Yokohama A509

Reviewed by: I.J. Coniglio -

"High performance" class 3-season tires.

Overall, I think these are an ideal tire for the Miata. Good dry grip, but not so much you can't break them loose in agressive driving. Very good wet grip. These are my first choice for rain. Plus they're pretty cheap. No shimmies (though I imagine this is due to proper balancing more than the tires themselves). The main downside is treadlife. I got about 12,000 miles out of mine, though this included 2 track events and a decent amount of hard driving. YMMV (literally). I ran these with 32 psi front and rear.

Reviewed by: Angus Samson -

Yokohama A-509 Tyres - 205/50 15 inch

Wet weather performance has been surprisingly good. In fact, it is extremely difficult to lose grip in the wet if you are driving with some care. This came as a great surprise to me as I my dry weather experiences have been so disappointing (see earlier review). Braking and cornering are extremely solid, and the breakaway is much more progressive in the wet than in the dry - you can feel it let go and it is relatively easy to catch. Although I'm used to tip toeing around in tail happy Alfa's, the level of control under acceleration is nothing short of confidence inspiring. The tyres (yes, I'm Australian) make wet weather driving enjoyable.

Would recommend as a winter (ie wet) tyre, although I will take them off for the dry months.

Reviewed by: John Daeschner -

Yokohama A509 tires in the stock size of 185/60-14

I replaced the OEM D89's out of fear for my life. I found them to be slippery and did a couple of spontaneous 180's in the rain. The A509's transformed the car into a predictable, stable machine. I drive it pretty hard and, after about 12,000 miles with the tires, I am completely please. They wear rapidly, as I expected, but I would buy them again. The car does shimy at around 60 to 65, I assumed this is normal - maybe I'm wrong and the tires are at fault. But the price is right and the grip is excellent, besides, I keep it around 75 and all is smooth. My car is a '94 C package, otherwise unmodified, with 58,000 miles.

Reviewed by: Wendell Allen -

185\60 14 performance tire

My A509's were mounted on Prime brand mag wheels on my '92 Miata in the summer of '97. When I first had them mounted, they were set at 32 pounds and squealed loudly when pushed to the limit, which was lower than the tires I took off the car. I raised the psi to 38 pounds on the front and 36 on the rear and it made a drastic difference in how they hold when cornering. The tires work very well now and I'm pleased. The tires have not created any shimmy or balance problems. With the new pressure loaded, however, there is a noticable difference during both cold weather use (about 40 deg. f) and on wet roads. There is a slight reduction of adhesion in both conditions. These are definitely warm, dry weather tires, although performance under other conditions is passable. I've checked wear with the higher pressure across the tread surfaces and it has been even all over, although these tires are wearing at a higher rate than an all season tire would.

Reviewed by: Angus Samson -

Purchased 1992 MX-5 (currenty stock) with Simmons alloys and 205/50 R15's

The tyres only have about 10,000km left in them, but I have found them to be extremely disappointing, especially in the dry. Low speed grip is fairly poor, with understeer coming on strong on when accelerating out of slow corners. However, in fast sweepers, the grip (especially front end) is great. The area, however, which is the tyre really struggles is in braking - the front wheels lock way too early and when the nose dips under braking, the car follows every bump in the road (ie. tramlining). I'm not sure if the width is too wide for the car (you'd think not!) but it really tracks the cambers in the road poorly. Finally, the noise that these things generate is phenomenal - and I get whining and buzzing through the car from the front end between 95 and 110km/hr.

Definitely not recommended but I believe that they have been subequently superseded.

Reviewed by: Jim Calder -

195/60-14 tires

My 1990 has 95,000 miles. I'm on my 4th set of tires. The worst were the A509s 195/60-14. They brought out the 65mph famed Miata shimmy that could not be cured by balancing, aligning (yes I sat in the car) or a cross brace in the rear. The rain capabilities were not so great either. I couldn't wait for them to wear out. I'm now wearing the best tires 205/50-15 Goodyear GSCs. But alas they are no longer made.

Reviewed by: Anonymous

Performance Tire

This is a great summer performance tire. I have the 195/50VR15 size, and there is a tremendous amount of grip to be had before the tires let go. They are very quiet at the limit (doesn't scare the neighbors, but you can be going faster than you realize also). Not bad in the rain, but dry weather performance is the tire's forte. They will not completely eliminate the 65 MPH shimmy common to Miatas.

Back to Product Reviews 9 December, 2003