View Full Version : What is a Semi Slick???

07-10-2011, 08:57 AM
Hey Guys, I receive countless PM's and calls during the day from guys wanting semi slicks for their cars then asking me for prices for tyres such as the Kumho KU36, Toyo R888, and Bridgestone adrenaline believing they are of the same grade and class. Heres a little guide as to the different tyres available on the market.


These are your true semi slicks, they are made with a different compound of rubber than your street tyres, they are softer, stickier, noisier and will heat cycle according to their use and grade. The UTQG(treadwear) is usually a 60 -100. Majority of R comound tyres on the market are also DOT approved and street legal, so you can run them on the street as well, but due to their lower tread depths and bigger tread blocks you may get picked on, you also need to be careful in the wet as the bigger tread patches may induce Aquaplaning as there is less grooves in the tyre for rain to disperse. Like i said earlier these are much softer than your normal street tyres so dont be surprised if they dont last very long especially with daily driving, its like this: these are track tyres you are able to use on the street...

Some tyres falling into this category:
Toyo R888, Brigestonee RE55S, Nitto NT01, Pirelli Corsa, Dunlop DZ03G, Yokohama A050.


I like to call these "street semi's", these tyres are designed for better noise and comfort, and most importantly longer treadlife. Although these are designed for Performance and handling, they are not as performance orientated as a true semi slick, many performance cars are coming out from factory with these tyres now, UTQG ranges from 160-220. These will still be noisy compared to standard tyres, but these are probably the best option for most spirited daily drivers who need sticky tyres. Care also needs to be taken with most of these due to the aquaplaning risks as well. Think of these as street tyres you are able to use on the track, you may not get the same laptime with these tyres, but its a good and usually much more affordable option for the average enthusiast.

Some tyres falling into this category:
Kumho KU36, Toyo R1R, Nitto NT05, Bridgestone RE11, Falken RT615, Yokohama AD08, Yokohama A13.


These are your high performance street tyres, UTQG from 220-320, these are designed for low noise and higher comfort and even longer treadlife. You will find more grooves on the tread so these tyres are much better for the wet, higher UTQG also means you will get many more K's compared to a semi slick for example. While you can still take these on the track, they were not designed for such extended high heat use and some may start to fall apart after a few hot laps, this is where the "street semi's" also have the upper hand for a daily tyre.

Some tyres falling into this category:
Toyo T1R, Toyo T1sports, Yokohama advan sports, A460, Bridgestone RE050A, Adrenaline RE001, Dunlop sportmaxx, DZ101, Nitto INVO...(many many more)

That pretty much covers the main performance classes, you also have your Drag Radials with a 00 UTQG, or your standard tyres for everyday use,
there are many more brands and tyres for all categories but this was just a quick guide to hopefully help people differentiate between a semi slick and a street tyre!