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What is a Semi-Slick Street Tyre?

What is a Semi-Slick Street Tyre?

A semi-slick tyre is a type of tyre designed to bridge the gap between performance street tyres and full-on racing slicks used on tracks. Here’s a breakdown of their key characteristics:

Pro’s – High Performance Grip:

  • Superior Grip: Semi-slick tyres prioritize grip on dry surfaces. They have minimal tread compared to regular street tyres, maximizing the contact patch with the road for better handling and cornering performance.
  • Enhanced Steering Response: The reduced tread allows for a more direct feel of the road, improving steering responsiveness for a more connected driving experience.

Con’s – Not suitable for everyday driving.

  • Limited Wet Weather Performance: While offering some grip in dry conditions, the minimal tread depth of semi-slick tyres compromises performance on wet roads. They are not recommended for everyday driving in wet or rainy climates.
  • Faster Tread Wear: The focus on dry-weather performance comes at the expense of tread life. Semi-slick tyres wear out faster than regular street tyres.
  • Street Legality (Often): Unlike racing slicks, many semi-slick tyres are street-legal, meaning they meet the minimum tread depth requirements for road use. However, always double-check the specific model you’re considering.
  • Higher Noise Levels: The reduced tread pattern can also lead to higher road noise compared to regular street tyres.

Who are Semi-Slick Tyres For?

  • Performance Enthusiasts: Drivers who prioritize dry-weather performance and enjoy occasional track days or spirited driving on dry roads.
  • Autocross or Weekend Track Use: For vehicles used primarily for weekend track events or autocross competitions.

Important Considerations:

  • Not for Everyday Driving: The limitations in wet weather performance and faster tread wear make semi-slick tyres unsuitable for everyday driving in most climates.
  • Matching Your Needs: If you value a balance between performance and everyday practicality, consider high-performance street tyres.

Examples of Semi-Slick Street Tyres

Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD09

The ADVAN Neova AD09 represents the pinnacle of circuit and street usability, offering outstanding performance on tracks, winding roads and every day streets while showcasing a stylish design well suited for customised sports cars. The all new asymmetrical tread pattern allows for exceptional performance in all conditions, making it the perfect tyre for your premium or modified car.

Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R:

  • Designed for racetrack driving on dry asphalt.
  • Developed to provide even greater performance:
  • The occasional of Track Days
  • Fitted to the most powerful vehicles such as BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, McLaren and Porsche.

Kumho Ecsta V730:

  • Designed for sports cars, performance sedans and enthusiast drivers.
  • This ECSTA V730 is built to maximize grip and handling on and off the track.

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2:

The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre for drivers who demand high performance and precision handling on track.

  • Michelin high performance track and road tyre.
  • High levels of steering precision and handling.
  • Excellent grip and control.
  • Designed for longevity and track endurance : 40 % more than its competitors on average.
  • Great consistency of lap times.

Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R

A versatile performance tyre, the ADVAN Neova AD08R excels on any surface, be it the everyday street or the race track. Capable of astonishing lap times, the ADVAN Neova AD08R clocked 1:38.614 at Sydney Motorsport Park, 1:04.08 at Wakefield Park, NSW and 0:59.94 at Tsukuba Circuit, Japan.

Yokohama Advan A050:

Developed using Yokohama’s advanced technology and know how compiled in numerous racing activities, the ADVAN A050 delivers improved levels of cornering, braking and traction plus superb level of handling performance. In Australia, the ADVAN A050 has become “the tyre to have” in Tarmac Rallies, Hillclimbs, Improved Production Racing Association (IPRA) and Time Attack events. The ADVAN A050 tyre is available in Soft and Medium Compounds.

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R:

Bridgestone Potenza Motorsport RE-71RS is a street-legal semi-slick tyre.

Key Bridgestone Potenza RE71RS Tyre Features

  • Street legal semi slick tyre
  • Grip forged on the circuit
  • Enhanced steering feel
  • Outstanding dry grip

Summary: Overall, semi-slick tyres offer a compelling option for drivers who prioritize dry-weather grip and responsiveness, especially for track use or performance driving.

Written By

Matt Banks

Matt is the founder of Autohero.com.au and has been hooked on cars and repairs ever since childhood.

A veteran in automotive since leaving school, Matt has completed his trade as a panel beater and is across all things with wheels.

His first car was a 1967 FORD XR Wagon followed by a string of collectable Holden’s.

Have a question for Matt? leave a comment below.

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