The Rapid Rise of Falken Tyres


It can take some tyre manufacturers
decades to reach a decent position in the market, let alone the very top, but
in the case of Falken tyres, the progression from newcomer to one of the
world’s leading tyre companies has been rapid.

From the development of
industry-changing tyres, to race-winning track tyres, and a whole host of road
tyres suitable for different conditions, Falken
tyres
have become one of the biggest tyre brands on the planet, and
in this guide, we take a look at how they got there, along with some of the
game-changing tyres that helped them make their rapid rise to the top.

First things first: who are Falken?

Falken are a relatively young tyre
brand compared to some, but one that now has the range, and the technology, to
confidently count themselves as part of the premiership of tyre manufacturers.

The brand has been around since 1983
when it was first introduced and brought to the European market by Sumitomo
Rubber Industries, a colossus of Japanese industry. Falken opened their first
European office in Offenbach, Germany, in 1988; and Falken Tyre Europe was
founded in 2008 before commencing distribution in 2010.

Fast-forward to 2019 and the Falken
network consists of more than 8,000 partners across Europe with the Falken
brand developing a complete range of original equipment tyres for cars,
lorries, light commercial vehicles, SUVs and 4x4s, as well as the entire
European retrofit market.

There have been numerous key moments
and developments over the last 30 years, from the beginning of the Falken
partnership with the Nürburgring and the first Falken team competing in the
ADAC 24-hour race in 1999, to the development of the now-iconic Porsche racing
car in 2011. Falken have been at the forefront of product technology as well,
introducing the first Falken all-season tyre, the Euroall AS200 in 2012, followed up by the
first Falken run-flat tyre in 2014.

Falken’s tyre range sits alongside
some of the very best, with their tyres having won top three spots in Auto
Bild, Auto Express, and Auto Zeitung group tests. Falken tyres are now fitted
as original equipment to cars from manufacturers like Porsche and Audi, all the
way through to Nissan, Suzuki, Toyota and Honda, which shows how far the brand
has come in terms of their reputation as a whole, as well as the quality and
reliability of their tyres.

Away from the world of tyres Falken
currently sponsor a wide range of sports and teams including Liverpool FC, the
Nürburgring circuit and the Red Bull Air Race. Their livery is also very
recognizable in the world of drift.

Where are Falken tyres made?

Such is the size of the Sumitomo
Rubber Group, and the success of the Falken tyre brand, the company has
production facilities all around the world. The largest is their Shirakawa factory
in Fukushima, Japan, which is home to more than 1,600 employees who manufacture
more than 10,000 tonnes of car, truck and bus tyres each month.

There are two further Japanese
factories, but outside Japan, the firm have production facilities in Asia,
Africa, North America, South America and Europe. The first to open was in China
in 2012, followed a year later by South African and Brazilian plants, then
their USA facility and Turkish factories opened in 2015.

Are Falken tyres any good – and if so, what makes them stand out?

The extensive research and development
that goes into every set of Falken tyres means that they roll off the
production line to the highest specifications and standards. Whether you look
to tyres for outright performance in grip, longevity, all-weather performance
or exceptional traction in the wet; Falken tyres are tested to the extremes to
ensure that they reach the incredibly high standards of every driver with the
latest technology right at the heart of each set of tyres.

Cutting edge design

With recent investments in the
manufacturing processes, Falken tyres are producing impressive results via
pioneering research into the molecular structure of tyres. Particle
accelerators and advanced computer simulations are not just in the realms of
sci-fi, they’re utilised daily to maximise the performance of every Falken tyre
that leaves the factory.

Advanced 4D-Nano design technology
helps to analyse where unnecessary heat can be generated as a tyre rolls down
the road, which can cause a loss of energy, increasing rolling resistance and
making the tyre less economical. The development of this 4D technology has
demonstrated real-world improvements over conventional tyre design, increasing efficiencies
and significantly improving the tyre’s performance in wet conditions – ideal
for the UK!

NEO-T01 manufacturing process

Combining this cutting-edge design
technology with Falken’s ultra-high precision manufacturing process, known as
“NEO-T01”, ensures that every Falken tyre is engineered using a
‘ribbon’ method, which wraps the tread and sidewall material around a precision
moulded metal core to ensure an almost perfectly round tyre. This means there
is no deformation in the compound during the vulcanisation, raising the bar for
quality and consistency in the serial production of premium tyres.

Silent Core

In the majority of situations, the
road noise generated by the tyres on a car is louder than any aerodynamic noise
from motion or noise created by the car’s powertrain. Road (or drive-by) noise
is caused by air vibrating in the tyre’s interior, which generates tyre cavity
resonance and, accordingly, increased noise levels. To minimise these
vibrations in the tyre interior, Falken’s engineers have developed an
innovative polyurethane foam layer that lines the tyre interior, slashing
drive-by noise generation by up to 10 decibels. The foam lining is featherlight
and does not impair tyre performance in any way. It is extremely durable and lasts
for the entire life of the tyre. This technology is almost obligatory on the
new generation of high performance, low noise electric cars.

Falken run-flat tyre technology

If a conventional tyre loses air, its
shape begins to deform on the rim, generating heat that can – over a period of
time running below the optimum pressure – destroy the tyre. As early as 1970,
Sumitomo Rubber Industries found a solution to combat the problem and launched
the world’s first run-flat tyre with ‘limp-home mode’.

One of the key collections in the
Falken tyre range and another reason they stand out against their competitors,
run-flat tyres have reinforced sidewalls that reduce deformation if the tyre
sustains damage or a puncture. This allows them to continue to be driven on for
up to 50 miles at a maximum speed of 50 mph. This technology combined with
Falken run-flat tyres’ ‘limp-home’ mode allows them to offer peace of mind and
a sense of security.

Incidentally, manufacturers specify
that run-flat tyres must be used with a tyre pressure monitoring system,
because the tyres are so effective that drivers of vehicles registered after
November 2014 (when tyre pressure monitoring systems were made compulsory), may
not notice their tyre has a puncture.

What Tyres Do Falken Make?

Falken Azensis FK510

The Falken Azensis FK510 tyre is Falken’s brand
new flagship road tyre. An ultra-high performance (UHP) summer tyre, it’s
designed to offer outstanding grip on wet or dry roads whilst delivering
impressive results for cornering stability, and good control through corners,
which are top priorities for a tyre of this type.

A good UHP tyre isn’t just required to
perform on dry roads, which is evident with the proven aquaplaning resistance
and exceptional wet handling offered by the Falken FK510.

Falken have also made comfort and low
cabin noise a high priority which isn’t always the case with UHP tyres. An
incredibly accomplished tyre, this is comfortably sitting with some of the very
best in group tests.

Falken Euroall Season AS210

The Falken Euroall Season is an
all-season tyre designed to perform well in all weather conditions from dry
roads through to snow-covered, mixing solid summer performance with good snow
performance. This means one tyre can offer good performance all year round
saving you money on specialist tyres.

Falken ZE310 Ecorun

Falken ZE310 Ecorun tyres sit in a
surprisingly competitive segment of the market. Making a single tyre that
offers brilliant fuel economy, whilst still offering exceptional grip in wet
and dry conditions, and excellent tyre lifespan is no simple thing – yet Falken
has certainly achieved it. The ZE310 Ecorun has performed exceptionally well in
reviews, earning an “Exemplary” in Autobild’s demanding summer tyre
group test last year.

Falken A/T Wildpeak AT01

A dedicated All-Terrain off-road
capable tyre, the Falken A/T Wildpeak AT01 is designed to offer
both dedicated off-road performance and good road manners. With an aggressive
block pattern designed to perform well on everything from mud, gravel and sand,
through to snow and ice these tyres are certainly capable off-road. They also
have a host of design features designed to make them quiet and comfortable
on-road as well.

Falken Eurowinter HS01 Winter Tyre

While all-season tyres have gotten
very good, when it comes to dealing with heavy snow and ice there’s nothing
quite like a dedicated winter tyre. Falken Eurowinter HS01 tyres offer outstanding
handling across all weather conditions on cold roads, whether wet or covered in
rain or snow.

Falken Sincera SN832 Ecorun

Designed to offer good fuel economy, a
quiet ride and great handling on both wet and dry roads, the Falken Sincera SN832 Ecorun is an excellent
all-round tyre.

How do I know when it’s time to change tyres?

Drivers should check the tread of
their tyres to ensure they are above the UK legal tread depth minimum of 1.6mm.
Ideally, an accurate tread depth gauge should be used but if this is not
available, a 20p coin can be used as a guide. Insert the 20p into the main
sections of the tyre and at various points around the circumference, should you
see the outer rim of the 20p any point then you will need to have the tread
depth checked as it is probably illegal.

Which tyres do I need?

Are you in the market for new tyres?
We know it’s not an everyday purchase, and when the time comes to choose new
tyres for your car it can be a confusing task. It’s hardly surprising since
there’s a lot to digest. Nevertheless, it’s a decision that needs your focus
and research, because if you were to choose an incorrect tyre it could have a
serious, and costly impact. As Not only is it dangerous but if caught by the
Police you may also face a fine of up to £2,500 and three-penalty points for
each defective tyre.

It’s quite common to take the advice
of others whether it’s your parents, your partner or even a friend. You may
also wish to carry out your own research. But what exactly do you need to look
out for? Key factors, such as price, efficiency and quality are important, but
anyone that’s ever searched for tyres online knows how saturated the market is,
and how confusing it can all seem.

How to find out your tyre size

Before you do anything else, the most
important detail you need to know is the size of tyre fitted to your vehicle.
Most tyre manufacturers make information easy to find. It’s usually embossed on
your tyre sidewall, and if you’re still unsure, you can also find a list of
compatible tyre types in your vehicle manual or documentation.

You’re probably asking yourself why
this information is so important. It comes down to two things: firstly, the
tyre size that is compatible for your car is one that can support its weight;
and second, the tyre will have a top speed that it can handle, represented as a
letter.

The value attributed to this letter
must be at least as high as the vehicle’s top speed. If you get this
identification process wrong for any reason it could invalidate your car
insurance, so it’s worth researching this thoroughly.

As a rule of thumb, most tyre
manufacturers including Falken recommend that all four tyres on your car should
be the same – even if you are changing them at different times (it’s unlikely
they will all need replacing at once). While this is not a legal requirement,
it does help ensure an even, consistent performance from your tyres.

What is legal, though, is that you
have the same tyres across the same axle. This is vital for your driver safety,
and it’s the law.

The post The Rapid Rise of Falken Tyres appeared first on Demon Tweeks Blog.

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