Project IS-F: Evaluating the Nitto Motivo Tire


We retained our super lightweight forged Volk G2 wheels in 19×8.5″ with a 35mm offset in the front.  The sidewalls of the Motivo stick out a little more and afford a little better wheel protection than the Invo's did.
In the rear we once again chose a size of 275/35-19.  On our 19×9.5″ 35mm offset Volk G2 wheel, this was a really aggressive fit and you would probably have to trim the fender lips slightly like we did to avoid rubbing. 
Our tire and wheel choice looks good and really fills out the wheel wells. 
Our IS-F looks pretty good with it's new shoes! A near perfect fitment. 

So the big question is, are the all season Motivos worthy of a modded high performance sports sedan? Our answer is it depends. If your car is your second car used for continuous sprinted street driving with occasional weekend trips to the track and canyons probably not.  Only a top of the line summer ultra high performance tire will probably do for you, especially if you consider short tire life a badge of honor for using your car to its full potential.

For those of us that use a car as a daily driver where excessive maintenance is a hassle and you don't want your wife to hydroplane her fat tired car on a wet freeway the answer is yes.  For a car that is only driven fast when the wife has to go to the bathroom, gets mad when someone tries to cut her off when merging on the freeway, or when we occasionally borrow the car for road trips and fun the answer is still yes. 

In driving the Motivos hard we will stand by our previous statement that these are some of the best dry handling all season tires that we have yet to experience. Where the car was slightly tail happy with a high limit on the NT05 and neutral with the Invo, we noticed that the car now has a decent amount of understeer. We could easily get rid of this with some chassis tuning but decided to just leave it. 

The Motivo has noticeably less ultimate grip and slower response than the other more dry oriented Nittos but the differences, believe it or not, are not outrageously huge, amazing considering the 560 UTQG rating which normally means a slick plastic like tire! 

At the limit the Motivos are also more noisy and squeal in protest when they start to lose traction and slide. The tires have a broader limit and are easier to drive at the limit because of this. The tires are also less responsive and turn in slower and you can feel the smaller tread blocks squirm. If it seems like we are complaining it is not really, we are comparing these all weather tires to premium summer tires!

The Motivos exhibited a quieter and smoother highway ride than the NT05 and the Invo, to the point where we could not discern any road noise contribution from them at all!  We did notice a slightly greater tendency to follow the rain grooves that are cut into Southern California's freeways although it is hardly noticeable and difficult to feel. 

In all we are very interested in how the Motivo will wear and will monitor them until we can get a set of the new NT555 G2 when more sizes are released!

Overall we are very impressed with the Motivo as an all weather daily driver performance tire even on a modded high end sports sedan and feel that it is among the top dry and wet performers in the segment.  Due to our climate we can't really evaluate the tires in mud or snow so for this we can honestly say we have no idea!


Nitto Tire

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