Meanwhile, I bought a full set of tyres for my Spider yesterday. It was a tough decision with Westlakes on offer for $149 each but in the end, I decided to spend a bit more on some universally-known tyres, since I have always been the sole believer in Westlakes
I wanted to try Yokohama C:drive but they're not available in this size/not available at all due to being phased out. After lengthy discussion with the Yokohama sales rep (who, needless to say, was sure that anything would be better than Westlakes), I settled on A:drive R1s, $187 each, even though I was worried they would be noisy, looking at the symmetric and directional tread pattern. The rep pointed out the 7-size variation of tread blocks not only on the shoulder but also in the centre. However, Westlakes have that too
I think the reason Westlakes have jumped 50% in price is to try and underline how good they are...
So far though, the R1s seem fairly quiet and a nice smooth steering feel especially around centre - the steering wheel is central now, where it was off-centre with 'Supercat' (Firestone budget) tyres that were on there before. Wheel alignment was done a month ago. Wheel balancing was also no drama, with the largest weight being 10g and one wheel not needing any weights at all!
Note that there is an A:drive and an A:drive R1, and they are very different tyres. The A:drive is a budget-priced non-directional with treadwear 500
while the R1 is a sports directional with treadwear 300.