Yokohama Avid Touring-S Review

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The Yokohama Avid Touring-S is a standard touring tire renowned for its exceptional comfort and appreciable performance on dry and snowy surfaces. Let’s see what this tire has up its sleeves.

Yokohama Avid Touring-S
Side view of my newly installed Yokohama Avid Touring-S,

Available Sizes

Yokohama Avid Touring-S comes in 14 to 17 inches wheels, with following specs.

  • Speed ratings: S and T.
  • Load ratings: SL only.
  • Weight range: 16 to 30 lbs.
  • Tread depth: 10 to 11/32″.
  • Treadwear warranty: 65k miles.
  • UTQG: 620 A B.
  • Internal construction: 2 ply polyester, 2 steel belts, and a single ply nylon cap ply.

Wet Performance

Getting into the wet performance characteristics, we encounter two critical aspects: the tire’s resistance to hydroplaning and its overall grip and steering response in wet conditions.

Let’s explore these components one by one.

Wet Grip

Yokohama Avid Touring-S
The central most rib on the tire is continuous running without any pattern.

Wet grip or traction is fundamentally dependent on two critical elements: extensive siping and optimal tread flexibility.

Sipes work on a microscopic scale, and are in charge of sucking up remaining moisture, left out by the grooves.

So yes a tire with good enough wet traction needs to have a lot of siping slits and a flexible rubber so they could generate ample suction for the water particles. This would basically allow the rest of the tread/biters to grip on the relatively dried up surface better.

Now let me tell you wet traction is the weakest performance aspect of Yokohama Avid Touring-S. And it makes sense because the tire lacks in both. I mean it doesn’t have ample sipes and a good enough tread flexibility.

Hydroplaning Resistance

Hydroplaning occurs when a tire loses contact with the road and start to “float” on a layer of water. And this happens when enough water isn’t able to get out through the grooves.

Now the Yokohama Avid Touring-S, with its four symmetrically aligned channels, is particularly effective at displacing a significant volume of water from beneath the tread. But only in the longitudinal direction.

I mean, since its tread features unbroken ribs, water isn’t able to get out in the lateral direction.

This causes the tire to lose traction and oversteer, if I be more specific.

Dry Performance

The dry performance of the Yokohama tire leaves room for improvement, which becomes evident when dissecting its performance into three key components: directional grip, lateral grip, and overall handling.

Longitudinal Grip

Longitudinal grip is significantly influenced by the tire’s central region. This area is crucial because it endures the majority of weight pressure and distribution, as the tire progresses in a straight line.

Moreover this performance aspect is best evaluated through the tire’s braking capabilities .

Now the Yokohama Avid Touring-S provides pretty decent performance here, outperforming most of the tires in its category by showing shorter braking distances.

This is because, one, it features continuous running central most rib without any tread features (or interruptions). This allows the tire to properly grab the road, resulting in superior directional grip.

Moreover, the curved laterally arranged biters on the neighboring ribs further aid that traction, providing the needed bite as the tire tires to slow down (or accelerate too).

Though the tire’s performance could have been further enhanced if it weren’t for its considerable weight, which is notably higher compared to its counterparts in the standard touring all-season category.

Why it matters? Well this added mass increases the tire’s momentum, necessitating more energy, and consequently more time, to bring the vehicle to a stop.

Lateral Grip and Handling

Handling has two main factors, the cornering grip tire offers particularly at the apex of the turn, and overall steering responsiveness.

First up, let’s talk about cornering grip which is the force that pulls the tire toward the center of a turn.

And here, the part of the tire that engages with the road, the most, are its shoulder lugs (as weight shifts towards the tread edges, compressing these shoulders/sidewalls more with the ground).

Now the Yokohama Avid Touring-S has no problem in this key performance metric. It offers rounded shoulder lugs, allowing them to conform better with the road, and with off-set edges in the lateral voids of these shoulder, the tire also generates ample bite as it corners.

But yes, the Touring S doesn’t offer good enough performance in the second key area here, showcasing slower steering feedback.

I mean compared to other tires in its standard touring category, Its a bit slow to react.

Why is it slower? Well, a big reason is the tire’s design. It’s built a bit heavier, which puts more pressure on the parts of the tire that touch the road, causing them to bend or flex more.

This “flexing” or bending means the tire takes a bit longer to get back to normal after a turn, which messes with the car’s handling and slow down lap times (as seen on tests).

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy in tires is directly tied to their rolling resistance: the greater the grip, the higher the friction, and consequently, the higher the energy consumption.

This principle is particularly relevant for our Yokohama tire here. I mean, despite its shortcomings in grip and a speed rating capped at T (where the speed rating is inversely related to rolling resistance), the Avid Touring-S exemplifies a strategic trade-off.

In other words, although the tire compromises on grip, it excels in fuel efficiency, translating into decent savings on fuel expenses (in the long run).

But yes its important to note that although this tire provides above average results here, its not the absolute best in its category. But the tire could have been, if it weren’t for its heavier weight (its actually one of the heaviest standard touring tire that I had experience with).

Winter Traction

Like other tires in its standard touring all-season category, this tire does not come with the 3-Peak Mountain Snowflake rating. However, it delivers decent performance on snowy roads, (according to my experience).

The tire is designed with an advanced siping pattern. It although is not optimized for wet conditions, its design significantly enhances its performance on snow-covered surfaces.

However, the Avid Touring-S’s performance diminishes pretty quickly on icy roads.

I mean it goes down with time and it makes sense because the rubber composition used in this tire is not that thermally adaptive. So with freezing “icy” temperatures, the tire’s sipes and biters become less effective.

Tread Longevity

My experience has consistently shown that tread life is intricately linked to 3 things: rolling resistance, tread depth, and rubber composition. Basically these elements are fundamental in determining how quickly and uniformly a tire’s tread wears down.

Having said that, my testing has revealed that the Yokohama Avid Touring-S’s performance in this area could be slightly improved. I mean although the tire comes equipped with decent rubber and premium additives designed to resist wear, it still reaches the 2/32″ mark, a bit faster compared to other tires in its standard touring category.

Why 2/32″? Well, it’s because this measurement represents the legal tread depth limit in many jurisdictions, indicating when a tire is legally worn out and needs to be replaced for safety reasons.

Vibrations Comfort

The ride quality of a tire greatly depends on how “well” it can handle road bumps and imperfections. And of course this is largely determined by the materials used in the tire and how it’s built.

Now the Yokohama Avid Touring-S, thanks to its softer construction, provides a very comfortable ride over bumps, offering very impressive shock absorption.

But if I become a little greedy here, it does have a very minor drawback in that it takes a bit longer to steady itself after hitting larger road bumps.

Still, it performs better than almost 90% of the other standard touring tires I’ve tested, making its ability to deliver a smooth ride one of its strongest performance aspect.

Noise Comfort

Road noise is primarily caused by the interaction between air particles and the tire’s tread walls. Basically this noise occurs when air enters the tire, mainly through the shoulder voids, circulates, and then impacts the tread, creating pretty much the main source of noise.

Now the Yokohama Avid Touring-S excels in this area, generating very minimal impact noise and barely noticeable tread vibration.

Its actually the second quietest tires according to my test on the top standard touring all season tires out there (that I’ve had experience with).

Now this superior performance is attributed to two key design features.

Firstly, the tire has compact shoulders, with ridges in them, which effectively reduce noise. Basically this design effectively blocks the lateral grooves, preventing air from entering in the first place.

And yes one more thing, the tire’s softer rubber composition also serves as a sound-absorbing layer, significantly reducing in-groove resonance (as we call it in tire industry.

In layman’s term its the echoing of sound waves, and it doesn’t happen with the Yokohama tire here. So yes you get a pretty quiet tire.

To Sum It All Up

In summary, the Yokohama Avid Touring-S tire presents varying performance across different categories.

Speaking of wet grip first, the Avid Touring-S falls short due to insufficient siping and flexibility. But yes, the hydroplaning resistance is somewhat addressed by the tire’s symmetrically aligned channels, though lateral water dispersion remains a challenge.

As for the dry performance department, the tire shows promising braking capabilities but lacks responsiveness and cornering grip compared to peers.

And yes, its winter traction is satisfactory too but only on snowy roads, as the tire might not impress you on icy roads.

What else? Yes, tread longevity. Well it could be improved, reaching the legal tread depth limit sooner than competitors. However, vibrations comfort is notable, offering a smooth ride despite minor delays in steadying after large bumps.

Similarly, noise comfort is excellent, attributed to compact shoulders and a sound-absorbing rubber composition, making the Yokohama Avid Touring-S one of the quieter options in its category.

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