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After deliberating for months over replacement tyres for my Doka Huh, I've finally made a decision Idea

The first dilemma was the size. Not being entirely happy with the 215/80 15s I bought in December, I was pretty determined to return to 215/75 15s

Continental World Contact 215/80 15

But then I remembered the Caravelles we had in the 1990s that were fitted with 16" rims and we were running 225/50 16s if I recall and the road holding was vastly improved over the stock 205/70 14s

So what would work for me that would have roughly the same size as the 215/75 15s I had on previously, but would give me greater width? Well the tyre calculator came up with 225/70 15s

Therein lay the first problem. It's not a popular size in South Africa and would appear to be limited to light commercial vehicles - Vitos, Quantums and the like. All Terrain tyres in that size are non-existent here, except for one obscure Indian manufactured tyre called an Apollo R/T (Rough Terrain) and only available from a dealer in Pretoria that advertises on Gumtree. What came close were two tyres - the Michelin Latitude Cross and the Goodyear Wrangler AT/SA, one profile taller - 225/75 15.

[attachment=4026] [attachment=4027]
Michelin Latitude Cross and Goodyear Wrangler AT/SA

My first choice was the Michelin Latitude Cross at R2,400 ea while the Wrangler AT/SA came in at R1,800. However, the only Latitudes available were all in Johannesburg and a rejected order was subject to a 10% penalty. The Wrangler AT/SAs were out of stock - only one available in the entire country. After searching for full specifications on the net I finally located the numbers I needed and it appeared that the size was just too close to the 215/80 15s I no longer wanted with possible interference issues with the back of the front wheel arch. This would have been exacerbated by fitting mud flaps which I still want to do.

So back to 225/70 15s but which ones? I deliberated over Roadstone CP321s at R1,000 ea, Achilles Multivan's @ R1,400 ea, Dunlop Grandtrek TG27s @ R1,640 ea and Michelin Agilis @ R2,170 ea. There are others, but they are very commercial in appearance.

[attachment=4028] [attachment=4029] [attachment=4030]
Roadstone CP321, Achilles Multivan, Dunlop Grandtrek TG27

The Grandtrek TG27s had a good tread pattern and were the softest tyre in the group. The only one that met my criteria. However I am not a Dunlop fan and stock was a potential issue.

I ordered an Achilles Multivan to look at and noted firstly that the tyre was old stock - manufactured in week 1 of 2013 which always puts me off. It wasn't a bad looking tyre, but the sidewall seemed quite straight with little give, promising a somewhat harsh ride. I was able to compare this directly with a Michelin Agilis. The Agilis has a somewhat rounder sidewall with a little more flex.

Moira Ross at Palm Tyre in Maitland - a long time Michelin fan, said she would go for the Michelin without a doubt. So confident was she in the brand, she said she would fit them and I could ride around on them for two days and then make my decision. Well who could refuse an offer like that?

So, only having done about 50km thus far, I can say that I like the look from the side and the front. I think the size is ideal with a diameter of 709mm and a rolling circumference of 2112mm. For comparison the Bridgestone Dueller D697 A/T 215/75 15 has a diameter of 703.5mm and a rolling circumference of 2144mm. The two are thus very close size wise, but you can see the Dueller has harder sidewalls from its longer rolling circumference.

The downside of the Agilis is the most boring and uninspiring tread pattern imaginable. It looks better in reality than any picture would suggest.

What I can say is the ride is noticeably quiet, the ride is not as harsh as I thought it might be and the steering is for sure a lot sharper. In fact I think the ride is more compliant than the Dueler A/T that has a lower load index.

I just wish I could have got the Michelin Latitude Cross tyres in this size. They are available elsewhere in a 225/70 15 and if I could have waited three months for a special delivery, I would most likely have placed an order for them.

Photos of the tyres on the vehicle will follow in due course. The Agilis is a commercial tyre, so no aggresive off-road A/T looks. It's very much a long-distance highway orientated tyre. Quantum taxi drivers apparently love it.

So while the looks leave me stone cold, I think it's a good tyre, I think it will serve me well and I think I will be happy with its on-road performance. My driving is 99% highway, so I don't have much need for off-road tyres, the additional noise and fuel consumption penalty one has by using them. Time will tell how my 225/70 15s perform.

I gather one is limited to six attachments per post so the Michelin Agilis pic would not load into the above post, but here it is.

Michelin Agilis
Hi Nick

the Caravelle's had 205/60R15, never seen a SA factory Vw T3 with 16" rims, only the 16" syncro had them.

i have just fitted the Falken wildpeak AT to the Vito, went fron 205/60R16 to 215/70 r16, also did a 40mm lift kit to it, runs like a dream.

the Falken tyres are quite as church mouse on the road, grip and braking way improved from the conti vanco 2 that were fited when i bought the vito, ride is also softer with the higher sidewall. really impressed with the Falkens. R1500 each fitted,

you also get the conti world contact, in a 215/75R15 for the toyota Condor, dueller's get an funny wear pattern, high low on the outer lugs,

the Agilis is very much like the vanco, and they were very Kak in the wet, just BTW

i would be keen on your old world contacts price dependent of course

Hi Stuart

Our Caravelle 2.5i's from the nineties had the stock rims removed and were fitted with these 16 X 7" TSW Evos and 225/50 16 tyres. If it wasn't 50 profile it might have been the next profile height up. I'm not 100% sure of the profile - it was twenty years ago now.

[attachment=4032] [attachment=4033]

I also note that you state not only here, but in other posts as well, that local Caravelles had 205/60 15 tyres as OE equipment. This is not correct. They were 205/65 15.

You say that Agilis are kak in the wet. I had concerns about that too, but from what I understand the tread compound has been changed. They currently score a B in the EU rating, which isn't too bad. They are on trial for another day, so we'll see. The choice is rather limited in this size. I was interested in the Bridgestone Duravis R624, which is said to be coming soon. I phoned Bridgestone, who had to go and investigate. They phoned me back and said it's been discontinued. I said it hasn't been launched yet. They said they most probably looked at the potential market and decided it wasn't big enough. I think they were mis-informed, but so be it.

Bridgestone Duravis R624

I'll let you know about the World Contacts.
those tsw evo's are nice rims,

thanks for the correction on the tyre size on 2wd's, don't deal with them much, just what i see on used rims i buy.

i still believe a higher profile gives a softer ride, the Michelin's might be ok, my reference is to the Conti vanco 2, no water dispersement channels, aqua plane for nothing, Michelin's tread look similar.

also seen on the wranglers, tyres marked with both 215R15 and 225/75R15 on the same tyre, moulded one below the other
Having had a better chance to assess the Michelins yesterday, I was beginning to think the ride might be a tad hard for my liking. The only alternative then would be the Dunlop TG27s.

Well let's give them another day or two I thought. So this afternoon while checking them out from every angle I had a look at the contact patch and thought that they seemed to be only touching the ground on the middle two beads. I went and got my pricey PCL Mk 3 Hi-Flo Air Line Gauge and checked the pressure. Holy smokes - 350kPa! So I let out 130kPa and will now test them at 220kPa.

Weather still no good for pics.
The tyres were much better on my test run yesterday with 130kPa less pressure. I didn't have much time for pics this morning, but here are two.

[attachment=4038] [attachment=4039]
Look good Nick
I had one tyre swopped out today, as it wasn't from the same batch as the other and was manufactured back in 2012. If you can read tyres, then it a good idea to take note of these things. It's just bad housekeeping not to rotate the stock in proper order. Anyway, there was no argument about it. I also expressed concern over the amount of wheel weights on the rim. French manufactured Michelins should never have 150gr of weights. They took the wheel off again and then moved the tyre 180° around the rim and then rebalanced it. It now has half the weights it had before.
i have that problem with tyre guys as well. there is a mark on the tyre that goes to the Valve, to balance the tyre before they balance it, to get the least amount of weights on the rim, very few tyre fitters know this, but it is the management that is at fault, not telling the staff, also makes it cheaper for the fitment center, they use less weights, that said they should also then mark the tyre when removing to fix punctures, but they don't.
Had another issue with them when I saw the fitter tightening the wheel nuts in sequence rather than the accepted cross lug sequence. I went and called the manager and said why are they doing this? She said they have been taught, but they don't listen. Well then fire the bastards!

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