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Are Semi Slicks Tires Legal On Roads?

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Hey fellas,

I drove past an Evo with Semi slick Good year racing tyres on. I would have thought these are illegal for Street use. Can someone please confirm if this is the case as I wouldn't mind a pair myself. Looks really nice and adds safety.



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semi slicks are certainly legal...but they are not a simple choice

they wear out 5-10x quicker than a normal tyre

they are very noisey

they tramline (follow the road surface) like crazy

they are harsh

they are bad to terrible in the wet (depends on brand and amount of tread)

they have noticeably less grip when cold.

they are expensive

on the + side, they are excellent fun once warm

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I got only 3000kms from a set of RE55's. Had fun with them but definitely not for everyday use and damn expensive. Not to mention they pick up evey single rock and flick em like crazy from behind.

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"semi-slicks" is really a made up class of tyre. in reality there are 2 types of tyre. street legal and not street legal. if the tyre is DOT or E marked then it's a very good bet it's legal for road use in australia. some so called semi-slicks are not but 90% of them are. full slicks are not legal simply because they are designed for race use only so the manufacturers never bother to get them tested to DOT standards.

duncan outlined the facts pretty well. despite them being legal they are not neccissarily the best choice for a road car, particularly if you do a lot of kms. I've used semis as road tyres on many of my cars but they were driven at most once a week. on cars you drive a lot there are better options out. if you want to do a lot of road kms but still do the odd track day I'd get something like advan AD08s or dunlop Z1 star specs. great street tyres and still good on track.

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many new sportscars are coming out standard with tyres that have semi slick style tread, but the big difference is in the rubber compound, so while it may look like a semi slick its actually very much so a street tyre made with the track in mind, think yokohama ad07/8, kumho ku36, bridgestone re11 or nitto nt05 etc as Richard said these are the best option for a daily driven car and are much safer in day to day conditions,( I like to call these "street semi's" to make life easier when comparing to true semi slicks such as Toyo R888, Bridgestone Re55s, yokohama a050).

dont forget semi slicks usually have less tread depth, in NSW you need at least 1.5mm else its a defect, semi slicks will reach this much quicker due to low depth to begin with and fast wear, even though they may still have life left as a track tyre, on the street they will be a defect.

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From personal experience you will tire (pun not originally intended but I'll take it anyway) of track semis on the road very quickly. It's like having the NVH turned up to 11. I've driven a few klms on semis on the street and I'm always desparate to get my other set of rims on after a week or so. There are not that many opportunities to use their performance on the road either (though I did have a stunning drive down the GOR on a set once) so the upside is small and the downside is large. Just go a performance street tyre as all others have said.

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