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First 5000 miles on Nokian WRC Van tires . . .
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: First 5000 miles on Nokian WRC Van tires . . . Reply with quote

Hey Folks!

Well, the short version of this story is this is a fantastic tire. I've encountered some rough terrain, weather and wind and these tires rock. Aside from the fact that they are environmentally friendly using low aromatic oils in their manufacturing, they have a beefy, grippy tread with stabilizing siping to hold up in sidewinds, heavy rain, and even have the severe weather "snowflake" symbol to hold up in snow and ice (even though I have yet to test them in winter conditions). Just got back from a road trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone and encountered some of the heaviest rain I've ever been in. A lot of folks had to pull over, but my honey (no not the Mussbus, well okay sure, why not) and I kept cruisin' right through with not even a hint of hydroplaning. We also encountered some washboard dirt while hitting Red Rock Pass for 60 miles along the Continental Divide in Southwest Montana with no slipping at all even in my 2WD. I have so much confidence in these tires and the road trip just completed my first 5000 miles. Brought them in to get them rotated and was pleased to be informed they are wearing evenly and perfectly. Should last at least 50,000 miles!

The longer version of the story is for a very long time I was doing extensive research to find the best tire to wrap the new rhein alloys I was about to purchase from Van-Cafe in Santa Cruz, CA. I kept peppering Peter Jones (owner) about once a week with different tire options, sizes, brands, types and he was supportive and interested the whole time. Originally, I wanted a burly tire that would hold up to Baja dirt and Sierra snow and was looking into 215/75/15's in either BFG's or Yokohama Geolanders. From reading posts, I also found Nokian tires and really liked their ideology and producing "green" tires that earn the birch leaf earth friendly symbol. No petroleum products are used in the manufacturing of their tires. I was sold. At first I wanted to go for the Vatiivas. but later found out that in the 215/75/15's, they were a low pressure tire and didn't have the 6 ply "C" rating that vanagon tires need. I also learned that I would lose a lot of power in the hills with a taller tire so I went down to 205/65/15's and finally chose the WRC Van tires. After 5000 miles, I'm glad I did. They look great on the rheins, perform amazingly, are super quiet and I've been getting the best gas mileage I've had in the 12 years I've owned The Mussbus. My best on the trip was 19 mpg with a stock 2.1 waterboxer! (rebuilt by Seth Hatfield, thanks Seth, the van has been running great!) Might not be just the tires, but the low rolling resistance definitely helps.

After I bought the tires, I brought them to Peter at Van-Cafe to have them installed on the rheins and kicked down for a set of bilstein HD shocks as well which has made my ride the sweetest it's ever been. He liked the tires so much that he is now a Nokian tire dealer and sells both the WRC and the three season Hakka C van tires individually or with the rhein wheel package here:

http://www.van-cafe.com/home/van/page_1089_341/15_wheel__tire_package___rheins__nokians.html

Thanks to Peter and the gang at Van-Cafe for taking care of the Mussbus and for being patient with my barrage of questions and comments! Rick did an awesome job on the installation and thanks to Eric for my first rotation. See you again in 5000 miles and I'm so psyched these tires are now more readily available for folks!

Peace
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, almost got it . . .
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Last edited by '88Mussbus on Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a pic of Czul and the MussBus on Red Rock Pass. We were so happy to get here. Thanks Seth and Peter!


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=571881
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wbx
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for that extensive write-up. Probably sometime in the next year i'll need to replace my tires (Continental Vanco-Contact - they are medium Ok, i guess...). I'm currently torn between Bus Depot's Vredestein tire and Van-Cafe's Nokian Hakka-C Van.

I do have an additional question for you - how is the ride quality? My current tires ride somewhat harshly (in my opinion) and am attracted to Vredestein's claims.

Thanks
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WBX,

This ride is so quiet and smooth in my all season WRC's . . . if you get the Hakka C's it'll be even quieter which I can't even imagine. If you mostly drive on pavement I would get the Hakka C's unless you plan to drive in snow. If you play in a lot of dirt and plan to encounter snow, I would go for the WRC's. Period.
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been really happy with my Hakka CS's
Overall, I think Nokian makes a great product with excellent quality control. While they can be a PITA to get, they are worth it.
Tiresbyweb did me well too. Ended up buying mine from them through ebay and saved a couple bucks.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really have loved my Hakka's. They do well in all conditions. You would have to take them at gunpoint from my wife, she loves the WR's on the Land Rover, especially in the snow. They are a great product, worth the search.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: First 5000 miles on Nokian WRC Van tires . . . Reply with quote

Great informative write-up. I'm on my second set of older nokians and just love them. I think the WR's may be in my future. Thanks for the review.

Bob
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bob. But make sure you ask for the WR'C"'s. The WR's have been discontinued, but there is a WRG2 which is an SUV tire but not suited for the vanagon.
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droogvan
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just recently put Nokian WRG2's on Rhein's and I love them. Far better than the Michelin's that preceded them.
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funagon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want some of those. Glad to see it will be easy to Get Nokians now that my favorite vendor has come through with the good stuff. Good price, too
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, the price is definitely right. Much cheaper than when I bought mine and brought them in. Someone's always gotta pave the way though . . .
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squeegee_boy
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the write-up! I am seriously thinking of the Rhein package with the WRC option when my current 14" Hakkapelattia (or however it's spelled) CS's wear out. It may be a year or two, though.

Robyn

PS, it was good talking to you in Yellowstone!
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buildyourown
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'88Mussbus wrote:
Thanks Bob. But make sure you ask for the WR'C"'s. The WR's have been discontinued, but there is a WRG2 which is an SUV tire but not suited for the vanagon.


The 215/65R16 G2 has a 102 load index and an XL sidewall. That plenty for a van. I would prefer the C rating for offroad use myself but that is a great tire for a pavement van.
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was looking into those too at one point, but was advised against it since the XL is still only a 4 ply sidewall. To each his own, build your own . . .
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'88Mussbus
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Squeegee Boy,

It was great meeting you and your family as well and thanks again for the beer! Back home now with lots of great memories. Hope our paths will cross again soon.
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JoshG
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought the WRG2 SUV in a 215/65/16 XL load rating of 102. So far, I absolutely love them! Very much hoping they will perform well in New England winters (they have the extreme winter designation) so I can avoid the change over to winter tires and only deal with one set of tires. But I've put probably 1000k on them so far and they are smooth and quiet and handle great.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

does anyone know the wear rating (mileage) for the Hakka C's? Also, I am looking at these vs the Michelin Hydroedge (which claim 85,000 miles!) Any thoughts?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

howdyhoss: I ride both. My Hakka CS's are 195/70/15 for winter duty. Currently about 12,000 miles on them and still look like new. The Hydroedge's for summer are 205/65/16 with about 30,000 miles and still have 80% thread left. My next 16" summers will be Nokians, just because they ride so nice. In fact my current 15" Hakkas handle much better than the Michelins probably due to the much higher load rating and less side wall flex.
Ken.
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Love My Westy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have any idea how they will hold up on the roads in So. Utah which have a lot of sharp shale to poke holes in them? I have always run BFG All Terrains for that reason, but if there is something that is not as noisy and just as tough I'd be happy to give them a try.

Rich
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