Goodyear Eagle F-1 GSD3

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

DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: The Goodyear GSD3 still follows the trend set by the original Eagle F-1 by adopting the V-shaped grooves eschewing the current trend of straight grooves. The tread compound is soft and after a hard run it becomes sticky to touch, picking up bits of gravel. The drainage channels are wide and deep. On careful examination, the grooves never quite separate the tread blocks leaving them to behave as a continuous band. The sidewalls are also flexible but the tread belting is stiff. [update: the GSD3 will remain in production and sold alongside the new Asymmetrics as its more affordable alternative]

DRY PERFORMANCE:

Scrub-In Period: Although the GSD3’s felt ready after 200 km, they slowly improved even beyond 500 km. Tests were delayed longer than usual to assure complete the scrub-in.
Steering:The steering at first very willowy firmed up nicely but never attaining the incisiveness of some of the best but still direct enough to enjoy the tyre. Subjectively the tyres seem to drift early and may not generate the steering precision of track tyres because of the tall thin tread blocks. (7/10)

Lateral Grip: Grip levels are high though not outstanding among its peers. These tyres also need more than 32 psi pressure to perform well. At the limit there is a progressiveness and they tend to drift earlier but balance well. (8/10)

Handling: In the handling department there is a surprise in store. Before being fully scrubbed in, the front lacks bite and seems prone to understeer but with lift throttle the rears move out dramatically and are not easy to catch. Hence it’s advisable that buyers scrub-in this tyre properly because once done, it feels more positive with more front bite and the rears become less susceptible to lift throttle oversteer. However it does have an oversteer characteristic needing not so much a lift throttle as a mere backing off. So while very entertaining to experts it might not be to novices or those unprepared for quick oversteer. (8/10)

Longitudinal Grip: Still it displays a very good level of performance even during braking. Straight-line tracking needed a little correction but mostly tracks true. The compound characteristics means the tyres give up grip in a more progressive manner than most and while the final grip is high, the ABS detects slip and intervenes early so its best to just stand hard on the brakes and let the ABS bring the car to a stop. (8/10)


WET PERFORMANCE:

Steering: The GSD3’s feel even better in the wet if that is possible. There is a secure positive feel at the helm and joins a handful of tyres that exhibit better driving characteristics in the wet than dry. (8/10)
Lateral Grip: The soft compound feels more like a wet compound and thanks to the V-pattern helps cuts through water effectively and the compound clings on rather well. (8/10)

Handling: The gentle, progressive breakaway is the best way to get the most out of a tyre in the wet. Of course it helps to have a darn good wet compound do the hard work. What you feel is confidence behind the wheel. The positive way it goes round corners is indicative that there is more understeer which of course feels more stable and secure. But it does invite hard charging with confidence as there is no sudden breakaway to worry about because it reaches its limit very progressively. (8/10)

Longitudinal Grip: Braking is excellent as well as its aquaplaning resistance thanks to the V-drainage pattern. In all an excellent wet weather showing. (8/10)


COMFORT & NOISE:

Ride Comfort: When running-in the tyres, 28-30 psi was used and the comfort levels were very impressive indeed but performance seemed wanting somewhat with pronounced understeer and oversteer. To firm things up a little, pressures were upped to 33 psi which helped with slight penalty to comfort. At 35 psi performance they reached its peak but took a toll on comfort although it has to be said it is still better than some at 28 psi. It does possess acceptable comfort even up to 35 psi so one can choose to how much to compromise to gain comfort or performance. (7/10)

Noise: 65 dBA @ 70 km/h coasting. The continuous tread pattern also generates low noise levels.


MEASURED PERFORMANCE
Dry Cornering: 0.98g
Dry Braking 80-20 km/h: 1.76 sec in 24m
Average g: 0.97g
Peak g: 0.99g
Wet Cornering: 0.82g
Wet Braking 80-20 km/h: 2.14 sec in 29m
Average g: 0.79g
Peak g: 0.83g
Weight: 10.8-kg
Rolling Resistance: 0.0270g (higher than average)

CONCLUSION:

The GSD3 seems to come across as a wet or intermediate compound that has been adapted for a balance between dry and wet performance. It generates high numbers in the dry but does not feel it would like a dry track session as the compound seems to get real soft and sticky. Perhaps a shaved version will be better. But in normal driving it can still slug it out with the very best. It feels significantly better in the wet, like a wet-weather or intermediate compound race tyre. High g-numbers, great confidence and handling to match. It’s large range of comfort and can be traded for performance. Any pressure between 30psi and 35 psi can be tailored to give the desired comfort and performance balance. While it may not stand up to repeated hot dry laps around Sepang, it will do just fine for day to day driving. And when it rains it is clearly head and shoulders above the rest, an excellent showing. We understand it has an extremely attractive price which makes it exceptional value. Level A+, D=8, W=8, C=7. Highly recommended but advise caution for novices.

 

Photos: 
all content is intellectual property of motor-prime and cannot be reproduced in any form or manner without explicit permission from motor-prime. © 2004-2016 MotorPrime. All rights reserved.