While this shouldn’t be a big deal, there were several considerations I had to bear in mind before making a decision.
To find my new highway speed at 3500 rpm, the formula is: overall tire diameter times engine rpm divided by the differential gear ratio times selected gear ratio times 346. What type of tires to put on a TR6 seems to be a common question among TR6 owners.
I paid roughly $91 each installed.
Michelin Classic tires offer the most prestigious line of vintage tires in the world. Redlines: There are apparently three sources for red-lines. I run about 22 Front / 26 rear and have found this to be the best combination of ride and match to the suspension for handling. size. Back in 1987 when I was using the TR6 daily, I purchased a set of used 195/75R15 tires to get me around town. They look very good on the TR6 and provide a smooth, compliant ride. Michelin, Avon and Commander. You can find dealers for these listed in Hemmings. The 205/70 tire has an overall diameter of 26.3” so in comparison to the 185R15s the tire diameter is virtually unchanged from the original’s 26.6”. The trade-off for the improved performance has been a harsher ride. BTW mine is Pimento, black interior, roll bar, overdrive.
Ground clearance is not a problem and the tires appropriately fill-out the wheel wells for an updated, but not bad look. On the other hand, acceleration would be greatly improved. And if I have a tire problem almost anywhere in the US, I can get one new tire from the any local Michelin dealer. Fifty profile tires would be the ultimate cornering tires, but weekend driving would be hazardous as speed bumps, driveways and potholes would become damaging hazards. I would stay away from the 205/70-15 or shorter profiles (like 60 series) unless you don’t care about how accurate your speedometer is. Being so tall and narrow these tires offer little as a performance tire. I purchased a '74 TR-6 in June. Thank you for the insight on tires, I have a 1976 TR6 CF51884U, it has 85,000 miles on it, all original as are the original Michelin X Redlines. That’s a lot. Only down side is they are pricey. This page is intended to provide some information, both statistical, and anecdotal, to help guide you in deciding what tires are right for you and your car.
These are 70 or 80 series profile tires, which is to say that the sidewalls are roughly 80% as high as the tire is wide. Like 205/70R15s, they are almost equal on overall diameter to the original tires, but as I started to use the 6 as a weekend cruiser and occasional autocrosser, cornering performance became more and more of a consideration. There is a great deal of difference out on the autocross course however! Even though 65 profile is still on the high side, they’ve made a great improvement in handling over my old high-mileage ‘truck’ tires. Redline tires are available in traditional bias ply or radial construction for many popular applications. I sought the advice of experts and read several articles on the subject. If you have wires or Mags, you might have different choices. 185R15 Coker Classic Redline Tires are perfect for European sports cars, including 1969 through 1976 Triumph TR6. The overall diameter of these tires is 25.5” about 1” shorter than stock. As far as driveability, the overall gear ratio did change slightly. You can still get Dunlop SP "H" rated, and Michelin 180-15 XAS (which are closer to the redline than other 185s) and I don't know about Pirellis.
The Michelin redlines are popular here in the 'states for nostalgic reasons, and today are one of the few remaining tyres in the original U.S. TR6 spec. If you’re considering the purchase of new tires for your British classic I hope my experience can be of some use to you.
Diamondback Tires vulcanizes the redline on the Michelin Defender plus they shave all the extraneous lettering off the sidewall making for a very clean look. If they try to mount the “normal” way, they might bend your rims!!!! I am running tubes and have recently inspected the tires and there is still good tread (although hard) and not a single crack anywhere. If you’re into autox you might want the 205/70 because they are roughly 2% smaller diameter. Others: The 80 series tires are pretty much passe’ if you’re into driving. I am pretty good at reading the manual, and both the manual and the placard inside the glove box call for 20 psi front and 24 psi rear. I also had to get new tires sooner rather than later. Stephen. yes I do some occasional spirited driving, but mostly cruise, as per the original tires lasting this long. It should not be used for membership questions.
They are also very close in circumference to the original tire so speedometer is still very accurate. Even though I love the redlines and think they are a significant part of the cars look. To be honest I would love to buy some new Michelin X Redlines, run tubes, and continue to enjoy the classic ride.
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