Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi Traklite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires

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Since the car see’s a lot of track duty and is not a daily driver we chose Nitto’s NT01 competition tire in 245/40-18 for the front and 275/35-18 for the rear.  We chose a staggered fitment because the KW Clubsports were engineered around a staggered fitment.  It's actually not a big deal to run non staggered fitments but we wanted the set up to drift well with a car at moderate power levels.  Sera is not going to drift with these particular sticky tires but she will use tires in those sizes.

 

Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi Traklite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires
When Martin saw this machine he got all excited because he thought we were gonna make carne asada, but this was actually the device that Motegi uses to heat up the wheel barrel so it can expand in order to facilitate wheel assembly.

 

The NT01 is a competition tire that is DOT approved making it street legal.  A useful feature as Sera does not own a trailer so her car has to see some street driving.  Although the NT01 is a soft compound tire meant for racing in classes that require a DOT tire, the NT01 is very durable and can endure many heat cycles without losing significant grip.

 

Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi Traklite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires
The platform spins to heat up the rim evenly.

 

The ability to tolerate multiple heat cycles makes the NT01 good value for the racer or track day enthusiast without a huge tire budget.  This also means it can last a surprisingly long time on the street, sometimes over 20,000 miles.  One of the NT01’s anticipated design uses was to be driven to the track, run and then driven home, just the thing for the trailerless track day junky.

 

Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi Traklite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires
The torch position is important and it is adjusted depending on the spec of the rim being constructed.

 

The NT01 doesn’t have a whole lot of tread so we don’t recommend it for all weather usage, especially not snow, but we have done pretty well racing it in the rain at full tread depth. In the area of the outer shoulder the tread blocks are super large, nearly a slick for more dry grip and the inner shoulder has smaller blocks which work to evacuate some water from the tread area of the tire, so the tire will work ok in wet conditions if it has tread.  It will not work well if there is standing water so extreme caution must be used on the street in bad weather.

 

Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi Traklite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires
When the rim is heated, it expands allowing the center section to drop right in.  The stacked spacers get it in just the right position in the barrel.

 

Project Nissan 350Z: The Birth of our Motegi Traklite Wheels with Nitto NT01 Tires

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