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Impression: Falken tires: Azenis

Table of Contents
Falken Azenis "Andy Nguyen" <aqn@panix> Tue, 25 Jun 2002 11:35:08 -0400 (EDT)
RE: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis "Gavin G. Dennis" <gdennis@bpg-online> Tue, 25 Jun 2002 11:53:52 -0400
Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis Ian Frechette <frechett@rintintin.colorado> Tue, 25 Jun 2002 12:52:22 -0600
Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis josh Wyte <josh_wyte@yahoo> Tue, 25 Jun 2002 12:31:37 -0700 (PDT)
Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis HANSRANDAL@aol Tue, 25 Jun 2002 20:25:03 EDT
RE: [gti-vr6] Driving tech [was Starter problems] "Joshua M. Ficksman" <joshfick@comcast> Sat, 27 Jul 2002 03:57:47 -0400
Re: [gti-vr6] Azenis Ian Frechette <frechett@rintintin.colorado> Sat, 27 Jul 2002 23:48:22 -0600
Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis Ian Frechette <frechett@rintintin.colorado> Wed, 07 Aug 2002 22:07:49 -0600

From: "Andy Nguyen" <aqn@panix>
To: list@gti-vr6
Subject: Falken Azenis
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 11:35:08 -0400 (EDT)
  With all the recent tire talks, I figure I'd throw this FYI out:  if
  you're looking for new shoes, check out Falken Azenis.  They're popular
  in the Street Tire class at the auto-x, so they're probably pretty good.
  I heard that Bob Tunnell (nationally ranked BMW auto-x driver) used them
  at one point last year.  I have seen them at the local auto-x.
  I have also seen them on a local guy's 1.8T Golf.  They have big-@ss
  tread blocks which are probably real good for tread stability and contact
  area.  (Conversely, they *might* be a nightmare in the rain.)

  They are supposedly pretty cheap as well.  (The Discount Tire Direct
  Web site is slow/AWOL right now so I can't check;  Tire Rack doesn't
  carry them.)

Andy Nguyen \ &#97;qn&#64;panix<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15> \

From: "Gavin G. Dennis" <gdennis@bpg-online>
To: "Andy Nguyen" <aqn@panix>, <list@gti-vr6>
Subject: RE: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 11:53:52 -0400
A friend that i auto-x with uses them on his 240z.  he also has/had
the kumho 712's and he said that the Falken's shaved more that a
second off of his time compared to the 712's.  He is very fast and
pretty consistant so should have some validity to our discussion.  He

IIRC: the Falkens were around $70~75 per tire.


From: Ian Frechette <frechett@rintintin.colorado>
To: list@gti-vr6
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 12:52:22 -0600
Now those look interesting.
$76 for the V-rated 205/50-15s.. at hmm.. 

A review.

Nothing about treadwear but for the price it might be worth it just 
to cook a set to find out.  They say it's heavier than the sp8k
but don't seem to care because of their supremely stiff 
sidewalls.  This page
implies that they have the stiffest sidewall of *any* high perf
tire.   Definitely not a rain tire.

More reviews here
say short lived, noisy after abused (road noise), and 
uncomfortable for cruising.  Sounds like they're just shy 
of a race tire.  Oddly I see people complain that the sp8k's are
loud, and that has never been my experience.. hmm.. 
Decisions decision.. I run my sp8ks at 40-41psi in the front 
all the time anyway.  I wonder if I'd notice a decrease
in ride comfort at all.


From: josh Wyte <josh_wyte@yahoo>
To: Ian Frechette <frechett@rintintin.colorado>, list@gti-vr6
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 12:31:37 -0700 (PDT)
The Azenis are a sneeze away from a true R rated tire.
 Ie, you'll be lucky to get 6-8,000 miles of wear out
of them.  They're super sticky and not all that hot in
the rain.

Most of the Street Touring guys are using them on a
second set of rims and swapping back to a harder,
longer lasting set of tires for the commute to and


To: frechett@rintintin.colorado, list@gti-vr6
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 20:25:03 EDT
I've got them on the GTI right now, I have had them for about 3000 miles. I 
have to say that they are better than the Dunlop sp8000's and the Yokohama 
AVS Intermediates in the dry and they are also better on wet pavement then 
both of the other tires. Notice I said wet pavement, not standing water. Yes, 
they are not so good in standing water. I love the tread design they are a 
"wide" tire for 205-50-15 as all Falkens are, they also have a rim protector 
to boot!!

They were a bear to mount, I work for a Chevy dealer and they were harder to 
mount then the run-flats on Corvettes. This is pretty much a good indicator 
that the sidewall is VERY stiff. 

I have yet to autocross with them this year but from what I can tell by 
coming onto an onramp or offramp the tire does not roll over nearly as much 
as the Yokes or Dunlops and those tires are no slouch when it comes to 
cornering either.

Overall I like them, they are a little nosier than both other tires and the 
ride is stiffer but not unbearable by any means. I run with the Shine Real 
Street full suspension set up if anyone cares.

The clincher for me was the price. I got them for $63.00ea from They were very good to do business with too. 

Any questions e-mail me.

95 gti-vr6
96 gti-vr6

Subject: Azenis
From: "Joshua M. Ficksman" &lt;&#106;osh&#64;everbatim<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt;
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 12:10:02 -0400
To: "GTI" &lt;&#108;ist&#64;gti-vr6<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt;

Got my Falken Azenis mounted this morning. It took 2 = hours and four people
including myself. It was raining when I left the shop but the roads were
semi-dry after I crossed the Bay Bridge. I can~Rt believe these things. They
even reduced body roll a bit. I came around an exit ramp really sloppy and
then corrected and they didn~Rt slip at all. So, 2 things that I noticed
about them is a stiffer (read bumpy) ride and lots of road feel. They pick
up every little nook and cranny. I don~Rt care a bit. I~Rll put up with
anything reasonable for better performance. Second, I am curious to see how
long they last. I am notorious for killing tires annually. I am happy today.
Just have to get through work so I can go for a drive.

Joshua M. Ficksman
eVerbatim, Inc.
Director of Technical Resources
&#116;echservices&#64;everbatim<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>

Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Azenis
From: "Marty" &lt;&#109;artyagt4&#64;yahoo<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt;
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 13:27:22 -0400
To: "GTI" &lt;&#108;ist&#64;gti-vr6<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt;

I have them on my car too. 98 GLX in 205/50/15. I can't say enough great
things about them. I have about 8500 miles on mine, and they have already
wore down to 3/32. That's street and one auto-x. I have rotated them once,
front to back. When they where new, wet grip was amazing, until you hit a
fairly good size puddle. Even now at that depth, they still work amazing in
the rain. The tire guys who mounted mine had no problem getting them on the
wheels. I had them done at Discount Tire here in Columbus, OH. I agree,
those sidewalls are very stiff, and road feel is awesome. I guess I'm going
to have to buy another set soon, but at the price I feel it's worth the
extra cash to buy a couple of set's a year.

By the way, anyone close to Columbus, OH, Auto Assets is having a small show
and dyno day at their shop tomorrow, 7/27. There should be a huge turn out.
Mostly VW's but, they have a whole bunch of very nice Porsche race cars to
show off. Here's a link to more info if you wish to check it out.

98 GLX

Subject: RE: [gti-vr6] Azenis
From: "Joshua M. Ficksman" &lt;&#106;oshficksman&#64;netzero<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt;
Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 13:56:53 -0400
To: "GTI" &lt;&#108;ist&#64;gti-vr6<img src=/i/dn.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt;

I'll keep you filled in. Driving home on wet pavement (no collected water)
they gripped enough to scare me. The one exit ramp I did take, I was pretty
cautious because I need to get used to the tighter feel. Still when I pushed
them a little, they have more grip and turn-in was excellent. Definitely
more grip than my SP8000's. I am hoping they will grip better off the line
so I can actually use 1st gear when I drag Hondas. I don't really need it
though. :) They were only $304. For tires, that's cheap. If I have to change
them every year, it's worth it to me because I drive hard a lot. I'll think
of it as maintenance. Imagine what Ferrari owners have to spend. If you want
to throw practicality out the window and go all out performance, I think
this is the right tire. Plus it's street legal and SCCA approved for all you
auto-x'ers out there.

From: "Joshua M. Ficksman" <joshfick@comcast>
To: list@gti-vr6
Subject: RE: [gti-vr6] Driving tech [was Starter problems]
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 03:57:47 -0400
I agree. I went out for a jaunt tonight, my first on the Azenis. Holy Sh!t
is all I have to say. The roads here in MD are still damp and I found myself
pushing it! Those things just WON'T let go! Playing with the throttle in a
corner is just plain easy now, it's so forgiving if you get sloppy. My GOD
man, I just want to get to the track now!

From: Ian Frechette <frechett@rintintin.colorado>
To: list@gti-vr6
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Azenis
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 23:48:22 -0600
"Gavin G. Dennis" &lt;&#103;dennis&#64;bpg-online<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt; wrote:

>I think I will be putting a set on my want list for the beginning of
>next season.  As for life of the tires, I too used to get tires every
>year so I would be suprised if they lasted any longer.  My Kumhos seem
>to be wearing incredibly well but performance suffered a bit as a
>result.  I would like to know how they handle in the rain.  My Kumhos
>are EXCELLENT wet tires IMHO.  My AVSi's werent nearly as good in the
>wet but better in dry.  I would appreciate a 2 or 3 week review of the
>tires from you and Ian to see how they perform overall in street

Well, I've had em on for 3 weeks or so, and they rock.
I don't find that they run any rougher than my sp8k's did
but then I ran the sp8ks at very high pressures to keep the sidewalls
from rolling over.   The Azenis don't roll over at all, so 
I'm running them at lower pressures and thus first impression
were that they were actually more comfortable.

I did the track day on em when they were new and they worked great.
They don't make any noise until you're past the limit and
the breakaway is very progressive.   Only downside so far is that
the rear end sticks so well I can't get the car to rotate as
much, even when on 3 wheels.   I'm running 29psi in the rear (kept
decreasing pressure trying to get em to slip) and they 
still stick, so it looks like I'm going to have to go the other way and 
run em high, like 38psi in the rear to get some rotation.
I'm still fiddling with the pressures in the front to see
where they grip best and give best turn-in.  I'm getting the
impression that they grip best at lower pressures like 34-35psi
and above that give up some grip but are a bit more responsive.
I also agree with the comment that they seem to decrease
body roll.  I noticed the same thing right away.

The only real problem I see on the street is that instead of
me driving them to the same level of my old sp8ks and being happy and
thus perhaps getting equivalent life, I'm driving them
even harder so it'll be interesting to see how long they
last.   I'm betting less than a year.   As for noise.  There's a bit of a 
whine on some surfaces but it's no big deal.  They didn't do it new, but
after being abused on the track, I hear it sometimes.
Can't speak to rain performance.   For all intents
and purposes it doesn't rain here.

BTW, on a side note, my Ferado pads and ATE slotted rotors were
kind of ho-hum for a thousand miles or so after I put em on.
Now after the track day, they ROCK.  Dunno if it was still bedding or
what but between the pads, rotors, and tires the car stops
seriously quick now, and I'm not activating the ABS.


From: Ian Frechette <frechett@rintintin.colorado>
To: list@gti-vr6
Subject: Re: [gti-vr6] Falken Azenis
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 2002 22:07:49 -0600
"SDriver" &lt;&#115;driver&#64;rogers<img src=/i/dc.gif border=0 width=35 height=15>&gt; wrote:

>Have you tried them on the track?  How would they compare to the Bridgestone
>S-03 or street legal R-tires?

I have run them on the track.   Other than figuring out how
to kill some of the stick in the back so the car will rotate
they're awesome.   I suspect they're stickier than S-03's and
they basically *are* a streat legal race tire.   They put
an emense area of rubber on the ground, have unbelievably
stiff sidewalls (the sp8ks used to be known for having 
stiff sidewalls and the Azenis blow em away).   They're not
in quite the same league of say R1s.. but they're about as
sticky as you're going to get on a tire you can drive on
every day.   BTW, I drove em in the rain the other day 
and they were quite impressive.  No standing water to
speak of, but running water on the pavement they 
barged right through.  Never got em to slide.

BTW, I chased down a motorcycle on my favorite ultra-twisty road
the other day because I saw he was going fast.  He waved me by
and then the traffic opened up and we HAULED ASS.   He had
me in the straights, obviously, but he couldn't catch
me in the corners.   Drove the car harder than it has
ever been driven on a public road, complete with a 
couple four wheel drifts and lots of nice 3 wheeling.  
These tires are making me a bad bad boy.   ;)


I just hope that my g/f isn't reading my email. I wasn't screwing around
with the girl, just takin' a drive. Anyway, I am quite conscious that if I
wad-up my (Uwe's) car, I will have destroyed a beast that has been carefully
massaged to perfection. :) It would be a tragedy. It was through a stroke of
luck that that car came to me and I could afford it. Hopefully that luck
follows me everywhere. As for the Azenis, I have never seen a tire with such
a stiff side-wall. Did I mention that mine took 2.5 hours to mount!!! My
ride is actually quite a bit bumpier than before and body roll feels like

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