2012 Cooper Modifications


OEM black grill  $110

Is this an “S” type grill that fits?

OEM Grill Surround $72

OEM Black Headlight Rings

JCW Black Grill Trim for 2012 Non-S (Outmotoring)


15″ Konig Backbones with Yokohama S-Drives

Konig Feathers @ Discount Tires Direct

– check for 14 mm holes, double check offset for 15″

S-Drives @ TireRack.com

1.  So: as per above my 215/50R16 Falkens on 16 x 7 Konig Feathers are now down to 4mm tread depth so time to get new summer tires and wheels.

2. As I have moved from an “S” to a Cooper non-S, I have fixated on reducing weight, and so am looking for in sort of priority order:

a) BLACK wheels
b) budget price
c) no-hassle fitment
d) low unsprung weight
e) very good wet performance – good dry performance
f) looks (= tread width and wheelwell gap)

3.  For wheel I am choosing the Kong Feathers in 15 x 6.5 over the 949Racing 6ULs since:

a) Feather’s 11.9 lbs. are almost as light or lighter (depending on source – GoodWin says 12.4 lbs.);
b) no need to rebore hole to 14″ ($) nor purchase lug conversion kit ($);
c) 6.5″ width is fine for 195 or 205 tire – as is +38 offset;
d) at $100/wheel (free shipping too) from Discount Tire a bit cheaper – the 15 X 7 $129 6ULS are out of stock; the 15 x 7 are $149 quite a bit more expensive;
e) The 16″ Feathers I have had since Nov. 2007 have been great (scratch easily but black touch-up is quick & easy).  BTW looking to sell now @ $250:)

4. For tires I am going with the 195/45R15 Yoko S-Drives (18 lbs.). I considered the Toyo Proxes TR-1 as their 15.7 lb. weight is intoxicating, but after much searching a Malaysian board overwhelmingly favored the S-Drives in the wet – one of my priorities – so this was a decisive factor in Brand.

I also considered  the S-Drives in 195/50R15 (cheaper, only one pound heavier and about 1″ taller – still 1″ smaller than OEM diameter, more comfort) – and the 205/50R15s (+wider look, +more comfort) but am going for the 195/45s because:

a) better handling due to lower sidewall;
b) better acceleration due to smaller diameter (2″ lower than stock), and slightly less weight (1 lb.?);
c) better handling due to lower centre of gravity of car (1″ lower) – I took advantage of this with my Geo Metro which had smaller diameter tires (185/55R13s) and lowering springs for superb MINI-like handling – 20 years ago now.
d) Three potential negatives:

i) The SPEEDO error is of ZERO concern to me as it will lessen the possibility of tickets, and should not affect any of the car systems (as I have understood from research on this site);
ii) Perhaps quite a harsh ride with the lower sidewall and OE Sport Suspension – but I had 215/40R16s on my lowered 2002 WRX and it was fine for me (not my GF;).
iii) Geeky wheel gap – hopefully countered by the BLACKOUT look and enhanced performance due to weight loss (doing rear seat delete and not carrying spare in conjunction with 30lb. per corner wheel/tire combo) – and I am going to lose 15 lbs. myself this summer:) . When the factory warranty is over I can mitigate this with 1″ lowering springs ($$).

The challenge now is to find that tire in that size in a dealer who sells Konigs (i.e., TireRack out, maybe Discount out – a shame as free mounting and shipping so ZERO hassle factor and best price).

– 195/50s ($86 vs. TR $74) are 2lbs. lighter than 205s, 1″ taller than 195/45s ($100)

Update – June 21, 2012 – posted to NAM

So Discount Tire Direct does NOT have the Yokohama S-Drives in 195/45R15, and I think the newer Konig Backbone is BETTER:
a) Matte Black (not glossy like Feathers);
b) More macho – fewer and thicker spokes than Feather or Helium – ALTHOUGH perhaps .5-.9 lbs. HEAVIER;

So, the only place I found with cheaper 195/4515s and Konig Backbone is buywheelstoday.com – and since they sell Toyo Proxes T1R (15.7 lbs.!!!) I am going to try and get a good deal with them, the upshot being:

Backbones (12.8 lbs.) + Toyos (15.7 lbs.) = 28.5 lbs./wheel VERSUS my current set-up of 16″ Konig Feathers (15.2 lbs.) + Falkens (23 lbs.) = 38.2 lbs.:

So my new set-up will save me 9.7 lbs. per wheel!!! Not to mention the acceleration associated with dropping wheel diameter from 24.6″ to 22″

Rear Seat Delete

Outmotoring.com $190

Remove Spare  Tire



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s