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Want bigger wheels

Question : I HAVE recently acquired a brand new Perodua MyVi and I find it lacks in road-handling performance. I wish to improve on the cornering characteristics of the vehicle and have been advised to swap the standard 14" rims for 15" ones. I have been told that this will improve matters tremendously. Since the purchase price of a set of new rims will be costly, I would appreciate your advice if this is indeed a cost-effective method of improving cornering performance.

Answer : HANDLING does not depend solely on having the correct mix of rims and tyres, but it also depends on other factors such as the aerodynamics of the vehicle, the suspension design and the placement of the centre of gravity of the vehicle.

Although, it is possible to optimise the design of a vehicle for great road-handling performance characteristics, other things sacrifice. For instance, it is well known that cornering performance often comes at the expense of vehicle ride comfort, although this is not necessary so, as evidenced in the case of some of the larger saloon vehicles.

Although there may be some improvements to be had by swapping from 14" to 15" rims, there are costs to be paid for this. For a start, using 15" rims mean using lower profile tyres that offer little, if any ride comfort at all due to a having a more rigid tyre sidewall.

Although by using tyres with more rigid sidewalls may improve cornering performance to a higher or lesser degree, the price to be paid in terms of ride comfort sometimes is often just not worth it. Bear in mind that 15" tyres will cost a lot more than their 14" counterparts, and the cost of 15" rims will not be cheap either. In addition, you will have to make allowance for inaccurate speedometer readings since it is almost impossible to purchase tyres of different sizes, but having the same rolling diameter.


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