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Discussion Starter #1
Well I've had these tyres on the Z for about 1500km now and I thought I'd share with you my experiences.

Firstly, just to clarify I have 225/50R17 front and 235/50R17 rear. Asside from Bridgestone Potenza RE040, Goodyear was the only other tyre manufacturer that makes the same size tyres for my Touring Z.

I paid $255 for each front and $330 for each rear tyre, balanced and fitted. I don't know why the rears are so much more than the fronts, but pricing difference between the fronts and rears was the same at each store I rang for a quote. Funnily enough, the same day I replaced my tyres, a mate of mine got D3's for his XR8. He has 235/45R17 all around and only paid $265 per corner. I would have thought that the lower profile XR8 tyres would have been more expensive than my rears, but no.

I bought them and had them installed at Bling Central (Tempe Tyres) and Peter P did my alignment.

Now onto the review, which I have broken into catagories:

Noise level
The very first thing I noticed when driving out of Bling Central was how amazingly quiet the tyres were. The tyre roar from the RE040's was finally gone (insert RELIEF emoticon here). I used to get tyre roar from about 35km/h +. But now, these tyres are silent I tell you. I can now actually hear the engine compression on downshifts at a low 1500rpm. I never heard that on the Z ever with the RE040's, even when new! Now the only time I hear any tyre noise is when driving on coarse bitumen and I expect that I would experience the same noise level driving a Falcon with 65 profile tyres on coarse bitumen, so now complaints there. The soft tyre wall might have something to do with the low noise level of these tyres.

Ride Quality
The other thing I immediately noticed upon leaving Bling Central was just how much smoother the ride was. The G3's seem to roll smoothly ovet the road compared to the RE040's which seemed to grind over the road. Small bumps are now soaked up by the tyre and not transmitted thought to the chassy by the stiff OEM suspension. You still feel the bumps, but they are not as harsh. For example, I travel down Canterburry Rd daily and this is a crap road due to the potholes and expansion joints. I still feel each expansion joint as the car rides over it, but I no longer feel the harsh thud over each joint. Again, I'm sure this is related to the softer tyre wall than on the Bridgestones.

Break Feel
I also immediately noticed that the D3's did not "seem" to pull up as quickly under brakes when slowing from slow speeds. That is when slowing from 30km/h, I felt I had to push harder on the pedal to get the car to pull up to a standstill, compared to the RE040's. I really cannot state catagorically that one tyre stops better than the other, but there was a definite difference in brake pedal feel between the two tyres. I prefered the brake pedal feel with the RE040's.

Steering Feel
The RE040's use to tramline badly, following the roads irregularities. This meant that I was constantly correcting the steering angle to keep the car straight. Tramlining has been totaly eliminated with the D3's. The car now just follows the camber of the road and I don't have to muscle the steering wheel. The D'3 just don't transmitt all the road irregularities though to the steering wheel.

Steering Response
Before buying these tyres, I did a lot of research and one of the negative comments that kept appearing was a lack of steering response. This was a concern for me as I didn't want the Z to loose its inherent sharp steering.
Under normal driving conditions, the steering response of the D3's is as good as I expected.
I have noticed however that the steering response of the D3's when driving at full tilt is a just a little lacking compared to the RE040's. I'll explain what I mean by describing driving at full tilt through a small tight roundabout. As I approach the entrance to the roundabout, the front wheels are pointing left. I line up the apex of the roundabout and swing the steering wheel right to exit the roundabout. The D3's don't respond immediately on turning the steering wheel to the right. They take just a few tenths of a second before they bite the pavement and turn. The car goes exactly where I am asking it to go, but the 1 or 2 tenths that it takes to react is a little disconcerting. I have made every roundabout BTW, without hitting any guttering.
I haven't taken the car on any tight twisty roads with these tyres yet, so I am not sure how they will handle the changes in direction. I suspect that they will cope, but I will have to get use to the momentary delay prior to reaction.
Also, the D3's do not transmitt the full compliment of road information they traverse. This is a good thing if you want a little comfort in your ride as I have expained previously. However, if you want to know everything going on under the tyre, then the RE040's are a more suitable choice.

Dry Grip
The dry grip of the G3's when the tyres are cold is significantly better than the RE040's. When turning on concrete roads with the RE040's when they were cold, I had to be very gentle on the accelerator as the back end could come let go very easily. I have not lost the rear end of the Z with the D3's in 1500km of driving.
When accelerating from standstill, I can dial up 3000rpms on the D3's and they will spin off the line. At the same rpms on the RE040's, the car would sit on the spot and spin, then bounce the rear at about 4800rpm and I would not get off the line until I shifted to 2nd.
As impressive as that may be, the most impressive feature of the D3's dry grip performance is its cornering ability. The D3's seriously leave the RE040's for dead in this comparison. On my way home from work each weekday, I takle a 90 degree left hand corner. This is a perfect corner as it is at the bottom of a hill. This corner is basically at the valley of this hill, so you driving downhill into the corner and uphill out of it. Also, being a left hander, the camber of the road assists the cars turn-in ability. Anyhow, I had never taken this corner above 65km/h with the RE040's as the back end would start to come loose above that speed. With the D3's, I have taken this same corner at 79km/h - Phenominal. I must admit that at that speed, I was concerned that the rear was going to break free, but no. Now I have to get into the 80's!
I think that part of the reason that the D3's are far superior to the RE040's in this bend is due to the fact that my RE040's were quite worn and they no doubt loose grip as tread was just about at the indicator bars. Also, I have only ever taken this corner in autumn / winter with the RE040's and road temp would also have an effect on grip in winter. None the less, I'm very satisfied with the dry grip of the D3's.

Wet Grip
The D3's are supposed to be the bees knees in the wet. Now don't get me wrong, you can spin the D3's in the wet easily with too much gas from standstill, as you can any tyre.
The RE040s' wet cornering ability were woefull. In contrast, the D3's can be driven almost as hard as in the wet up to about 8/10ths. The D3's give the driver a lot of confidence to drive quickly in the wet. In fact, under normal driving conditions, I can drive the Z with the same attitude in the wet as the dry - the D3's are that reassuring. In contrast, with the RE040's, I have to drive cautiously in the wet.
Who need AWD when you got D3's :jk:

Treadwear
Too early to tell, but I'm hoping to see 35,000 km as other users report good mileage from the D3's. I got 26,500km from the RE040's, although, I could have stretch another 1-2000km from them, but the noise was pissing me off badly.

In summary, if you are after a tyre that will communicate all road information, turn in sharply on demand and are prepared to accept tramlining / thumping / roaring as a trade off, then there are better tyres fro you on the market than the GS D3's.

If on the other hand, you need a very good performing tyre to meet your everyday driving needs - quiet, descent ride. great dry and wet weather handling - and allow you to test the envelope of the Z's performance abilities, then the GS D3's are the go.

I recall one reviewer of the GS D3's state that these tyres are the ultimate TOURING tyre, but not necessarily the best performance tyre for those that are drive at 10/10ths consistently. I have to agree with that review. If I wanted a multipurpose tyre for road and track use, I would stick with the Bridgestone brand and probably get the SO3's and put up with its shortcomings on the road. However, I rarely go to the track and I constantly drive on crappy Sydney roads, so the ultimate TOURING tyre does me just fine.
 

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Thanks for the good write-up. Just out of interest what other tyres were you contemplating buying, and what made you choose the D3's over them.
 

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Thanks for the comprehensive first hand report. Much appreciated.

I would say the delay you feel in turn in is the soft tyre wall. It'll be great for the 1/4mile but not so great on the track.

Still a great all rounder imho.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Perth350Z - I wanted to get tyre sizes that would maintain the front to back stager. Unfortunately, there are very few options available. As I said before only the RE040's and GS D3's are available in the exact tyres sizes. However, I was prepared to go to different non OEM sizing, while maintaining a stagger, just to avoid the RE040's again.

I considered the Kumho MX in a 235/45R17 front and 255/45R17 rear, but the rear sizes were not available in Aust according to the website and Peter P.

I also considered the Falken FK451's in 235/45R17 front and 255/45R17 rear and was seriously considering getting these, but came accross the GS D3's.

The problem with the MX's and FK451's was that both my front and rear rims were the minimum width to accept these tyre sizes. I prefer to have an optimum rim width for a designated tyre size, rather than putting wider tyres on my narrower rims.

I looked at all the major manufacturers for replacement tyres. Dunlop, Toyo, Yokohama and Michelin did not have a suitable tyres sizes or load ratings for my needs.

Pirelli had suitable tyres but if I recal correctly, I had to mix types between fronts and rears. Also, they were about $550 per corner, which I think is totaly unreasonable for 17" tyres.

I didn't even look into Goodyear as I have never considered Goodyear to be a manufacturer of high performance tyres. So out of interest and partly desparation, I went to their website and found they had the exact tyre sizes (both front and back) and the exact load rating for the Touring 17" wheels. It was as if Goodyear targeted the 350Z with this tyre. Then I did lots of research on comparisons and reviews of the GS D3's and to my relief, these tyres rated up with the SO3's and Michelin Pilot sports. So ultimately, it was a pretty easy descision to buy these tyres.

Zuffy - I am very happy with these tyres as they do everything very well. There is not one area that they can be clasified as hopeless at.
 

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Thx KY. You've given a great insight into my next tyre choice. BTW what mileage did you get out of your RE040's??
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got 26,500km from the RE040's, although, I could have stretch another 1-2000km from them, but the noise was pissing me off badly.
 

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Yah. Good write-up.

My RE040's on my Track rims are getting closer to end-of-life, so before the end of the year I should have new tyres.

I'm probably going to line up a set of Dunlop D02G's, which are a road-legal semi-slick. I'm not expecting much more than 10,000kms out of them, but after they go in and I take them out for a bit of a run I'll try doing a similar report.
 
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