Now that we've upgraded our projects wheels it makes the brakes look, well, stock!
Comfort and blissful quiet was our goal and the Nitto Motivo delivers in spades. Too often when going lower and wider tire roar is the compromise necessary for function and look. This tire is whisper quiet and the Civic is not an isolation chamber of a car like a Lexus with double pane windows and multi-layer sound deadening. These tires are even quieter than the Continental DW's we had on the stock wheels which are also known as a quiet performance tire. Here's an instance where just because you see the words “all season” there's no need to think mini-van and give up the high performance feel we all want.
The 57xtreme comes in all sorts of sizes but most of them add an extra half inch to each width. This is great from a look perspective but exposes the rim lip in a big way. Be careful! The rim protector on the Motivo won't be of much use for us.
We had the opportunity to drive the car on a rare California day of rain. The roads get really slick due to all the oil and road grime that collect between showers. Only hooligan maneuvers of cranking the wheel and stabbing the gas would upset the car in the wet. In the dry there's so much available grip we're going to need to go back to engine modifications before worrying about tire upgrades. We can really appreciate all of the effort that Nitto went into engineering the Motivo after suffering for years with the harsh and boomy nature normally associated with low profile tires. The car still rides nice enough to haul the family around and we can enjoy the projects new look with the RAYS 57Xtreme wheels.
How you setup your ride height is up to you. We have about two fingers worth of gap in the front and one in the rear. We went to the best place in LA at West End Alignment to get the car aligned properly. It's 100 miles but worth it for a job done right. We'll cover more of that when we go into the suspension.
Civic owners who are taking note of our sizes and fitments beware. We knew our wheel/tire combination was aggressive from a sizing standpoint. It's why the big internet tire/wheel companies suggest sticking with the stock (for the SI) 215 width on 18” wheel choices and a fairly conservative 40'ish (remember ours is 33) offset keeping the tire as centered as possible between the fender and suspension. We wanted the BTCC touring car look, and the extra cornering grip provided by a wider track with an aggressive offset, extra room for big brakes and wider contact patch to put down extra power we're adding down the road. You have to decide what your comfort level is modifying your car. Don't forget, the suspension you go with may or may not have the adjustment needed for aggressive wheel/tire combinations.
In the end wheel and tire choices are very subjective based on your style preference, budget and project goals. In this instance we wanted a performance oriented look and function that we could live with every day. With the look of our car radically changed for the better in our opinion we can now refocus our attention on the go-fast bits.
Be sure to check out the rest of Project Civic: MotoIQ Project Honda Civic Si