|NASA racer and MotoIQ editor Annie Sam was also a test driver.|
Next was the Invo, an Ultra High Performance tire that has more grooving than the NT05 for better all around performance. Surprisingly the Invo proved to have a lot of wet grip. Like the NT05, the Invo proved to have more wet grip than expected in these conditions, and recovery once the tires limit was passed was quicker than the NT05. The overall feel was very similar to the NT05 but with a little more grip especially where the water had puddled.
Finally we drove the Motivo in the wet. All three drivers first words offered the same word to describe the tire upon stepping out of this car on the wet course – “Confidence”. The Motivo equipped car used less traction control when leaving the line at full throttle, ABS was less intrusive, and cornering speeds and transitional control were improved over the other Nittos.
|The Motivo exhibited amazing performance in the wet. We felt that the Motivo performed better in the wet than the stock tire did in the dry!|
The other difference was ease of recoverability. The Motivo really shined when pushed too far and you had to get things back under control, just like you would want on the street and in the wet. When puddles were on the course, the Motivo’s sipes and channels really made it the obvious choice, puddles hardly affected the Motivos. We drove the wet course from damp to soaked, and the worse the conditions were, the more the Motivo showed what “all season” meant. Interestingly the Motivos had more grip in the wet allowing higher speeds through the course than the stock tires did in the dry!
|Martin Gonzales checks tire pressures prior to the test.|
The next test was a dry high-speed slalom course that each tire would have to negotiate. Set up to have a run up to 50 mph, six cones were set 75 feet apart. We first drove the Jags on their stock tires as a warm up and once we got the speeds dialed in on the stockers, we hit the slalom on the Nittos.
The ponderous Jags were responding much quicker on the Nittos and in the dry it was a HUGE difference. Here is where the max performance NT05 really shined. After driving the mushy stock tires, every driver nearly took out the first cone as the turn in was much crisper on each of the Nittos, so much so with the NT05s we all had to take evasive actions for the second cone on all of our first runs. The steering was really sensitive from the stiff sidewall of the NT05 and after the stock tire, we had to get used to it. With the NT05 we could nearly take the course at full throttle!
|The Motivo also surprised us with its dry performance, holding its own against dry optimized tires.|