Goodyear F-1 Asymmetric

Tyre Specifications
Tyre Size: 
225/40 YR 18
Wet Rating: 
9
Dry Rating: 
9
Comfort Rating: 
8

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION: Goodyear abandons the wet drainage V-pattern grooves that has been so successful in all its previous F-1 Eagle tyres.
The new F-1 Asymmetric now looks more conventional with three deep center channels and a thinner one along the outside tread block. The Asymmetrics gets its name from the asymmetry of the tread pattern with the bigger, more tightly arranged block on the outside shoulder and wider channels on the inside.


This new tread design exchanges directionality for asymmetry to improve dry performance with more land to void ratio minimizing sacrifice to wet performance as far as possible.
Tread belting is stiff but sidewalls are flexible despite the new Aramid fiber wedge to strengthen the inner sidewall.
Tread compound feels fairly soft and curiously contains carbon black race compound in addition to to the high silica base mix in an effort to enhance dry performance.

DRY PERFORMANCE:

Initial Scrub-In Period: This tyre lost little time settling down taking less than 100 km to feel secure and bedded.
Steering: Compared the original equipment Bridgestone RE70 the Goodyears have a heavier, meatier steering feel. Though not as sharp as theRE070, they felt very positive making up for lacking the incisive feel perhaps offering a calmer driving experience than the track-ready RE070s. Rating 9/10

Lateral Grip: Compared to the GSD3s the F-1 Asymmetric is much better in the dry in turn-in response and maintains grip right up to the high limit without resorting to higher slip angles like the GSD3s. It would seem Goodyear's curious choice of mixed tread compound and tread pattern has improved the dry performance envelop and yet has kept that progressive nature that needs little acclimatizing. Rating 8/10

Handling: With just the right cornering lines these tyres barely make a sound in protest but right at the limit, the tyres would give a muted howl in protest, worse when one gets the corner wrong. By increasing tyre pressures from 32 to 36 psi handling could be improved with just a little more ride harshness but steering feel is significantly sharper though lighter. The tyres protest less and have recover quicker from sliding. Another benefit of the high pressures is a lower rolling resistance. Rating : 9/10

Longitudinal Grip: The Asymmetrics deliver outstanding braking performance with figures near the top of the class thanks to an excellent peak braking force and impressive average g-force. Equally impressive is its wheelspin resistance during quick launches as it clings to the tarmac stubbornly. Rating : 9/10

WET PERFORMANCE:

Steering: The previous two generations of Eagle F-1 flagship Goodyears have had superb wet performance and not surprisingly the new Asymmetric sticks with tradition. The Asymmetric seems to cling on as if the wet road was dry. The steering maintaining its positive feel throughout perhaps only revealing a bit of slip when pushed really hard. Rating : 8/10
Lateral Grip: Wet grip levels are excellent exceeding the GSDs putting it on the top of the current pack. The excellent wet handling helps generate a high of 0.88g of wet grip. This number curiously enough beats one other tyre's dry(!) cornering grip. Rating 9/10
Handling: Recovery from slides is quick and undramatic and the best characteristic is a lack of mid-corner breakaway which can sap driver confidence no matter how high the ultimate wet grip is allowing a hard driving style in soaking wet road conditions. Rating 9/10

Longitudinal Grip: As with cornering grip, the Asymmetrics scored next to the very top of its class in wet braking performance and displayed consistently excellent results over different surfaces. Conversely wheelspin resistance is extremely high during furious take-offs, regaining grip and control very quickly indeed. Aquaplaning resistance is as high as most of the best tyres though it would need a test in a controlled lab-type environment to quantify just how high and how much lower it is than the all-conquering GSD3 according to Goodyear's own admission. Frankly as good as the best is good enough as it is indeed foolhardy to court the dangers associated with aquaplaning by trying a top speed run in the rain as predicting how deep the standing pools of water on the highways are is impossible. Rating 9/10

COMFORT & NOISE:

Ride Comfort: Perhaps the Asymmetric's greatest asset is it really rides well and even at the test pressure of 36 psi it still appeared a lot better than the RE070 (at 30 psi) that came as OE with the test car. Around 34 psi seems to be a good compromise. Considering the excellent performance these tyres delivered in both dry and wet conditions this is a really pleasant surprise. Rating 8/10
Noise: Road and tread pattern noise is well suppressed and though not class leading is as quiet as the top contenders. With our tropical climes the tread compound warms up rapidly and has no issue with flat spotting when parked overnight. Measurements: 67.5 dBA coasting at 70 km/h.

MEASURED PERFORMANCE
Dry Cornering: 0.99g
Dry Braking 80-20 km/h: 1.74 sec in 24m
Average g: 0.97g
Peak g: 1.02g
Wet Cornering: 0.88g
Wet Braking 80-20 km/h: 2.01 sec in 27m
Average g: 0.85g
Peak g: 0.89g
Rolling Resistance: 0.0254g (average)
Weight: 10.4-kg is low for this class and is about a 2-kg saving on the OE RE070 tyres

CONCLUSION:

It used to be said a comfortable tyre would be poor in performance and a performance tyre was never comfortable. However Goodyear's Eagle Asymmetric has combined comfort and performance nearly reaching the holy grail of tyre performance. It offers outstanding wet and dry performance together with excellent, progressive handling characteristics delivering a balanced feel between wet and dry conditions making it easy to recommend even to novices. Also the steering feel while not the most incisive is meaty and positive. But really the clincher is the good comfort that this tyre displays especially considering this is a 40 Series profile tyre with very little sidewall to absorb the road harshness. Highly recommended. Level A+

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