Tire Rating: Touring Vs. Performanceby Richard Rowe
The term "touring" as it applies to tires is a marketing term and generally applies to tires that perform better on dry road surfaces than stock replacements, but are not burdened with the comfort and longevity compromises inherent in performance tires.
Performance tires of all sorts have been used on sports cars since the first wheel was turned in anger, but the first true "touring" tire was introduced by Goodyear in the early 1980s.
The purpose of any performance tire is to maximize grip in all directions on dry pavement, often at the expense of ride comfort and tread life.
Touring tires utilize some of the attributes of performance tires like tread compound, tread design and sizing, but retain enough comfort and longevity to use every day.
Touring tires will often perform better than performance tires in the rain and snow, owing to the design and increased number of water sipes (water channels) they have compared with performance tires.
Performance tires cost an average of 30 to 40 percent more than touring tires, but can cost several times as much depending on manufacturer and tire. For example, a Yokohama Avid Touring S runs about $64, while Yokohama's Advan Neova AD08 extreme performance tire can go for as much as $520.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Saquan Stimpson