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MG Tires in Green


First of all, we aren't like the other forms of Karting Media who live off of advertising revenue, so we are able to tell the truth about products.  MG hasn't paid us a penny to evaluate their tires, in fact we paid to do just that.

Those subscribers who have read our Tire Wars report from last year know who which brand out-performed all others.  Well, we know have a new contender.

MG released an upgraded set of Green, Yellow, and Orange tires this year and we were curious.  While we are planning another round of Tire Wars testing later in the year, the testimonies from a few karters that have tried various "colors" have been mixed.

According to MG representatives, there have only been "subtle" changes made to the carcasses and compounds, the most noticeable being the front tire profile - gone is the flat tread surface on the fronts in favor of the more contemporary radiused tread surface.  This also accounts for a slightly lower rolling profile.

In March we tried the new MG Green at Oak Hill.  Oak Hill is classified as a "Long Track" but it's really more like a real big sprint track.  It's the ultimate tire testing grounds for a Sprint Track, yet doubles as an excellent track to test Long Track performance having a couple of very high speed sweepers.

We ran these tires under racing conditions, even turned the fastest laps of the day, so we know they had grip.  Under those conditions we couldn't take the normal "scientific controlled testing" we took in the Tire Wars testing, but we did manage to get some pretty worthwhile testing and data to formulate a reasonable analysis.

We were told to run 7-8 PSI cold for racing.  We ran 10 PSI for the first heat cycle getting within the suggested range in two laps - driver took the first lap easy so he took a second lap just a tad harder.

Tire test Conditions & Notes

These tires take a little bit of maintenance.  Do not qualify on them.  Scrub them to about 125-135 and cool them with water.  About a mile of track time, without pushing them.

They have the most grip on the second heat cycle.  Very good grip at that.  Definitely better then Bridgestone YHB, about equal to the YHA - for about 2 miles.  After that they fall a bit, noticeably better then the YHB's we ran in practice.  Don't abuse the tires on the second heat cycle.  That should be during a qualifying session so be careful not to roast the tires just to get a spot in qualifying.

The third Heat cycle was the first race for us, a 20 minute session.  It took about 5 minutes for the tires to come in (7PSI cold), and at that point they had excellent grip.  Turn speeds  were  fast, no one was able to make a pass.  Braking control was a 9 out of 10.  On the last lap of the last turn our driver was knocked off the track so we didn't get tire temps.  However moving from 20th to 4th would suggest the driver pushed the tires a bit hard.  No sign of overheating.  Ambient temps were in the mid 70's with track temps about 105.

The fourth Heat Cycle was Race two.  The Mychron showed equal turn speeds with consistency throughout the race, in fact the tires actually presented a bit of an advantage over the rest of the field.  By the third lap a bog on exiting turns was present but into turns the MG Greens showed exceptional grip.  A fuel pump issue presented a bog into the race so it was hard to measure overall, but the MG Greens provided enough grip and drivability to still wring out pretty good lap times.

Having put over 40 miles on the tires through 4 heat cycles wore about 42% of the depth off of the wear hole in the worst case.  Average wear measured 36%.  Impressive for 40 miles on a Road Course.

We took the same set of tires to our local club a 1/2 mile track of medium grip level.  All together we put another 38 miles of practice and race laps on them in 8 more heat cycles, and they still have about 12% tread remaining.

In summary, they had excellent race grip for the first 40 miles with a small drop just after the first aggressive heat cycle.  After that the loss of grip was minimal but at a consistent rate to about the 60 mile point.  After that the grip dropped off rather quickly.  The tires remained gummy & soft each time coming off the track.

Driver Impressions

Drivability: The MG Greens are very predictable, far better then the older Greens were.  This is where the YHB shines, but I think the MG Greens are actually easier to drive.

Braking: Under Braking they took a little getting used to.  Practicing on YHB's I had to adjust more brake bias into the front.  I think the front tires worked pretty good at colder temperatures.  I wish I had a set of Vega Whites to compare them with - the Vegas had exceptional braking but no warning of a lock up. I could feel the Greens begin to start a slide under heavy braking and let off just enough to get 99% of the pedal down.

I could keep braking into turn 1 at Oak Hill and still feel the exact slip angle required to put the kart anywhere I wanted.  The MG Greens felt better under those conditions then any other tire I've ever driven on.

Apex & Exit: Most of the passes I made came from setting up the kart in front of me - not coming into a turn so hot to give just enough distance to reel them and set up a pass making an exit.  Most of the time in Road Racing you either have to make a pass early onto a straight or at the very end.  Drafting plays a big role in passing.

Overheating: In the past we haven't had real good luck at Road Courses on hot days with the older MG's.  It wasn't all that hot, but we were running the softer Green compound so I was concerned about blistering the tires.  You know the feeling you get when you run a few laps really hard then they get to be just a bit mushy - I pressed them for a few laps while working through traffic, but they never got mushy - they help up very well.  In the last session on the tires the grip was gone as expected so I pushed it really hard for about 5 laps and finally blistered a rear tire so it can be done.

Mountability: These tires are just as hard to mount as they always were - no harder, but just as hard.  I spent a good 3-4  minutes per tire to get the rears on the rims using bare hands.  Fronts took about 2-3 minutes each.

Overall Driver Impression:  Dad, can we get a couple cases of these?

MG raised the bar for the new MG Green tires enough that we're convinced- we'll be running them most of the year when we can.  Priced under the Vega White and Bridgestone YHB, they deliver performance, drivability and durability.

As the Yellow and Orange MG tires were also upgraded we have already begun testing the new Yellows.  At the conclusion of this testing we will publish our initial opinions.