Tire review: Maxxis RC1 vs Nitto NT01

Describing car handling on the Maxxis VR1 tires

With the popularity of the Maxxis RC1 in US SUPER Miata Cup we decided to give these tires a try at our local Atlantic Motorsports Park in Shubienacadie, Nova Scotia. Read on to hear our opinion of these tires in comparison to Nitto NT01.

The current standard in 100 treadwear tires locally is the Nitto NT01. The Nittos are very forgiving tires. They will set their fastest lap even if driven extremely aggressively. They like a lot of slip angle, they set fast laps even with some understeer or oversteer. The Nittos are not too sensitive to tire pressure changes.

Unfortunately, the Nitto only comes in 225/45R15 as the widest 15″ size. The Maxxis, on the other hand, come in 245/40R15.

The extra width is welcome on smaller vehicles that are limited in terms of overall tire diameter that can fit in the wheel well.

Maxxis RC1 tires

The Maxxis RC1s have no tread, whereas the Nitto NT01 has a tread pattern, which give RC1s a crisper feel. The trade off is that the RC1 requires a smoother driver to get the best lap time out of the tire.

The Nittos don’t provide much feedback in terms of noise. Whereas the RC1 is surprisingly audible as you push the tire beyond its limit. This is a positive attribute.

The weight differences between the tires seems negligible.

Nitto NT01 tires

The Nittos seem like they are manufactured to a higher standard than the Maxxis. When balancing the tires the Nittos take very little lead. The Maxxis, on the other hand, need to be Road Force balanced in order to avoid shakes and excessive amounts of balance lead. Take this with a grain of salt because we’ve tried multiple sets of the Nittos, but only one set of the Maxxis. So our sample set is small to be conclusive. Also, the RC1s are terrible in the rain, while the NT01s are not bad.

In conclusion, the Nittos are a much more forgiving tire that will still go fast with an aggressive driving style, whereas the Maxxis rewards a smooth driver. In terms of lap times, we suspect that widest Maxxis of a 15″ diameter is capable of a faster lap than the widest Nitto of a 15″ diameter. In the future we will have data to back up our suspicions.

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