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Falken Ziex ZE-512 Car Tire Review
A consumer's opinion of the Falken Ziex ZE512 225/60R16 98V automotive tire including retailer listings.

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2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP
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Falken Ziex ZE512 Tire
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Size 225/60R16

These Falken Ziex ZE-512 tubeless steel belted radials are the fourth set of tires to be put on my 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP.

General Motors OEM equipped the car with the Eagle RS-A tires which lasted about 20,000 miles. They were adequate but I wore them out prematurely while getting used to my car's 240 horsepower & 280 torque 3.8 liter supercharged engine.

Next I had the Bridgestone / Firestone Potenza RE730 ($115 each) performance summer tires that were excellent but the soft compound only lasted 25,000 miles.

After the RE730 tires I went cheap and bought the Fuzion ZRi summer tires at $56 each. Read my full Fuzion ZRi Tire Review for all the details on those great budget radials.

I received these tires as a gift from my brother but from searching online it looks like they can be had anywhere from $70 to $115 depending on size.

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98V 149 MPH Speed Rating
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Wheel Rim Protection Ridge
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Tubeless Steel Belted Radial
Some of the speed ratings that the Falken Ziex ZE-512 are available in include "H" 130MPH, "V" 149 MPH, "W" 168MPH, and "Y" 186 miles per hour. My set is rated at 98V for up to 149 miles per hour which is way over the 128 MPH computer limited top speed of the '01 Pontiac GTP.
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16 Inch Torque Star Wheel
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Uni-Directional Tread
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Circumferential Grooves


 
So far I've driven a few thousand miles on the Falken Ziex ZE512 tires and they obviously feel great in comparison to the old Fuzion ZRi tires that had 35,000 hard driven miles on them when they were discarded.

They are semi "grippy" which means that they have excellent traction but also give great feedback when approaching the limit by making progressively louder squealing sounds. I also can feel what the tires are doing in a hard corner through the vibrations in my seat, the steering wheel, and gas pedal. They do exhibit some slight sidewall flexing but that's expected and forgivable with a consumer tire at this price level.

The uni-directional treads and circumferential grooves hold traction well, channel water quickly, and don't hydroplane even in heavy rainstorms. The road noise is the lowest of any tire so far in my car's history but then again the tires are new. We'll see how that holds up with a rotation at 5k miles. If you do hear a lot of noise from your car, check your wheel bearings, they might need to be replaced.

Overall, I'm really happy with these tires which were top rated by Consumer Reports.

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All Season Performance Tires
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Made In Japan
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M & S Rated "Tuner" Class
Hopefully the ride and wear rate with the Falken Ziex ZE512 tires will stay consistent and I won't have to use the 60,000 mile tread wear warranty. We don't have to parallel park here in South Florida, but I'm glad that the tires have that handy rim protection ridge for peace of mind.

Some of the retail locations that sell Falkens include Meineke Tire & Car Care Center, Sears Auto Center, Tire Kingdom, American Tire Depot, America's Tire Company, Tires Warehouse, and Discount Tire Company.

Update 5/20/11 - This set of Falken Ziex ZE-512 tires lasted me about four years and 21,000 miles of somewhat spirited driving. For more, check out my Discount Tire Direct Review and Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Center Review.
 

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