E30 Tire size

1991 318IS, the car has the 215/60 's that were on it when I bought it. It is time to replace and was wondering what expieriences were with the original size (195/65). I have been pleased wtih how the car handles with
these tires, but then I have never tried others. The 215's are available, it would seem, in stiffer speed rating which may be why they were changed to begin with. Anyone with thougts about a good handling tire would be appreciated. it is my daily driver, so street drags are out of the question, I suppose. Thanks
Matt
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I run 205/55/15s in summer with Bridgestone Potenzas, very happy with them. My winter tyres are 195/65/14 Goodyear Ultragrips (fantastic winter tyre).
I'd try to score a set of 15" wheels on ebay and fit 205s.
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Oh John you big wuss.
If you really want an OMG DOES THAT EVER HANDLE thing, get 16's. The difference between 15 and 16 is MUCH greater than the difference between 14 and 15. I absolutely would not go bigger than that, but all things being equal, 16" utterly rawks.
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On Tue, 27 Jun 2006 17:55:40 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@news.vrx.net (Richard Sexton) wrote:

Except for the weight of them. Do you know what more unsprung weight does for a car's handling? It's time this rubber-band tire/sidewall flex thing was put to rest. A 25lb wheel and taller tire will give you much better handling than a 45lb bigger diameter wheel. Especially with independent suspension.
Unsprung weight. It's more important than you think. Smaller plain steel wheels could be better than those cool looking big allys. From a pure performance perspective, that is. YMMV, as always.
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"Dean Dark" wrote

Yeah, but 205/55/16 is hardly a "rubber-band tire". And the weight difference betw. 15" and 16" wheel is certainly not 20 lbs. :)
If you know what you're doing and are willing to spend $$$, it is possible to get 16" rims that are actually lighter than some OEM 15".
Cheers,
Pete
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205/55/16 are a larger diameter than stock. It's be 50 or 45 profile you'd want.
My suspension is so firm (Bilstein sprints) that 205/55/15 is more than firm enough. Less sidewall + highland roads = my fillings falling out ;-)
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"John Burns" wrote

Oh... sorry. When Matt wrote that the original size was 195/65, I assumed that was with 15" rims. I guess it wasn't.
Pete
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Sorry, they're 14's... did the E30 come with 15's? Thanks to all
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Some E30s (such as the UK 325i Sport) had 15s as standard. On all other non-//M3 models they were optional.
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195/65's are good if you're taking grandma to the airport and you don't mins feeling like the car will tip over while turning corners.
Well ok it's not QUITE that bad, but, uh, ya know, I'd go bigger not smaller and taller.
Tire size calculator link:
    http://www.mbz.org/sys/tires
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Why would you even consider a smaller tire than you already have?
Having asked that silly question, here is the formula to determine overall DIAMETER of your tires. Once you know this number, you can alter the variables to see what other choices you might have. The goal of selecting a new tire is to come away with the same (or close as practical) overall diameter. Of course, you need to consider width of the tire for clearance with the fender wells and suspension components, but if you get a diameter you like and can afford, odds are good the width will also be okay.
215/60x15 215 is the Width of the tire 60 is the Aspect Ratio 15 is the diameter of the Rim
<width> X <aspect ratio (.nn -- this is a percentage figure)> X 2 / 25.4 + <rim> = Overall Diameter. Using this formula, you'll notice that a 215/60x15 and a 225/50x16 are less than 0.3 inches different in diameter. This difference is nothing in terms of the car, but can make huge difference in your driving expereince. And, it conceivable that the 16" tires are actually cheaper than the 15", which means the lower cost "better" tires can actually offset the cost of the new rims that are required to mount them on your car.
I have a 3 Series car that takes the 225/55x15s. I found a set of M3 Style 17" rims on eBay. The tires that fit the M3 rims are so much cheaper than the stock tires that when I buy the next set of 4 17" tires, I will have spent LESS on 5 rims and 5 tires + 4 new tires (the replacements) than I would have spent on two sets (8 tires) of the stock tires. And the 17s handle much better, and the highway ride is more or less exactly the same.

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"Jeff Strickland" wrote

He has those 215/60 tires on 14" rims though.
Pete
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

The stock size was actually 205/60x15. 225/55x15 is the "plus zero" upgrade and is (as you say) too expensive due to low supply of that size. The sport package came with 225/50x16's (plus one) which are quite plentiful, significantly cheaper than 17" and actually handle superior on everything but a silky smooth track. There just isn't enough side wall on an aspect ratio 45 tire for the real world.
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I have 195/65 x 14 on my '90 E30 318i on original BMW alloy rims. The car handles well on daily drives to and from work on twisty roads, but when driving really inspired (as I often do on my way home) I am often wish I had a stiffer suspension but not wider tyres.
The car is very light and does not need wider tyres. Really!
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It doesnt NEED them but it will handle better with 205/60-15.
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