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The not quite A-Z guide on what tyres you need

July 23, 2021

Not all tyres are created equal - you wouldn’t put diesel into your Skyline, just like you wouldn’t use your competition tyres heading into snowy conditions. To make sure you stay on the right track this year, we’ve put together an abridged list of tyres types. 

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Sports Tyres

Sports Tyres are designed to dominate on race tracks and race tracks only. They’re not something you’d put on your passenger car as they aren’t going to hold upto all weather conditions.


Competition Tyres

Slicks or Racing Slicks are a type of tyre that has a smooth tread used mostly in auto racing. They were designed in the 1950s for use in drag racing. Slick tyres are not suitable for on-road use for a passenger car as they are not deemed safe in all weather conditions.


Semi-Slick Tyres

Semi Slick tires generally refer to tyres that have a design that somewhat replicates the slick racing tires that dominate on race tracks - except they offer some grooves. Semi-slick tyres are approved for the road to make the most of the vehicle capacity!


Specialty Tyres

Over the years more and more tyres have been created fit for specific purposes. Run-flats for example, have gone from sci-fi and James Bond films to being common place on the new Mini Cooper. There’s a never ending list of speciality tyres but these two are the ones we get the most enquiries about.


Runflats Tyres

A run-flat tire/tyre is a pneumatic vehicle tyre that is designed to resist the effects of deflation when punctured, and to allow the vehicle to continue to be driven at reduced speeds. The basic benefit of using run-flat tires is continued mobility in case of a loss of air pressure, due either to a 'normal' puncture or to a hostile deliberate act including a bullet strike while the vehicle is traveling at high speed.


Highway Terrain Tyres

These are for vehicles spending more than 80% of the time on the road and in relatively unchallenging conditions. The tread is designed to offer the best grip on tarmac, especially in the wet.


Off-Road Tyres

Sports Tyres are designed to dominate on race tracks and race tracks only. They’re not something you’d put on your passenger car as they aren’t going to hold upto all weather conditions.


Snow/Ice/Winter Tyres

The tread rubber compounds of winter tires are designed to remain flexible, allowing the tire to grip the road better. A unique feature of winter tires is deeper tread depths and unique tread patterns. Deeper tread depths reduce snow buildup and provide better traction on the snow. Please Note: Winter tyres are not widely used in New Zealand and there is very limited availability to them here. NZTA have strict rules & requirements on there use on passenger vehicles in New Zealand.


Mud Terrain

Mud tyres can be identified by the symbol M/T, but really, their enormous chunky tread makes them pretty obvious. Full on mud tyres are only really for dedicated off-road 4WDs or those spending the vast amount of time on rough terrain (at least 80%).


Rugged Terrain

Rugged terrain, sometimes referred to as rough terrain or R/T tires are also known as hybrid-terrain tires: essentially a combination of an all-terrain and a mud-terrain tire. An R/T, or rough/rugged terrain tire, blends the more aggressive look of a mud tire with the more comfortable ride and long-lasting performance of an all-terrain tire.


All-Season Tyres

All season tyres offer versatile performance and are designed to perform in a variety of conditions including wet roads and light winter driving. All season tyres are designed to offer a combination of benefits from summer and winter tires


Directional Tyres

These tyres are designed with single-direction V-shape tread pattern to draw water through the treads and resist hydroplaning at high speeds they also have excellent stopping and heat dissipation qualities.


Asymmetric Tyres

This design blends the needs of dry grip traction with a pattern to draw water away for traction on wet roads. The outer side of the tyre features large treads for cornering and stability while the inner side has a smaller tread pattern to increase water dispersal and traction on snow and ice. The style tyre may often have "This Side Out" molded into the sidewall.


Symmetrical Tyres

Symmetrical tyres can be fitted and rotated in either direction as both halves of the tread pattern are identical. They are particularly quiet and provide good roadholding.


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