Friday, December 23, 2005

The Michelins Are Far Quieter Than The Goodyears

I had read a lot of comments by Corvette owners who had switched from the factory Goodyear GS F1 Eagle EMT tires to the Michelin Pilot A/S that the Michelins were noticeably quieter. Yes, without question. I didn't need to pull out my decibel meter to tell this--it was very, very obvious. The difference is most pronounced on concrete (where the Goodyears are noisiest) but even on asphalt, the Michelins are much quieter. My wife has agreed that the Corvette is now quiet enough to take on long road trips.

The Michelins don't feel quite as precise as the Goodyears, but remember that as tread depth drops, tire handling tends to become sharper. This is why in some types of street-based racing series, they commonly race on tires with half of the tread depth shaved away. I may just be seeing the results of comparing Goodyears with about 4/32" of tread left to Michelins with lots of rubber on them still.

Unfortunately, I can't tell if the extra tread on the Michelins is going to solve my snow problem or not. Probably because I ordered up the Michelins because of the snow traction problem, we have had unseasonably warm weather the last couple of days (in the 50s here in Boise!), and all the snow has melted from my new driveway. Still, the noise reduction alone might have been worth the substantial expense.

I will sell the used Goodyears on eBay. They still have substantial tread left on them, and for anyone who is driving on either dry or wet pavement, they are completely controllable and safe. I'll probably start the bidding for them at $75 for the pair (plus shipping, which may be entertaining); if need be, when the Michelins wear out, I can have them put back on in spring and probably get another 10,000 miles out of them.

I've gotten some email suggesting that buying Michelin (a French company) isn't a particularly good thing, in light of the geopolitical situation. It is certainly true that the French government sold us out about Iraq (and for terribly corrupt reasons). I wouldn't assume that every French corporation or individual goes along with that policy. I would also mention that France has turned out to be a very vigorous and effective ally against other forms of Islamofascist terrorism. Their motivation is certainly based on self-interest, but in war, getting too picky about why your allies are helping you is often not wise.

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