“What tire would you recommend?” is a tough question where the answer might depend budget, purpose, sizing, and others factors. But for an affordable, reliable tire that’s predictable enough to practice on, my first answer is usually the Delinte D7 Thunder. Yep, that’s right! It’s not something from any of the major brands, but hear me out: I give this recommendation ONLY because I’ve used this tire first hand on my own S14 for daily driving, long trips, and drifting practice.
Jami arrived in his Lexus IS300 looking for a tire that wouldn’t hurt his wallet. His car was cleverly named “SXE Miku,” referring simultaneously to the chassis code of the car (SXE-10) and the Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku. Beneath the fenders stood clean, double-step-lipped wheels that were wrapped in “Patriot” tires, presumably another budget brand, though I had no prior experience with them. It was time to remove these; off with the old and on with the new.
The most enjoyable aspect of this tire is its predictability and lifespan. It’s easily not the most grippy tire I’ve ever driven on, but that’s what makes it great. You don’t need to surpass your nerves and mental limit to break traction, which makes it a suitable tire for learning and practicing drifting at low speeds.
But at the same time, it’s a fine tire for daily driving. The water channeling is good, and it also lasts a long time. Best of all, it’s a very affordable tire — way less expensive than the offerings from most if not all the major brands.
After a short while, I was finished mounting the tires to the wheels and the wheels to the car. Meanwhile, Jami was up stairs wrapping up a spontaneous Dance / Trance set at the DJ booth. At the time of writing, it’s been a few weeks since Jami acquired these Delinte tires, and I think he’s happy with them.