and they would not replace them. I haven’t darkened their door since.

It seems they are using UNI-T technology just like the Bridgestone REVO’s. I also know they are essentially the same company as Bridgestone as one owns the other.

Michelin LTX A/T 2
They made the OEM tires for your Range Rover. Those 205/80R16’s had a distinctive narrow and tall look that can’t be copied. If they weren’t 200-300$(US) more than everyone else I would have bought another set. Another strike against them, I can’t buy them at my tire dealer of choice. That is sad because there is a Michelin plant in Ardmore Oklahoma, and I’m all about buying products made in Oklahoma or at least products made by companies with a presence in Oklahoma.

Bridgestone REVO and Bridgestone REVO II
Discontinued and not available. I am very disappointed in this.

Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor
Not excited about Goodyear. SilentArmor? really? that’s the name you came up with?

Pirelli Scorpion ATR
I saw a set on a truck the other day they looked really good. I’ve never owned a set though. I know they had a tire that was popular with Land Rover owners a decade ago.

I bounced this situation off my friends EGD, Magnum Mike and Titanium Hitch. They sometimes offer sound advice. Most of the time the advice is littered with insults about the Land Rover brand. The gist of their points this time revolved around how much are “you” going to drive the Range Rover. They aren’t too keen with spending the equivalent of the per capita GDP of your average Chadian for tires on a vehicle I’m going to drive only a couple times a week.

This is a good point. I did mention that I’d like to have quality tires because I plan to do some cross country driving. Their observation that I was either stupid or completely mad to drive the Range Rover across the country were well founded. I am often stupid and I am mad to spend the energy I have on a nearly 20 year old Range Rover and to expect it to carry me to California or the Carolina’s is pretty crazy. Can you say AAA? Sure, sure you can.

So I’ll call the tire shoppe and ask them if they carry Pirelli Scorpian ATR‘s. Then I may wait for a month and see if I can get a discount, rebate, Bridgestones, if not, I guess I’ll be rollin’ fat on Pirelli’s.

And if they are willing to have a set on hand, I’m willing to buy them. Of course I will let you know how they perform and whether or not I’d buy them again.

Thanks for reading, stay warm and Happy Rovering.