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FLY LIKE AN EAGLE

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Aug 24, 2006

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

FLY LIKE AN EAGLE By Bill Wright

I'm riding with a friend of mine as he drives along one of Southern California's more infamous freeways. This gentleman is a somewhat aggressive driver and is no stranger to driving at high rates of speed. Blam! We have a blowout, which he controls nicely. We pull over to the side of the road. I hop out to change the tire (he's not known for being mechanically inclined), and I'm surprised when I notice that the front and back tires on the passenger side don't match. My surprise grows into consternation when I walk around the car and take the spare out of the trunk. No two of the five tires match - and at least two are obvious recaps. I change the tire and we continue on our way. When I inquire as to the reason for the tire situation, he says that he sees no reason to spend good money on tires. He buys the cheapest possible tires (usually recaps). Naturally, this prompts me to embark on a rant about how this sort of behavior is dangerous and irresponsible, and that anyone who drives the way that he does needs a higher speed rating on the car's tires. His initial response is amusement. He realizes I'm serious when we got home to his house and I announce to his wife that "it's irresponsible to allow her children, or herself for that matter, to ride in her husband's car prior to him changing his attitude about tires." In retrospect, I'm being a bit melodramatic, but, he does change his attitude about tires. And he has new, matching tires on his car within days.

As one might infer from the above story, I believe that tires matter. I flash on that memory while visiting the Bob Bondurant race track outside of Phoenix, Arizona to get a first look at Goodyear's new Eagle high performance tire, featuring ResponsEdge Technology. Quite often, when I'm confronted by a manufacturer going on and on about a 'new' product, I become a MEGO man, My Eyes Glaze Over. This time, when looking at and driving these new tires, I knew these weren't your father's tires., These aren't even your tires of just a few years ago. Technology really does make a difference. Kevlar and Carbon Fiber aren't materials that one normally associates with something like tires. However, Goodyear is evidently looking to push the envelope here. So, the new Eagle combines state-of-the-art materials with state-of-the-art design - including a trick tread design that borders on the bizarre. One always wonders just how much that the whiz bang materials improve the tires and how much of it is just marketing hype. After spending several hours charging around on mountain roads and then driving wet and dry conditions through an autocross course on the Bondurant track, I'm led to believe that this is a real improvement. With Goodyear's ResponsEdge Technology, the carbon fiber in the outer sidewall is designed to stiffen the tire when lateral forces are at work, keeping more rubber on the road. On the other hand, the kevlar ( in what Goodyear calls the "InsuLayer") works to dampen road noise and vibration. The assymetrical tread design helps the driver deal with most eventualities through the use of two distinct tread zones: (1)Outer High-Perfor-mance Zone: Two traction ribs, one with a solid rib and one with aggressive shoulder blocks, combined with a grip-enhancing compound, and (2) Inner All-Season Zone - three tread ribs with increased blading, Aquachutesâ„¢ and lateral grooves with a new silica compound. After you throw in the Rim Flange protector (a big plus if you have teenagers in the house that are learning to drive) and the inherent low-profile look of the Eagle line, you've got yourself quite an attractive tire. For more information on Goodyear products, click here.

FEATURES Carbon Fiber reinforced outer sidewall Stiffens the outer sidewall to help keep more rubber on the road for enhanced cornering and maneuverability InsuLayer made with DuPont KEVLAR Helps absorb road noise and lessen vibration from road imperfections for a smooth, quiet ride Asymmetric Tread Design, including: Outer High-Performance Zone: Two traction ribs, one with a solid rib and one with aggressive shoulder blocks, combined with a grip-enhancing compound Help provide confident handling during cornering maneuvers Inner All-Season Zone: Three tread ribs with increased blading, Aquachutesâ„¢ and lateral grooves with a new silica compound Assist in providing enhanced all-season traction and ride comfort Low-profile sidewall Stylish, high-performance look Rim flange protector Helps protect against wheel damage from accidental contact with curb

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