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MG MGF Technical - Not 195 tyres for front wheels of VVC

Further to my earlier posts regarding front tyre size for 16" wheeled cars. Today i spoke to my local dealer today about the recommeded size.

The dealer said that 195 tyres are not and will not be fitted as standard to the front of 16" wheeled VVC cars and were only to be fitted to the Trophy 160, they didn't know of any VVCs with 195s fitted at the front. They would not even check with the Rover technical department as they said the would be "laughed out". They said that both the wheel width and tyre widths shown for the VVC MGF on two pages of the new MG brochure (it shows 7.5" wide 16" wheels and 195 tyres for the front of 16" wheeled cars) were both mistakes....great!

As you may have noticed, getting a bit obsessed with this...*grin*, going to ring Goodyear again and hear what they have to say, (last week they told me the 195s were now for the front of all 16" wheeled cars).

Keep up the good work, I have sent several emails to Rover (ignored as usual) on this very point. 195 seems to me in my experience to be the safest and best tyre size for the front of an MGF.

Anything narrower understeers horribly and anything larger tramlines like hell. I really don't understand Rover sometimes. I have been running 195s on the front of my 1.8 Mpi for nearly two years now, a vast improvement over 205s and 185s.

In the brochure they also show all the cars a lot lower than many Rover dealers would set it. One advantage of a four year old F is that dealers don't even bother to argue with you anymore.

Tony Smith

Keep us posted Paul....
Chris George

Lats all bear in mind that dealers generally haven't got a clue about what they talk about. I mean for how long would dealers not allow anything but NCT3s on 15", not even F1s were OK.

As for getting something from Rover, they will know (or people there will know its OK) but its not worth there bacon saying anything just on the off chance its used against them.

Before I got the new wheels from Steve my car went in for a service. The rear tyres were on the limit of tread depth. The service department rang me up and offered to fit new tyres on the rear. I asked if they were NCT3s - they had to go away and check! If I had accepted them they would have fitted them on the back, with the existing F1s on the front.


That would have been fun

The tech guy at Goodyear was out when i rung today, will try him again Monday, he seemed quite helpful when i last spoke to him.

Interesting subject ;-)

Since yesterday my F (MPi, 1997) has 195/45R16 fitted to the front, together with 215/40R16 on the rear. This on the standard Brooklands 16" rims. The tires are Toyo Proxes T1S, where the front tire has a load index of only 80V, as opposed to the required 82V.

Today I was at the german TUEV, and they had no problem with declaring this as street legal. The key document to this was a written permission from Rover Germany to use exactly this combination of
tire sizes on my MGF! They expressly say Rover has no objection on this combination.
Toyo, on the other hand was somewhat reluctant with this combination, as its circumference differs by 1.36%. Only 1.3% are allowed for ABS equipped cars. Well...
Andreas H

The difference allowed is 2% of the outside diameter,your conversion being only less than 2mm difference is well within this, it is virtually the same.2% of the overall dia for a 215 is 11.56 as the static dia is 578mm.
Maybe the chap from Toyo did'nt fully understand like the TUEV.
80 gives a front axle weight of 900kg
82 950kg

the MGF front axle is designed at 600kg
so either t yre exceeds this figure.
Again the circumference difference is under the 1.36% figure.


the amazing case for us Germans (at last me)is that MGR had no problem this time with the 'official' release. OK, the Trophy was approved with them, though.
But the German MGR importer still has troubles to give us an official release for the 195/50R15. (1.5% less IMO)

>Maybe the chap from Toyo did'nt fully understand like the TUEV.

Dooh, all those 'experts' don't give each other anything due 'understanding' anything. If they woun't they don't. Cases of coincidence...and condition of the current date... LOL

The weight index is another mad story here. Heard of chaps who got problems at the TUEV cause they had not the 205/50R15 90V tyres installed. This 90V is whyever written to our MGF registration, but as far as I know they are none availiable ;)

Dieter Koennecke

90 is the load index equal to 600kg per wheel, axle weight per axle of 1200 kg, must be translation error sounds like 225/50R15 with index of 91.
i have never heard of 205/50R15 being 90 but someone may make one.

I spoke to the tech guy at Goodyear today. He couldn't tell me which specific models the 195 front tyres would now be supplied with. However he confirmed that ideally a narrower tyre should be fitted on the front of an MGF (using the standard 15" 185/205s as an example) and that he thought it was likely that 215s were fitted all around on 16" wheeled cars since the 'Abbey' because that was the only tyre available at the time. Therefore he recommended fitting the 195s front and 215s back on 16" wheels as being 'safer' (more understeer on the limit) and for better feel and handling.

Still doesn't realy answer the question i know, sorry, is there anyone who knows anyone at Rover who they might be able to talk to about this? (Roger?)

Joe, this silly index was written to the German MGF papers until app 1997. Any mad translater in the homologation team obviously. Now they enter 74V as far as I recall.

the setup that Andreas wrote above is official stuff from the german importer. Written release on demand (in German language).
I suppose the only difference between the Trophy and standard 16' rims is the offset.
As far as I recall the standard old offset is 28mm and the Trophy is 25mm.

Looking foreward on what Rog can find

Dieter Koennecke

I have 15' 195 Yokos on the front of my vvc f and they are great ( also got yokos on the back) Can rub the inside cover on full lock but the tyres fit and work well .

btw, just to add, although you probably all know now anyway, but the VVC Square spokes and the Trophy alloys are both 7" rims, I checked them out last night.

So I don't see why MGR stick 215 all round on the VVC alloys, mighty odd.

Steve Childs

>>>Looking foreward on what Rog can find<<<

Noted - this is a question that has arisen in my normal day to day work. I await a reply.

Roger Parker

Just to chuck a few more variables in - tyre pressures are also a source of confusion. My 2000MY VVC has 215 F1s all round and 16" standarad square spoke wheels and the manual says 24psi front and 28psi rear - I stick to that and it seems to work.

However dealers always seem to overinflate to either 32psi all round or at my last service 36psi rear and 32psi front.

So who's correct and does the correct pressure overcome some of the problems found in this thread with 215s on the front? Tyre pressures normally make a massive difference to handling and steering so maybe this needs sorting out!

OK guys and gals this is the correct information direct from those who have developed and certified the cars.

Following the engineering certification of the Trophy (whose wheels are of a unique design to embrace larger front calipers and discs), it was decided that ALL MGFs shod with 16" alloy wheels would be specified with 195/45 at the front and 215/40s at the rear. The benefit to all cars fitted being economy, sharper turn-in and better steering response. This became effective from the beginning of the year as Trophy was introduced and all cars produced with 16" wheels reflect that position.

With regards to pressures then there is more flexibility. The type of use will dictate some variation in the ideal pressure, added to which is the personal preferences of the individual who may prefer the feedback of slightly lower or higher pressures. Fully loaded and/or used for constant speed of over 100mph and there is usually a need to raise the base pressures by 6 to 8psi. This is usually the max sort of pressure range needed for road use and most will find an acceptable compromise within this area.

The bottom (leagl) line is that within a couple of psi below the lower figures up to the maximum pressure of the tyre (this is shown and moulded into the sidewall of each tyre) is legally acceptable in terms of pressure only. Stability may well become poor with higher pressures and this may then draw the aspect of that range of pressures unsuitable and as such then contrary to Reg 100 of the Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regs.

Have I complicated and confused with this last para, it should have done, and shows that there are multiple shades of grey to contend with this issue.

Roger Parker

Thx Rog... but what is the recommened pressure for a Trophy wheel front & back anyway! I just put them to 28 front & back, as I have a pre 16" alloy car the handbook doesn't mention the recommened pressures.


Steve Childs

Thanks Roger, I will cetainaly be getting 195's for the front of my abby now...

Chris George

Thanks Roger, that is exactly the information on tyre sizes i wanted.

A couple of further questions

1, regarding:

"This became effective from the beginning of the year as Trophy was introduced"

would that calendar year ie start of 2001, or model year ie 2002 model, say september 2001 ish.

2, Could Rover still be sticking 215s all round for some reason, (can't see why as they can use the 215 stock up on the back), if the dealer has one for delivery it should now have 195s on the front if he were to look, (i guess it depends if it came from some huge stockpile somewhere).

Just asking as obviously the message hasn't got through to the tech guy at my dealers, that Ian Ingleby at Syd Brown of Longridge Preston, who has had good testimonials on here not just from me, and who professes to have a 'close (problem solving) relationship', with the factory tech section. Would news of this tyre change of come out on a bulletin? as as i say the dealer was not even willing to speak to Rover tech about my question, as it was so 'silly'.


Roger, amy chance of supplying a name (and number is possible) at Rover my dealer could speak so i can convince him about the change, (then i don't look so 'silly'...*grin*).

To go anywhere near the maximum pressures on the tyre side wall, would be when using that tyre at its maximum speed and load rating, in my opinion extremley unadvisable
Its late now but be figures should be obtainable or able to extrapolate.

I just sent an email. Dunno whether I got the right address. Please reply the right where to send one if you didn't recieve.

MG recommend tyre pressures for 195/45R16 as fitted OE on Trophy are
195/45R16 =24ib/in 1.7 bar
rear 215?40R16 =36ib/in 2.5 bar
the above are for Goodyear tyres
there are also figures for Yokohama tyres
these are
front 195/45R16 =26ib/in 1.8 bar
rear 215/40R16 =36ib/in 2.5 bar

at speeds over 100MPH/160KM/H
F=30ib/in 2.1bar
R=36ib/in 2.5 bar

Hi Deiter, i didn't get the mail, my address is shown above.

Thanks for your help

Interesting rear tyre pressure for the Trophy Joe, i wonder why it is so much higher that the 28psi James mentions above from his VVC manual. May also go some way to explaining why the dealer set James' rear tyres to 36psi at his last service. I wonder if they have different information now for the VVC?

Any ideas, anyone else? Roger, any chance of also getting the tyre pressures now for 195/215 shod cars from Rover? Will the VVC and other 16" wheeled cars now have the same recommended figures Joe has given for the Trophy?

>rear 215/40R16 =36ib/in 2.5 bar

Makes me curious about why so much at the rear ?
Had 2.3 bar at mine on the standard MGF with 215/40R16 over 15k km and found the middle area of the profile more worn than the outer.
Do I drive to careful ?? ;)

Now on the road with
front 1.8 and rear 2.1 (standard MGF 215/40R16 all around)
Seeing all the above I think that I'll try 195/45 at the front also later in 2002 if I need new tyres.
I had swapped the front tyres with better profile to the rear the other month to get all tyres worn equal and change them at once than.

Dieter Koennecke

Thanks Dieter, please see the mail i sent you

looked up for some availiable @

brand + data, approximate price in DM/GBP
Toyo PROXES T1-S 195/45 R16 80V reinforced .. 145/49
Toyo PROXES T1-S 215/40 ZR16 86W RF mit reinforced .. 163/54

Dunlop SP SPORT 9000 195/45 R16 80V MFS .. 205/68
Dunlop SP SPORT 9000 215/40 ZR16 ZR MFS .. 217/70

Goodyear EAGLE F1 195/45 R16 80W .. 190/63
Goodyear EAGLE F1 215/40 R16 82W .. 213/69

Dieter Koennecke

Hi Guys - Just visited GY website and they no longer list 195/45/16 for the Eagle F1! Starts at 205 for 16" wheels...

See URL:


Rex, did the site ever have the 195/45/16s, i only ask as i know it is a new tyre and the table for the F1 may have not been updated. I have mine on order for delivery Thursday, i'll see if they arrive.

curious about the 195 F1 price in the UK.
Is it different from 59 quid ? without fitting costs.
Dieter Koennecke


I;m looking for a decent price on 195's and the best I've come across is 109 each.... I would love to know anywhere that has them for 59 quid!!!

Regarding goodyear stopping them, I would be surprised cause the trophy has 195's on the front, and doesn't the vvc have these too??

Chris George


How much are your 195's costing you?

Chris George

I wonder what the new Freestyle and later MK111 will have on front also.
I think 59 Quid is price Dieter can buy at in Germany
most E marked F1's are made at Fulda plant in Germany,but whatever product it is from tyres to complete cars we always get ripped in UK.

Just popped down to my local tyre fitters (totally independant, ie not kwik fit etc), and from the goodyear pricelist they quoted me 96 quid for the 195's and 83 for the 215's.

Seems crazy that the larger tyres are cheaper!

So it works out about 110 inc vat which is about the same as other quotes...

... anyone car to advance on that?

Chris George

Joe, new freestyle has 195s on the front.

Steve Childs

...and a tacky badge on the back.
David Bainbridge

My car, delivered April 2001 has 215/45 x 16 s all round.
Also, I was really disappointed with the scuttle shake until I discovered the pressures were 40+ all round. Overinflate at your peril!

FYI the standard prices at tyre shops are as well more expensive in D.
I found the above offer at an internet shop for tyres.
Works in the way that you order and get the tyres sent home. A kind of vouchers is supplied as well and you can go to preferred workshops for cheap fitment. At workshops like kwik fit. In Germany they are 'Pit Stop' and fit them for 3 quid for each.

Anyway, another case is the availiable weight index. I found different at that online shop and wrote the lowest index (80W).
Higher index is also higher price and the lowest index required for the MGF is 66W at the front or 74W at the rear.
Speed index is another case of different prices.

Not ECE marked tyres are no problem here in D, never heard of any offered and not approved tyres.

Dieter Koennecke

Excuse my ignorance, the 'Freestyle' is?

Chris, i've been told my 195s are about 87 inc VAT each, but it was difficult to get them for that price. I get tyres from a local independent who shops around for me and has been lowest for tyres for my cars for several years.

I wait to see if they arrive tomorrow and how much he eventually charges, but hes usually pretty good.

Is it Peter Suthers?

Ah, just seen details of new Freestyle on 'General' board.

Yes Joe, its one of the brothers, i think Peter, do you use them too? Edmondsons at Hesketh Bank are also very good, but not quite as competitive as they used to be.

Is your postcode PR4 5ZY.


Thanks for that info, 87 quid INC vat! Blimey! I'll have to shop around a bit more. They are very rare though which I guess is what causes the increased price...

Chris George

Joe, Paul,

You could try Jim Jefferies at Warrington too. He imports his tyres from Germany. What a suprise.

Got the 195 F1 tyres fitted to the wheels today, the price ended up at 90.50 each fitted and balanced.

Thats from Mike Suthers at Chapel Lane Garage, Longton, Preston, tel 01772 612 124. He says the stockist he deals with has others in stock. Mike was happy for me to give his name out for anyone who was interested, he could send the tyres by mail but he thought it would be about 5 tyre carriage.


Thats more than goodyears notional recommend retail price,I suppose your dealer can't buy direct .

Oh well, you can't win in all, was better than any other quote i got, and the others couldn't get them from stock. As you can see above Chris throught that was a good price and so did i given the supply circumstances. What is the RRP for the 195/46/16s Dave?


I found Toyo very good value for money and would say they are on a par with the F1 Goodyears for performance. I have been using them for quite a while now.
Tony Smith

Further to Tonys post below from the General board:

"Tony Bradley, Dorset
Just had to replace my rear tyres .. . . plumped for F1's again, so I am running 215/40/16's all round.

Finally checked with my dealer about tyres sizes on the Trophy.

Apparently (and I'm not sure I believe a word of it), Trophy's originally came with the same size all round, then changed to smaller on front and have now reverted to the same size all round."

Further to earlier and on going posts there does seem to be some interesting stories from dealers about front tyre sizes on 16" cars, perhaps this will take another 6 months to resolve, when there are enough newer cars (ie built now, not just from a stock pile) to make a judgement as to what Rover are really doing.

Just a thought, as anyone got or has seen a Troghy with 215s on the front?

Joe, did you say that the new Freestyle you've ordered has 195s on the front, does this come from a spec sheet you've seen/been given?


Hi all,

just surfed around and found

May be an option to source cheap tyres in the UK ?
Dieter Koennecke

Thanks Dieter, their prices are very good.

They only list the 215x40 (which is about 73 quid inc vat/delivery!!), and I've emailed them for a price on the 195x45 so I'll post that up when I know.

Chris George

oh dear, they do not do the 195 F1 at the present time... d'oh!

I think I am just going to go with the 215's again for the time being, the 195's are just too expensive to source at the moment.


Chris George

Chris - I wouldn't be too upset, took mine to my local dealer in Newbury. We'd agreed to swap my fronts to rear and replace with 195s. When I dropped it in the went into a huddle and said that they couldn't do it. They gave me the MGR line of 215s all round. I was armed with literature etc., but I listened to their MGF guy and was persuaded to go 215s. I explained about the handling etc. He convinced me that this was down to ride height, and toe, plus the camber is off on the nearside rear.

To cut a long story short[too late], car is sorted. None of that wandering on the M-way, cornering is much more certain and the car feels more 'planted'. Only worry now is that I am taking corners much quicker and really pushing it much more.

As a complete aside, my original fronts have now clocked up 30,000 miles with still 6mm of tread. The 1st rears managed 8000, last set 22k. Is 30k on the front a record!?

Cheers, Pete


I don't really have any major complaints about my 215 fronts, but was looking forward to 'experimenting' with 195's to see if it really made any difference. Not willing to pay 50percent extra though!!!

I find the outside edge of the near-side tyres get a scrubbing from all the roundabouts in-between my place and my girlfriends!!! (there is a nice 3 roundabout sequence .... fast 90 left, fast 90 right and a faster 'chicane' ahem!). It's almost a pity the F1's are unidirectional then I could swap them round!!


Chris George

I've had a couple of weeks of front 195/45 F1s on 16" wheels now and am very happy with the car. The steering force is similar to the 195 SO2 bridgestones i had on the former 15" wheels and the feel and response are certainly better. Still experimenting with tyre pressures for best ride/handling balance, at the moment they are 28psi back, 26 psi front. I've only driven a 215 tyred car for a couple of days as a loaner but from that short comparison i am more impressed with the feel of the steering with the 195s, and the tramlining is also less. I appreciate that this all differs from car to car, for instance my car has BBS front tracking settings which make a real difference to start with.

Thats only my experience, not meant as anything other than info.

I need to replace my existin fronts (MOT failure looming up in two days!) The car is a 1.8i with the origional 15" wheels. Only 22k miles.

I recently put a pail of new Michelin on the rears and it wonders a bit a high speed >100 mph

Any sugestions ?
Steve Ratledge

You get the best perfofmance from Michelins when they are hung over the sides of boats,I really feel sorry for you I bet ATS sold them to you.
Ask for your money back.


Will a mathing pair of Michelin at he front make it better of worse?

Either way 185/55 or 195/55 ?

Following the advice on this BBS I am going to go for 195/50 R15 82V. Can I have your preference on the make of choice for front tyres on the 1.8i. :

Bridgestone S-02
Pirrelli P7000
Pirrelli PZero
Michelin Pilot Exalto
Goodyear F1

PS: I have just fitted the K&N 57i kit and it is fantastic. The engine revs more freely and the sound is great - even the wife likes it. So long run up north planned for the weekend.

I have only had Goddyear F1s and Bridgestone SO2s on your list. The SO2s would get my vote although I believe they are no longer available and you would have to go for the S03s now. Hopefully these are as good.


Steve, you missed out Toyos. I have had Pirelli P7000s they are a great tyre, a little better than the Toyos but twice the price. I think the Bridgestones are the best tyres for performance but for real life the Toyos are fine and seem to be lasting well. I would put the toyo's up against the Goodyear F1s any day. I have 195x50x15 on the front and 205x50x15 rear.
Tony Smith

This thread was discussed between 11/10/2001 and 08/11/2001

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.