In my past I’ve owned a lot of tires – and these are among my least favorite.
I typically buy used so that I can try out a bunch of different brands and also to save some money; however, I deviated from usual strategy and bought a set of brand new Falken FK453s in 2012 after getting a nice discount on them and hearing a pretty convincing pitch from my tire shop. The FK453s were sold as “fixing every problem of the FK452s and then some” and I was told I’d be quite pleased with these tires – boy, were they wrong…after 1.5 years and around 15,000 miles, I’m finally retiring these from use soon – both due to low treadwear and picking up a new set of wheels/tires to replace them with, and boy am I happy this day has finally come.
The Falken FK453 is a jack of all trades, master of none. The tires are “just fine” and adequate for most uses, but failed to ever impress me. They’re mostly quiet, but not the quietest. They are somewhat grippy, but not very grippy. They ride okay, but that not the smoothest. They last a while, but not that long. They are truly forgettable tires in every dimension.
In hindsight, I wish I had purchased a cheap Chinese brand tire over these – I think the cheapo brands like Nexen would perform similarly, but cost about half and last a little longer. If I’m going to be unimpressed with a tire, it might as well be one that was cheap and at least I won’t have any regret over spending too much, as I did with the 235/35/19 that ring in at about $200/tire as opposed to Nexens and other cheaper Chinese brands at the $100-125/tire range in that size.
To be fair – my past tires have all been higher performance tires. My favorite to-date has been the Michelin PS2s which are quite expensive (about $330/tire in my size) but absolutely incredible tires. I also really enjoyed the Michelin Pilot Super Sports which replaced the PS2s and they’re both cheaper, longer lasting, and so far handle & ride just as well as the prior PS2s. I’ve also owned Nitto Invos, Bridgestone Potenza, and Contentinental Sport Contacts, and while they all had their pros and cons, I’d say they’re all superior to the Falken FK453s.
I won’t completely bash Falken though; they do make some decent tires, and we ran the Azenis line on our 24 Hours of LeMons car and were quite pleased. The FK453 however continues to be a mostly lower performance tire dressed up (and priced) as a high performance tire. Save yourself the money and buy something cheaper, or spend a little more and get something far better – the FK453 is average in every way, and far too much money to spend for something so average.
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