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Old 11-30-06, 07:52 PM   #1
lackskill
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Default My opinion of the Nokian Hakka RSi winter tire

I ordered my 225/45/17 Nokian Hakka RSi's from www.tiresbyweb.com for $802 shipped. I have had these on for about 5 weeks now. I logged somewhere upwards of 1000mi of all road types from twisty mountain roads to straight freeways in any weather from 50* and dry to 12* and snowing heavily. Rain, snow, ice, dirt, gravel, and bare pavement. Slow cruising to spirited mountain cornering with bursts up to ~120mph.


My overall impression of the overall dry weather performance is that they are mediocre, but hey its a snow tire and if a snow tire performs well in dry weather it will suck in the snow.
They are (obviously) significantly softer than the 070s and the siping is extensive to say the least. This extensive siping causes them to want to wander a little at speed, but im pretty critical some people may not even notice. They break traction very progressively and predictably and they recover quickly. In cornering they feel like they will let go long before they actually do. I didnt feel confident carving at speed for a while, but the limit is quite a bit further than it felt. At 120 they still responded better than I would have anticipated, braking and cornering were no less unpredictable than at, say 60. Straight line braking isnt too bad, but any bumps or turning gave me a sense of nearing the edge of control under hard braking. Overall, it performs about as well in dry conditions as I could expect a hardcore snow tire to perform. My Rating: 5/10

In wet weather they are significantly better than the 070's. You still get the slight lack of surefootedness feeling, and the minor wandering. But they hold well in corners and under hard braking. They resist hydroplaning better than I would have guessed by looking at the tread. As a matter of fact, I didnt experience any hydroplaning what so ever in some pretty heavy rains and standing water with speed of up to 80. My rating: 7/10

In heavy snow, as deep as 24" of 14* powder, I cant imagine how they could be any better. I was plowing through snow up to my hood and I never had to stop or back up. I didnt need momentum to carry myself through, and I was still able to turn pretty well. I could stop, cut the wheel to the lock in either direction and start going again with no problems at all, and I would move in the direction the wheel was turned. I have driven 4x4 trucks that didnt do this good. I was also able to stop in grill deep snow facing down hill, do a 5 point turnaround and head right back up the hill. I got stuck one time. It was in about 24" deep drift snow in a driveway where I couldnt gain enough momentum to carry myself through. Any vehicle, regardless of tire will get stuck in drift snow without either enough ground clearance or enough momentum to carry the length of the drift. I was passing through drifts on the road where the snow was about 2" up the bumper with only about 10-15 mph entry speed on a 15' long drift. Again, I cannot stress enough how good these tire did in the snow. I give them a 10/10.

About 36 hours after the snow stopped falling, the roads became either solid ice or drifts. The ice is anywhere from 1-5" thick. I have driven about 400 miles on this ice and in the snow in the last 4 days. In all those miles the only time I slid where I didnt purposely induce the slide I was on the freeway which was heavily rutted ice and 2 sets of ruts converged. My tail slid ~3". Last year and the year before I drove a 4x4 datsun on studs in the snow with ~250lbs in the bed. It was nowhere near that good. Every time I started or stopped it was completely without incident. Not once did I spin or slide. I have to drive down a very steep hill to leave my house and its a solid sheet of ice, never did my ABS even engage. I was purposefully stopping in the middle of the steepest iciest hills I could find. Never did I not stop and I got up every hill I attempted. I cant even remember having to let the ABS kick in unless I was trying to see how fast I could stop. I am more impressed with these tires that I ever imagined I could be. No tire could have avioded that little slide I did have so on ice I give another 10/10.

Fun factor? 9/10 because it can actually be hard to get the tires to break loose. In a straight line in second gear on solid ice they wont break free even under WOT until I hit ~10psi. But once I do break them free at no point do I feel even remotely out of control. Drifting is effortless, and easily recoverable. Donuts are quick and tight. And the fact that I can plow through powder deep enough to pack my grill and lower radiator opening completely full is beyond words.

Overall as a winter tire I give these a 9/10 because I have never felt so safe and in control of any vehicle in these conditions. I recommend anyone doing any kind of snow or ice driving, in any vehicle atleast try these tires. They are everything I have ever read they are and then some.
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