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MG MGF Technical - No more F1's

After phoning around a dozen tyre companies I keep getting the same response that Goodyear no longer make this tyre and that the next best option is NCT5. One person questioned the handling with F1's and said I should have the NCT5 anyway but I thought that they came as standard from factory for the last few years.

I currently have F1's on the front and have found these to be good. I might be selling the car soon and so not keen to spend too much but equally have gone down the cheap tyre route on the F in the past and it was a disaster.

Any recommendations please.

Thank you.

F1s have now just about disappeared Timothy. Which is a shame as they were supplied new on very many Fs and worked well to most people's point of view.
I have for sale a set of Bridgestone Potenza S-02 205/55 ZR15 Pole Position tyres. They were supplied by Brown & Gammons and recommended by them as the best available for the MGF; especially for wet weather. These are directional tyres and this is a car set, having done approximately 100 miles total from new (was made an irresistible offer to upgrade to 16 inch wheels shortly after buying these). I'm asking 60 each unfitted or 80 each on tidy wheels. Let me know if this is of interest. Could deliver to you on next Tuesday evening if this helps. Mail me for photos if interested.
Richard J.
Richard Jones 1

Is that all F1s or just GSD2s? I have just put a pair on the front of my SAAB as they are the best for that car according to those that know(225/45/17Y XLs are not cheap!) There was something in a recent MGOC mag saying that GSD2s were actually still available from Goodyear but maybe not listed.

Not sure Tony, F1s generally replace by NCT5 at most tyre retailers now.

BTW Timothy, I just remembered I have a mate who has 2 sets of part used F1s in his garage and may want to sell some, are you interested in 2 of those?

Richard J.
Richard Jones 1

No that's not right.

The NCT5 replaced the NCT3 which were the main fit for MGFs on 15" wheels. On the TF Goodyears were replaced by Continentals for 15" wheels. NCT5 are are very much inferior to and NOT replacements for GY F1.

For the 16" wheels on both MGF and mgtfs the OEM fit was GY F1 GSD2s. The GSD2s production was reduced to batches by GY so they became scarce on the open market as the majority went direct to MGR for OEM fitment. GY web site still shows the GSD2 as current, but most tyre places don't even try to get them. You could try HiQ who are owned by GY and make sure you speak to the manager and insist he checks the GY store for you. Though with MGR going under, GY may reduce the stocks of GSD2 or possibly stop manufacture.

GY released the F1 GDS3s but neither they nor MGR recomend fitting these to MGFs or TFs. That said, there are many who have and there has been a mixed response. One thing is certain, fitting 4 together makes a big difference.

There are other choices such as Bridgestone, but you need to be careful with the choices and never mix tyres on an axle, and try not to mix front and rear.
David M

Timothy, what do you have currently on the rear axle, i.e. make & size? How close are they to needing replacing?
Mike Hankin

Wow, encyclopaedic Tony! I stand comprehensively corrected.

I very much agree that just wandering into a tyre retailer not quite knowing what you want means that they will sell you what they have on the shelf as this is easiest for them. It pays to be as well informed as you are Tony.

I also agree with your comments about mixing tyres (which is why I offered Tim a set of 4 Bridgestones).

I can categorically state that the Bridgestone SO2s I referred to work SUPERBLY on the F in the wet - I watched Malcolm Gammons doing some of the testing on this. He preferred them to F1s.

Timothy - armed with the above knowledge about F1s, what type do you have fitted to the rear of your F?

Richard Jones 1

er, sorry, read 'David' for 'Tony' in that last post. D'oh.

Richard Jones 1

Completely agree with David's last post.

NCT5s are perfectly adequate for making a tyre wall, but I wouldn't put them on my car, thanks very much.

Goodyear F1 GS-D2s are available - BUT they are hard to find. I changed to F1 GS-D3s - but replaced them as a complete car set and have no problem. They seem to be wearing better than the D2s too, which is nice ;o)

The MOST important point is that you should never mix brands front to rear - where at all possible, if you are changing tyre make, replace all four at the SAME TIME.

Interestingly, just been chatting to a couple of ex-MGR chassis engineers who said exactly the same thing. They even went to the trouble of trying the same tyre mis-combination on a Toyota MR2 and found exactly the same problem of altered handling characteristics that weren't exactly favourable...
Rob Bell

I'm getting quite confused about what a GDS2 and 3 is, but I assume they are both F1s.

I currently have F1's on the front, which I find very good and also look good. The side appears more vertical and protects the wheel rim slightly.

I currently have Goodyear Eagle Touring NCT3 on the rear, which were fitted by B&G and have found to be fine. Perhaps I don't drive that fast but the handling seems fine.

I did once experience an unknown make of tyre and have always thought all tyres are the same but was amazed quite how bad the handling became. So much so that when I went back to the tyre place I got them they changed to something else a couple of weeks later without any quibble.

Still I am confused what to go for which is not too expensive and will work ok with the F1's on the front.


there had been two bulletins regarding tyres.
Got this recently, with short summarize from Doug Plumb.

15 inch wheels (bulletin TB0128-1)
Only tyre recommended is Continental Premium Contact
Only acceptable mix is to retain Goodyear NCT3 on front and Continental Premium Contact to rear
Do not mix Goodyear NCT3 and Continental Premium Contact on same axle
Do not switch tyres front to rear or vice versa due to different sizes

16 inch wheels (bulletin TB0129-2)
Only tyre recommended is Goodyear F1 Eagle GSD2 version
Do not switch tyres front to rear or vice versa due to different sizes
I think the problem is with the latter.
However, a closed down GSD2 doesn't mean any recommendation regarding Goodyear.

GSD3 _is_ known _behind closed doors_ to be an a*se on some MGF/TF.

My few pence.

The tyre review at seems to like Bridgestone S02s. See:

So far as I can tell they achieve the highest rating for any tyre reviewed? I just checked and they have an excellent 'rim-saver' section as well.

Richard Jones 1


Version 8 of the MGF workshop manual also lists Yokohama A539 type tyres for 16 inch wheels as well as the GY F1.

How recent are those bulletins?

Spyros Papageorghiou

pretty old now Spyros.

Richard, without doubt, the S-02 is a brilliant tyre and really suits the MGF and TF really well. However, tracking down the right sizes these days is not that easy - the tyre has been superceeded by the S-03 - a tyre that many regard as a retrograde step. But Paul Nothard gets on well with them...

Note, however, that the Bridgestone is a relatively expensive tyre, and uses a pretty soft compound, so wears reasonably quickly - especially if you do track days. Having said that - if you do track days, you'll really appreciate their performance.
Rob Bell

I can categorically state that the Bridgestone SO2s I referred to work SUPERBLY on the F in the wet - I watched Malcolm Gammons doing some of the testing on this. He preferred them to F1s.

I totally agree with that man. Bridgestone Potenza S02 Pole Position were the best ever. So, if you can get them, get these.

Afterwards we changed to GoodYear Eagle F1 GSD-02 which were good, but slightly less.

Afterwards we changed to Bridgestone Potenza S03, but there not like the SO2's. (the look has changed too :o(

Bridgestone SO2s are still readily available in 205x45xZR16 and you can just about get them for 105 a corner, but they do only last about 10,000 miles (trackdays included). I've not used anything else now for over four years. I'd like to try 195s on the front, but sadly the 205 is the smallest that they make, so I run these all round. They are excellent in wet and dry.
Dave Livingstone

Not so very much cheaper than the Pirelli P-Zero C's then Dave? ;o)
Rob Bell

I can't remember what you said the P-Zeros were Rob, but the price frightened me! The question is would they last any longer than the SO2s and do they do them in 195s as well as 205s?
Dave Livingstone

Unfortunately, nothing smaller than a 205/45 R16 Dave - see

I haven't got a quote yet for these - but Steve Butts paid 570 for four, delivered. That's a 'mere' 40% more than you are paying now... ;o) Toyo R888 are cheaper - BUT they don't come in any suitable sizes for 16" rims. But they have 205/50s for 15" rims... Probably about 100 per corner.
Rob Bell

Yes, those numbers still scare me! Looks like I'll stick to SO2s :-)
Dave Livingstone


NCT3 on the rear and F1 on the front - all I can say is EEEEEKKKK!!!! I can't think of a worse combination.

Whilst I am not convinced the NCT3 is that bad a tyre, it is a lot worse than the F1 and with a car which can be tail happy, putting the worst tyres on the rear sounds like a recipe for disaster.

GY originally made the F1 GSD2 and at some point released the F1 GSD3 which replaced part of the F1 GSD2 range and duplicated other parts. I assume this is because the OEM tyre for a large number of cars was GSD2 and so it was economical to continue batch production rather than deleting it.

If you can get F1 GSD2 then these will be a perfect match for your current fronts. I would steer very clear of NCT5s and continentals. I know of a couple of people who have had GSD3 on rears and GSD2 on front and had no problem, but others who have had issues.
David M

Er, well we're (almost) all agreed that Bridgestone S-02 Pole Position are great tyres on an F then. Does anyone want my set of 205/55 ZR15s!?!? 60 each! One wet track session, absolutely 100 miles max. use! Wake up lads! Sale of the bleedin' century here :))) Will even consider delivery to Antwerp (if it's near London, which is where I'll be on Tuesday).

But if you don't want the S02s (sniff, sniff, suit yourselves, ungrateful lot) may I suggest trying ProTyre? They've supported me a lot with race tyres, tyre buffing (do you guys have them buffed for dry track use?) and have been consistently top blokes - in particular the Gloucester branch and the manager there, Chris.

Anyone fancy trying some Cup Car competition wets or slicks for 16inch rims? I have some used ones around my garage. Drop me an email.
Richard Jones 1

Richard - let me get this right - you are selling a set of S-02s for 15" rims??? I am away for the next week, but if no one wants them, then I happen to have a spare set of rims that these could find themselves on... :o)

What are you changing them for Richard? Dunlop race tyres?
Rob Bell

You are a jolly wag Rob. However, to be accurate, it appears I'm not selling the S02s, even to people who need tyres! D'oh!

The Dunlop Cup slicks are 25 a go and the wets 30. These are well worn but would do a track day or two on road car power. However, a few issues need to be sorted first:

* They are a higher aspect ratio than a low profile road tyre, so may well rub the lip inside your wings (oooh Matron) esp. on full lock, unless your hydrolastics are rock hard and you have a lorra lorra camber and the lips are rolled back

* But having a lot of camber means that you have to throw the car at the corner to get the tyre flat on the road and giving full grip. They're 'squarer' than a road tyre and don't 'ease' into a corner. Until you get the hang of it, they seem to have less grip than a road tyre. Then you work it out, wahoooo! grip you never even dreamed of!

* Got wheel arch liners? Don't bother, these tyres would rip em out at the first bump

* Will permit cornering G forces so high that you will be sobbing with a sore neck after 3 laps and your wheel bearings will give up after 5

* Are they permitted on track days anyway?

* You have to go fast enough to warm them up - otherwise they probably have less grip than a road tyre

As I understand it Rob, your car is pretty well set up for sprints? In that case, the Dunlop racers might work for you. Let me know when you get back from your hols if you want to try a set.

Richard Jones 1

Will do Richard :o)
Rob Bell

I have one off Goodyear F1 205/50 ZR15 GSD2 for free for anyone who can collect. It has done about 3500 miles and is in good condition. I changed to Toyos because I couldn't find any more F1s!

Bruce Caldwell

I might be completely wrong but give MGOC a call as I think their mag said they could get GSD2s

I'm just getting some GSD2's fitted this morning on the rears... 215/40/R16 in cambridge from Arbury Fast Fit... great service as only phoned this morning and going on holiday at the end of today! didn't realise how low they were and driving to southern ireland so really needed them doing.

Chris Tromans

My GSD2's are now on... and looking nice... he said their suppliers had 6 in stock and I've just taken 2 so if you want some you better be quick ;-)

Not bad, phone up at 8.30am, they're delivered by 11.30am and on the car by 12.30pm :-)

And that was from the same place who had previously said I must be gone in the mind to put Toyo's on my previous 15" rims... little did they know... I've now informed them that they were actually great tyres!! and if I'd have had more time before I went away then I would have put Toyo's on again...

Chris Tromans

This thread was discussed between 18/08/2005 and 24/08/2005

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