Falken FK452

Tyre Specifications
Tyre Size: 
225/45 YR 17
Wet Rating: 
8
Dry Rating: 
8
Comfort Rating: 
7

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION:
The FK452 retains the V-drainage pattern of the FK451 but it has a central tread bead that separates the two halves. The drainage grooves are rather pronounced for aquaplaning resistance. Its shoulders are more square and the sidewalls are fairly stiff along with its tread belting.

DRY PERFORMANCE:
Scrub-in period: The tyres took about 200 km to scrub-in. The steering took on a positive feel as the scrub-in progressed but always maintained a gentlemanly feel at the helm.

Steering: Compared to its predecessor FK451 the steering feels more positive and direct with higher cornering limits ranking among the best street compound tyres. [8/10]

Lateral Grip: The FK452s manage a 1.0g figure which is excellent though it doesn’t quite feel that grippy or sharp at the steering. Still this measurement exceeds the GSD3’s result. Tyre pressures had to be raised to 35 psi to get these numbers but the tyre can operate at lower pressures without losing much and enjoy a surprising ride. A good compromise was 32 psi. The tyre did squeal when tortured but only if provoked. If you get the line right it just rumbles or releases a muted squeal.[8/10]

Handling: Its excellent handling balance meant the tyres could be exploited well beyond its adhesion limits and resulted in high g-force measurements putting it right among the top tyres which is impressive. Not that it is highly adjustable as it tries to resist losing the tail. It prefers a gentle understeer which can be nudged into neutrality by merely backing off the throttle. Interestingly one can also apply power and the FK452 will cling on through, both ways providing high g-forces. Impressive stuff for fast road use but may not fare so well at the track. [8/10]

Longitudinal Grip: Braking reveals a truer adhesion level and while it is no match for the RT615, it is level with the GSD3. There is very good grip and the tread compound gets sticky as it heats up. Again this result is far better than the old FK451. [8/10]

WET PERFORMANCE:
Steering: When it pours the FK452 shines. The tread compound clings on to wet tarmac so well that it feels as good as it did in the dry. Better yet it seems to encourage hard charging in the rain. The steering relays more than enough information from the contact patches and the tyre gives up its grip so progressively that the tyres could be coaxed into long bouts of neutral steer just like the RT615 did in the dry. [8/10]

Lateral Grip: Wet cornering grip is very impressive and it nearly matches the wet meister, GSD3 especially when combined with the excellent handling. [8/10]

Handling: The best thing about its wet characteristics is it doesn’t breakaway even when provoked. This really enhances confidence. In terms of handling balance it seems even more balanced if that’s possible. An absolute ace in the wet. [9/10]

Longitudinal Grip: The V-drainage pattern improves aquaplaning resistance and one can confidently cruise up to 100 km/h in heavy rain though the usual caution needs to be observed as aquaplaning is only deferred to a higher speed, not eliminated. Braking grip is excellent matching the GSD3. [8/10]

COMFORT & NOISE:
Comfort: On the issue of comfort the FK452 has a good cushioning effect over manhole covers and repair ridges which is surprising with such stiff sidewalls. This effect is a characteristic of an advanced carcass design.

After talking to some Falken engineers in Japan, their internal benchmark results match the FK452 with the CSC2 which is good for an European benchmark though not amongst the lowest. But the FK452 is destined for Europe hence its YR rating. [7/10]

Noise: 68 dBA at 70 km/h coasting. Noise is remarkably low for a high performance tyre.

MEASURED PERFORMANCE
Dry Cornering: 1.00g
Dry Braking 80-20 km/h: 1.76 sec in 24m
Average g: 0.97g
Peak g: 1.00g
Wet Cornering: 0.79g
Wet Braking 80-20 km/h: 2.24 sec in 31m
Average g: 0.76g
Peak g: 0.80g
Rolling Resistance: 0.0270g (higher than average)
Weight: 11.2 kg

CONCLUSION:
This is a significant tyre from Falken. It shows their continuing ability to make progress with each passing generation unlike some other brands that seem to have stagnated. This is Falken’s best street tyre to date and clearly advances the game. They have matched their European competitors well but they haven’t comprehensively beaten them but maybe the next generation. The FK452’s wet and characteristics are excellent. Most impressive is it’s handling especially that in the wet. The FK452 is definitely recommended. A Level A+

Importer: STAMFORD TYRES INTERNATIONAL 

 

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