The Falken FK510 and the Indy 500 are both summer tires built to stay functional in hot weather. The size 245/40R18 of Falken shows excellent grip on wet and dry roads due to its higher contact patch and numerous sipes.
Whereas, the same size of Firehawk tire displays incredible hydroplaning resistance because of its wider grooves. A detailed analysis of both tires will be done in this article. So, let’s start!
Featuring an asymmetrical tread pattern, FK510 consists of three ribs and two outer shoulders. The shoulders of this tire are compact and the shoulder blocks are closely packed. While longitudinal grooves are running around the tread, the lateral grooves are missing. This is compensated by the numerous and deep sipes found all over the tread.
The Indy 500 also possesses an asymmetrical tread look with two broad shoulders. There are two ribs sandwiched between the shoulders and 3 longitudinal grooves running around them. Just like FK510, no lateral grooves are present. In addition to this, the number of sipes is also less and the blocks are not compact either.
The Falken FK510 exhibits good grip capacity on dry roads because of its lower void ratio. Since the grooves of the tire are narrower in comparison, its contact area is increased. As a result, the tread strongly bites the road while moving. That’s why it stops at 80.40 feet when vehicle is braked at 50km/h speed. In addition to this, it displays excellent grip on wet roads too because of the numerous sipes found all over the tread. When brakes are applied at the speed of 50km/h on a wet surface, these tires stop at 103.60 feet. This braking distance is a lot shorter than their competitor.
On the other hand, the Indy 500 exhibits a lower contact area due to of its wider grooves. This is what makes its grip less strong on dry roads than its opponent. When we tested these tires, they stopped at a comparatively higher distance of 82.1 feet when brakes were applied at 50km/h. The same is the case for wet roads as well. The lesser number of sipes found on its tread affected its performance on wet surfaces. This resulted in a higher braking distance of 125.90 feet on wet surface.
Coming towards handling, both the tires displayed equally good performance in managing steering response over dry roads. Both of them were able to complete a lap on dry surface at the same time which is 30.25 seconds. However, the FK510 has compact shoulders along with closely packed tread blocks. Talking about the wet handling, they were able to complete a lap on damp track in just 33.98 seconds which is a lot better than the Firehawk. The numerous sipes found on the tire’s shoulders aided it to perform better on wet surfaces.
In comparison, the Indy 500 was also able to complete a lap on dry tracks in just 30.25 seconds. However, its shoulders are not as compact as its counterpart. Moreover, the shoulder blocks are not closely positioned either. So, these factors might hinder the tire’s performance at some point. However, these tires were unable to exhibit the same performance on wet tracks. That’s because the sipes on the shoulders are neither numerous nor deep. So, the vehicle was unable to manage steering response effectively on wet surfaces and took 36.70 seconds to complete a lap.
When tested for hydroplaning resistance, the Falken FK510 lagged a bit behind its competitor due to its relatively narrower grooves. So, there is less space for the removal of water and the vehicle might lose its grip on flooded roads.
The Indy 500 did not disappoint us in terms of hydroplaning. It offers supreme hydroplaning resistance because of greater void ratio. The wide grooves of the tire offer vacuum for the effective channelling of water. So due to this the chances of accidents are minimized and traction is improved.
Comparing Rolling Resistance
The force required to keep a tire moving on the road’s surface is known as rolling resistance. The greater the tire’s contact patch, the higher its rolling resistance will be. Here, the FK510 will require more energy to roll because of its greater contact patch. This will lead to greater friction and the vehicle will require more fuel to overcome the loss of energy.
On the other hand, the less contact area of the Indy 500 helps the tire in rolling smoothly. Since less area of the tread comes in direct contact with the road, it encounters lower rolling resistance as well. The lower rolling resistance will also mean that less hysteresis is produced and as a result, the fuel efficiency will increase.
FK510 offers a quieter ride because of its narrower grooves. Due to the lower void ratio, air particles have less space to be entrapped. Since the air particles will not be trapped, they will not strike back and forth either which is the main cause of noise. This is what makes these tires a relatively comfortable option.
Firehawk Indy is a noisier tire in comparison because of its wide grooves which offer more space for the entrapment of air particles. Moreover, the linear design of these tires does not offer the cancellation of the sound waves. So, when the air particles will strike against the walls of the tire, it will produce a lot of noise adding to the discomfort of the riders.
Durability & Treadwear
Even though FK510 has greater rolling resistance but its strong structure makes it one of the most durable summer tires out there. Its tread utilizes a silica-infused wet compound and dry-focused hybrid rubber which adds more to its durability. In addition to this, the internal construction of these tires is done using single-ply polyester and twin high-strength steel belts. The blend of these materials helps it perform well in dry weather conditions, chips & bruises, and slows wear.
Indy 500 is also quite a durable tire because of its durable internal construction. The tread is built of strong one-ply polyester casing along with twin steel belts. This is made more sturdy by the Aramid Nylon cap-ply used in manufacturing. However, its durability is not as good as of its opponent. As a result, it wears rate is higher than FK510.
Talking about the price, Firehawk Indy is a bit higher-priced than its competitor. However, its high price is justified because of its excellent dry handling, lower rolling resistance, and remarkable hydroplaning resistance. But, if you do not want to spend too much, then Falken FK510 with its incredible grip, wet handling, comfort, and durability is an affordable option to consider.
- Both are summer tires.
- Dry and wet grip of Falken is better.
- Wet handling of Falken FK510 is more efficient as well.
- Indy shows more resistance to hydroplaning.
- Rolling resistance of Firehawk Indy is lower leading to better fuel efficiency.
- Falken Azenis is a more durable option.
- Firehawk Indy is a higher-priced tire.